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Dogs at risk from snakebites, warns PDSA
Cookie
Cookie's face swelled within minutes of being bitten.

Recent prolonged sunny spells could mean that snakebites are more common

The PDSA is urging dog owners to beware of snakes in woods and grassland after saving the life of greyhound Cookie, who was bitten on Cannock Chase in Staffordshire. The eight-year-old dog is now recovering after a near-fatal encounter with an adder at the popular beauty spot.

Owner Lynn Pallatina said: "I didn't know what had happened to Cookie at first, she was sniffing around and then jumped back suddenly.
I saw the end of a snake but I didn’t think she’d actually been bitten – I thought they tended to stay away from people and other animals.  But then she just lay down on the ground, opening and closing her mouth and within three minutes her face had started to swell badly so I knew something was wrong. I took her straight to PDSA and they asked if it was possible Cookie had been bitten by something, it was only then that it clicked it may have been the adder.”

Kay Brough, head nurse at Wolverhampton PDSA said:  "Adder bites to dogs are thankfully quite rare but when seen they are usually on the face or limbs, most likely as a result of the snake attacking in self-defence after being disturbed by an inquisitive dogs.

"The venom causes severe, rapid swelling and two small puncture wounds may be visible at the centre. The dog can also show signs of acute pain and may appear nervous or apprehensive. If not treated it can cause them to collapse and can even be fatal. Any owner noticing these symptoms should call their vet immediately for advice. Do not touch the wound, as this can spread the venom further."

She goes on to advise that if you do see an adder, do not try to approach it or photograph it. "The venom is toxic to humans too, although it isn't usually fatal due to our larger size. Keep your distance and put your dog on a lead immediately."

PDSA is the UK's leading veterinary charity, providing free treatment for the sick and injured pets of eligible owners in need. The charity receives no government or national lottery funding for its PetAid services, relying entirely on generous public support. For more information visit www.pdsa.org.uk.

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Stephen Fry lends voice to frog conservation film

News Story 1
 Comedian and author Stephen Fry has lent his voice to a new animation that hopes to raise awareness of deadly ranavirus, which is threatening the UK’s frogs.

Research by ZSL, who created the short film, suggests that at least 20 per cent of ranavirus cases over the past three decades, could be attributed to human introductions. This includes pond owners introducing fish, frog spawn and plants from other environments.

Amphibian disease expert Dr Stephen Price said: “People can help stop the spread by avoiding moving potentially infected material such as spawn, tadpoles, pond water and plants into their own pond. Disinfecting footwear or pond nets before using them elsewhere will also help.” 

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News Shorts
Scotland to fund OV training

The Scottish Government has revealed it will fund training for new Official Veterinarians (OVs), covering the Essential Skills, Statutory Surveillance and TB Testing.

Funding will also be provided for the revalidation of Essential Skills, as well as TB Testing for existing OVs. This is the second round of financial support from the Scottish Government for OVs.

BVA president Simon Doherty said he is “delighted” with the announcement.

“Official Veterinarians’ work in safeguarding animal health and welfare and ensuring food safety is invaluable,” he added. “This announcement has come at a crucial time, with Brexit and an uncertain future ahead, the role of OVs will be more important than ever in enabling the UK’s trade in animal products.