News - A Snake In The Grass
Dog walkers have been warned about A Snake In The Grass emerging from winter hibernation that could kill if disturbed by inquisitive pets. Recent warm weather has brought adders out of hibernation but subsequent cold springtime spells could make them more lethargic and liable to being cornered by exploring dogs.
Chrissie Curtis returned from a walk in the woods with her three-year-old spaniel Luna to find her whimpering in pain with her leg swelling up. An emergency visit to the vets found Luna had been bitten twice by an adder - the only poisonous snake in the UK - and was in need of urgent treatment.
Bites like this can prove fatal if not noticed in time.
After initial checks, vets discovered Luna had been bitten by the poisonous snake twice, with two sets of teeth marks discovered on her hind right leg.
Ms Curtis was horrified she could have unwittingly made the situation worse by allowing Luna to continue walking, inadvertently spreading the poison around her body.
She added said: 'When I realised it was an adder bite I was devastated, I thought I was going to have to say goodbye to her. It was horrendous.
'The vets said adder bites are rare, I'd seen my friend's dog suffer a snake bite and not make it, so I was immediately thinking the worse.
Are there any poisonous A Snake In The Grass in Britain?
The only venomous snake native to the UK is the adder.
Adults are roughly 50-60cm long and have a black/brown zigzag pattern along their back and V or X shaped marking on the back of the head.
They are most commonly found in the south and south west of England, western Wales and Scotland where their preferred habitats are sand dunes, rocky hillsides, moorland and woodland edges.
Adders are protected by the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981, this means it’s an offence to kill, harm, injure, sell or trade them.
Adder bites are fairly rare. A Snake In The Grass generally only bite in self-defence, so normally bites occur when a snake is stepped on or disturbed by your dog.
The majority of bites in dogs seem to occur between April and July, most commonly in the afternoon when the adders are most active.
So if in doubt then a quick trip to vets is vital.
How to keep your dog safe from A Snake In The Grass
Keep your pooch on a lead if you are in an area that you think could be home to A Snake In The Grass - and make sure the lead is short so the dogs can't wander too far.
Don't wander off the trail if you're walking in woodland and make sure to avoid big rocks or areas of dense grass as A Snake In The Grass are drawn to cool places.
Don't let your dog play with dead A Snake In The Grass but the venom stored in its body is still toxic. If your pup chews into the venom it is not different to being bitten.
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