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I am sure many of you have seen the reports in the past few weeks about the sad deaths of dogs following adder bites. Whilst pet deaths in the UK due to snake bites are relatively rare it does happen and dog walkers in particular have been asked to be on the guard. So what should you be aware of and what should you do?

To decrease the risk of your pet being bitten you should keep your dog in a lead in any areas that adders might be fond of - particularly during any warm weather.

If you see an adder while out on a walk, keep your dog away from it.

If your pet does get bitten it is important to keep him calm,
carry him and seek veterinary advice as soon as possible. If you cannot carry the dog
then try to find someone who can, or walk him slowly. This is because the venom will
travel faster around the body the faster the dog moves.

The adder is the only venomous snake native to the UK and bites typically occur during the warmer Spring/Summer months. This is because they are cold-blooded creatures and move into the open to bask in the sun and warm themselves before returning to the undergrowth.
Adders typically like to live in areas of rough, open countryside and around the edges of woodland, they often like to bask on footpaths and have even mistaken for a stick by unsuspecting dogs. Male adders can grow up to 60cm long and females up to 75cm - but many snakes are smaller than this. They are not aggressive animals and only likely to bite if they feel threatened or are trodden on.

If you suspect that a snake has bitten your dog, you should seek immediate veterinary attention.
Even if the dog is not showing any obvious signs of a bite, the vet will be able to carry out a thorough examination and if a snakebite is diagnosed treatment will be administered immediately. The impact of an adder bite can range from very mild symptoms, such as pain and swelling, to a severe allergic response causing the dog to collapse, but this is rare. Sometimes the only signs will be mild ones which you may not notice and the more serious signs can occur hours later. A snakebite that is not treated can lead to serious problems including increased swelling and bruising; vomiting and can affect blood clotting. In severe cases,
a snakebite can be fatal. The Adder is considered a relatively harmless snake but bearing in mind what could happen, if you have any doubt that a snake has bitten your pet, you should seek veterinary advice immediately.
The bites can be extremely dangerous to pets - particularly if they are bitten on the face.
Time is of the essence when treating adder bites so your pet must be taken for assessment and treatment
as soon as possible.

The adder is well known as Britain’s only venomous snake,
is typically up to 65cm long and is easily identified by a dark zigzag line passing
along the back bordered by rows of spots.
Males are greyish, whereas females are typically a brownish or reddish colour.

Cottages For You

Find yourself a really good pet friendly holiday home
with Paws In Britain. The UK has a lot to offer if you are looking for beautiful countryside,
interesting towns and villages, and great walking.
We have a large selection of self-catering cottages, lodges, bed and breakfast,
guest houses, hotels and inns to choose from where you and your pets are welcome.

Contact Paws In Britain 01233 861337
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