Join us for a special free client evening on 16th of September with Stephanie Hedges BSc (Hons) CCAB Canine Behaviour Counsellor talking about stress in dogs and cats and how you as a pet owner can help them. There will be time for you to ask questions after the talk. Teas, coffees and light refreshments will be served. Places are limited so click here to register now.
Adders are found throughout the UK and are a protected species so it is illegal to kill or injure them
Adders are relatively common in areas of rough, open countryside and are often associated with woodland edge habitats.
Adders are timid creatures so will not usually bite unless they feel threatened or cornered and usually try to move away from any perceived threat. This is because they need to conserve their venom for using on their prey species.
Why do dogs get bitten and how can I prevent this?
Dogs will often disturb adders whilst exploring undergrowth which is why they are more likely to be bitten.
Most adder encounters occur during their active season between March and October.
To try and prevent your dog being bitten by an adder, keep them to paths and under control (preferably on a lead) in areas where adders are known to occur, during March to October.
How will I know if my dog has been bitten?
Swelling around the site of the bite this will usually appear within the first couple of hours, you may also see two small puncture wounds in the skin .
The pet may be lame, there may also be bruising or bleeding around the area of the bite.
If venom is absorbed into the bloodstream this could lead to other signs such as lethargy, drooling, vomiting, diarrhoea and difficulty walking.
In some cases pets are more severely affected with breathing problems,convulsions, kidney failure, liver injury and bleeding disorders.
What do I do if my dog is bitten?
If your pet is bitten by an adder (or you suspect that it may have been) you should seek prompt veterinary attention.
Do not try first aid measures such as sucking out the venom or applying a tourniquet – these procedures are ineffective and may even cause further harm to your pet.
Try to keep your pet calm and wherever possible carry your dog rather than let it walk. Both these measures will help slow the spread of venom around the body.
With veterinary treatment most pets will survive but whether they recover and how quickly they recover depends on several factors -how quickly they receive veterinary attention, the size of the pet- smaller pets are more at risk, where the bite is- facial bites are worse and excessive swelling around the head and neck can cause breathing difficulties, and the strength of venom injected -venom is thought to be more toxic earlier in the year. Elderly pets and those with pre existing medical problems also tend to be more likely to have a poorer prognosis.
What do adders look like?
The adder is easily recognised by a dark ‘zig-zag’ stripe along its back. Background colours vary from grey – white in the male to shades of brown or copper in the female. On occasion, completely black specimens are described. They can grow to around 60cm in length and have a rather stocky appearance.
Did you know that pets can suffer from stress just like we do? See our FAQs below for more information.
What causes stress in pets?
Firework season, moving house, being left “home alone” for long periods, going into kennels or catteries, travelling in the car, a new baby or new pet arriving in the house- are all examples of things that can cause stress in pets.
What happens when a pet is stressed?
Behaviour changes such as hiding away, becoming destructive or going off their food are some common reactions to stress in pets.
How can I help my pet?
Make an appointment for one of our FREE De-Stress clinics – where one of our nurses can advise you on methods to combat stress in your pet.
Are there any drugs or other products that can help?
We try to avoid sedatives for stress in pets unless these are absolutely necessary and only advise these for short term use.
There is a range of naturally derived products that we can advise on and until 31st of September we are running some special purchase offers on these. Please ask our staff for more details.
Our nurses can advise whether these are suitable to use on your pet during the De-Stress Clinic.
Phone 01604 644171/628685 to make an appointment for one of our De-Stress Clinics