Warning after dog is bitten by adder in Peak District

Baxter the dog was bitten by an adder.
Baxter the dog was bitten by an adder.
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Dog owners are being urged to be on their guard after a pet was bitten by an adder while out walking in the Peak District.

Baxter, a four month-old Rottweiler from Sheffield needed emergency veterinary treatment after he was bitten by the snake near Owler Bar in Derbyshire.

He was rushed to Park Veterinary Hospital on Abbeydale Road South where staff gave him emergency treatment for shock and sourced a venom anti-serum from Doncaster.

Carmel Stanford, a vet at Park Veterinary Hospital said: “Adder bites can be fatal for dogs because they can go into shock.

“It’s really important that animals are treated within a couple of hours of being bitten.

“Baxter’s owner didn’t know he’d been bitten when he brought him in but I realised that his foot was swollen and I found the bite.

“He is very small, he’s only puppy so he went into shock quite quickly.

“We would like to warn other dog owners who take their pets out on the moors to be on the lookout for adders, as we have seen a couple of cases recently of dogs being bitten when out walking in the Peak District.”

Baxter was also given shock therapy, pain relief and anti-inflammatories and is now recovering from his ordeal at home.

Carmel said adder bites are characterised by a painful swollen area surrounding two small puncture wounds, often on a dog’s legs or face.

Other symptoms of being bitten by a snake include nervousness, pale gums, bruising, salivation, vomiting, diarrhoea, dehydration, restlessness, drowsiness and lethargy.

Carmel said: “Eventually animals may collapse, have blood clotting problems, tremors, convulsions or breathing difficulties.

“Seek veterinary attention quickly if your dog is bitten.

“Carry your dog rather than allowing it to walk to try and reduce the spread of venom around its body.

“Bathe the wound in cold water to help control the swelling and keep your dog quiet and warm as you transport him to the hospital.”

Carmel told The Star: “I’ve been a vet for 14 years and I’ve only seen three adder bites in that time, two of them this year.

“I wonder if it’s because of the warmer weather we’ve been having.”