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Dangers to Look out for When Walking with Dogs in Dorset

Dave Cumber Vets have treated their first adder bite case of the year. Last year the Dave Cumber Vets had to pull out all of the stops when they were asked to treat 5 dogs which had been bitten by adders around Weymouth in a few days.

Adder bites are a medical emergency and can be fatal so dog owners need to act quickly if they think their dog has been bitten. There is usually severe swelling around the bite area and owners may see two puncture wounds. Bites around the face and throat are particularly dangerous because of the swelling.

dave cumber vets says beware of adder bites on dogs.

Top tips if bitten:

  • Try and keep the dog as calm and still as possible.
  • It is better to bring transport to the dog rather than making them walk back.
  • Go straight to your vet
  • Do not interfere with the wound or tie any sort of tourniquet because there is a danger of tissue damage around the bite.

Treatment may include:

  • anti-venom
  • anti-inflammatory drugs
  • antibiotics
  • painkillers
  • fluids

Early treatment is essential as dogs that have been bitten and not treated can go on to develop heart, kidney and liver failure over the next few days. Adders are the only poisonous snake in Britain and can be active between February and October especially during the warm summer months.  They are quite common in Dorset, favouring open rough ground, heathland and the edge of woodland.

Another danger to be aware of between November and June is Alabama Rot which seems to be associated with muddy fields. There were 40 cases last year in the UK.

Mr Cumber said “Dog owners have been warned to keep their pets away from mud this winter. We recommend that owners wash mud off their dogs when they return home and check for any small wounds especially on lower limbs and muzzle. The cause of Alabama Rot is unknown, and it affects all breeds. If it’s not spotted early it could lead to potentially fatal kidney failure, with 80% of cases leading to death within a week as the diagnosis often comes too late.”

Lastly, there is always the danger of dogs picking up something potentially toxic while out walking.

Dave Cumber said “Getting out and walking with your dog on our wonderful local beaches and countryside is a great way to keep healthy but owners should be aware of possible dangers. Recently we have had a few cases of poisoning where dogs have come into the surgery in a very poorly state due to eating something they should not have done. Owners need to get their dog checked by a vet if they notice any unusual behaviour such as vomiting, seizures or drowsiness”.

Dave Cumber Vets also has a surgery at 86, Mellstock Avenue, Dorchester.