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snakes and dogs


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i am hoping to take my dog to france to take up permanent residence in the near future.  while i was at our french property a couple of weeks ago, i took a walk on our land and disturbed a snake.  the snake was about 18 inches long but, as my knowledge of snakes is less than negligible, i have no idea what sort of snake it was and, more importantly, whether it was poisonous

i am now a bit nervous for my dog.  she is full of curiosity and may well go after any snakes she sees.  does anybody know anything about what to do should a dog get bitten by a snake?  is there any sort of antidote that one should have on hand?

help!  i am new to dog-ownership and certainly unused to snakes

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Should dog (or other animal) be bitten by a venomous snake ( an Asp viper in Charente or Charente Maritime), the first symptoms that you will normally be aware of are swelling where the bite was located, lethargy and an appearance of being under the weather, and in some instances fitting or unconsciousness, which could last a few minutes or continue. The bite itself is not often easy to see, even when the fur is removed, but you should be looking for two pin p r i c k holes close together.

What you should be doing is getting the animal to the vets without delay, although in practise there is very little treatment that the vet can offer, but that little can make the difference. Many cats and dogs, horses and cows etc probably receive the odd bite that goes unnoticed, and 99 times out of 100 the creature is fine after a few days and returns to normal. Anti venom is rarely used, it can be more risky than leaving things alone, and this is frequently the same for humans.

More on snakes in France here, also a photo of an Asp viper bite on a dog.




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how kind of you to reply so promptly and what a wonderful mine of information you are!  i will study carefully the details on the website you have provided

i don't think the snake i saw was an asp viper; for one thing, it wasn't thick enough.  it probably was just a harmless common old garden snake that had it's basking disturbed by me.

 i am greatly reassured by the information you have provided.  nothing like ignorance to make one truly fearful!

many thanks, indeed, chris

best regards

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