When we think of wondrous walks in the woods, often thoughts of doggy dangers fall to backs of our minds as we embark on an adventure with our canine companions. Despite living far from the Australian Outback, the threat of snakes is still massively prevalent across the British Isles. Home to the UK’s only venomous snake, the Adder, both ourselves and our pets need to be ever so wary when we go wandering down to the woods.
Brown in colour with zig-zag markings, these distinctive snakes often slither amongst large grassland areas lurking amongst log piles and moorland areas. Although they are highly venomous, adders are not categorised as aggressive. Often only attacking whilst feeling threatened, usually when accidently stood upon by both humans and animals, their bite is often a defensive mechanism to stop their predators from attacking further. With the weather still remaining as warm as ever, Adder attacks are still increasingly reported during the summer months so here’s our top tips to staying safe when out with your four-legged friend.
Leave Large Grass
With constant sunshine leaving grassed areas growing gorgeously, warmer seasons such as spring and summer are prime time periods for Adders to enjoy. Slithering amongst the lavish long grass, avoiding these areas is fundamental when walking your canine companion. If your adventure of choice is the nearby wooded areas, avoid parts with extensively long moorland and large log and rock piles as these can be key areas for Adders to rest and relax. Adders will never emerge in highly built up areas such as beaches, paths, or pavements so sticking to these areas are beneficial to ensuring both you and your dog avoid any potential dangers.
Help with Histamines
If in the unfortunate case that you or your dog is bitten by an adder, giving your dog an antihistamine is sometimes recommended on their journey to seek veterinary care. However, it is important to understand that the likes of Piriton won’t eradicate the venom in yours or your dog’s system, although it can help slow the effects, it is fundamental that if you believe a bite has occurred that you take your dog straight to the vets to seek medical care urgently. Whilst adder fatalities are extremely rare, they are possible so there is nothing better you can do for your dog than get them to the vets asap if an attacks happens when out and about.
Spot the Symptoms
Whilst keeping a watchful eye on our furry friends, sometimes incidents occur in a matter of seconds. Whether it’s whilst your dog is chasing a ball or dashing after something in the distance, many of us may never actually witness the moment an adder attacks our pets. However, spotting the signs early can really help ensure your dog remains safe and well. Being reactive biters, these snakes will aim for limbs and the face of your canine companions, so the signs will be prominent if a snake bite occurs. With the signs and symptoms obvious within the first two hours, your dog may suffer swelling, fever, drooling and even some lameness if a bite has occurred. If you notice any of these signs during or after a walk in a grassy area, we recommend seeking medical advice immediately.