Dog dies from snake bite in Onion Creek Greenbelt


Highlights

As the region gets warmer, snakes will become more active.

The dog, a 3-year-old miniature pinscher mix, was bitten Sunday.

A 3-year-old miniature pinscher mix named Kishi died on Sunday after being bitten by a venomous snake in the Onion Creek Greenbelt.

As summer sets in and temperatures continue to climb, people and their pets are much more likely to come across snakes throughout Central Texas.

Grace Teves, Kishi’s owner, said she’d gone to the greenbelt with her husband around 5 p.m. to let Kishi and their other dog play, but within about two minutes of arriving, they her a loud shriek.

“I just threw a Frisbee to him,” Teves said. “He wandered off. We heard him shriek and we saw him lay on the ground.”

At first, she said she didn’t know what happened. She thought Kishi might have injured his foot or stepped on something sharp, but as they drove away from the greenbelt, she noticed a large, bleeding lump on his neck.

Teves said they drove to a fire station nearby, but they said they could do nothing. Firefighters directed them to the nearest emergency animal clinic, but Kishi died a few minutes into the ride.

Teves said she never saw the snake that bit him, so probably little could have been done.

“We try not to blame ourselves,” she said. “It happened really quickly. There’s really not much we could do, considering the size of our dog. We think that we have been really complacent. We didn’t leash him, even though it was a dog park, really. If we had leashed him, it would have been different.”

READ MORE: What you should know about snakes in Central Texas

The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department says most snakes don’t pose a threat to humans, but the region is home to four venomous species: western diamondback rattlesnakes, coral snakes, copperheads and cottonmouths, also known as water moccasins.

  • Rattlesnakes can be identified by the rattle on the end of their tails, and they are most active at night while hunting, according to Texas Parks.
  • Coral snakes are bright red, yellow and black. The red and yellow colors touch on coral snakes, as opposed to the nonvenomous Texas milk snake, which has red and black bands that touch.
  • Copperheads have gray and brown bands with copper-colored heads, ideal for blending in with the forest.
  • Cottonmouths are usually found in and around water. The inside of their mouth is white. The snake can be very aggressive and defensive, and can bite underwater, according to parks and wildlife officials.

Wildlife experts urge those who come across snakes not to kill them. Most bites happen when people or animals confront snakes.

If a snake bites your pet, the Austin Veterinary Diagnostic Hospital, which offers a rattlesnake vaccine for dogs, recommends getting them veterinary care as soon as possible.

“Even if your dog has been vaccinated with the rattlesnake vaccine, it should be taken to a veterinarian for evaluation and care if a snake bite is suspected,” the hospital’s website said. “We can determinate additional treatment if necessary. For example, fluids and antibiotic treatment may be needed.”

Pet owners also should try to identify the snake, check their pet for bite marks and keep them as calm and quiet as possible.



Reader Comments ...


Next Up in Local

Dog adoption spurs suspensions, outcry at Austin Animal Center
Dog adoption spurs suspensions, outcry at Austin Animal Center

The dog-walking volunteers who took to Facebook were furious. Austin Animal Center had proceeded with an adoption they tried to stop — of a dog closely bonded to another one left behind and delivered to a man they distrusted based on a passing conversation — and they weren’t going to let it go. A volunteer told the others of the adoption...
Man dead, child critically injured in East Austin crash, EMS says
Man dead, child critically injured in East Austin crash, EMS says

EAST AUSTIN EMS: Man dead, child critically injured in crash A man in his 20s died and a child was left with life-threatening injuries after a crash on FM 969 on Saturday morning, Capt. Darren Noak of the Austin-Travis County EMS said. Authorities were called to the scene at 9:43 a.m. The accident took place on East Martin Luther King Boulevard, just...
Texas Digest: Pagourtzis’ parents sued over school shooting
Texas Digest: Pagourtzis’ parents sued over school shooting

SANTA FE School shooter’s parents sued The family of one of the students killed in the Santa Fe High School shooting filed a lawsuit against the parents of the student who admitted he was the gunman, claiming his father didn’t properly secure the weapons and the parents were negligent in entrusting him with firearms. Authorities charged...
HOLIDAY WEEKEND HEAT: Greenbelt hiker taken to hospital
HOLIDAY WEEKEND HEAT: Greenbelt hiker taken to hospital

Rescuers pulled a hiker in his 50s out of Barton Creek Greenbelt on Saturday after he came down with a heat-related illness, according to Capt. Darren Noak of the Austin-Travis County EMS. The hiker, who was taken to Seton Medical Center with non-life-threatening injuries, was extricated from a small side trail in the Greenbelt using a “big wheel...
Man dead, child critically injured in East Austin crash, EMS says
Man dead, child critically injured in East Austin crash, EMS says

A man in his 20s died and a child was left with life-threatening injuries after a crash on FM 969 on Saturday morning, Capt. Darren Noak of the Austin-Travis County EMS said. Authorities were called to the scene at 9:43 a.m. The accident took place on East Martin Luther King Boulevard, just west of Decker Lane. The child with the critical injuries...
More Stories