Warnings for dog owners as poisonous snake bites on the rise during the summer months


According to claims handled by Agria Pet Insurance, the most common time dogs are bitten by the UK’s only poisonous snake is April through September.

Vipers hibernate during the winter and emerge in the spring and can often bask in the sun during the summer months.

Dogs are most often bitten on the face, muzzle and front legs, which can be fatal in some cases.

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Bella, a two-year-old Cocker Spaniel from Devon, was recently bitten by a viper while walking on the beach.

She was playing in tall grass, and it wasn’t until her owner brought her home that she began to realize that something was wrong.

Danielle, Bella’s owner, said: “Bella got lethargic and didn’t want to eat – which is unlike her – and then I noticed she had sting wounds on her face, so I did. took her straight to the vet. “

While the vets monitored her, the swelling continued to increase, so Bella was treated with antivenom.

She had to spend the night at her house but was allowed to return home the next day, and luckily after 5-6 days the young Cocker Spaniel had made a full recovery.

Bella’s vet’s bill was £ 1,089. Her owner Danielle said: “It was horrible when we found out Bella had been bitten by a snake – we were so worried about her.”

Tom Vaughan, Marketing Manager at Agria Pet Insurance, said: “Dealing with a viper bite can be very traumatic for dogs and their owners and, if not treated promptly and properly, can be very traumatic. prove fatal.

We would like to bring homeowners’ attention that we are in the midst of dealing with most of our viper bite claims. Understanding the signs to look for and just being aware that viper bites can and do happen could be enough to save a dog’s life.

Nick Sutton, Science Communication Advisor at The Kennel Club commented: “Vipers are the only venomous snakes native to the UK and are found in a wide range of habitats, so it is crucial that owners are aware of their surroundings when ‘they are on the go or even in the garden, and keep an eye on their dog.

“Signs that a dog has been bitten by a viper can include a small puncture wound, swelling, bruising, an increase in temperature, and illness or lameness. Bitten dogs should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible, leaving the bite alone until then, as this could lead to further complications.

“We hope Bella’s story will help more dogs and owners avoid vipers and stay aware and alert during these warmer months.”

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