‘Devastated’ family warns dog owners following snake-bite death

A “devastated” woman has warned Peel residents to beware of snakes after her five-year-old dog died from a bite, on Sunday. 

Liana Wilkinson said her bull-arab, Odie, passed away at Baldivis Vet Hospital after being bitten by a tiger snake.

Ms Wilkinson said Odie was wandering on their five-acre Barragup property and returned sleepy and lethargic.

“He just wasn’t his usual self,” she said.

This is a nightmare I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.

Liana Wilkinson

“We took him to the vet where he had a raft of tests which pointed towards a snake bite.

“He was given bags of fluid and anti-venom but unfortunately, it wasn’t enough and he was unable to fight it.”

Odie passed away at 2am the following day.

Ms Wilkinson said the family had slashed their paddocks and mowed the lawns a week before the incident, but they were still visited by snakes.

“I want people to be aware of what could happen...being prepared didn’t help us but it could help someone else,” she said. 

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“Our children were also outside on the day having a tea-party. It could of been one of them too.”

Ms Wilkinson said the family was “shattered”.

“We rescued Odie five years ago,” she said.

“He was part of the family. This is a nightmare I wouldn’t wish upon anyone.”

An RSPCA spokesman said the number of reported snake bites increased in warmer months when snakes became more active.

“Snakes are attracted to potential food and water sources and safe, quiet places to hide,” he said.

“To reduce the risk of snakes finding your backyard or property attractive, keep the grass low, clean up any rubbish piles and clear away objects where snakes may be able to hide including wood piles, under sheets of corrugated metal.

“If snakes are a common threat in your area, you could consider building a snake-proof fence around all or part of your property.

“If you are walking your dog close to bushland, especially near water during the summer months, please keep your dog on a lead and avoid long grassy areas.

“Keeping cats indoors with access to a snake-proof outdoor enclosure is the best way to prevent them having encounters with snakes.”