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Deadly snake bite triggers pet owner warning

Dog dies following a snake bite
© Pixabay

A nine-year-old German Shepherd dies due to sepsis following a snake bite at Kirkintilloch. His devastated family has now issued a warning to other Scottish dog owners.

By Dawn Parrish, 12 Jun 2019

The dog was bitten last week, while out walking near the football pitch at Waterside village. The dog’s owner, Jim McKnight, reported that the dog died from sepsis following an adder bite. They assume the dog was bitten as it was being walked in a field. Unfortunately, the owners waited a couple of days before they got the dog to the vet’s surgery for treatment.

Local vets in Kirkintilloch report an increase in snake bites

A local dog walking business, McMutts, posted the news on social media, as a warning alert to other dog owners in the region. Adders are generally spotted in this region in the countryside, but not in the more urban locations around town. The Scottish SPCA have issued an alert to make dog walkers aware of the dangers, and to be vigilant at all times.

Dangerous adders can give an aggressive snake bite

Although it’s a protected species in the UK, the European Viper, (Vipera berus) or adder, is a truly venomous snake. Although not generally aggressive, if they are disturbed or trodden on, they can certainly give out a nasty bite as a form of defence. The majority of snake bites take place between the months of April to July, when the adders are most active.

Important points to recognise:

No 1. Adders are most commonly found in long grass, rocky hillsides, and moorland locations

No 2. If your dog does suffer a snake bite, don’t panic. Keep him as calm as possible and seek veterinary help

No 3. After a snake bite, carry your dog if possible, to prevent the poison travelling further around his body

No 4. You may notice puncture wounds, bleeding, bruising, signs of pain and lameness

No 5. A large number of dogs will recover from a snake bite, with appropriate medical treatment.

Please be extra vigilant if walking your dog in any outdoors location, particularly around the Waterside area of Kirkintilloch.