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**