Family's shock after dog is bitten by adder

Jason Martin, pictured with his son, Jake, and Porter, the dog

Jason Martin, pictured with his son, Jake, and Porter, the dog

First published in News

A family believe a venomous snake bit, and almost killed, their pet dog in their back garden.

Sarah Martin, from Stockham Park, Wantage, found three-year-old black Labrador Porter vomiting, shaking and foaming at the mouth.

A vet later found a suspected adder bite and a lump the size of a tennis ball on his rear leg.

The incident, earlier this month, cost the family £600 in vet bills.

Mrs Martin, 40, said: “What was really scary was that it happened in the back garden.”

Her husband Jason, pictured with his son, Jake, and Porter, warned people in the area to take care, adding: “If a child was ever bitten, I would hate to be the parent to go through that.”

Adders are the only venomous snake native to the UK. They are uncommon and are usually found away from human habitation.

Christine Sanders, of the Brook Veterinary Surgery in Steventon, is convinced Porter was bitten by an adder. She said: “It could potentially have been fatal.”

The Health Protection Agency this week warned walkers about the danger from snakes in the summer.

Comments (16)

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5:20pm Mon 28 May 12

LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG says...

A vet later found a suspected adder bite and a lump the size of a tennis ball on his rear leg.

So it COULD be a snake bite, or it could be something else. I suppose a snake bite makes a better headline. It is just a shame that they couldn't spell it right. I wonder what a headline about Dido would look like if it was spelled wrongly with a L put in?
A vet later found a suspected adder bite and a lump the size of a tennis ball on his rear leg. So it COULD be a snake bite, or it could be something else. I suppose a snake bite makes a better headline. It is just a shame that they couldn't spell it right. I wonder what a headline about Dido would look like if it was spelled wrongly with a L put in? LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG
  • Score: -1

5:42pm Mon 28 May 12

Michael001 says...

I was not aware of the fact the adders can also be found in UK. These snakes are mostly found in Africa and responsible for most of the snake bite deaths. Here I would like to share a link (venomoussnakes.net/
puffadder.htm) for all those people who are interested to know more about these snakes.
I was not aware of the fact the adders can also be found in UK. These snakes are mostly found in Africa and responsible for most of the snake bite deaths. Here I would like to share a link (venomoussnakes.net/ puffadder.htm) for all those people who are interested to know more about these snakes. Michael001
  • Score: 0

6:01pm Mon 28 May 12

LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG says...

Michael001 wrote:
I was not aware of the fact the adders can also be found in UK. These snakes are mostly found in Africa and responsible for most of the snake bite deaths. Here I would like to share a link (venomoussnakes.net/

puffadder.htm) for all those people who are interested to know more about these snakes.
I used to see loads of them when I was a kid, black with white diamond things as markings. Made great targets for stone throwing practice, oh for the good old days.
[quote][p][bold]Michael001[/bold] wrote: I was not aware of the fact the adders can also be found in UK. These snakes are mostly found in Africa and responsible for most of the snake bite deaths. Here I would like to share a link (venomoussnakes.net/ puffadder.htm) for all those people who are interested to know more about these snakes.[/p][/quote]I used to see loads of them when I was a kid, black with white diamond things as markings. Made great targets for stone throwing practice, oh for the good old days. LORD PETER MACVEY 0X2 6EG
  • Score: 0

5:32pm Tue 29 May 12

JoRichards says...

Firstly I would like to point out that this is a SUSPECTED adder bite.

As Peter points out in his post - a snake bite makes a good headline. Nice and dramatic, sensationalist and alarmist.
Firstly I would like to point out that this is a SUSPECTED adder bite. As Peter points out in his post - a snake bite makes a good headline. Nice and dramatic, sensationalist and alarmist. JoRichards
  • Score: 1

5:36pm Tue 29 May 12

JoRichards says...

Secondly, what a shame it is that people who live in the UK do not understand their native wildlife. Our rare and precious native reptiles reached Britain around 8,000 years ago, before the English Channel filled, so they have been here quite some time and co-existed with humans without problem until human populations expanded and we took over wild habitats to farm and build on.

Remember, wildlife has been here as long as we have.
Secondly, what a shame it is that people who live in the UK do not understand their native wildlife. Our rare and precious native reptiles reached Britain around 8,000 years ago, before the English Channel filled, so they have been here quite some time and co-existed with humans without problem until human populations expanded and we took over wild habitats to farm and build on. Remember, wildlife has been here as long as we have. JoRichards
  • Score: 0

5:42pm Tue 29 May 12

JoRichards says...

Thirdly, and for the benefit of Michael above, the adder (vepera berus) is NOT a Puff Adder.

There are various types of adder across the world stretching as far up as the Arctic Circle. Very surprised that you did not know that adder exist in this country? Perhaps it is because they live their lives quietly, minding their own business and actually are no threat to man. They do not "attack", in fact, they do the opposite, they retreat in fear of humans and dogs and just want to be left alone. A bite is the last defence a limbless animal has to defend itself from a curious dog or antagonising human.
Thirdly, and for the benefit of Michael above, the adder (vepera berus) is NOT a Puff Adder. There are various types of adder across the world stretching as far up as the Arctic Circle. Very surprised that you did not know that adder exist in this country? Perhaps it is because they live their lives quietly, minding their own business and actually are no threat to man. They do not "attack", in fact, they do the opposite, they retreat in fear of humans and dogs and just want to be left alone. A bite is the last defence a limbless animal has to defend itself from a curious dog or antagonising human. JoRichards
  • Score: 1

5:44pm Tue 29 May 12

JoRichards says...

Now, let's put some of this in context:

190,855 people were accident victims in “natural areas” in 2002 which is the latest available year for accident statistics from RoSPA.

Among those;

5,125 were concussed / unconscious
4,235 were bone injuries
8,118 were acute over excursion
1,948 were burns
328 were injurious foreign objects
http://www.hassandla
ss.org.uk/query/Main
Selector.aspx

Around 6 people die on Britain’s roads every day http://www.rospa.com
/roadsafety/default.
aspx

“About 250,000 dog bites occur each year in the UK”.
http://www.patient.c
o.uk/health/Dog-and-
Cat-Bites.htm

“Every year in the UK more than 5,000 people die in accidents in the home and 2.7 million turn up at accident and emergency departments seeking treatment”. http://www.rospa.com
/homesafety/default.
aspx

“several hundred drowning deaths that occur every year in the UK”. http://www.rospa.com
/leisuresafety/defau
lt.aspx

“Every year in the UK we face the challenge of reducing: about 300 fatalities to workers and members of the public due to reportable accidents at work. 600-750 deaths in work-related road crashes”. http://www.rospa.com
/occupationalsafety/
default.aspx

There are an average of 15 deaths due to anaphylactic shock from various allergies each year in the UK. From: http://www.publicati
ons.parliament.uk/pa
/cm200809/cmhansrd/c
m090326/text/90326w0
022.htm
Now, let's put some of this in context: 190,855 people were accident victims in “natural areas” in 2002 which is the latest available year for accident statistics from RoSPA. Among those; 5,125 were concussed / unconscious 4,235 were bone injuries 8,118 were acute over excursion 1,948 were burns 328 were injurious foreign objects http://www.hassandla ss.org.uk/query/Main Selector.aspx Around 6 people die on Britain’s roads every day http://www.rospa.com /roadsafety/default. aspx “About 250,000 dog bites occur each year in the UK”. http://www.patient.c o.uk/health/Dog-and- Cat-Bites.htm “Every year in the UK more than 5,000 people die in accidents in the home and 2.7 million turn up at accident and emergency departments seeking treatment”. http://www.rospa.com /homesafety/default. aspx [There are] “several hundred drowning deaths that occur every year in the UK”. http://www.rospa.com /leisuresafety/defau lt.aspx “Every year in the UK we face the challenge of reducing: about 300 fatalities to workers and members of the public due to reportable accidents at work. 600-750 deaths in work-related road crashes”. http://www.rospa.com /occupationalsafety/ default.aspx There are an average of 15 deaths due to anaphylactic shock from various allergies each year in the UK. From: http://www.publicati ons.parliament.uk/pa /cm200809/cmhansrd/c m090326/text/90326w0 022.htm JoRichards
  • Score: 0

5:50pm Tue 29 May 12

JoRichards says...

How many people have died *as a result* adder bites in the UK?

I stress *as a result* because it is believed that some of the deaths occured due to maladministration of crude, early developed, anti-venoms as they were being researched and developed - not necessarily from the actual adder bite itself.

So, how many recorded deaths?

14. SINCE 1876!

The last one being in 1975.

As pointed out above, 6 people die on roads every day in the UK, but we don't see that in the papers.

There have probably been more deaths from people falling down the stairs, making a cup of tea, or getting out of the bath.
How many people have died *as a result* adder bites in the UK? I stress *as a result* because it is believed that some of the deaths occured due to maladministration of crude, early developed, anti-venoms as they were being researched and developed - not necessarily from the actual adder bite itself. So, how many recorded deaths? 14. SINCE 1876! The last one being in 1975. As pointed out above, 6 people die on roads every day in the UK, but we don't see that in the papers. There have probably been more deaths from people falling down the stairs, making a cup of tea, or getting out of the bath. JoRichards
  • Score: 1

5:55pm Tue 29 May 12

JoRichards says...

Half of all adder bites are because people have tried to pick them up. Don't!

When walking through thick undergrowth, be sensible, wear appropriate footwear, the same as you would to avoid bee stings or brambles.

Adders do not "attack" they merely defend themselves if they feel threatened.

Adders do not inhabit every county and are in decline.

An adder is a sign of a healthy habitat. These very shy creatures are part of Britain's rich wildlife tapestry and it is a great privelidge to see and watch them. From a distance so as not to disturb them.
Half of all adder bites are because people have tried to pick them up. Don't! When walking through thick undergrowth, be sensible, wear appropriate footwear, the same as you would to avoid bee stings or brambles. Adders do not "attack" they merely defend themselves if they feel threatened. Adders do not inhabit every county and are in decline. An adder is a sign of a healthy habitat. These very shy creatures are part of Britain's rich wildlife tapestry and it is a great privelidge to see and watch them. From a distance so as not to disturb them. JoRichards
  • Score: 0

6:02pm Tue 29 May 12

JoRichards says...

IF YOU SEE AN ADDER:

If you see an Adder, make sure you give it plenty of room and do not disturb it or alarm it. If you have a dog with you it is best to carry on walking past so that your dog does not notice it and try to go and sniff it. Try and put your dog on a lead. Similarly, make sure any children or other people who are with you are aware that it is there so that they do not inadvertently step on it. Adders are very beautiful creatures and fascinating to watch but please be conscious not to disturb these very shy creatures.

An adder's first reaction will be to sit still and hope that you walk past.

Second reaction, if you are too close, will be to try and escape in the OPPOSITE direction from you back into the undergrowth.

Third reaction is to give a warning "hiss".

The fourth and final is to strike, either with a warning strike, or a strike with venom (which is a precious resource and it does not want to use up).

If the adder is being frightened by a curious dog or is stepped on, its only form of defence is to bite, remember - it has not legs or hands!

Bottom line, be sensible, give in space, walk on, distract the dog or put it on a lead until you are well past, but mostly, enjoy having seen a very special animal.
IF YOU SEE AN ADDER: If you see an Adder, make sure you give it plenty of room and do not disturb it or alarm it. If you have a dog with you it is best to carry on walking past so that your dog does not notice it and try to go and sniff it. Try and put your dog on a lead. Similarly, make sure any children or other people who are with you are aware that it is there so that they do not inadvertently step on it. Adders are very beautiful creatures and fascinating to watch but please be conscious not to disturb these very shy creatures. An adder's first reaction will be to sit still and hope that you walk past. Second reaction, if you are too close, will be to try and escape in the OPPOSITE direction from you back into the undergrowth. Third reaction is to give a warning "hiss". The fourth and final is to strike, either with a warning strike, or a strike with venom (which is a precious resource and it does not want to use up). If the adder is being frightened by a curious dog or is stepped on, its only form of defence is to bite, remember - it has not legs or hands! Bottom line, be sensible, give in space, walk on, distract the dog or put it on a lead until you are well past, but mostly, enjoy having seen a very special animal. JoRichards
  • Score: 0

6:09pm Tue 29 May 12

JoRichards says...

For a less sensationalist and more informative take on adders why not learn more about them through one of your local amphibian and reptile groups?

http://www.arguk.org
/

http://www.arc-trust
.org/

and if you are lucky enough to see any amphibians or reptiles then let your local group know.
For a less sensationalist and more informative take on adders why not learn more about them through one of your local amphibian and reptile groups? http://www.arguk.org / http://www.arc-trust .org/ and if you are lucky enough to see any amphibians or reptiles then let your local group know. JoRichards
  • Score: 0

6:12pm Tue 29 May 12

JoRichards says...

PS

With regards to "stone throwing" - that's illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

It is illegal to injure or kill adder.

One can only wonder at the mentality of wanting to harm an innocent animal quietly minding its own business.
PS With regards to "stone throwing" - that's illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It is illegal to injure or kill adder. One can only wonder at the mentality of wanting to harm an innocent animal quietly minding its own business. JoRichards
  • Score: 0

7:35pm Tue 29 May 12

L0RD PETER MACVAY ox2 6eg says...

JoRichards wrote:
PS

With regards to "stone throwing" - that's illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981.

It is illegal to injure or kill adder.

One can only wonder at the mentality of wanting to harm an innocent animal quietly minding its own business.
Jo I was going back nearly 50 years to my childhood. If I was lucky enough to see an adder nowadays, I would be in awe and hoped it didn't scuttle off before I could take a picture. No stone throwing I promise you, those days are long gone.
[quote][p][bold]JoRichards[/bold] wrote: PS With regards to "stone throwing" - that's illegal under the Wildlife and Countryside Act 1981. It is illegal to injure or kill adder. One can only wonder at the mentality of wanting to harm an innocent animal quietly minding its own business.[/p][/quote]Jo I was going back nearly 50 years to my childhood. If I was lucky enough to see an adder nowadays, I would be in awe and hoped it didn't scuttle off before I could take a picture. No stone throwing I promise you, those days are long gone. L0RD PETER MACVAY ox2 6eg
  • Score: 0

7:36pm Tue 29 May 12

Alfie Nokes says...

JoRichards, wondering at that poster's mentality is not a new thing on this site.
JoRichards, wondering at that poster's mentality is not a new thing on this site. Alfie Nokes
  • Score: 0

11:23pm Thu 31 May 12

L0RD PETER MACVAY ox2 6eg says...

Alfie Nokes wrote:
JoRichards, wondering at that poster's mentality is not a new thing on this site.
Make sure you take you meds tonight Alf.
[quote][p][bold]Alfie Nokes[/bold] wrote: JoRichards, wondering at that poster's mentality is not a new thing on this site.[/p][/quote]Make sure you take you meds tonight Alf. L0RD PETER MACVAY ox2 6eg
  • Score: 0

6:23pm Mon 4 Jun 12

L0rd Peter Macvey ox2 6eg says...

L0RD PETER MACVAY ox2 6eg wrote:
Alfie Nokes wrote:
JoRichards, wondering at that poster's mentality is not a new thing on this site.
Make sure you take you meds tonight Alf.
Sorry mate meant "her meds"
[quote][p][bold]L0RD PETER MACVAY ox2 6eg[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Alfie Nokes[/bold] wrote: JoRichards, wondering at that poster's mentality is not a new thing on this site.[/p][/quote]Make sure you take you meds tonight Alf.[/p][/quote]Sorry mate meant "her meds" L0rd Peter Macvey ox2 6eg
  • Score: 0

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