Be­ware, dog bites snakes

The Independent on Saturday - - METRO - MATLHATSI DIBAKWANE [email protected]

WHEN Klip­pies is not try­ing to catch shad­ows or but­ter­flies, he pro­tects the Heath fam­ily and their other dogs from poi­sonous snakes.

The Jack Rus­sell sur­vived bites from two venomous snakes at the Heath fam­ily home in Cul­li­nan, Olien­houtweg.

Last Novem­ber, Klip­pies killed a 1.7m Mozam­bi­can spit­ting co­bra and in April 2016, he killed a puff adder.

His owner, Ron­ald Heath, said when­ever he and his wife ar­rived home in the af­ter­noon, the dogs were at the gate. But on the day Klip­pies nearly lost his life, Heath no­ticed that he was not there.

As his wife got out of the car, she saw a dead Mozam­bi­can spit­ting co­bra with three wounds.

Heath found Klip­pies on the lawn. He had been bit­ten on the mouth. His head was swollen and he was un­able to lift it.

“That sight broke my heart. And his breath­ing was very rapid and shal­low,” he said.

A vet in Bronkhorstspruit ad­vised them to take Klip­pies to the Val­ley Farm An­i­mal Hos­pi­tal to get an­tivenom.

Heath was told that the dog’s chances of sur­vival were “slim”, but af­ter a week the lively Jack Rus­sell was re­leased from the hos­pi­tal.

“He is by far the quick­est of our dogs and the most ac­tive. If any of the other dogs got to that snake be­fore Klip­pies, I don’t think they would have made it – or we could have run into that snake,” said Heath, who jok­ingly added that his Christ­mas bonus went to the dog’s med­i­cal bill.

He said Klip­pies’ nick­name was “funny guy” be­cause as soon as he hears his name be­ing called he comes run­ning “with a huge grin on his face”.

African News Agency (ANA) | JAC­QUES NAUDE

RON­ALD Heath with Klip­pies, who keeps the fam­ily safe from snake at­tacks.

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