Dog recovering from coral snake bite after protecting Oviedo home

Dallas taken off ventilator Friday

OVIEDO, Fla. – The condition of the dog who is fighting for his life after he family says he fought for them against a venomous snake has improved.

Dallas' tale of recovery didn't start at the Affiliated Veterinary Services pet hospital in Maitland, but at his Oviedo home on Monday. His owner, Craig Thompson, says the two-year-old border collie mix was bitten by a coral snake.

"Normally when you find a coral snake it will try to get away, but Dallas wasn't going to let him get away," Thompson said.

Thompson says the venomous snake was on his back porch, just feet away from several doors. That is when Dallas' animal instincts kicked in, attacking the snake to protect his home.

"When Dallas went to bite the snake to protect his territory, the snake bit his tongue," Thompson said.

Thompson says the venom went straight to Dallas' brain and vital organs. The dog was paralyzed, started shaking, and foaming at the mouth. The dog then stopped breathing.

"At that point I realized something was wrong with him. I need to get him to the vet," Thompson said.

Dallas has spent the last few days recovering in an oxygen cage. Veterinarians put him on a ventilator with tubes pumping fluids and medicine.

"He was unable to breath on his own. He had a tube in place so that we could breath for him," Dr. Christina Chan said.

The family said on Monday that Dallas is doing much better, is eating turkey and chicken on a feeding tune and his wagging his tail.

Thompson says it is hard to see his dog like this, adding Dallas usually spends his days running or swimming with the family.

"Just hold our breath every day, just hoping he gets better," Thompson said.

A sign of hope among the wires and machines came Friday. Veterinarians say Dallas started breathing on his own. The dog even made small movements with his tongue and tail.

"Those are all good indications that hopefully with time and more supportive care he can make it through this," Chan said.

Thompson says Dallas is getting better hour by hour, but the vet bills are starting to stack up. He is expecting to pay $20,000 over the course of the dog's long road to recovery.

But the pet parent says Dallas is like any other member of the family. They'll do whatever it takes to get him healthy and back home. Thompson adds Dallas is a hero.

"You just never know, it could have been very bad," he said.

Thompson started a GoFundMe page to help raise funds to pay for Dallas' vet bills.

Veterinarians have a couple of tips to protect your pets from snake bites, including keeping an eye on them at all times while they are outside and keeping your grass short to reduce the amount of wildlife that come into your yard.

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