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My dog has been bitten by a viper: how should I react?

A dog that is running around in the wild is very exposed to the risk of being bitten by a viper. This is also common in the garden, especially from early spring until the arrival of autumn. The venom of this snake being deadly, it is fundamental to act as quickly as possible to preserve your pet.

Dog bitten by a viper: the risks

The viper is a poisonous snake. Its venom contains toxic substances that cause inflammation. The consequences can be neurological disorders and tissue necrosis. It is therefore important to act quickly by using the right gestures.

Viper bite: identifying the signs

At the slightest doubt, try to locate the bite marks left by the viper most often on the dog's legs or on its head. These are two red dots no more than a centimeter apart. They correspond to the impact of the two hooks of the snake.

As for the symptoms that a dog bitten by a viper, they are as follows:
  • Significant pain, instantly felt as soon as the bite is made,
  • An edema in the affected area, which occurs within half an hour at most after the bite.
  • High temperature,
  • Diarrhea,
  • Unexplained fatigue,
  • Vomiting,
  • Breathing difficulties,
  • A convulsive state,
  • A paralysis.
  • Blood in the urine,
  • Bloody stools,
  • A dysfunction of the organs,
  • Kidney failure,
  • Massive destruction of leukocytes (white blood cells).
These different manifestations appear at the latest within three hours after the bite. In the absence of veterinary care, the dog's vital prognosis is engaged. In the following days, the owner may notice small reddish-violet spots on the skin (called purpura or petechiae). These are signs of subcutaneous infiltration of blood. The dog may also have :

All these signs justify an emergency consultation.

Dog bitten by a viper: Action should be taken without delay.

While waiting to show his dog to a veterinarian, or to take him to the nearest veterinary clinic, the owner must :
  • Immobilize the dog's leg, as it should move as little as possible. This will limit the rapid spread of venom throughout the animal's body and thus aggravate its health.
  • Disinfect the area affected by the snake bite with a dog disinfectant only, which excludes 90° alcohol, eosin, ether.
  • Put an ice pack on the bite to soothe the pain.
And contrary to popular belief :
  • We banish the tourniquet,
  • The venom must not be sucked up by any means,
  • The wound should never be incised as this increases the risk of infection.
Be careful to take certain precautions when intervening, because a dog in pain can even bite its master. On the other hand, you must try to be calm so as not to lose time and be able to reassure your animal, who must remain as calm as possible.