Adder Bite

Ruby, a 7 year old Springer Spaniel, presented to our Emsworth branch after she suddenly appeared disorientated and weaker. She had just arrived home after enjoying a walk on some local sand dunes/grassland. By the time she arrived at our clinic her face had begun to swell.

Ruby was immediately treated with intravenous fluids, anti-histamines and pain relief. Blood samples were taken to check for any systemic abnormalities and her clotting times checked. Despite this treatment Ruby made little improvement; as an Adder bite was a potential cause we sourced some anti-venom which was given intravenously in an attempt to counteract the poisonous venom which can be fatal. Over the following 12 hours Ruby began to stabilise with intensive care. Ruby developed marked swelling and bruising of her face; two puncture wounds on her muzzle also became evident which confirmed our suspicion of an Adder bite. However, this resolved over the following 4 days and she thankfully made a full recovery.

Adders are often found in sandy areas, moorlands or woodlands; and are particularly active in spring and summer. Adders usually bite in defence to being disturbed, hence bite wounds are often found on the dog’s face or limbs. Adder bites are uncommon, but when suspected must be treated immediately. If suspected we advise seeking veterinary attention immediately, carrying the dog and keeping the dog calm (to prevent spread of the venom) and applying cold water to the area help reduce the swelling.

Please phone your local branch for an appointment:
• Emsworth: 01243 377 141
• Bognor Regis: 01243 841 111
• Chichester: 01243 786 101
• Barnham: 01243 553 771
• Denmead: 02392 232 121
• Havant: 02392 475 004
• Bordon: 01420 472 912