Skip to comments.Fearless dog saves woman from deadly cottonmouth snake – and almost dies from venomous bites
Posted on 12/01/2012 5:28:22 PM PST by EinNYC
Man's best friend doubles as a doggone good bodyguard. Gudrun Mastriano of Kissimmee, Fla., was walking her daughters black lab Dante home when a venomous cottonmouth snake, mere inches away, attacked her.
The protective canine lunged in front of Mastriano, captured the serpent in his mouth and dragged it away. But during the fight, the snakes fangs sunk into Dantes snout and legs.
"It could have been me," said Mastriano. "I would have died."
Dantes snout swelled up to about 17 inches as the deadly venom settled in his body, according to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
"I thought he looked like a little baby hippopotamus," said Mastriano.
Mastriano immediately brought the lethargic and injured dog to an emergency animal clinic, where he was stabilized and treated with antivenin before being transferred to another medical center for rehabilitation.
For the past two months, Dante has received oxygen therapy. Veterinarians delivered concentrated oxygen to Dantes damaged cells seven times to reduce swelling and speed healing, reported the Orlando Sentinel.
Dante, rejuvenated, was ready to be reunited with his owner, Mastrianos daughter Charlotte Eierle.
Eierle moved to Madrid, where her husband is stationed with the Navy, in September. Eierle only planned to leave Dante behind for a few weeks while she and her husband got situated, but the snake attack delayed his trip abroad.
"We're just happy to see him healthy and going home for the holidays," said one of the veterinarians who bid Dante farewell at the airport.
For his flight to Spain, Dante was placed in a pet carrier that bore a notification for careful handling, along with a fitting description: Traveling Hero.
Aw, man? How can I sleep tonight with so many tears in my eyes?
black labs by breed are awesome looking out for owners, little kids, etc.
Good dog! Hate snakes. Never go walking without carrying a spade, gun, machete, and now...a good dog!
My great-granddad died from a cotton-mouth bite. He was in his early thirties in rural Arkansas. Nearest doctor was over thirty miles away. He lived for 3 days. Left behind five little girls, including my grandmother.
Ol’ Mel went for two guys that walked up behind me once when I was panning for gold up a canyon. Up until that moment, I didn’t know she could make those sounds or look that mean. 40 pounds of unsuspected unadulterated absolute killer guardian wolf in Springer Spaniel clothing. Damn that was an eye opener. She got between me and them and I have no doubt she would have made the swap, her life for mine to the last breath in her body. Those guys just about soiled themselves running backwards up the creek bank.... After I called her off and got her calmed down, we helped out the two guys. They needed a jack. Mel never took her eyes off them, and they knew it. Damn dog. She’s been gone ten years now. Damn dog. sniff..Damn dog. There’s a pile of stones just outside the window here, a 4X4 with a sun bleached tennis ball on top, Damn dog......Give that Lab a chewy and a belly rub for me. Damn dog......
Good girl, Georgia!
/sry remembering my favorite dog/companion
Good boy, Dante!!!
Free toy, all natural ingredients, made in the USA.
He was an interesting dog.
A dog will typically lunge in, grab the snake in the middle and immediately shake the snake to pieces. I have seen them do it many times.
Old Smokey was different. He would lunge and jump back until he finally got in and would grab the snake right behind the head. He would clamp down sort of like a bulldog until the snake was dead. Then he would prance around with the snake in his mouth like he was proud of himself.
Dogs are such loyal creatures. Hope this pooch has a long and happy life ahead of him.
BTW, I hadn’t realized that cottonmouths were that dangerous. I knew they were venomous, but I had always thought it wasn’t particularly potent (by poisonous snake standards). I was definitely wrong on that one!
Their bites aren’t usually fatal but the are serious. They can be extremely agressive to the point where they will follow you down a trail to bite you.
They’ll also drop into your boat out of trees.
Damn dog..... Don’t get me wrong, My wife loves me, but not like that dog did. I wish I was 10% the man that she thought I was.
For those that don’t live in snake country:
dog gets bit in the snoot or leg - probably survives.
dog gets bit in the body - you’re likely gonna lose him unless you are in the parking lot of a vet.
Luckily, most dogs go straight at the snake and get bit on the snout (or as a friend of mine always says, “proves dogs are probably Marines, because the know the best way to attack an enemy is head on!”)
I think cottonmouts have pretty strong venom for their size. The vast number of people who get bitten do survive.
The copperhead is less potent and nearly everyone survives their venom. The Florida subspecies of the Eastern Diamondback is the largest snake in the country and they are very dangerous because of the amount of venom they can inject.
Hardly anyone gets bitten by a coral snake as they chew to get their venom in. If they do get it in you are probably in for a bad time. They have be far the most potent venom but do not have as much of it.
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