Dog Survives Adder Bite During Easter Getaway Beach Walk

by Lisa

Lucy Crawford, while visiting her parents in Beaminster for a getaway, had an unexpected trip to the emergency veterinary clinic with her dog Willow.

Recalling the incident, Mrs. Crawford shared, “My husband and I, along with our two sons aged 20 and 21, brought our two golden working cocker spaniels, Calico and her three-year-old daughter Willow, for the Easter break.”


Their outing took a turn during a walk at West Bexington when Willow was struck by an adder.


“When they arrived home, she didn’t eat her food, and I noticed a large swelling under her chin and on the side of her face,” Mrs. Crawford recounted. Initially, the family suspected Willow had swallowed a fish hook from the beach.


However, upon visiting the emergency vet in Dorchester, it was suspected that Willow had been bitten by an adder, despite the belief that adders were unlikely to be present in that location so early in the season.


The vet’s examination revealed a puncture mark, though typically adder bites leave two. Despite the uncertainty, Willow was prescribed pain relief and anti-inflammatory medication.

“After some pain relief, the pup began to eat well and seemed to be improving,” Mrs. Crawford said. The vet advised against administering anti-venom unless absolutely necessary due to the associated risks.

Reflecting on the incident, Mrs. Crawford warned fellow dog owners, “I would advise anyone walking their dog at Cogden or West Bexington to keep them well away from the vegetation at the edge of the beach.”

Despite the ordeal, Willow has made a good recovery, albeit with some bruising and swelling. Mrs. Crawford emphasized the importance of vigilance, especially early in the season when adders may be more prone to striking.


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