Snake venom affects the nervous system, it slows it down until natural functions stop or are inadequate to support life. A dog's eyes will dilate, looking all black soon after being bitten. So if your dog appears slow, lethargic or distressed, check the eyes. The dog may have had a snake bite while out of your sight. 
Our experience is that most bites appear to be not seen, leaving the dog to show signs of distress before examination shows the problem. By this time it is generally too late for conventional cures to work, or cause severe organ damage if successful.
Fang marks can be hard to find as not all bites bleed. If the strike is fresh, there will be a wet area, however, most bites are located a few days later when the hair falls out around the wound.
The big advantage of using vitamin C is that it is readily available from a variety of locations, it is easy to store, and can be carried on a hunt without any special requirements. All you need is a 50 ml. bottle of Vitamin C, a 20ml syringe, and large needles around No. 18 size. Keep it in the fridge between hunts.
Dogs of 66 lbs to 110 lbs would need 10 to 15 mls by intra-muscular injection to the side of the neck. Depth of 1/4 to 3/8 of an inch is needed. If you are worried about this, just get it under the skin at the minimum. However muscle penetration is preferred, particularly if the dog has advanced symptoms.
You can do follow up injections to ensure the venom has been detoxified. An overdose of Vitamin C does no more than give the dog diarrhoea. Anaphylaxis cannot occur, and the type of snake does not matter.
You can use vitamin C tablets as the follow up if you are happy with the initial improvement. The dog by now will not be in the mood to have more needles. 
The tablets can be crushed and used on the bite to detoxify the wound, but it is no replacement for the injection.
The powdered tablets can be used on humans to ease bug bites, such as bull ant or Redback spider. I do not know anyone game enough to try the Vitamin C shots on themselves after a snake bite, but I guess its an option if you are desperate enough.
One case to use as an example is a Jack who was find barking under the veranda, that showed no signs of a bite when called out, and nothing was seen under the house. An hour later at dusk, the Jack was found rigid and finding it hard to breath. 5 mls was injected into the neck muscles which the dog did not feel. The owners family were all in tears and probably in need of a shot themselves. 
After about 40 minutes, the Jack started to breath a bit easier, and the stiffness started to abate. Another 5mls was injected into the neck, this time she felt the needle..
About 2 hours after the first shot, the dog was on the move again, wondering what all the fuss was about. Next morning 2x1000 mg, human Vitamin C tablets were given as a backup.
We have heard of all types of animals being given this treatment successfully.

Anezka Davis
Derringer Jack Russell Terriers.


30/10/02 - from KATHY ASHTON of Camden, N.S.W.

Hi Lorraine,
Thanks to you our dog has recovered. Below is an account of his treatment for you to post on your website. I sincerely hope more people hear about the wonderful ways Vitamin C can help us and I hope that my experience will help to save other animals lives. I shall certainly be "spreading the word".
I received a reply from the lady with the Jack Russell and am also sending her a copy of our treatment.
I have included my email address at the bottom of the page. I don't know if this is how you do it or if you do a "link". I'm not a very computer literate person and apologise for my ignorance. I leave it in your capable hands.
Once again my sincere thanks from myself and my very happy children,
Thanks for your prayers,

Eastern Brown Snake Attack on a Dog

While we were out for the day our neighbours' children aged 14 and 7 came to our house for a swim. It was a very hot afternoon. When the children opened our backyard gate around 2.30pm, it was to find our Jack Russell cross Fox Terrier dog “Bingo” fighting with a 5 foot Eastern Brown Snake. Bingo had come to the gate to greet the children and found the snake there. The children would surely have been bitten by the snake if not for Bingo. The fight apparently lasted almost 10 minutes and ended with Bingo killing the snake and then collapsing on top of it.

The 14-year-old boy picked Bingo up and put him in our dam to cool down. Bingo was panting, distressed and appeared to be almost unconscious. He was bleeding from 3 snake bites – two on his thigh and one on his shoulder. He also had a small tear on the tip of his ear, but we aren’t sure if this was also a snake bite. Within 20 minutes he had revived and was walking around normally. We then arrived home.

About 1 hour after the snake attack he began to feel the affects of the venom. Being a Sunday afternoon and miles from town with no vets open, we were certain Bingo could not survive this attack, even with anti-venom. All the dogs and various other farm animals in our area who had been bitten by brown snakes had not survived. Approximately 2-3 hours after the attack Bingo was completely paralysed and barely breathing. His pupils were dilated and black and his eyes were glazed. We didn’t think he would see the sun set and prepared our 3 kids for his death. How wrong we were! 

That night, stunned that Bingo was still alive, I went on the internet to see what I could find out about Brown Snakes and this was the first website I came across.

After reading the comments on the Vitamin C treatment I found some combined “Vitamin C, Garlic and Horseradish” capsules in the cupboard, broke one open and shook the powder onto Bingo’s tongue. He swallowed a little but at this stage he had fluid leaking from his eyes and nose and small amounts of froth from his mouth. He was barely alive and we fully expected him to be dead in the morning.

However, Bingo was still alive the next morning, although no better. 

DAY ONE: I rang our local dog and cat vet who quoted me between $800 and $1000 for the treatment using anti-venom and approx. 10 days at his surgery on a drip, with no guarantee’s the dog would survive. His advice was to bring the dog in to be euthanased (put to sleep). This I could not afford, and I felt I had to give this brave little dog a chance with the Vitamin C treatment.

As it was a school day I packed the kids lunches and drove them to school in town.

I went to the chemist and was able to buy a box of 5 x 2ml (total of 10mls for $18.00) Vitamin B injection, which also contained a total of 250mg of Vitamin C. I also bought “Natures Own” Calcium Ascorbate powder ($12.95 for 100g) which has 4000mg of pure Vitamin C per teaspoonful. I could not find anyone who sold pure Vitamin C liquid.

Once home, and 20 hours after the initial snake attack, Bingo had his first “decent” dose of vitamin C. I injected 2.5mls of the Vitamin B/C into each side of his neck making sure I was not in a vein. I also mixed one teaspoon (4000mg) of vitamin C powder in 10mls of water and using a syringe – no needle – gently and slowly squirted it over the back of his tongue. Bingo had trouble swallowing but most went down his throat. An hour later I injected the remaining 5mls and gave him another dose of the Vitamin C powder. By this time I had noticed a slight improvement in his breathing – although still shallow he was now breathing regularly rather than in gasps.

Every 2 hours for the rest of the day I gave Bingo a half a teaspoon (2000mg) of the Vitamin C powder by mouth using a syringe. By that night his eyes were no longer dilated and black, but they were still glazed and leaking fluid. He was very cold and I covered him with a warm blanket. He needed to be covered like this every night until he had fully recovered.

DAY TWO: The next morning, the kids woke me happily telling me how Bingo had lifted his head briefly and wagged his tail for a few moments when they went to see him. He was still a very sick little dog, but his breathing had improved further. He still had fluid leaking from his eyes, nose and mouth and he had lost complete control of his bladder. He could lift his head but had no control and it just flopped back down.

All that second day, every 2 hours, I continued giving him the half teaspoon of Vitamin C mixed in 10mls of water by mouth using a syringe. I was alarmed at the amount of fluid he was constantly loosing, it wasn’t gushing out, but the towels he was lying on had to be changed a few times a day as they were always damp. I gave him as much water as I could, again using a syringe as he was still completely paralysed and couldn’t lap water. Our horse vet was due to come the next day and I fully expected him to put Bingo to sleep. 

DAY THREE: When we woke the next morning, Bingo was able to lift his head and hold it up for a few seconds. His eyes were looking a little less glazed and he could wag his tail at us. The horse vet came and had a look at him. He told us he should be dead. He found 3 snake bites and was also unsure about the tear on his ear, saying it was possibly a fourth snake bite. He identified the snake as an Eastern Brown Snake and said the amount of venom from a 5 foot Eastern Brown Snake was enough to kill between 10 and 15 horses! He advised us to continue with our treatment as it was obviously working. He also advised me to give Bingo as much water as I could get into him and no food for at least another 2-3 days. He advised us not to feed him until he had regained control of his bladder and was able to lap water and run around. He did say there was a possibility of kidney and liver failure, which would probably be fatal, but not to give up on him. We didn't!

By that afternoon Bingo was able to sit up and lap small amounts of water although he could hardly open his mouth and was still having trouble swallowing, but more was getting in than out! He was extremely thirsty and this thirst continued for a few days. I still continued with the Vitamin C treatment (2000mg) but now every 3-4 hours.

DAY FOUR: Bingo continued to amaze us. He could now get up and stagger a few feet before losing control and flopping down. His ability to lap water was improving and he was beginning to object to having the Vitamin C squirted down his throat. He still had no bladder control but had stopped leaking fluid from his eyes and nose. He still lost a little from his mouth. I now was giving him the Vitamin C treatment 3 times a day – as he improved I decreased the number of times accordingly.

DAY FIVE: Bingo actually was able to walk outside and urinate on the grass. He was beginning to regain the control of his bladder although some urine still leaked out when he lay down. He objected to the Vitamin C treatment but I continued giving it morning and night. A small house lizard ran past him and he followed it growling – he was obviously feeling better. He ventured out a few times during the day and drank water every hour or so. I tried feeding him a Weetbix and milk but he didn’t want it. I had some silverside (corned beef) in the fridge and he ate a few slices. 

DAY SIX: Bingo’s eyes had completely lost the glazed look and he had stopped loosing fluid from his mouth. He was able to run a few steps and chase a ball but he lost control and fell over when he ran downhill. There was still some muscle paralysis but it was getting better daily. I now gave him only one Vitamin C treatment a day.

DAY SEVEN: By now Bingo had almost completely recovered. He barked at our other dog and ate all his normal meal. He was able to run downhill without losing muscle control. He had an altercation with our other dog and was obviously back to normal. He was no longer thirsty all the time and so I stopped treatment of the Vitamin C.

CONCLUSION: At the time of writing this it is Day 10 and Bingo is healthy, happy and back to his old tricks. It is my firm belief that the Vitamin C treatment saved his life without any apparent damage to his organs. This proves that even delayed treatment with Vitamin C can work. I am certain if I had known about this beforehand Bingo would not have suffered as he did. I have since been able to order pure Vitamin C liquid through the local chemist. I have also been told you can get it from a greyhound supplier/produce store. I know I will always have it on hand in case this happens again.

Failing that, the “Natures Own” Calcium Ascorbate Vitamin C powder I used certainly did the trick for Bingo. 

If you have any queries you can email me at

Kathy Ashton
Camden, New South Wales

23rd November, 2002 - Update on "Bingo.
The only signs he has from the snake attack are 3 bare patches along his side which are about the size of a 10c coin. This is where the hair has fallen out from where the snake bit him. So far, there is no sign of the hair growing back - it just goes to show how toxic the venom must be. Kathy.


Water Moccasin bites Shih Tzu in Florida 

Out of necessity I recently read your article on using vitamin C concentrates to treat a dog that had been bitten by a poisonous snake. Attached please find some photos of my dog Popeye. An older, on the order of 16 to 20 years, blind and deaf Shih Tzu. Some time about a week ago I began to notice that he was behaving oddly developing a slight wobble in his walk, and later that day I noticed some swelling on his neck that I attributed to a spider bite. Two days later I killed a slightly under a meter long Water moccasin in the yard that my Dalmatian had cornered. Realizing that this was what poor blind Popeye had wandered into I immediately reached the conclusion that this was what had bitten him, and with previous experience of veterinarians recommending animals be put to sleep after such a snake bite I ran a search for and found your site. and immediately began treatment with 1000 mg oral vitamin C, injectable form not being available at the local pharmacist/chemist. This along with 10k unit dose inject able penicillin carried out over a three day course of treatment has brought all ten pounds of the little fella back to the smiling face you see attached. Quite a pleasant surprise when if it had been myself being bitten by a snake of this size and toxicity I would have had concerns about shuffling off this mortal coil. This speaks highly of your method, and with the abundance of poisonous snakes in Florida I plan to recommend this method to everyone I know who may find themselves in a similar situation. Please feel free to append this letter and photos to your web site, and once again you have my most sincere thanks for your help in this matter.

Click here to see photos of the bite area, and photo of a recovered "Popeye".

Nancy Little of Gainesville, Florida

Didge, the survivor! 

Our dog got bitten in Central Queensland on Friday night, 18th February, 2005. In the middle of the night we think, and we didn't find him till 6am Saturday morn. We took him to the Vet where he got anti-venom, fluids and had to be put under due to the extensive amount of fitting he was having. If he kept fitting we were going to have to have him put down Sunday morning. Sunday morning the Vet said he'd stopped fitting and by Sunday afternoon we took him home. He still wasn't walking but was greatly improved. The only medicine the Vet told us to give him was Vitamin C - once a day. My husband gave Didge four crushed Vitamin C in the mouth on Sunday night, and again at lunchtime on Monday. That night he ate a full dinner, stood up a few times and was looking more like the Didge we know.  We just need to keep going with that Vitamin C and hope he's running around soon!

Amazing! I looked at this site briefly after he'd been taken to vet but didn't pay too much attention. I just came back to it today and reread it and went 'aaaggghhh'!   :-) So I'll keep you posted on Didge the survivor. But he'll hopefully be running around the yard within the week.

Regards Jenn Ballard, Queensland, Australia

Update 16th March, 2005
I forgot to let you know the end result of Didge in QLD. He's fine. You wouldn't know he'd been so close to death. He's even picking fights with our other dog - getting very territorial. He seems to be alot more protective of me and the kids too. He looked a bit worried his first day out in the yard too. :-) We found out it must've been a brown snake - as the neighbour killed one in her yard, plus she spotted two out the back gate in the crown land that the property backs onto.

Jenn Ballard 

Water Moccasin Bites Brittany

Just a note to let you know .........
Last year one of my 9 months old Brittany's got snake bitten on the front ankle, by probably a water moccasin for that is our prevalent poisonous snake in south Louisiana.
He had a high temperature, his whole shoulder was swollen and he was having trouble walking. That was about 8:00AM and I think the bite was about 6 to 8 hours old.
I gave him 2000 mg of vitamin C and 200 mg ibuprofen by mouth.
That afternoon as I was coming home I saw the two dogs running across the pasture and I couldn't tell which dog was bitten from the distance.
I repeated the same treatment that afternoon and the next morning the only swelling was in the ankle.
I repeated the treatment again the next morning and that afternoon you could not even tell he was bitten.
Maybe it works.

Bill Latimer
Baton Rouge, LA
April 2002

Standard Poodle Bitten by a Tiger Snake in Seaview, Victoria
12th March, 2005

Hello all,

I am writing to thank you for your informative website. I used your snake bite and Vitamin C info when my 11 year old Standard Poodle was bitten by a tiger snake a couple of weeks ago.

He was also bitten the year before almost to the day, and spent a week at the Vet's with a dose of anti venom. After finding your site I asked the Vet to give him Vitamin C each day. He had a mighty struggle to survive because he was three days without a proper diagnosis. He had a bad ear infection at the time which confused us all. He struggled to breathe, could barely walk and had to be catheterised as he couldn't pass urine. All his muscles had begun to break down with the venom, so he took quite some weeks to build his strength up again. The theory was he hadn't had a large dose of venom.

So, this year I made sure I had some liquid Vitamin C and syringes in the fridge and had the correct dosage from the Vet.

Hunting for him everywhere, I found him collapsed down behind the hedge. His gums were grey and his tongue blue. I was told they go into shock when the venom hits the heart. He has a heart valve insufficiency, and I wondered at the time whether he had had a heart attack. Surely he couldn't have been bitten again! His pupils were very dilated and didn't contract when I shone a torch into them. A sure sign of snake bite. He began to vomit, and drool. I injected him in the side of the neck with the Vitamin C and watched for a reaction. His gums pinked up and he stopped vomiting. He became more aware; so much so, that I watched him for some hours. I finally took him to the Vet because I recognised the heavy breathing from last time and didn't want to risk losing him.

The Vet checked his eyes, which were still dilated, and took a small vial of blood from his leg. She capped it and left it for 5 minutes saying that if it didn't clot, it was snake bite. After 7 minutes it was still very liquid. We decided to give him an anti venom, with a warning that he may not tolerate it after having it once before. It was put very slowly into his intravenous drip, and when it hit home he began to vomit and thrash around. They gave him an anti-histamine and anti vomit to control his reaction.

The time from bite to anti-venom was 5 and a half hours, and I'm sure that the Vitamin C gave me time to observe him and get him to the Vet. We will never know whether he would have survived without one or the other. He spent two days at the Vet's on a drip, and came home thinner and very tired, but two weeks later he is back to his old snake hunting tricks! He spends his days inside with me, and visits the great outdoors under strict supervision. Standard poodles are great hunters and chasers. His lady poodle friend likes watching for visitors more, and I hope she doesn't suffer the same fate.

We did source some Australian herbal snake repellent - 'Shoosnake', which we now spray around the dog run, wood pile, etc. But he was bitten in the garden only 15 feet from where I sit now. They're everywhere!

I have been told, "Three strikes and he's out!" The vet doubts whether he would survive more anti-venom. He's a dear boy, and we value him greatly in more ways than one. We now call him 'Mr Costalot'.

I hope this story might help others.

Thank you again
Robyn Rinehart
Seaview, Victoria (in the Strezlecki Ranges, Victoria....about 20 minutes from Warragul)

Update 20th March, 2005
Hello again Lorraine,

I did forget to tell you about the old saying, "Snakes never go where geraniums grow". I had searched for info on the Net, and have found passing reference to it. So I don't know whether it's true or not. But I was striking a lot of cuttings ready to plant around our house yard.......they just weren't big enough to put in yet. They do have that pungent smell that is reminiscent of Shoosnake. A friend with a good nose says that's got cloves and citronella....sure to put any nose into a frenzy!
Bought a whole lot of matching ones yesterday and am putting a run of them where Connor was bitten. All my other pretty ground cover is coming out!
He seems to be doing well, and his eyes are improving.

Best wishes,

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