These are the UK’s only native poisonous snake and are found in a wide range of different habitats. Adders hibernate over winter and emerge in spring; this is the time when the likelihood of being bitten is highest. These snakes often bask in the sun and inquisitive dogs that stumble upon them are most often bitten around the face, muzzle and front paws.
Signs that a dog has been bitten may appear quickly and can include small puncture wounds, swelling, bruising, pain, lameness, salivation, vomiting, increased temperature, bleeding and may also include changes to the heart beat, blood pressure and breathing rate.
Dogs that are bitten should be taken to a veterinarian as soon as possible and the bite should be left alone.
No tourniquets should be applied and owners should not attempt to suck out the poison as this may cause further complications. If you see an adder in your garden, or when out for a walk, it is advisable to leave it alone. The adder is a protected species and it is illegal to harm or kill them.