Puff Adder Bite

Treasure Magagula walked over 4km with his dog, Nick, in his arms to get him the medical care he needed after being bitten in the face by a Puff Adder.


The Puff Adder is a venomous snake, its venom is cytotoxic which means it is cell-destroying but considered a very slow acting venom. With those facts in mind, the story of Treasure Magagula and his dog Nick becomes even more heartwarming.

Treasure, who is 16, and Nick live in Msholozi, an informal settlement in Mpumalanga, about 4km’s from the nearest SPCA. One scary day Treasure witnessed Nick being bitten by a Puff Adder. He quickly scooped his dog up and set off on foot towards the SPCA to get help.

When Treasure got to the SPCA he was assisted by Inspector Michelle van Wyk, she immediately rushed Treasure and his best friend to the White River Animal Hospital. By the time they arrived, Nick’s face was severely swollen. Dr. Michael York gave the dog some anti-inflammatories and pain-killers.

“It’s a very painful bite as this venom damages tissue and destroys cells, very similar to that of a gangrene effect,”

“We continued to monitor him. After a few hours, when we did a reassessment, we found that the swelling had gotten much worse,” – Dr. York

It became clear that the only thing that would save Nick was an antivenom. Antivenom is really expensive. The community came together to raise the funds needed to pay for the treatment. It worked wonders and Nick started having a positive reaction. Treasure has visited Nick nearly everyday. He also uses his spare time to help animals and the community.

“Treasure loves animals and often helps them in the area where he lives. He is volunteering at the SPCA and learning about the role of the SPCA in society and how we can help each other,” – Michelle Van Wyk

This is such a happy ending for both Treasure and Nick, now they can have a long friendship and life together.

Sources: White River Post 
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About the Author

Tyler Leigh Vivier is a writer for Good Things Guy.

Her passion is to spread good news across South Africa with a big focus on environmental issues, animal welfare and social upliftment. Outside of Good Things Guy, she is an avid reader and lover of tea.

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