Johanne Leahy's protective instincts kicked in when she saw her dog, Lucy, playing with a baby eastern brown snake.
Johanne Leahy's protective instincts kicked in when she saw her dog, Lucy, playing with a baby eastern brown snake.

‘Took a bullet’: Woman bitten by snake while saving dog

When she saw her rescue dog playing with a baby eastern brown snake, Johanne Leahy's protective instincts kicked in.

The Urangan woman, who says she has always had a huge phobia of snakes, thought her Australian terrier, Lucy, was chasing a lizard.

But Johanne then realised it was something more dangerous.

She raced into her backyard to call Lucy away, but the dog tried to pick up the snake with her mouth to bring it to her owner.

Johanne sprang into action and used her foot to stand on the snake and stop it from striking Lucy.

But it was able to flip itself and bite her on her big toe.

Bringing Lucy inside, her thoughts were still on her pet's wellbeing.

"The bite didn't hurt," she said.

But when she started feeling shaky, she sat down and Googled the snake, using a description of what it had looked like.

When Johanne looked at the results of the search, she realised she'd likely encountered a small eastern brown snake.

She immediately called an ambulance, with paramedics arriving quickly and using a compression bandage on her leg.

Johanne Leahy's protective instincts kicked in when she saw her dog, Lucy, playing with a baby eastern brown snake.
Johanne Leahy's protective instincts kicked in when she saw her dog, Lucy, playing with a baby eastern brown snake.

Johanne said she was experiencing chest pains, in addition to the shakiness she felt.

Tests later showed Johanne had symptoms of having venom in her system, including blood in her urine.

She remained in hospital overnight and said for the next two days she felt like she'd been hit by a train, including aching pain and nausea.

Johanne said she still had sharp pains in her toe and was suffering headaches, but she was grateful it hadn't been worse.

She was grateful to the healthcare professionals who had helped her in the aftermath of the snakebite.

"Everyone from start to finish was fantastic," she said.

Her backyard borders a vacant block that has become overgrown and Johanne said she remained concerned more snakes would visit.

For now, she's just grateful both she and Lucy are okay.

"Mum took a bullet for you darlin," she said.


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