Wednesday, 17 April 2013


We had our first warm spring day yesterday, and even saw the sun come out for a few hours. Not one to take a nice day for granted, I piled all the not pregnant dogs into the truck and we drove into the middle of estate for a good run, swim, and hunt through cover. I didn't think about what else the good weather might bring out of hibernation.


Venomous snakes.

I bet you see where this is going.

We only have one species of venomous snake in Britain: the adder. They're not uncommon on the estate, but you'd have to be rather unlucky to stumble across one, and even unluckier to get this fairly docile snake to bite you.

It was Dulcie who found the snake. She must have accidentally trod on it. I never heard her yelp, and the first I knew of a problem was loading her into the truck after our walk. Her front leg was swelling rapidly. I couldn't find a puncture wound but I was pretty sure of the cause. I called the vets and told them to expect us. Again. With an injured Dulcie. Again.

So Dulcie spent the afternoon at the vets on an IV drip of fluids, antihistamines, and antibiotics. Her leg looks better this morning after treatment, but it's still twice normal size right up to the shoulder and bruised from the venom's effects on tissue.

I probably don't have to tell you which is the affected leg.

We popped back to the vets this morning and her temperature is still slightly elevated, so we'll bring her back for another check in 48 hours. As long as she's eating, drinking, and feel OK in herself, I think she's out of the woods. Which is great because 'in the woods' is where all the adders live.

With working dogs more so than pets, accidents and injuries are to be expected. I'm so grateful that we have such amazing veterinary surgeons only five miles from the estate. With Podgelets still to come, there's a better-than-average chance that we'll be visiting them again soon.


Poppy Cottage said...

Tried to leave a comment via the phone but it seem to have just disappeared. This has made me think how ignorant I am. I wouldn't have even thought of a snake bite if this had happened to Lil.

Poor Podge. Still it will be well worth the wait. The smell and the sound of a new pup. I envy you xx

janice bendixen said...

Yay for Dulcie! I wonder if she'll remember the experience and be more wary of snakes now? Waiting anxiously for news of impending arrival of Podgelets...

Seester said...

First off- 'in the woods' is where all bad things live. I learned this from fairy tales.

Secondly- shouldn't your title for the post be K9-9-9?
or the new privatized version, K-0118-999-881-999119725-3...

Can't wait for Podge puppies!

Jennifer Montero said...

Seester - I owe you for getting me hooked on the IT Crowd.

Regarding wilderness safety vis. films: You and I canoed down the Cape Fear river together without incident, and I saw a film about that going all kinds of wrong.

Jennifer Montero said...

Janice - Dulcie is so focused when she hunts, I don't think she would have even noticed something as "insignificant" as a snake bite. This is the same dog that tried to do a day's work with a torn cruciate ligament, and finished a day's work with four inches of stick impaled in her gut. I have to keep an extra vigilant eye on Dulcie to protect her from herself as she never lets me know when she's injured.

I fear it won't be our last snake bite incident this season either.

Jennifer Montero said...

PC - Vet said he had a spaniel with an adder bite this January, when there was snow on the ground (snake was in a woodpile). Maybe it's going to be a good year for the adder population because of weather changes? Lily is more sensible than any of our pack.

BilboWaggins said...

Thank Dog you have a smart vet who knows what to do and to do it fast. There was an occasional adder around when we lived in Hampshire but thankfully Ollie never got bitten. I'd like to think they don't venture this far north but I'm not sure - will have to do some research.

Healing hugs to Dulcie. Slug of brandy in the bedtime hot chocolate for you?