Sunday 20 December 2009



The Machinist had gone to let the dogs out of their kennel (if left outside, the young Shih-Tszu's bark all night and besides - Bobby keeps them company and calms them down). As he was making his way to his regular latrine, Bob was stumbling like a drunk. The Machinist's worst fears were confirmed when he inspected Bob's eyes and noticed that his pupils were dilated.
"Babe, will you just check out Bob for me?  He doesn't look right.  I think he's been bitten by a snake, but I don't know how it would have gotten into the yard..."

At the sound of 'snake', my heartrate increased threefold.  I couldn't think, but wanted to 'do' and couldn't focus what to 'do' first. 

"We need to get some Vitamin C into him.  Oh, and Robert recommends strong black coffee, too.  Where IS the Vitamin C?  I put it in the medicine cabinet.  It's not there now..."

"Here it is, Babe.  Calm down..."

Bobby must have been bitten prior to 11pm Friday night, before bedtime, which means by the time we noticed his agitation, he would have had the neurotoxin circulating his bloodstream for 8 hours or more. This is way too late, and you have to identify the type of snake to receive the correct anti-venom, otherwise the administration of the incorrect anti-venom can be fatal. (We lost two dogs previously on the same day - 22 December 2002, due to snake bite). 

And so - for the past 50 hours we've treated our beloved Bobby with Vitamin C injections, antibiotics, Vitamin C by mouth, strong, black coffee and lots of water.  He is mostly paralysed and incontinent.  He can hear us, blink his eyes, wag his tail a little, but he can't move positions.  We have to turn him ourselves, (so he won't get cramps) change his bed, dry him, disinfect him.  Our laundry is his intensive care ward....


Between Bobby's various home treatment, the Machinist attempted to work at the Shop.  He started cutting the alluminium coving for the kitchen floor and kitchen ceiling (skirting and cornice).  Being pre-occupied with thoughts of Bobby's health, the Machinist cut his finger on the circular saw.  It is totally mangled, and a friend had to take him to the emergency.  I had to go to work at the winery, and the worst thing was not knowing how both were faring during the course of the (long) day.  The Machinist now has to wear a finger pouch, and each time we tend to Bobby, I have to wash the Machinists hands and arms, as sometimes, the poison can seep through the skin (and fur) of the pet, onto the skin of a human, so it is better to be cautious and wash every time the 'patient' is handled. 

The vet advised that Bobby has come through the worst part of the bite, and he has a good chance of recovery, even though it doesn't look like it at present.  Paralysis can take a couple of weeks to get over (hopefully), so while my darling Machinist is the main care-giver for his pet, I will continue to be the main care-giver for my Machinist.

**Even though God created all creatures, I often fantasise about Him magnetising every snake off the face of the earth**



FlowerLady Lorraine said...

Oh dear, my heart and prayers go out for you, your DH and dear Bobby too. May you all feel God's love, peace and healing flowing through and around you.

Hugs ~ FlowerLady

French Fancy... said...

Oh that's terrible - I don't know which story is worse (I'm a very doggy person). Maybe the dogs should be inside if the snakes are so common out there. Do they live outside all year round (the dogs not the snakes) ?

(worried now)

Hope hubby's finger heals ok (see, I worry about humans as well - but more about dogs really as they are helpless)

Stephanie said...

Scary living. Poisonous snakes, wow. Wishing a speedy recovery for both.

Ken Devine said...

Hi Helen
Just when you think everything but the kitchen sink is being thrown at you, the washing machine, saw-bench, poisoned dog and venomous snakes vie for centre stage. Your family really are going through the ringer at the moment. You'll be glad when this year is behind you no doubt.

Give my regards and best wishes to the Machinist who probably can't quite put his finger on why all this is happening to you all (sorry!)

@eloh said...

Have you ever thought of having a few mongooses around? I've seen them in action against the habu, very impressive. You could pretend they were "outdoor ferrets" or the like.

Here we put cotton poison in a perimeter, usually around the house. It's probably more akin to a ring of salt to keep the witches out...but it has always made me feel better.

Best wishes for your pup and man.

ADRIAN said...

Hope all resolves it'self . All you need at this time, or any time of the year. Good luck.


 Table talk amongst our children is and always has been, -  a rabbit warren . We start off in one hole and end up in another -  quick smart....