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Adder warning as six bitten dogs given life-saving treatment

Dog walkers have been warned about biting adders after the hot spell has brought Britain’s only poisonous snake out of hibernation.

Six dogs in five days in the West Country have been given life-saving treatment after being bitten.

Hattie Algar, a nurse at Penmellyn Vet Group in Cornwall, said:

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“Keep your dog on a lead, especially if you’re walking in sand dunes or grassland.

“Keep your eyes to the ground and if you do see any black and white snakes do give them a very wide berth.

“More adders have been spotted basking in the sun on popular clifftop paths near Kynance Cove on The Lizard peninsula, owned by the National Trust, at the far tip of Cornwall.”

An adder is about 12 to 18 inches long and packs a powerful punch with its venomous bite.

The biggest danger is to pets, small children, and elderly people.

Cornwall and Isles of Scilly coastguards said:

“The National Trust rangers out near Kynance Cove and some other local agencies have reported that adders have woken up and have been seen enjoying the sunshine.

“If you think you have been bitten by a snake out on the coast path and need medical help, call 999 and ask for immediate help.

“Telling the doctor, the colour and pattern of the snake that bit you could help them treat it.

“Adders are grey or reddish-brown, with a dark zig-zag shaped stripe down their back.”

The Reptile and Amphibian Conservation Trust says there are 14 recorded human deaths from adder bites since 1876.

However, between 50 and 100 people are bitten each year.

 

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