Cape Town – A ventilator played a massive role in saving the life of an heroic Bull Terrier who survived being bitten by a cobra which had made its way into his owner's garage.
The plucky terrier put his life on the line when he attacked and killed the cobra as his owner stepped out of her car.
Dr Sam Pillay, one of the vets on duty at the Tygerberg Animal Hospital, told News24 on Wednesday that Dexter was placed on a ventilator immediately. As a result of the snake venom, his lungs were shutting down and he could not breathe. The ventilator had played a significant role in saving Dexter's life, Pillay said.
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Pillay also said that antivenin - the same as that given to humans - was administered to Dexter immediately.
A vial of antivenin can cost up to R 1 000, and in a case like this, a dog is given five or six vials in order to survive.
In most cases the chances of a dog surviving a snake bite like this are very small and can be cost limiting, Pillay explained.
When asked what other animal owners can do if their pet is bitten by a snake, Pillay said they must bring in the snake as well, if possible.
The main aim is to correctly identify the snake in order to treat the animal.