With several recent sightings of the UK’s only venomous snake, the European adder at Durlston, dog owners are being cautioned to be on their guard to prevent their dogs getting bitten.
The warm weather is encouraging the snakes to sunbathe on paths and rock ledges at the country park in Swanage. Adult adders are roughly 50 to 60 cm long and have a black and brown zigzag pattern along their back and V or X shaped marking on the back of the head.
This video of a male adder was filmed at Durlston Country Park on Wednesday 8th April 2020.
While adder bites are fairly rare, curious young dogs can unintentionally provoke an adder into biting.
Durlston Country Park on its social media said:
“Adders are out enjoying the sunshine at Tilly Whim today and on rocks and paths – they will usually get out of your way as you approach and only strike as a last resort, but best to keep dogs on a lead for their safety”
Adder bites in dogs can result in swelling around the wound, usually within two hours, and this can be severe. A dog may also show signs of pain, bleeding or bruising.
If a dog does get bitten then it’s important to take them to the vet as soon as possible, as it’s highly likely to fully recover if treatment is given promptly. Before getting to a vet, the wound can be bathed in cold water to ease the swelling.