Springer spaniel's genitals swell to 'size of grapefruit' after adder bite
- Credit: Catley Cross Veterinary Clinic
A springer spaniel has spent weeks in and out of the vets after it was bitten by an adder in the garden — causing his genitals to swell to "the size of a grapefruit".
Lauren Prior was cooking dinner at her home in Gosfield, near Halstead, when she noticed her British springer spaniel Billy lying on the floor after running around outside.
"He was struggling to breathe and he was shaking, he looked like he was having an epileptic fit," said Miss Prior, who has a family of three dogs which she says are "her world".
She rushed Billy, who had only just turned two, to the emergency vets in Witham where they initially thought he had been stung and prescribed him with antihistamines.
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They returned home but the following morning Miss Prior took Billy to Catley Cross Veterinary Clinic in Halstead, after realising something was still not right.
"As soon as they looked at him they said he has been bitten by a snake on his genitals," explained Miss Prior.
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"It had swollen to the size of a grapefruit, if not bigger."
Billy stayed at the vets, where he ended up needing surgery to get rid of the dead tissue which had been caused by the venom.
"They told me the adder bite was toxic and could kill him by causing organ failure," said Miss Prior.
"So I was really worried and feared he might be put down."
Billy was taken back and forth between the two vets and his home, having to be monitored overnight, but is expected to make a full recovery.
Miss Prior said the team at Catley Cross Veterinary Clinic were "amazing" and praised them for saving Billy's life.
"Billy means the world to me and I was so worried," said Miss Prior.
"I've only ever seen grass snakes in the garden, not adders.
"I really can't thank Catley Cross enough for everything they did."
Although Billy is now very wary of being in the garden, he is finally back home and is recovering well.
According to Vets4Pets adder bites are fairly rare and seem to occur between April and July, most commonly in the afternoon when they are most active.
Even though signs can be severe, 96-97% of cases survive with the appropriate treatment.