December 5, 2023

Pet Life Today

Professional Pets Experts

Pet owners on high alert after venomous snake bites dog while out walking

Multiple sightings of venomous adder snakes have been made on the Llŷn Peninsula in Wales, after a two-year-old spaniel named Willow was bitten and rushed to the vets for emergency treatment

Spaniel dog
Willow made a full recovery thanks to the prompt response of vets

A warning has been issued to walkers after a dog was bitten by a poisonous snake.

Springer spaniel Willow was rushed to the vets for emergency treatment and has now fully recovered, reports Wales Online.

The two-year-old canine was walking along a path above Hells Mouth, near Abersoch, Wales, when she was attacked by an adder.

Thankfully, Milfeddygon Deufor Vets in Pwllheli were quick to react and Willow’s owner praised staff for their “prompt action” in saving her pet.

She shared the news on Facebook to warn fellow walkers, and prompted others to report sighting of adders in the Abersoch area.

Many adders have been spotted in woodlands in Wales


Annette Cade)

Willow was placed on a drip overnight



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One couple, Peter and Annette Cade, recalled a near miss with the snakes as they walked across the headland between Porth Ceiriad and Hell’s Mouth.

Annette said: “Peter would have trodden on it, had I not been with him and alerted him.

“It was very still and well camouflaged. Actually curled up like a cow pat. I can see why inquisitive dogs can get bitten by them.”

The adder is the UK’s only native venomous snake, and bites usually occur when it is disturbed or antagonised.

Death from adder bites is extremely rare in humans but they can be dangerous to pets.

Animals with suspected adder bites should be kept quiet and be examined by a vet as soon as possible.

Adders prefer open habitats such as health land, moorland and woodland, where they can hunt small mammals and lizards.

Adder snakes are only dangerous once disturbed


Getty Images)

The RSPCA said snakes are extremely shy creatures and will usually move away from any disturbance.

The animal charity urged people not to approach them and said they are best enjoyed “from a distance”.

One walker said they are not uncommon on southern Pen Llŷn this time of year, when they often emerge from hibernation to sunbathe near paths.

He said: “I was struck by a small adder early one morning but I think I had accidentally kicked it. It struck my boot sock and got its teeth tangled….we both panicked!”

Another adder was spotted on the coastal path between Llanbedrog and Pwllheli, and two were seen near Fach Farm Caravan Park, Abersoch.

As temperatures rise at night, adders tend to become more mobile and so are more able to avoid dogs and people.

But another local dog walker added: “It’s always a worry – I keep mine on lead on headland and stamp my feet while walking.”

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