Adder Bites

If your dog has been bitten by an adder in the UK, it’s so important to act promptly. Here’s what you should do:

Adders, the sole venomous snakes in the UK, tend to be active from early Spring through October. Dogs are most susceptible to bites between April and July, particularly in the late afternoon, around 3 to 4 pm. 

Seek Veterinary Help Immediately: Take your dog to a vet without delay. The quicker they receive treatment, the better their chances of recovery.

Stay Calm: Try to remain calm. If you saw the snake, remember its appearance or take a photo from a safe distance. Do not attempt to find the snake, get close to it, touch it, or harm it.

Keep Your Dog Still: When possible, carry your dog home or back to the car. Minimise their movement to slow down the venom’s circulation in their bloodstream. This approach also reduces the risk of pain related to movement, especially if the bite occurred on their paw or leg.

Cold Water Bath: Bathe the wound in cold water to help control swelling.

Keep Your Dog Warm and Calm: Transport your dog to the vet while keeping them warm but not overheated.

The majority of dogs bitten by adders in the UK will survive, with an average recovery time of around 5 days. Recovery can occur as quickly as 24 hours or take up to a month. Approximately 96-97% of cases result in full recovery with appropriate treatment. 

We strongly suggest our guests add our local vets number into their phone for any emergency situations, more details in this section of our online guide. 


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