Beautiful Botwin following the snakebite (2011)
Snakebite is one of the most common fears for humans and animals alike.  The Toledo District is home to a wide range of poisonous snakes, including the dreaded family of Fer-de-Lance, commonly known as "Tommy Goffs".  It is important to note that locally all 'poisonous' snakes are referred to as Tommy Goffs, the snake is the following story was more than likely a Tropical Rattlesnake.  While most people believe that snakes are a phenomenon limited in range to the village or jungle, the truth is quite the opposite; these elusive reptiles have been seen in urban areas including backyards and other grassy areas, including abandoned / vacant "bushy" lots.  

Elsbeth Lam & Naud Brower live near the beautiful village of San Miguel in the Toledo District.  They operate "Back-a-Bush" offering budget backpackers and tourists a unique experience in the heart of the Toledo District.  A part of their family is beautiful Botwin, a big and friendly brown and white dog.  The following is Botwin's story. 

Botwin came home this morning (August 7th, 2011) with some wounds on his head. One hour later his head was 5 times its normal size and the two toothmarks confirmed what we feared: snakebite! His tongue wasn't swollen and he could still breathe freely so we started calling all the vets we could think of, and a friend in Cayo called the ones she knew. Sunday morning, no one was picking up the phone. Emergency numbers do not work on Sunday mornings either. We left a message on Dr. Bennett's voice mail and he called us within 10 minutes. He gave us good advice, the dog needs steroids (we did not have that) but Benadryl will work for now, high dose twice an hour. So down went our Benadryl.  Meanwhile we called on a friend who uses prednisone. We gave Botwin his prednison and right now he is eating! He looks like a monster but we have high hopes for his survival. We called Dr. Bennett again and he confirms that Botwin will probably recover and that the worst is behind us. Phew!!!

As of August 9th, Botwin is doing a bit better, the swelling is going down, he walks and eats and drinks a bit. It may take a while before he is his old self again. But we are confident that he will survive. Elsbeth & Naud are so relieved! And now he will be immune for snake bite, Elspeth & Naud have another dog who got bitten by a snake 2 years ago and survived. She got bit at the same time as Botwin and has no symptoms at all. Researching the internet, we came across the term 'snakebroken', referring to dogs who survived a snakebite and have antiserum.

A special thanks to Dr. Floyd Bennett for his advice and support, especially from so far away.  Thank-you for going above and beyond the call of duty!

Important Information:  Botwin is a 50 pound dog.  He was first given 75 mg Benadryl repeated an hour later, and then Prednisone 40 mg, repeated a day later, then 20 mg Prednisone for the two following days.  Consult your vet for further dosing instructions.

9/23/2013 07:19:59 pm

Antiserums can be made from diverse harmful reptiles as well as insects to provide fast remedy for the poison and toxic compounds.

6/13/2019 04:00:08 pm

Botwin is a lucky dog. My dog got bitten by a snake and sad to say he didn't make it. I have to admit it that it was too late when I saw him at the back of our house. It is sad but accidents happen.


Leave a Reply.