Great Britain

Warning issued after spaniel bitten by adder on Cunswick Scar

A DOG owner has warned others to be vigilant and act fast after his pet suffered what is thought to have been an adder bite.

Working cocker spaniel Rio had returned from a walk when her eyes and ears began to swell up.

She had been out on Cunswick Scar, near Kendal, but owner Marc Robinson said he did not notice anything wrong with her until they got back home.

Mr Robinson, of Kendal, immediately took Rio to Highgate Vets in the town, where he was told his dog had possibly suffered an adder bite.

“She had no energy in herself,” said Mr Robinson, 29.

“I could see she was almost feeling sorry for herself. It’s not normal for a cocker spaniel to be like that.”

Rio received treatment that included being administered an antihistamine.

“The next day she was fine, she was just a bit lethargic,” said Mr Robinson.

“The following day, she started to re-react to the bite.

“The eyes and mouth started to swell up, she’d been vomiting for 12 hours."

Rio was taken back to the vets where she was given a five-day course of medication.

“She’s fine in herself now,” said Mr Robinson.

“You do worry when you see your dog like that, because they become part of you, become part of your family.

“You’d do whatever it takes to try and get them better, regardless of the cost.”

Mr Robinson said he was told the veterinary practice had dealt with four other cases of adder bites in the previous week.

It is not known where exactly Rio was bitten, with the bandage on her paw in the picture being due to an injection she received while at the vets.

Mr Robinson wants to make people aware of the dangers adders pose and is calling on people to act fast if they notice anything out of the ordinary with their pets.

“If I’d gone to bed that night and not seen the reaction, it could have been a different story,” he said.

The adder is the only venomous snake that lives in the wild in Great Britain.

Veterinary charity PDSA says most dogs recover from adder bites, but some can cause severe illness and even death.

Owners are advised to keep their dogs as still as possible in the event of a snake bite, to prevent the venom from spreading around the body.

PDSA says people should call the vet and bring the car to the dog or, depending on the pet's weight, carry it to the car.

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