Lucky Kerbie survives snake bite

Kerbie is an 11 month old kitten who is usually full of energy and loves bouncing around.  She presented to us last month after having 3 days of intermittent vomiting, lethargy and reduced appetite.  Kerbie’s owner was concerned about her as she gradually seemed more and more unwell and not improving at home.

The Vet examined Kerbie and found the following abnormalities:

  • Her Pupils were 80% dilated, but still responding to light
  • Her gums were dry and tacky (normal is smooth and moist)
  • Temperature was 39.1 degree Celsius (normal temperature is 38.5 degree Celsius)
  • A little bit tender in the abdomen

Based on these finding the Vet recommended to take a full blood test to investigate Kerbie’s abnormalities further.  Kerbie's owner opted to take her home and monitor while we awaited the blood results.

Once home, Kerbie seemed to deteriorate quite quickly so she was rushed back to the clinic. Kerbie’s heart rate had increased and her third eye lids were now protruding. 

Shortly after arriving back at the clinic Kerbie’s blood results came back and the results confirmed what was wrong with her. She has most likely been bitten by a snake!

The enzyme CK (Creatine Kinase) was 126,389 units/L, normal ranges are between 14-120 units/L.  This enzyme being so high indicates that Kerbie’s muscles are being severely damaged and causing this excessively high reading.

A snake detection kit was express delivered to the clinic while we admitted Kerbie and placed her on intravenous fluids and provided her pain relief.

The results on the snake detection kit indicated that it was a tiger snake that bit poor Kerbie.

Snake Anti-Venom needs to be administered slowly and the patient needs to be monitored very closely for any side effects.  As it was nearing closing time we recommended Kerbie be transferred to the Emergency centre to be monitored and treated.

Kerbie ended up being in hospital for one week and received one bottle of anti-venom. She was on fluid therapy and multiple medications to help her recover and feel comfortable while she was improving. 

We are so pleased to say that Kerbie is now home and has made a full recovery. She is one lucky girl!

Snake bites are so scary and like Kerbie's story they can present in quite subtle ways.  Make sure to monitor your pet’s behaviours and if you see something that is not quite right, be sure to bring them in to the clinic for a check.

Find out more information on signs and symptoms of snake bite.