The adder (Vipera berus berus) is the only venomous snake native to the UK, and is also found across northern Europe. It is a protected species in the UK. Adders are most commonly, but not exclusively, found on dry, sandy heaths, sand dunes, rocky hillsides, moorlands and woodland edges. The clinical signs of an adder bite can include rapid and progressive swelling around the bite site, pain, lethargy, vomiting, bruising, bleeding and collapse.
What should you do if your pet has been bitten by an adder?
Do not panic.
Do not interfere with the bite.
Do not apply a tourniquet.
Do not attempt to touch or catch the snake.
Do not kill the snake – it is a protected species.
If practical, carry your dog to your car and go to your veterinary surgeon – do not delay seeking advice even if your pet is well as things can change quickly.
Adders are not aggressive and generally only bite when provoked. They hibernate in the winter and as a result most bites occur in the summer. Pets are frequently bitten on the leg, head or neck. If your pet has been bitten by an adder (even if you did not see the snake or are not sure what happened) – contact your vet immediately. Your vet will examine your pet to determine the location of the bite and extent of the swelling.
Veterinary professionals can call us any time on 02073 055 055 if required for assistance with managing cases of adder bites. We also hold a list of Antivenom stockists across the UK so if you do not have any in stock but need some urgently for a case please call us and we can assist you in obtaining some.