Vets warning to dog owners after Staffordshire Bull Terrier is bitten by adder in Great Yarmouth area
- Credit: Archant
A vets has warned dog owners to be aware of snakes when walking their pets, after experiencing its first instance of a dog being bitten by an adder this year.
A young Staffordshire Bull Terrier was taken to Haven Veterinary Surgeons in Great Yarmouth, after being bitten by an adder while walking in sand dunes in the Yarmouth area this week.
Now, the clinical director, Kiran Gabri has issued a warning to dog walkers, urging them to remain vigilant when talking their dogs out.
Mr Gabri said: 'As we have experienced some mild weather recently, dog walkers need to be aware that snakes are about. While generally they will retreat if they are frightened, with the sun bright but temperatures slightly lower they are still a bit sluggish after hibernating.
'Adders generally only tend to use their venom as a defensive strike and at this time of year they are less active, so less likely to retreat when they are approached by a dog.'
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Mr Gabri went on to recommend that dog owners make sure they have a close eye on their dogs when they are out and about, particularly on dunes, in areas with long grass, or heathland, where snakes are more prone to be.
He said: 'Dogs do have inquisitive natures, so if they see an adder they are likely to want to take a closer look or sniff it. This would be very distressing for the snake so they are likely to bite.
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'Adder venom can be harmful to dogs and produce inflammatory reactions and swelling, which in extreme cases can be fatal.'
The Staffy, whose owners are from Norwich, was bitten on the face and treated with anti-venom and fluid therapy. It has since made a full recovery.
Mr Gabri said snake bites will have similar effects on dogs as severe bee or wasp stings, but will leave two puncture wounds around half an inch apart.
'The best advice I can give to dog owners is to be vigilant when taking your dog out, making sure it doesn't stray too far away from you or even considering keeping it on a lead,' he added. 'It is particularly important to be wary on days when there is bright sun, but not necessarily high temperatures, as these are the days when there is the biggest risk.'