A family dog died after attacking and fatally wounding an adult male black mamba in Verulam on Monday, reports Northglen News.
A Glen Anil resident and snake expert, Jason Arnold of Universal Reptiles, said he received a desperate call from an Estuary Drive resident at 3.46pm.
By the time Arnold arrived at the Verulum home, the dog was already dead and the snake soon followed.
“It took me about 23 minutes to arrive there from Glen Anil, through horrible afternoon traffic. It is a very sad situation because both the dog and snake lost their lives. The snake suffered a broken spine, severe internal trauma and had lost a lot of blood. It was dead by the time I arrived home,” he said.
According to Arnold, the difference between humans and dogs encountering a snake is that humans are intelligent enough to know the dangers and possible consequences involved.
“The caller told me that their dog had injured a very large snake which they believe to be a Black Mamba. The snake was still alive and laying on a corridor outside the front of their house. I told them that if the dog had managed to get hold of the snake, that in all likelihood their dog would’ve been bitten in the process and would be dead very soon if they didn’t get it to the vet really quickly.
“The caller advised me that they believe the dog had been bitten because it has been vomiting. This was exactly what I didn’t want to hear, and I knew inside that their dog was unlikely to even make it to the vet,” he added.
Vomiting is a typical symptom that dogs display after being envenomed by mambas.
“This, along with frothing and thick saliva dripping from the mouth. Shortly after this, they experience general paralysis and are unable to walk. Then breathing becomes more and more laboured until they pass out and go into a coma, eventually dying from lack of oxygen.
“The reason why dogs die so quickly from mamba bites is because not only are they probably bitten multiple times during the scuffle, but the snake is then also acting in total fear and will deliver as much venom in each bite as it possibly can, in an attempt to subdue its attacker in order to save its own life,” said Arnold.