A pet dog belonging to an Australian woman came to an untimely end earlier this month when it was swallowed by an olive python.

Patty Buntine, who lives in the Northern Territory town of Katherine, said she became worried when her three-year-old maltese terrier-cross Bindi failed to show up for her routine 7am breakfast.

"I went around the side of the house and that's when I found the snake. It couldn't move and had its head up in a striking position," Buntine told the Northern Territory News.

"Its belly was bulging - it looked like a great big coconut was inside it. I knew straight away that it had ate Bindi.

"I felt terrible - it's not very nice at all to think my little dog went that way," she told the newspaper.

Buntine called snake catcher David Reed to collect the python.

Reed recounted the incident on his website, saying it was one of the more unusual callouts he had attended.

"I've had a lot of calls about dogs that have been bitten by snakes, and I have even had an olive python that had eaten some new-born puppies, but never one like this," he wrote.

"The maltese terrier was 5.8kgs, and the combined weight of the olive Python and the dog is a whopping 16kgs. Therefore theoretically the weight of the snake is around 10kgs, meaning that the olive has consumed 60 per cent of its body weight in a single meal.

"It really is amazing, it's equivalent to a 100kg man eating a 60kg steak."

Olive pythons are non-venomous and are found in Western Australia, the Northern Territory and Queensland.

They can grow to more than four metres in length, though the specimen which ate Bindi was only about 2.5 metres long.

Reed told the Northern Territory News that the python in question was still digesting its meal a week later.

- NZ HERALD STAFF