CARLSBAD, Calif. - A Carlsbad family's Labrador is recovering after being bitten on the face by a rattlesnake.
April Lallo said she heard a "continual bark" coming from her backyard and thought her dog Cody was barking at a broken sprinkler head.
There was something different about Cody's bark, and when Lallo got up close, she saw a 6-foot rattlesnake.
"Somehow the snake got in this little hole and got tangled, his head was right here and his rattle was just rattling," Lallo said, showing 10News reporter Itica Milanes the netting in her backyard garden.
Despite being caught in the net, the snake managed to bite Cody.
"He was actually bit on the lip …," Lallo said.
Lallo told 10News she got both of her other dogs away from the snake to protect them, but it turns out Cody was protecting her, barking to alert Lallo of the snake.
By the time Lallo took Cody to the veterinarian, she said Cody's face "went from a Lab to a Chow; it was just huge."
The vet gave Cody two anti-venom shots and hoped for the best.
"And then they had to give him an IV …," said Lallo.
Lallo told 10News snakes are a big problem in her neighborhood. Last year, she said she counted 13 of them, including one in her backyard swimming pool.
"What I'm really scared of is that this is my kids' playground," said Lallo, a mother of two.
According to Lallo, last year, the children were swimming and there was a baby rattlesnake swimming in the pool with them.
Experts say there a couple of things residents can do to keep snakes away -- snake repellant and good, old-fashioned chicken wire, the smaller hole, the better.
Last month, Lallo put snake repellant all over yard, but said, "Obviously, I must have missed a spot."
Two days after his encounter with the snake, 14-year-old Cody is on heavy medication but on the mend.
Lallo said she will next install a wire-mesh fence. At about $10 for 24 inches, Lallo said it's a lot cheaper than the nearly $3,000 for Cody's vet bills.
She said feels her four-legged friend had the best intentions, adding,"I felt like he was protecting me."
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