Are you aware of the risks of snake bites, and do you know how to protect yourself and your dog? Every year, dogs die from adder bites in Sweden. Watch out for snakes on warm surfaces, in tall grass or in piles of leaves and other nooks and crannies, and keep in mind that a bitten dog needs to see a vet immediately.
BEWARE OF HOT SURFACES AND HIGH GRASS
It’s during the warmer months that you need to look out for snakes to avoid your dog getting bitten. Vipers love warm slabs where they can lie and sunbathe. They also like tall grass, piles of leaves and other hiding places such as the foundations of houses and outbuildings. Make your garden less attractive to snakes by having short-cut grass and a well-raked plot without debris or piles of waste for bonfires. Remember that adders are a protected species and should be treated with respect. They only bite when they feel like they’re in danger and are not aggressive animals.
SNAKE-BITTEN DOG – SEEK A VET IMMEDIATELY
Dogs are often bitten on the nose or front legs. An adder bite on the dog’s nose usually leads to milder symptoms than a bite on the legs. This is because bloody circulates more efficiently in the legs and paws. If your dog gets bitten by a snake, see a vet immediately. At the vet, your dog will be treated for shock, and the effect of the poison on its blood cells will be monitored.
SNAKE BITES IN DOGS – SYMPTOMS
- Swelling and tenderness around the affected area
- The swelling may increase over the next few days before subsiding
- Dogs usually become sluggish after bites
- Poor general condition, dizziness and lethargy
- Sometimes, you can see two little dots where the dog was bitten
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Lameness and pain
Which symptoms appear and how severe they become depends on how much venom the snake injects. Always consult a vet immediately if you suspect your dog’s been bitten by an adder!
CAN YOU TELL THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN SNAKES?
In Sweden, only adders are poisonous. Can you tell the difference between Sweden’s different snakes? Learn more on Skansen’s website.
- How to recognise an adder
- How to recognise a grass snake