Family dog left fighting for its life after being attacked and bitten by a pair of snakes – who were mating at the time

A family dog has been rescued from the brink of death after being bitten by a pair of poisonous mating snakes.

German Shepherd Labrador cross Charlie underwent emergency surgery to have his leg amputated and fix his burst bladder after venom from two adders caused necrosis of the flesh and internal organ damage.

Charlie’s heartbroken owners, Tilly Morgan and Dave Harper, watched as the condition of their pet deteriorated after being bitten between the toes and on the chest during a garden play date.

The German Shepherd cross Charlie was bitten on his paw and chest by two mating adders in April

Charlie’s leg became heavily bruised before it went necrotic. It was eventually amputated after it was causing the animal so much distress

Charlie had been enjoying a playdate at Ms Morgan’s sisters house in Bradenham, Norfolk on April 23 when he was attacked.

The dog was running around the garden near Thetford Forest with a golden Labrador also called Charlie.

When he came back inside, his right paw was swollen and it was thought he may have sprained or broken his paw. It was later that evening they saw him become lethargic and rushed him to a vet.

The pooch spent four weeks receiving care at The Old Golfhouse Veterinary Group practice in Watton, Norfolk, and Swayne and Partners in Bury St Edmunds.

The cost of surgery on his bladder and removing the five-year-old dogs’s infected leg cost the couple a staggering £3,500.

Speaking after the traumatic ordeal, Ms Morgan said: ‘I broke down when I saw Charlie at the vets in that much pain. He was whining and just looked awful.

‘He was on very strong pain relief but it wasn’t enough as he was growling and whining with the pain during dressing changes.

‘I spoke to Dave and said “we can’t put him through this anymore”.’

She added doctors were concerned Charlie would not survive the operation due to a low blood count.

Ms Morgan, from Norwich, Norfolk, added: ‘We couldn’t leave him as he was, poor dog, so made the decision to go ahead and accept that if we lost him, we lost him, but at least he wouldn’t be in pain anymore.

Charlie’s foot had to be redressed every two weeks and was causing him a lot of discomfort

Charlie’s owners Tilly Morgan and Dave Harper were concerned that their loving dog may not have survived the ordeal

‘Four hours later he came round and pulled through and pretty much the day after the leg was taken off he was like another dog – it was like having the old Charlie back.’

Recalling the incident, Ms Morgan added: ‘He had localised bruising initially to his paw which spread rapidly up his leg.

‘We couldn’t see any wounds so the vet thought it was either Alabama Rot or a snake bite as the symptoms weren’t typical.

‘He was getting worse throughout the day and was very lethargic and dehydrated.’

Tilly and Dave, both 34, took Charlie to the vets where they found his body had gone into shock.

His fur was clipped by concerned vets where it revealed he was bitten on the paw and on his chest.

Charlie served some of his recovery back at home but was brought back in after his front right leg went necrotic

Charlie had his front right paw amputated as is acting like himself again, his owners said

Charlie was pumped with fluids in the hope of preventing the venom from causing damage to his major organs.

Ms Morgan said: ‘The vets said the reaction was so severe they believed he had stepped on a mating pair.

‘The first bites of the season are the most potent – and he got two.

Dave ‘burst into tears’ after seeing his dog Charlie suffer when it was bitten by two mating adders

‘He was so, so poorly and stayed at the vets for a Dave came in he just burst into tears.’week. I was OK seeing him but when my partner Dave came in he just burst into tears.’

Just as Charlie’s condition started to improve, he had to undergo an emergency surgery to remove his ruptured bladder.

Ms Morgan added: ‘The skin on his front right leg was necrotic and the skin was sloughing off. We had to get his dressing changed every couple of days for two weeks.

‘He had to be on very strong pain relief to get through the painful dressing changes. He would whine and growl as he was getting it done which is unlike him.

‘It would have taken six to nine months to save his necrotic leg – months and months of pain.

‘After two weeks we could see it was so painful for him and decided we couldn’t put him through it anymore, it just wasn’t fair.

‘We spoke to a vet about whether amputation was a good option and he said if his dog was going through what Charlie was he would go ahead with it.’

Charlie had to undergo surgery to remove one of his paws on his leg and remove the necrotic flesh but is happy and healthy again

The poor pet underwent a four-hour operation to remove the leg and the necrotic flesh but is now pain-free on all three legs.

Ms Morgan said: ‘Charlie is so much happier now, he’s running around the farm with the other Charlie chasing rabbits – they never stop playing together.

‘They love each other so much. When Charlie was going through all this we had to keep them separated.

‘When they did finally see each other it was so lovely, they were licking each other’s faces.

‘We’re sharing what Charlie went through to encourage any dog owners who suspect their dog may have been bitten by an adder to go to a vet straight away for the anti-venom.

‘The quicker a dog receives it, the more success the anti-venom has of trying to reverse the effects.’