Raven the Weimaraner saved by emergency vets in Ipswich after snake bite

A dog bitten by an adder while on a heathland walk took nearly a week to recover after the snake’s venom caused her face to swell up enormously.

But brave Raven didn’t seem too bothered by her injuries and continued to wag her tail after being rushed to Vets Now in Ipswich for emergency treatment. The 18-month-old Weimaraner had been walking with her owner Caz Terrell near their home in Woodbridge, Suffolk, when she encountered the snake.

But Caz, 45, was oblivious to what had happened as she walked Raven and her three other long-haired Weimaraners. It wasn’t until hours later when Raven’s face ballooned that she realised they needed a vet, fast.

Image of a dog bitten by adder for Vets Now article on adder bites in dogs
Raven's face was badly swollen following her encounter with an adder

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“I didn’t hear a yelp or anything”, said Caz. “I was out for an hour and a half at Sutton Heath with my four dogs and when we came back Raven was a bit quiet.

“I knew she was due to come into season so thought it might have been something to do with that, but three hours later her face was just huge. I knew straight away we had to get to the vets.”

Raven was rushed to Vets Now in Ipswich which provides emergency out-of-hours care for pets in the area. But with no obvious wound, it was unclear what had caused the swelling – until some of the fur on her muzzle was shaved and a tell-tale puncture wound was revealed.

Raven was given painkillers as well as intravenous fluids and anti-inflammatory and antihistamine medicines and was kept overnight at Vets Now before spending a further two nights at her local vet.

Caz said: “Raven did not need any anti-venom treatment, She fought the poison herself – bless her – she is only young and such a strong girl. It was very worrying for me. I have come across most things in my time breeding these dogs, but I’ve never had to deal with a snake bite.

“As it was on the muzzle there was a worry it could affect her breathing and if the snake had got her tongue that could have been curtains. It was very worrying. I didn’t get much sleep that week,” added Caz, a former police community support officer (PCSO) who is planning to open her own kennels soon.

Image of Raven the dog who was bitten by an adder for Vets Now article on adder bite dog uk
Raven was given painkillers as well as intravenous fluids and anti-inflammatory and antihistamine medicines

Clare-Marie Carter, who is the principal nurse manager at the Vets Now clinic in Ipswich, was full of praise for Raven.

She said: “She didn’t seem bothered by the fact her face was so swollen. She still cuddled up to us and enjoyed her bowls of chicken. We get a lot of snake bites in this area and stock anti-venom, but it can cause a reaction so we don’t use it unless absolutely necessary. Raven did well to battle through and deal with it herself. It’s great to hear she’s now fully recovered from her ordeal.”

The Vets Now clinic in Ipswich – where Raven received treatment – was recently rated as “outstanding” in the delivery of emergency and critical care by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons. It’s one of 59 Vets Now clinics and pet emergency hospitals across the UK that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends and bank holidays, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.

All of Vets Now’s premises have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times. Vets Now has teamed up with VPIS to provide vets with the potentially lifesaving Tox Box poison antidote service. It gives veterinary practices 24-hour-a-day access to the drugs needed to treat serious cases of poisoning.