Pet owner cops $8,500 vet bill after 'terrifying' backyard encounter

Ethan Goldstraw had only been indoors for 10 minutes when he heard his dog make a noise.

WARNING - GRAPHIC CONTENT: A pet owner has issued a heartfelt warning after his dogs were rushed to an emergency vet following a potentially fatal encounter with one of the country's most venomous snakes in his backyard.

"I laid down on the couch and was about to have a nap when 10 minutes later I could hear one of the dogs chewing on something," Ethan Goldstraw told Yahoo News Australia. "I looked out the window and honestly could not believe what I was seeing."

Pet owner Ethan Goldstraw shared a picture of his two dogs on the couch (left) and the snake on the right.
Pet owner Ethan Goldstraw's dogs had venom in their system after a snake encounter in his backyard. The eastern brown (right) was killed by the dogs. Source: Ethan Goldstraw

The Canberra resident's 18-week-old puppy Raffy had a eastern brown snake "hanging out of her mouth" — and his older dog Waylon was nowhere to be seen.

"I honestly didn’t know if I was going to see my dog again, I was terrified."

Vet found 'traces of venom' in dogs

After locating both of his "beloved" dogs, Ethan rushed to his local vet who confirmed his worst fear — venom was detected in both dogs. Anti-venom was administered immediately, and although Ethan had no hesitation, the incident has now set him back $8,500.

"Each vial of anti-venom was $2,000. For best chances of survival they recommend two vials. That’s four vials in total to give my fur babies the best chance of coming back home," he explained.

Both dogs can be seen in their cages at the vet.
Each dog received two doses of antivenom at the vets after snake venom was detected in their system. Source: Ethan Goldstraw

He has since created a GoFundMe page and recalled the incident to warn others to be extra vigilant.

It is unknown how the encounter between the dogs and snake played out in the backyard — whether the dogs attacked the eastern brown leaving them with venom in their system, or if it was an act of self defence.

Pet owner stresses speed of incident

"Please be aware snakes are definitely out and about, and keep an eye on both your beloved pets and your kids," Ethan said. "I was also outside with the dogs all day... I’d only been inside for 20 minutes before going back out to them."

"[We] have houses on all sides of us and six feet Colorbond fences, and this is not something I would have expected to happen."

Although snakes can be found all year round in Australia, they are now becoming more active as we approach the hotter months and pet owner's may begin to spot more as they navigate spring and summer with their dogs.

"We were told Waylon was one of like 20 snake bites to dogs just this weekend alone and we aren’t even in summer yet," Ethan said.

Both dogs are now safely home.

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