The Telegraph has reported that dogs are currently at risk of life-threatening adder bites as the warm weather has coaxed them out of hibernation.
Apparently, 6 pet dogs in the SW have been given life-saving emergency treatment in 5 days, after being bit by adders they inadvertently distrubed.
Dog walkers are reminded to keep their pets on leads in sand dunes or grassland.
Adders are the only venomous snakes in the UK. They can be distinguished from other, non-poisonous snakes, like the grass snake and slow worm, by the zigzag pattern on their back and V- or X-shaped markings on their head.
They only attack if in self-defence and usually a bitten dog will show 2 small puncture wounds, swelling, limping, yelping, lethargy, inflammation and probably bleeding. Venom is usually injected into the face or forelimbs.
Veterinary help is needed as they have the appropriate treatment.