Dog owners warned to watch out for venomous snakes as Cocker Spaniel bitten in County Durham

Dog owners are being warned to be careful in moorland areas of County Durham as venomous adder snakes could attack Credit: Castle Veterinary Surgeons

Dog owners in the region are being warned to be careful when walking their dogs, as adder snakes start emerging from hibernation.

The warning comes from a County Durham vets after a cocker spaniel called 'Mags' was brought into them with a snake bite to the face.

Adders are the only venomous snake in the UK and are grey or reddish-brown, with a dark zig-zag stripe down their back.

Castle Vets in Barnard Castle posted on their Facebook page asking people to take care when walking their dogs in "woodland, moorland and grasslands."

Katherine Cooper a nurse at the surgery said "During the summer months we see them where the weather is warmer. You don't normally see them until May or June but the warmer weather seems to have brought them out earlier than normal. We're mainly seeing them (the adders) in the Bowes area."

For those who regularly walk in areas of grass or moorland areas, Katherine's best piece of advice is "just avoid it."

She said "while adders are generally quite settled unless you aggravate them, try and keep your dogs on a lead, as they often investigate new things which could provoke an attack."

Katherine continued "if this happens seek veterinary attention, as they can provide anti-venom which will slow the process down."