Adder warning after deaf spaniel dog bitten
A deaf dog's "excessive curiosity" got him into trouble when he was bitten by a venomous snake.
Spaniel Toby, aged 13, could not hear his owner's warnings as he went chasing after an adder in Newmarket, Suffolk.
The dog was bitten and rushed to specialist vets in Cambridgeshire with severe facial swelling. Toby needed four days of care before recovering.
Staff at the vets warned dog owners to be aware of adders, which can be fatal to dogs.
The snakes vary in length from 40cm (16in) to 70cm (28in) and can be distinguished from other non-poisonous native species by the zig-zag pattern on their back, or V or X-shaped markings on their heads.
They tend to wake up after hibernation in the spring.
Toby's run-in with the adder happened earlier this month while he was being exercised on Cavenham Heath.
Although his owner tried to stop Toby from playing with the adder he could not hear the warnings and was bitten on the face.
Luckily his owner saw the snake bite, which requires immediate treatment to reduce the chances of the venom entering the lymphatic and circulatory system.
"The most important factor in a dog's response to an adder bite is rapid and appropriate treatment," a spokeswoman from Six Mile Bottom-based specialists Dick White Referrals, said.
"Signs of an adder bite usually appear within two hours and can include local swelling, pain, bleeding and lameness."
Pets should also be carried as walking would encourage the venom into the circulatory system.
While anti-venom might be needed, Toby was fortunate and could be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs.
After four days of care his facial swelling reduced and he returned home where he is expected to return to full health.
The veterinary specialists said there are about 100 adder bites to dogs reported each year in the UK.