SANTEE, CA- A story of survival surfaces after two dogs in California come face to face with a rattlesnake and get bitten, but neither animal dies.
"I`ve never heard of a small dog surviving a rattlesnake strike, let alone two of them," said owner Laura Underwood
It was a close call last week for Laura Underwood`s two Italian greyhounds, 'Lola' and 'Georgie,' after they were bitten by a rattlesnake in the yard of their home in Santee.
Underwood, who was on a cruise at the time, says her dogs were left unattended for about 45 minutes one evening when her pet-sitter returned to the house and noticed something was wrong.
Both dogs were swelling, and little Georgie`s face looked more like a football and had trouble breathing.
"It had to be less than an hour, before they got the dogs to the vet or they would have passed away," Underwood said.
The dogs were taken to an emergency clinic in La Mesa that happened to have rattlesnake anti-venom on hand.
Now, the dogs are doing much better.
Underwood says treatment has cost about $4,000.
She also plans to give her dogs a rattlesnake vaccine, something she wishes she had done earlier.
"It`s only available at certain veterinarians, you have to call around. It doesn`t cure the bite, but it prolongs the time the animal has to get treatment for it," Underwood said.
The foot-long rattler was killed.
Local animal experts warn this time of year is when we start to see more rattlesnakes, and when they get into yards. Experts say they`re likely looking for food or a place to hide.
This snake was found under a piece of plywood leaning against the house.
Underwood says she and her dogs will be more careful.
"They come out and get in the sun, but staying away from that side of the yard, understandably," Underwood said.