A SENIOR vet is urging all dog owners to be on guard after national reports of pets being bitten by poisonous adders.

Alan Hutchinson, the acting co-clinical director at Moor Cottage Veterinary Hospital in Binfield has issued the warning following a number of attacks on dogs across the country.

Adders, which are the Uk's only native poisonous snakes hibernate over the winter and emerge during the spring. After all the warmer weather the snakes are beginning to make an appearance in green spaces.

As a result, Alan is encouraging dog owners to be aware of the potential dangers and what they should do if their pet has been bitten.

He said: “We have started to see reports of adder bites on dogs in other areas over the past couple of weeks. Adders generally hibernate from October to April, waking up when the weather warms up and they can bask in the sun.

“They only tend to bite in self-defence, for instance when they are stepped on accidentally or disturbed by an inquisitive dog but when they do, bites can be dangerous as they can induce lameness, vomiting and changes to the heart beat, blood pressure and breathing rate. “

Mr Hutchinson believes that if a dog has been beaten it needs to be treated as quickly as possible.

He added: “Visually, bites typically result in swelling which is dark in colour and which can quickly become severe. If your dog has been bitten by an adder you should seek veterinary attention as soon as possible. We will treat the dog for shock and swelling, as well as administering anti-venom where appropriate.”

For more information about the veterinary hospital, which has served the community for more than 50 years, visit: www.bracknellvets.co.uk.