MY GIRL: Steph Shannon with her dog Lilly who was was bitten by a deadly red-bellied black snake. Lilly is expected home today after recovering at the emergency vet hospital in Brisbane.
MY GIRL: Steph Shannon with her dog Lilly who was was bitten by a deadly red-bellied black snake. Lilly is expected home today after recovering at the emergency vet hospital in Brisbane. Contributed

Hobo survives three bites from red-bellied black snake

ANIMAL lover Steph Shannon has spent four fearful days waiting to see if her beloved "little hobo" Lilly was going survive an attack by a red-bellied black snake.

Steph was a much-loved nursing sister in the Ipswich Hospital children's ward for 47 years and was awarded an Order of Australia Medal.

A naturally caring person, her home menagerie has included two bearded dragons - Zilla and Cossi - and two personality-filled Dalmatians called Jack Dooley and Molly Malone.

In the last couple of years, she has taken on two rescue dogs, dubbed her Hobo from the North and her Gypsy from the West.

Lilly came down from the RSPCA in Townsville and life was pretty cushy with her new mum - until last Friday.

"About a quarter past five, I was just curling up the hose in the backyard and I heard a commotion near the tank," Steph said. "I lifted up the cover and there was a snake under it."

She tried to get Lilly away from the snake but to no avail.

"I couldn't get the dog away. She's part cattle dog so she was just doing what comes naturally," Steph said. "The snake made an exit and the dog grabbed it and obviously it bit her. It was a big snake; it was a good four feet.

"Of course, the other dog came out to see what was going on and I didn't want it bitten as well.

"I got the snake in a net; I can catch them but I can't bring myself to kill them. My neighbour was good enough to come along and secured it for me.

"Lilly was salivating and her pupils were dilated; she was down for the count."

She bundled Lilly into her car and headed to the nearest vet, Tony Snell at Silkstone.

"He was brilliant," she said.

"My brother Gerard went home and got the snake and the vet gave it a positive ID. He said it was well grown and would have been full of venom. She had three bites but the primary bite was on her lower jowl. He put her on antivenin and then sent her to the emergency hospital at Woolloongabba because she needed 24-hour treatment.

"I went down to see her and she looked a forlorn little dog."

But, yesterday, things were looking up. "She's four days post bite today and we're told it takes four days for the venom to work through their system," Steph said.

"She had blood work today and it was good news; my little hobo from the north will be home in the morning."


Lessons to save a life

Lessons to save a life

Rural children have the chance for free swimming lessons.

Traffic crash near Dysart

Traffic crash near Dysart

Queensland Ambulance Service called to a traffic crash near Dysart.

Go on a journey through space

Go on a journey through space

Go on a journey through space and science this weekend.

Local Partners