Parents and dog owners have been put on alert for venomous snakes across north west Wales after multiple sightings on beaches. Adders are more likely to bite as warm weather approaches and the snakes emerge from hibernation.It comes after an unconfirmed report of a dog being bitten at Newborough, Anglesey.
Walkers have also reported multiple sightings of adders on the Llŷn Peninsula, another location where snakes can be regularly spotted.
Sharing a warning on social media on Bank Holiday Monday was Deana Brown, who came across an adder slithering across the beach at Porth Neigwl on the Llŷn Peninsula.
Her teenage grandson, Charlie Mullard, grabbed a photo and filmed the snake as it headed back towards the dunes.
“Hopefully it can stop a dog or a child being bitten,” said Deana. “Just be careful.”
Adders are Britain’s only venomous snake but they rarely bite, preferring to avoid confrontation with people. Being more inquisitive, dogs can be more vulnerable.Adders rarely venture onto beaches but in 2021 one was filmed swimming off the Anglesey coast near Rhosneigr.
In 2021 a dog bitten in Rhosneigr, Anglesey, needed veterinary treatment and last year a Springer Spaniel was rushed to the vets after being attacked on a path above Porth Neigwl beach.Others go unreported and, for vets, spring can be a busy time for adder bites.
Across the UK, around 100 dogs are bitten by adders each year and, while few are fatal, the effects can be severe and incidents should be treated as an emergency.
What to do if your dog is bitten by a snake
If you suspect an adder bite, carry your dog to your car to reduce the circulation of venom in its bloodstream. Symptoms include swelling - usually the face or leg – drooling, vomiting, lethargy and breathing difficulties. Two small puncture wounds may be visible.
In Britain there hasn’t been a human snakebite fatality since 1975, when a five-year-old boy was bitten in Scotland.
In the 25 years prior to 1975, when 61 people died from bee or wasp stings, there was just one snakebite death in England and Wales.