Sunday, June 5th, 2011
From spring onwards it is not uncommon to see snakes in the New Forest. The adder is Britain’s only venomous snake, and can deliver a nasty bite to inquisitive dogs who get too close for comfort!
If your pet is bitten, symptoms will start to develop within minutes, with pain and significant swelling at the site of the bite, often (but not always) accompanied by two puncture wounds. The swelling advances very quickly so can be very dangerous in bites to the face or neck. Other effects of the venom include an irregular heart beat, vomiting and collapse.
If you suspect your dog has been bitten you must come to the vets immediately, this is a genuine emergency. It is a commonly held belief that giving a Piriton anti-Histamine tablet following snake bite can prevent the signs from developing. However, this is simply not true; aggressive treatment is always needed.
At Cedar Veterinary Group we are well equipped to deal with snake bites and hold the anti-venom which is given intravenously in many cases, along with anti-inflammatories and anti-biotics. Affected animals are hospitalised so we can put them on a drip and monitor them closely. Snake bites are rarely fatal if treated appropriately, and most cases recover within a few days.
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