More and more people are going through the terrible experience of losing their pet to the bite of a viper. Although this situation can occur at any time of the year, in the warm months of spring and summer the number of cases increases considerably, so we must be prepared to know how to act before this problem.
Vipers are probably the most poisonous animals that inhabit Europe. In Spain, the best known species are the adder viper and the snout viper, the first being the most lethal in this area of the continent. These reptiles measure about 25cm, have a triangle-shaped head and can be found throughout the peninsula.
Recognizing the bite of a viper
The bite of these vipers is usually very painful and can have lethal consequences if not treated in time. We can recognize this bite by two points that are separated by about 8 mm between them, unlike the snakes that leave a mark of teeth in a row.
According to the amount of venom that the viper inoculated the pet, the symptoms can be from a slight swelling in the area of the bite to a severe reaction that manifests itself with nausea and vomiting. Extreme cases can cause problems of coagulation and renal failure.
What to do before the bite of a viper?
The moment one of these snakes bites our pet, the first thing to do is to stay calm. Next, it will be necessary to determine the place where the bite occurred, with the most common area being one of the extremities. It is important to identify the site of the wound promptly.
Far from what is believed, it is not recommended to apply a tourniquet or suction the wound, it is advisable to apply cold cloths in the bite and immobilize the affected area in order to prevent the poison from spreading to other areas of the body.
Then and without losing time, we must take the pet to the veterinarian who will be able to evaluate the condition of the animal and determine the treatment that is more convenient.
Treatment to counteract the effects of the poison
The most appropriate treatment to counteract the effects of a viper’s bite is the application of antivenom serum; however, this medication is often difficult to find due to its short expiration date. Therefore, the treatment is aimed at rehydrating the patient and keeping him under observation during the following hours.
Also, the veterinarian administers anti-inflammatory, analgesic and antibiotic medications in order to counteract the effects of the inoculated venom. The results are favorable if you act quickly (within the first six hours) and if the bite has occurred far from the head area.
Although a snake’s bite may not be deadly to most people, it can mean the loss of our pet if we do not act on time. Keep calm, locate the affected area and go to the veterinarian as soon as possible, are actions that we must take to safeguard the animal’s life.