Team Fit Like Mummy is all about adventure and travel. So much so, that we even named our furbaby, Adventure Nugget. We recently travelled to White River in Mpumalanga, on a family vacation. Miracle Yorkie Survives Cobra Bite pretty much sums up this family vacation.
Family vacation we will never forget
We normally go on vacation in December but decided to take advantage of Kruger National Park’s free week. Our yorkie, Nugget always travels with us but we considered not taking him with us. Long story short, he went with us as he loves going on vacation. Pets aren’t allowed in the Kruger so we stayed outside the park.
Nugget is bitten by a cobra
On Wednesday, 18 November 2020 after breakfast we returned to our unit. Sky went to swim and Nugget cried to go with him, so I let Nugget go with. Nugget who was full of energy that morning, ran between Sky and I as he played. Then he returned without making a sound and sat on the mat next to my side of the bed. He didn’t bark or jump up onto the bed as he had done repeatedly that morning.
He just sat there staring at me, repeatedly licking his lips. I knew something was really wrong and we tried to get him to drink some water but he vomited. His condition was deteriorating rapidly, so I hopped off the bed, put my shoes on and grabbed Nugget to get him to a vet as I suspected he was bitten by a snake. Clifford ran up to the owner of the house to find out where the closest vet was. I had to put Nugget down for a second to get my car keys and wallet, but his little legs just collapsed beneath him. Paralysis was setting in and his tiny body was failing him.
A moment I never want to relive again
As I picked him up I could see his life slipping away. He still wasn’t making a sound and his body was motionless, but he kept his eyes fixed on mine. It’s a look I will probably never forget. We left Sky with the owners of the house (he wasn’t aware of what was happening) and calmly made our way to the vet. It was just a 7 minute drive to the nearest vet and they helped us immediately. His vitals were checked and we explained what we had witnessed. He was running a fever and was extremely pale but his breathing was fairly normal. It took us 15 minutes from the time he was bitten to getting him help.
Lowveld Vet kicks into action
Dr. Danny from Lowveld Vet assisted us immediately and was concerned about his vitals. She immediately knew what needed to be done and asked us to leave Nugget with them and said they would call to update us on his condition. It felt terrible to leave him there not knowing what was the matter, but we needed to get out of the way so they could do their job. Dr. Graham called to ask more questions as Nugget wasn’t displaying the usual symptoms of a dog that had been bitten by a snake. We also quickly ran through Nugget’s medical history. Shortly after that call Nugget’s lung started to fail.
Dr. Graham kept us informed and what I appreciated most was his honesty. Considering that a cobra bite can kill a fully grown man, the odds of a 4.5kg yorkie surviving a cobra bite was always going to be slim. His lungs were failing and if he survived there was always a chance of complications like brain damage.
“The next 24 hours are going to be close, but we will do our best! We have saved 6 out of 10 dogs bitten by a black mamba.” – Dr. Graham
I must admit that I was relieved that this happened in the Lowveld instead of back home. Lowveld vets deal with this kind of emergency on a regular basis, making them better equipped. Not all vets keep anti-venom but the Lowveld is known for it venomous snakes, so vets especially bigger ones do keep it.
Miracle Yorkie Survives Cobra Bite
We received an update shortly before the hospital closed, stating that Nugget had lifted his head and was already responding well to the anti-venom. He was going to spend the night in ICU with two staff members watching over him. Our next update would be between 8am and 9am the following day. It was a long night and we were nervously awaiting feedback. We received news that Nugget had been seen by his doctor, enjoyed a recovery breakfast and was able to go for a walk.Dr. Graham & his wife Dr. Danny are the amazing people behind Lowveld Vet and the reason Nugget is alive.
We got permission to fetch him at 11am. Dr. Graham briefed us and confirmed that a cobra had bitten him on his right shoulder. The fact that his breathing didn’t drop below 70% seriously reduced any chance of brain damage. Nugget was extremely happy to see us and his increase in energy was a huge sigh of relief. We immediately ended our vacatoion and headed home.
Aside from keeping a close eye on him, Nugget’s recovery will take approximately 2 weeks and we need to do the following :
- Include chicken livers into his diet to help increase his red blood cell count
- Keep him calm and rested
- Keep him warm as his nervous system is in recovery mode
Ignorance is bliss
Summer is here, which in Mpumalanga means that snakes are extremely active. I know that snakes are active in summer but I didn’t realise to what extent cobras pose a risk in that region. When it comes to snakes I guess ignorance is bliss because I am petrified about snakes and have a lifelong phobia. While this was entirely out of our control, hard lessons have been learnt.
The signs of a snake bite
|Sudden weakness followed by collapse.||x|
|Shaking or twitching of the muscles.|
|Dilated pupils not responsive to light.|
|Blood in the urine.|
|In the later stages paralysis may occur.||x|
This boy will forever have our hearts
Nugget is such an integral part our our family and the more we think about it, the more overwhelmed we are with how close we came to losing him. We are beyond grateful that we can say our Miracle Yorkie Survived a Cobra Bite. Words will never be able to fully capture our level of gratitude to Dr. Danny, Dr. Graham and their incredible team at Lowveld Vet.
Disclaimer : This is not a sponsored post in any way. It is however a gratitude post to the amazing humans who work selfishlessly to help animals.