By Shawn Chitnis

ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– A dog owner wants to warn others about the danger of rattlesnakes to pets days after her Rottweiler died from a snake bite well before she usually sees them outside her house.

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“We were just in shock, the whole thing was so shocking, and just you wake up to this,” said Marti Every. “It’s heart wrenching, we just sat with him.”

(credit: Every Family)

Every’s dog Duke was outside Monday night when she noticed he wasn’t acting normally and seemed to be injured. She said he was paralyzed and his eyes were twitching. But he didn’t make any noise to suggest he was bitten. They saw the snakebite marks on his leg the next day when it was swollen.

(credit: Every Family)

“Be aware that the snakes are already out,” she said.

Based on the size of the bite and the lack of reaction from Duke, she believes it was a baby rattlesnake. She contacted a vet but was told it was too late because of how long the venom was inside the dog. Every says usually she notices snakes in May or June but they’re not always an issue even outside her house on the edge of the county line.

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Marti Every (credit: CBS)

“He was just a really good dog, you call him, he came,” she said. “He was a protector, he fought the coyotes when they’d come out here and try to get our cats.”

(credit: CBS)

The loss is devastating for Every, who loves dogs and owns other animals at her home. Duke was in their family for eight years. She plans to use even more caution with her other dogs now.

(credit: Every Family)

Every says she will check them each time they’re outside for an extended period for bites and put them in snake avoidance classes. It’s a course she found online that teaches pets to move away from snakes when they see them.

(credit: Every Family)

“Duke was just an awesome dog,” she said. “We loved him so much.”

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Shawn Chitnis reports for CBS4 News at 10 on weekends and CBS4 News at 5 p.m. and 6 p.m. throughout the week. Email him story ideas at smchitnis@cbs.com and connect with him on Twitter or Facebook.