HomeOutdoorsNewsDog Suffers Venomous Snake Bite, Foams at Mouth and Struggles to Breathe

Dog Suffers Venomous Snake Bite, Foams at Mouth and Struggles to Breathe

by Caitlin Berard
Mottled Rock Rattlesnake, Venomous Snake Behind Dog Bite
(Photo by Arterra/Universal Images Group via Getty Images)

A terrified dog owner is warning others about the risks and signs of snake bites after her small Australian terrier suffered an attack from a venomous mottled rock rattlesnake.

Rhonda Ecker, the owner of an adorable Australian terrier named Archer, took to Facebook to share the story of the venomous snake bite. She explained that the little dog’s favorite pastime is chasing wildlife in his yard in Texas. On a typical day in April 2022, Archer was outside playing as usual when Ecker suddenly heard an earsplitting scream.

At first, the dog owner assumed it was a shriek of excitement the dog often gave when catching a lizard. Within minutes, however, Archer began vomiting as he foamed at the mouth and struggled to breathe. Panicking at the sight of her suffering pet, Ecker rushed him to their local veterinarian.

The vet quickly determined that the dog had suffered a venomous snake bite to the neck. Without immediate treatment, he likely wouldn’t make it through the night. After administering antivenom, the vet kept Archer overnight for observation. With her beloved dog in capable hands, Ecker returned home, wracked with worry.

The next day, the vet contacted Ecker, informing her that Archer survived the night. Upon seeing him, however, her joy was tinged with horror – the little dog was almost unrecognizable, his face and neck swollen beyond belief from the venom.

Dog Owner Relocates Venomous Snake Suspected of Near-Fatal Bite

The exact species remains unknown, but Ecker strongly suspects the bite came from a venomous mottled rock rattlesnake. “We live in a rugged mountain area, and he was more than likely bitten by a mottled rock rattlesnake,” she told Newsweek.

“They are small, but they pack a punch. Archer came slinking back to the house, and I thought he got poked by a cactus or something. A few minutes later, we realized he was having difficulty breathing. [He] started foaming from his mouth and vomiting. Then the pain truly set in.”

At just 17 pounds, Archer needed a large dose of antivenom to combat the effects of the venomous snake bite. The veterinarian says, however, that he was actually lucky. Assuming the snake bit his neck, it was mere inches from a fatal attack. Should the snake have bitten his chest instead, he wouldn’t have survived.

A few months later, Ecker’s suspicions were confirmed when she found a venomous mottled rock rattlesnake living under her porch. Rather than killing the snake, she carefully captured and relocated it to a wooded area nearby.

“I suspect it was the same one because the territory isn’t that large, and we relocate a snake about once a year,” Ecker explained. “If anyone has the opportunity to do snake-avoidance training, then it is well worth it.”