Venomous Snake Bites Nurse in Her Sleep: 'I Thought the Dog Had Jumped on Me'

An Australian woman came close to death last month after being bitten by a venomous snake while asleep in bed, initially dismissing the wound as a dog scratch.

Nikita Aldridge, 28, of Brisbane, woke in the early hours of December 30 after feeling pain on her arm and hearing her dog Freckle barking. She spotted some red marks, but went back to sleep after believing that they had come from the pet, 7News reported.

Within hours, it became clear the situation was more serious. The single mother, who has lupus, began to suffer impaired vision and bouts of dizziness.

A local snake catcher took Aldridge, who works as a nurse, to hospital after responding to a social media post she shared asking for advice about the marks.

Medical experts, who identified the culprit of the bite as a yellow-faced whip snake, warned it could have proven deadly if left untreated.

"I was asleep in bed and I woke up to a sharp pain in my arm and I was bleeding," Aldridge told 7 News, describing the close encounter.

"I didn't think anything of it at the time because I've never experienced anything like this before. I thought the dog had jumped on me and I'd scratched my arm in my sleep. I couldn't believe it when they told me what it was. The fact it had been in bed with me. I was freaking out.

"Doctors said I wouldn't be here today if I hadn't have gone to the hospital when I did. When I came around, I was just in shock. Luckily my bite was from a more mildly venomous snake, but I have lupus so that made it even worse and my body was struggling to fight off the venom."

According to the Australian Museum, the yellow-faced whip snake is common throughout most of the country and, while venomous, is not considered to be a dangerous species. "However, a bite could be extremely painful, with much local swelling," the organization said.

Aldridge told 7 News a drip was used to flush out the venom and she was given the all-clear the same day. However, the reptile could not be located by the snake catcher, which Aldridge says has left her unable to properly rest at home."Now I have anxiety, nightmares, and I can't sleep. I jump at everything. If someone touches me I jump out of my skin," she said.

Also last December, an 8-week-old baby was rushed to a hospital in Australia after being bitten on the face by a snake that slithered into his crib. Luckily, it was a non-venomous species.

Stock: Yellow-faced Whip Snake
File photo: Yellow-faced Whip Snake. The species is believed to have bitten a sleeping woman in Australia on December 30, who initially dismissed red marks as a scratch from her pet dog. iStock