Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Adders kill two pet dogs: Vets blame warmer weather for surge in deadly snake attacks


Shadow, a boarder collie, was killed last month while Daisy May died after being bitten while her owner was recovering from a knee operation

Pet lovers were warned yesterday to be on the lookout for snakes after two dogs died from adder bites.

Vets have reported an increase in attacks, saying the hot weather has encouraged adders out into the open.

One of the canine victims, a King Charles spaniel called Daisy-May, was put down after being bitten in a garden in Canvey Island, Essex.

Maggie Vinten was left devastated by the death of her dog

‘It was really nasty,’ said Carol Toplis, 57, who was looking after the dog for its owners.

‘The venom attacked her organs. She became very sleepy, it was as though she’d had major surgery.’

Vets decided to put the ten-year-old dog down when its kidneys started to fail last week.

Daisy May was taken to the vets to be treated but nothing could be done to save her

Mrs Toplis added: ‘I didn’t realise adders would be around in residential areas. Daisy-May was just in the wrong place at the wrong time.’

Another dog, border collie cross Shadow, was attacked last month by an adder while she was being walked in a nature reserve near Maldon.

Owner Celly White, 45, said: ‘The vets could see two puncture wounds and her skin was all black and had begun to fall away where it had died.

Sun bather: Adder sits up on a tree stump, to enjoy the sunshine near Godalming, Sussex

‘The vets were wonderful and did everything they could for her. They said they could try a skin transplant and a number of operations but in the end she was in such pain that we had to put her to sleep.

‘With hindsight I wouldn’t have let her off her lead but hopefully more dog owners will be aware of the dangers out there.’

Adder numbers are declining largely because of the destruction of natural habitats. Only 1,000 populations are thought to remain, some with as few as ten snakes.

source : dailymail

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