Adder bites and antitoxin

As spring comes back around, the chance of being confronted with a patient who was bitten by an adder snake (Vipera berus) rockets.

In a retrospective study by the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS), most bites occurred between April and July. Although reports from the south of England were more common, adder bites can be seen throughout Britain. 87% developed signs within 12 hours. Most common findings were face and limb oedema and about two-thirds of dogs developed local and systemic signs (incl. lethargy, depression, hyperthermia and tachycardia). Mortality was low (4.6% died) and antivenom use appeared to significantly reduce duration of oedema.

Vets Now has teamed up with the Veterinary Poisons Information Service to bring you the potentially lifesaving Tox Box 24 hour veterinary poisons antidote service.

This service gives veterinary practices 24 hour access to drugs used in the emergency treatment of poisoning that they are most likely to need, but least likely to stock. Specific drugs and products used to treat poisoning are kept in stock at our referral centres and selected Vets Now clinics and host practices across the UK. These treatments are supplied at cost, plus a small handling fee.