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The Highcroft Blog

Would you know if your dog had been bitten by an adder?

Monday, March 17, 2014

Milly, a 9 year old Weimaraner, hit local and national news recently after being bitten by an adder whilst on a walk in some flooded fields in Keynsham.

Her owner, Jayne Smith, didn’t notice anything unusual on the walk and it wasn’t until they were home that Milly’s foot swelled rapidly and she couldn’t touch it to the ground.  Jayne was extremely worried and rushed Milly to Highcroft’s Keynsham surgery where she was examined by our veterinary surgeon, Rebecca Gibb. Rebecca suspected that Milly had been bitten by an adder and immediately referred her to our emergency veterinary hospital in Whitchurch where she was seen by our Emergency and Critical Care Specialist, Helen Wilson.

Milly was agitated, panting and experiencing an abnormal heart rhythm when she arrived at the hospital. She also had muscle tremors and didn’t like to be touched.  After she had been given pain relief, Milly became more settled and Helen was able to examine her closely.  She discovered two puncture marks on Milly’s foot, confirming an adder bite, and quickly gave her antivenom which reduced the swelling and stabilised her condition.

Adder bites are extremely dangerous to dogs, often fatal if left untreated. We strongly urge dog owners to be careful whilst walking in flooded countryside.  The reason Milly’s story hit the news is because adders are normally in hibernation until April or May and we suspect that some may have been washed out of hibernation by the recent flooding.

We’re pleased to report that Milly has made a full recovery and is enjoying her new celebrity status. Her owner, Jayne, never imagined that Milly could have been bitten by an adder and is thankful that she called us straight away. Highcroft’s emergency veterinary hospital in Whitchurch is open 24/7 to deal with these critical situations, so don’t hesitate to call us if you think something’s wrong. The emergency number is 01275 832410.


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