Salo was lying on the lawn when my daughter Rell came home from work & sat in the garden in the sun. Salo got up and pawed at her which she thought was unusual, then he came in and sat on the sofa behind me (I hadn't noticed as I was busy on my computer). Rell had already been alerted by the pawing so came in and checked him and said "Mummy something's wrong with Salo' - I looked and he seemed vacant and panting hard - I couldn't see anything else physically wrong so continued what I was doing for a minute. Rell went out and got a drink and came back and said 'no Mummy something's really wrong with him' - I looked and his face was beginning to swell, bee or wasp sting was my first thought and he just seemed really 'strange'. I ran into the kitchen to grab an antihistamine which he wouldn't take. In the end I had to chuck it down his throat, his face was really swelling now and his eyes closing. This isn't what usually happens when a dog gets stung! I ran for Rory and rang the vet, Salo is now lying unconscious on the sofa - it all happened so quickly.
We carried Salo to the car & rushed to the vet, by now his body was feeling hard, his face was getting bigger and bigger and he was conscious but 'out of it'. By the time he got into the consult room you could see two fang marks on his muzzle about a cm from his nose and discharge was coming out his nose. No doubt about it, adder bite! - the incredible thing was that he had been lying under our garden table and chairs - there are places in our garden where one might expect to find a snake basking in the sun, but seriously not on the short grass of our immediate lawn! The vet put him on an anti venom drip and I went home to wait it out. I managed to avoid Googling adder bites, just didn't want to scare myself stupid, but it was a very nerve wracking time. I'm delighted to say that the vet rang over an hour later to say he was responding well & that his heart rate had fallen from 100 bpm to 70 bpm and his temp fallen from 39 to normal 37 and that he was responding to attention & sitting up in his crate. He was discharged with a catheter in his wrist in case he needs to go to Vets Now during the night.
His face is soooo swollen, even his neck - he is a very very lucky doggy that it was spotted so promptly (thank you Rell!!), from bite to drip was no more than 30 minutes. Rell just might have saved his life as bites to the face can be lethal if it affects the airway, snakes usually bite the feet. Another lucky thing, our vets keep the anti venom in stock - not every vet does, so well worth always knowing which vets in your area do (especially if you are on holiday with your dog!). My vet has already seen six bite cases this summer and has dealt with fatalities in the past. Indeed when I took Sisko to Vets Now last month with her split toe nail, there was a dog there being discharged with a tennis ball sized lump on her throat through an adder bite - that must have been terrifying. Another thing to think about - the anti venom serum costs in the region of £500! This is going to be another very expensive incident - thank doG for insurance but if you don't have insurance, definitely worth having some savings behind you for just such an emergency!
Salo is still very groggy and has slept since getting him home. He did eat his dinner and played with the puppies for five minutes and then crashed again. I will be monitoring him throughout the night and will be giving him another ultra strong painkiller after midnight. Back to the vets in the morning to be checked over - they have already told me that it could take several days for the swelling to go down.