An Adder

Adder bites: a summer hazard spelling danger for your pet

A fully grown adder is around 50-60cm and will have a dark zig-zag pattern running down the length of its body.

They are usually found in rough, open countryside but can also be spotted at the edge of woodland areas.

They are most active on warmer days and emerge from hibernation in the springtime.

How to tell if an adder has bitten your pet

Adders will only usually bite as a defence rather than aggression.

And you’ll know when it’s happened – your pet will likely yelp or cry out for attention.

If you think your pet has been bitten, thoroughly examine them for:

  • Local swelling – this will be dark in colour due to the reaction to the venom
  • Two visible puncture wounds from the snake’s fangs most commonly on the legs or face of your pet

There are also a number of clinical signs to look out for:

  • Pale mucous membranes
  • Bruising of bitten area
  • Salivation
  • Vomiting
  • Breathing difficulty
  • Shivering and convulsions
  • Collapse (occasionally)

What to do if you suspect an Adder has bitten your pet:

  • Seek veterinary treatment immediately
  • Don’t allow your pet to walk as this will circulate the venom around the body
  • Bathe in cold water to reduce the swelling
  • Keep your pet quiet whilst travelling

Treatment will usually include:

  • Pain relief
  • Treatment for swelling and shock (they may need intravenous fluid therapy)
  • Antivenom in some cases

If you’d like to talk to a member of our team about adder bites, or if you’d like to book an appointment with us, call our Hillyfields branch on 01934 843 381 or our Alexandra branch on 01275 343 457.

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