Warning to sssssteer clear of snakes

Jim Cutt, Honey and vet Catriona MacKinnon
Jim Cutt, Honey and vet Catriona MacKinnon

DOG owners are being warned to be on their guard after five pets were bitten by snakes within a week- three of which were on the same day.

All the dogs suffered severe swelling and bruising to their eyes, face, mouth and throat which if untreated could have proved fatal because it cuts off the airwaves.

Jim Cutt, Honey and vet Catriona Mackinnon

Jim Cutt, Honey and vet Catriona Mackinnon

Veterinary surgeon Catriona Mackinnon, from the Beck Veterinary Practice, was called out in the early hours of Thursday morning to treat one of the dogs.

She said it was unusual to have five incidents within such a short space of time and “worrying” that they were in spread out locations.

The known incidents so far were at Goathland, Ravenscar, Sneaton village campsite and a couple at Maybeck - where Jim Cutt was walking his three dogs last Tuesday when two year-old Cocker Spaniel Honey was bitten.

Jim of Beck Holme, Sleights said: “She was sniffing around on the ground like she does and suddenly she took off backwards like a cartoon character with all four legs off the ground and I saw the snake.”

By the time he got home he noticed Honey’s face was “puffy” so took her to the vet where she was given antibiotics but within an hour her head had “ballooned” so she was taken back to the practice at High Stakesby and given an anti-venom injection and has since made a full recovery.

Jim added: “I was hoping the bad weather might have knocked a few out but I have never seen so many snakes up there.

“The worrying thing is if people don’t realise what has happened. I was lucky it happened next to me.

“Normally she is in the woods and I wouldn’t have known, put her back in her kennel with the other dogs because they live outside and she would have been dead in the morning.”

Ms MacKinnon said warm weather has brought the snakes out and advised owners to keep dogs on a lead when walking in moorland, stick to the coast where there are less snakes and seek treatment immediately if a dog is bitten.

She added: “If dogs sniff a sleeping adder the reaction is to bite the dog in the face but they can get bitten anywhere.

“The quicker we administer the anti-venom the less it will spread and the less pain the dog will be in.”