Although it may not feel like it yet… warmer days are coming!
March is the month we are all happy to welcome back after dealing with the cold, dark days of winter. With this in mind, we have now to be aware of our native venomous snake – the Adder.
Adders live in woodland, moorland and heath-land habitats. Emerging from their hibernation since October, March is when they start appearing to bask in the sun or mate with a partner. The female will then go on to incubate her eggs, protecting her off-spring with her life.
Adders are shy snakes and do not attack unless they feel threatened. This can come about if a dog accidentally stumbles across an Adders nest or an individual snake feels like your pet is a threat.
To reduce the risk of your pet potentially being bitten by an Adder, is it sensible to keep your pet on a lead when walking through these habitats where Adders may be living.
Not only do we want your pet to be safe, but we also want to be respectful to our native creatures and allow them to feel safe in their own environment. Adders are protected here in the UK and should not be injured or killed.
What to do if your dog is bitten by an Adder
Bite wounds are very painful and the wound may start to swell very quickly and have a dark colouration.
- Remain calm – easier said than done, but very important as your dog will pick up on your anxiety.
- Keep your dog as still as possible – This is to reduce the speed at which the venom will travel around the body. You can carry your dog if possible, or you can walk them very slowly back to your car.
- Seek treatment from a vet as soon as possible.
- DO NOT try to suck out the venom or to tourniquet the bite wound, this may cause further complications.
Prognosis is usually good if treated promptly, however it is possible for your dog to have an anaphylactic reaction if it has been previously bitten.