Venomous Snake Attack Forces Dog Chosen As Bridesmaid to Miss Owner's Wedding

A dog scheduled to be a bridesmaid for an Australian couple's wedding was forced to miss the ceremony after it was bitten by a highly venomous snake just a few days before the ceremony.

For their wedding ceremony, which was delayed due to the ongoing COVID pandemic, Dan and Brittany Atlas, from the city of Toowoomba in southern Queensland, Australia, chose their two dogs, Ruby and Lily, as bridesmaids.

However, last week, just four days before the wedding ceremony was scheduled to take place, Ruby was bitten by an eastern brown snake, which is a highly venomous breed native to Australia.

According to Australian Geographic, the breed is "fast-moving, aggressive and known for their bad temper," and alongside other brown snakes is "responsible for more deaths every year in Australia than any other group of snakes."

The snake's "venom causes progressive paralysis and stops the blood from clotting, which may take many doses of antivenom to reverse. Victims may collapse within a few minutes."

Dan Atlas discovered that Ruby, a 4-year-old mastiff cross, had been bitten by the reptile when he arrived home four days before the wedding, telling ABC in Australia that "she was shaking and [he got her in the car" and he "just raced to the vets."

He said that the dog was then intubated at the medical facility and watched closely for 18 hours, while the vets gave her "two vials of antivenene" and other treatments before she started to improve on the morning of the wedding.

Brittany Atlas told the outlet that the incident made the lead-up to the wedding difficult, because she "couldn't focus on anything else other than her, she was such a huge part of the family."

Although Ruby was forced to miss the wedding while recovering, the couple explained that they would have not hesitated to call off the ceremony if the dog had not started to show signs of improvement.

"I felt like then we knew it was going to be OK and we could enjoy our day," said Brittany Atlas. "They sent us that cute photo. Oh my God, it killed us. It made our day," she added in reference to a picture of Ruby taken at the vet clinic with a note reading: "Happy Wedding Day Mum & Dad Lots of Love Ruby!"

It is common for dogs to be attacked by snakes. In June, a woman in Botswana saved her dachshund's life after she saw it being crushed by a 15-foot python.

Tanya Drysdale revealed the ordeal in a Facebook group about snakes, where she said that alongside her spouse, she worked for "over 15 minutes" to rescue her pet, with the dog only suffering minor injuries.

There have also been reports recently of dogs saving their owners from being attacked by snakes, with a Cane Corso named Ruger intervening to stop his owner Zackary Pate from being bitten by a venomous copperhead in June.

Pate wrote in a Facebook post that he felt his dog biting him and when he looked down he saw that his pet had caught a copperhead snake wrapped around him. Ruger proceeded to smash it against a log.

Eastern brown snake
File photo of a young eastern brown snake in Australia. A dog scheduled to be bridesmaid for an Australian couple's wedding was forced to miss the ceremony after it was bitten by an eastern brown snake just a few days before the ceremony. gorgar64/iStock / Getty Images Plus