Snakebite almost claimed Helga's life

Last month we brought you a story about the handsome Frank who made a last minute blood donation for a very unwell patient of ours. The little darling Helga was the grateful recipient of Frank's blood donation.

Helga the snakebite survivor

Poor little Helga was brought into the clinic a few hours after visiting a park near Merri Creek. She had begun vomiting and diarrhoea then developed soon after she returned home. Her owners called the clinic and our nurses advised them to bring Helga into the clinic as soon as possible. Upon arrival, Helga was collapsed and was in a pretty poor state. Her owners were unsure of the cause as there hadn't been any known incidents whilst out on her walk, and she had no access to rat bait or toxins.

We began to work to stabilise Helga and during this time ran in-house diagnostics including blood tests, ultrasounds and x-rays. All of the diagnostics alluded to a suspected snake bite. We provided Helga with pain relief, IV fluids and a blood transfusion. Once we had stablised Helga we transported her to overnight care where she received constant monitoring for the next few days.

If you feel that your pet may have come into contact with an unruly snake, the usual signs of snakebite by a tiger or brown snake are:

  • Sudden weakness followed by collapse
  • Shaking or twitching of the muscles
  • Vomiting
  • Dilated pupils not responsive to light
  • In the later stages paralysis may occur and your pet may have blood in his or her urine

Thanks to Frank, a team effort by our veterinarians and nurses and to those who continued to monitor and treat Helga during her stay in 24-hour care, she has made a wonderful recovery. We are thrilled that she is doing so well.