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What should you do if an adder bites your dog?

Discussion in 'Flora & Fauna' started by Rod Paradise, Feb 15, 2012.

  1. Rod Paradise

    Rod Paradise Full Member

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    Got an aggro wee border terrier cross, and having finally trained her well enough to walk her off the lead, I'm venturing further out into the hills - into adder territory too cold at the moment, but when it warms up they'll be about. I KNOW she's not going to go into retreat if she meets an adder - so, should she get a bite, what should I do?

    Also if she gets a bite that I don't witness how could I tell early enough to do something?

    Cheers,

    Rod
     
  2. Barn Owl

    Barn Owl Old Age Punk

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    Think it's much the same as a human getting bitten.

    Different reactions by individuals but off to the vet asap.

    May be swelling,even paralysis,carry the dog anyway.

    Not usually fatal and treated with anti histamines if no anti venom available and antibiotics.
     
  3. santaman2000

    santaman2000 M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    +1. Run to the vet. 10-18 if possible.
     
  4. Wayne

    Wayne BCUK Welfare Officer
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    If you see the bite (unlikely). Calm the dog carry it to reduce heart rate. Apply a compression bandage to the effected limb. Do not attack the snake. Only increases your chance of a bite. Take a photo with your phone for positive id of the snake. An Adder bite could prove fatal to a small dog so urgent treatment at a Vet.
     
  5. Andy BB

    Andy BB Full Member

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    Are dogs actually affected by adder bites? I know it seems a silly question (and probably is!), but I remember being told in Oz that the funnel-web spider bite - normally fatal to humans unless antivenom given quickly - has virtually no effect on dogs and cats.
     
  6. Mesquite

    Mesquite Anyone for sailing?

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    Yes dogs are affected... There were 2 cases just last year that I read about and no doubt there have been more
     
  7. JonathanD

    JonathanD Ophiological Genius

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    Dogs are bitten mainly around the nose. You would certainly see the bite there as adder venom contains anti coagulants and it will bleed if envenomation has taken place, it will also start swelling considerably and the dog will obviously feel the effects and you will see that behaviour very clearly. Adder venom is quite a powerful cocktail. A compression bandage won't be much use around that area, and don't waste time if it was bitten on a limb, just pick it up and get to a vets. No point in taking a picture as the adder is our only venomous snake and it will disappear quickly once the dog has retreated anyway. Diagnosis of snake bite is quite easy, it is unmistakable compared to the much lesser effects of an insect sting and the effects are immediate.

    Dogs have a remarkable system to aid recovery from adder bites, but even so, fatalities occur every year due to vets that diagnose incorrectly, and owners that don't take action. Recovery is not a certainty, but the adders reluctance to inject a full dose, the owners swift response, and the vets actions, make survival a very high probability. The best course of action is to find a local vet who is equipped to deal with a bite now, then you have all bases covered if a bite does occur. Just remember that even with nosy boisterous dogs, the adder will get away without incident 99% of the time. It requires a snake cornered without retreat to bite, which is rare. So even if your dog does encounter one, it is unlikely to receive a bite. Just locate a vet you know that can deal with the situation now, and your dog will be good, even if the worst happens. Just try to avoid those areas around March, April and into early May, as this is the breeding season, and male adders lose their timidness as they search out mates and spend more time in the open.
     
    #7 JonathanD, Feb 16, 2012
    Last edited: Feb 16, 2012
  8. Jaymzflood

    Jaymzflood Nomad

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    Adders are a very scary looking snake. Small, but scary! :D
     
  9. Adze

    Adze Native

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    Just goes to show how tastes differ - I think they're beautiful, one of the UK's most stunning creatures.
     
  10. blacktimberwolf

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    Many dogs naturally avoid tangling with snakes but if you find your dog shows a little too much interest in slithing things & you're ln 'snake' country, then you could try a little aversion therapy........
     
  11. Retired Member southey

    Retired Member southey M.A.B (Mad About Bushcraft)

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    or put him on a lead:rolleyes:
     
  12. BOD

    BOD Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Pray and do what the others have suggested.

    But why not let them "play" with snakes.

    My dog has played with little ones up to small pythons and very large monitors. She knows one end bites and tails can strike hard

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  13. Bushwhacker

    Bushwhacker Banned

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    I may have conjured this up in my head but I'm sure I read somewhere that certain breeds of dog are more likely to get bitten due to the nature of the dog.
     
  14. Rod Paradise

    Rod Paradise Full Member

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    Thanks folks, some good advice there & I'll be taking Jonathon's advice about having a chat to the vet (the mutt's due her checkup soon so I can chat with her then).

    Aversion therapy'll be difficult - the only pet snake I know is my brother's and that's in Ireland. Keeping her on the lead defeats the purpose of getting out in the countryside with her tbh - I'd rather walk in the areas where there are less adders in that case.

    Is there certain weather conditions/times it's most dangerous? Thinking a cool morning before they've got warmed enough enough to be as mobile to avoid the dog, that type of thing.
     
  15. Rod Paradise

    Rod Paradise Full Member

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    I agree, but I find most snakes beautiful - but the poisonous ones (especially in Jon's pics) give me the heebie-jeebies, although I have caught adders before - more as a stupid bravado thing because my Dad told me tales of catching them for the science teacher when he was a boy..
     
  16. blacktimberwolf

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    You can use a rubber snake,...simply put the snake on the floor & as the dog approaches (hopefully hesitantly) take the snake, slide it along the floor like a real one & make it lunge at the dog...........the doggy should get a scare & back off....if it does that's a good sign & should refuse to approach the rubber snake again. .....end of lesson, no need to continue.
    If however the dog is more fiesty, place the snake on the floor again, & as the dog approaches, usually causiously, his entire concentration will be on the snake & when he's very near the snake give him a little pinch on a back leg,( do not hurt him it's just to give him a fright) he should jump in the air with fright.......he should now associate this & similar shaped objects with a fearful experience & not approach them............

    Your dog is a female, they have 2 advantages over males in this scenario,, firstly they are more cautious & use their common sense more & secondly they are less likely to attack something they're afraid of.:D
     
  17. Bucephalas

    Bucephalas Full Member

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    So we are taking BITCHES here right? Because you're sounding like my wife now. :eek:
     
  18. JonathanD

    JonathanD Ophiological Genius

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    To a certain extent you are spot on with that observation. On cool mornings they will be out longer and be less prone to move off as quickly as they have not warmed up. Especially in late Feb and March when they are just emerging from hibernation and can be found in large groups in some areas.

    As I've said before though. They will be quick to get away when a big snuffling dog shadow disturbs them, and they will be extra vigilant and ellusive where dog walkers are common.

    Eve dogs know danger when they see it, it is programmed into them as it is in us. An adders warning behaviour is very impressive.

    And they are beautiful. I deal with beautiful and amazing snakes from all over the globe almost daily, and the adder is still my firm favourite...

    [​IMG]
     
  19. Adze

    Adze Native

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    Stunning pic JD ;)
     
  20. Hugo

    Hugo Bushcrafter (boy, I've got a lot to say!)

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    Don't wast an opportunity to take the dog to the vets and make yourself a nice belt.
     

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