Fri 27th August: Not out of the woods yet

Booty, a bit younger than he is now

Pup Booty went off to his new home today.  He’s such a pretty boy even if he does have one blind eye, and his new family don’t care and that’s all that matters.  I dropped him off at Whiskers’n’Paws on my way to the vet with a group of other puppies due for vaccinations so they all had a chance to run around and play while I was completing Booty’s adoption paperwork.  The puppies just love the terrace at Whiskers’n’Paws.

This was at least the third attempt at getting Susie K her first vaccination.  She’s now five months old and hasn’t been well enough, and although she doesn’t appear to be sick she’s got tick fever.  She had a Berenil injection a few weeks ago and it’s working, but instead of getting the anticipated vaccination today the vet decided to give her another shot of Berenil.  It’s painful as the needle has to go into the muscle, and poor Susie K struggled and screamed while emptying her anal glands in protest.  I can’t blame her.  It will be another month before I can take her back to have another blood test to check that she’s ready to have a vaccination, and she’ll be six months old by then!

Little Vienna also failed her blood test.  She’d had a very low cell count at the last visit, and while she had also improved a lot it was another Berenil injection for her too.

Curls is now ready to go to Whiskers'n'Paws

Pup Mystery was still coughing too much to be given a vaccination, and it was only Curls out of the whole group who got his shot.  It’s so frustrating and time consuming to get puppies from Lamma to the various vet clinics, and for them then not to be well enough to be vaccinated is doubly challenging.  How easy it was in the Pokfulam days when we had two hours every day allocated for our HKDR dogs, so there was no waiting and no traffic during the short drive from Aberdeen to the clinic opposite the kennels. 

It was six o’clock by the time I got home, and I had completely forgotten that I had promised to be at a meeting in Central in the afternoon.  My brain is getting clogged up with puppies and Ottilie’s snake bite, something I thought was over but certainly isn’t.

Ottilie early on in the day

I found Ottilie with her tail down when I got back, clearly very unhappy.  I guessed it was the pain of the bite area and I could see that the swelling had extended further along her underside.  I put my hand very gently on her side and she nearly leapt in the air,  the whole of her body so sensitive to touch.  I was really at a loss to know what to do.  Did I take her back to the vet, or keep her at home where she was at least in familiar surroundings?  I ended up speaking to Dr Andrew Baker, a vet with a lot of experience and knowledge about snakes and snake bites.  At first he said he couldn’t believe that the snake was really a King Cobra because they were very rare, but after I told him that I had seen the snake close up (and dead, of course), and described the markings and identifying features, he accepted that it was.  Then he told me that the venom of a King Cobra wasn’t the same as a Chinese Cobra (the common Naja Naja), so the serum that Ottilie had been given may not have been fully effective, and in any case he thought she should have been given several vials not just two.  He suggested that I take Ottilie to the 24-hour clinic in Mong Kok where she could get more of the antivenin, although he warned that the time lapse between the bite and the treatment meant there was a high risk of anaphylactic shock.  What a choice.  Getting over to Mong Kok on a Friday evening would take hours, and Ottilie was unhappy about travelling, cars and strangers at the best of times, let alone when she was in such a bad state.

In the end I decided to let fate take its course, and not to take her in.  I had given her another pain killer, morphine-based so it would at least give her sweet dreams, and at the time I was dithering about what to do she was fast asleep amongst her friends.  If she died like that it would at least be peaceful and happy.

This morning (Saturday), her tail was up again, so that’s another crisis passed.  Only time will tell what the final outcome will be.


2 Responses to “Fri 27th August: Not out of the woods yet”

  1. Yolanda Says:

    How’s Ottilie doing? Stable?

  2. Doris Says:


    pls keep us posted of Ottilie’s state.

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