A small dog is lucky to be alive after its family came home to find it with a python wrapped around his little body three times.
Leanne Jacobsen had been out for a couple of hours with her children last month but when she arrived at her home in Brisbane’s southwest they made the “horrific” discovery.
A python, described as the thickness of a pool noodle, was covering the entire torso of the little Maltese dog named Tyson.
“Worst thing I’ve ever had to witness. It was awful,” Ms Jacobsen told Yahoo7.
“I was a bit scared myself because I didn’t feel like I could do anything to save him.”
The mother of three said her 9-year-old daughter’s friend noticed the snake on Tyson first.
However, it is not known how long the python had been constricting his tiny five-kilogram frame.
“It was actually strangling him and I yelled out his name, and then when he tried to move it looked like the snake was getting tighter,” Ms Jacobsen said.
It is thought when Tyson became distressed and tried to struggle the python bit his paw.
Fortunately the Jacobsen’s neighbour came to the rescue and tried to distract the snake.
“It was still wrapped around Tyson when she pulled him out,” Ms Jacobsen recalled.
“After the snake was taken off he was wagging his tail, (like he) knew he was ok.”
Ms Jacobsen, who is a nurse, washed off the little dog’s bitten paw and gave it a clean, before he was taken to the Animal Referral Hospital in Sinnamon Park.
“Even though pythons aren’t venomous they can cause a bit of damage and trauma,”Dr Monique Stanley, Head of Emergency at the Animal Referral Hospital, explained.
Dr Stanley said when Tyson arrived his temperature was elevated and he was panting a little bit, but added he was “very lucky”, saying the snake could have killed him if he wasn’t found.
“They can arrest because their body can’t do all of its functions with that restriction occurring,” she said.
Tyson shaken up but getting back to normal
Tyson received some first aid and antibiotics for his bite.
He also stayed overnight at the animal hospital after the ordeal to make sure there were no complications.
“You can potentially get some lung bruising. If they get bruised it can develop a bit of breathing difficulties… They can require further interventions like oxygen,” Dr Stanley explained.
Fortunately, the little Maltese’s owner said Tyson is back to his normal self, but the ordeal did shake him up a bit.
“He was very scared, he didn’t want to go out the back at all,” Ms Jacobsen said.
“We’ve got a little cat flap, he can come and go as he pleases. He was very happy to stay inside.”
Dr Stanley said those who might find themselves in a similar situation can call a snake catcher or vet for advice in an emergency.
“Attempting to remove a snake yourself can be dangerous… as with Tyson’s situation the snake may bite in the process,” the Animal Referral Hospital wrote online.