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Hi, this is our first summer time here and next door has spotted vipers in his garden!  We keep ours close cut although have loads of trees that the dogs root around in.  If one is bitten how will I know and should I ring the vet straight away?  Is it usually fatal?

I've just bought some snake repellant spray and see how that works -- haven't seen any in our garden yet I have to say.

Any comments welcome.  Thanks.

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No gold stars for guessing where you come from WoolyB.....!

Haven't seen any adders this year. They love to find somewhere cool and damp when it's hot. They only want to be left in peace..... Someone in our village got bitten when he was a child - and lived to tell the tale. He said it was pretty painful and still has the scars on his foot !

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and the local french neighbours are saying this is a particularly bad year for them, good breeding weather apparently!

Well you can tell the locals from me that is a load of nonsense, not a speck of truth in it.

Still, I suppose they make you laugh as long as you don't get taken in by them.

Chris


 

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I hope you don't mind me borrowing the thread for a mo.........

Chris- what snakes are my cats likely to come across in the Suisse Normande???? ( it's their first time out there next week)

Also - as the OP asked.....what do I do if one of them is bitten???

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I assume that you are only interested in what venomous snakes are in that region, in which case there are definitely common adders and it's likely that there are some Asp vipers although you are around their northern limit. Infection is more of a problem really and if it's a cat or dog you should take them to the vets. A cat or a dog will rarely die following a bite from either species, in fact their prey rarely dies from the venom, it just becomes debilitated which allows the snake time to find it by following the scent and then eat it.

Chris

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If You Are Bitten By A Snake

  1. If the snake is still in the area, do not attempt to kill or catch it, unless it poses a danger to you or the victim. Try to remember what it looks like so you can identify the type of snake from pictures in the emergency room. 

  2. Remove all items that may restrict circulation in the affected extremity:  watches, bracelets, rings, gloves, or shoes may pose a problem as the bite area swells. 

  3. Immobilize the affected area as much as possible. Attempt to keep the bite at or slightly below the level of the head. 

  4. If swelling occurs rapidly, place a 1-inch-wide constricting band about 2 inches above the bite. This is not a tourniquet and should not fit so tightly you cannot easily slip a finger under it. Do not place a constricting band on a joint. 

  5. Attempt to keep the victim from moving rapidly about while transporting him/her to the nearest emergency medical facility as quickly as possible. 

  6. Note: 

a. Do not give the victim anything to eat or drink, particularly alcohol;
b. Do not place the affected area in ice;

c. Do not make any cuts or apply suction to the area;

d. Do not attempt to give antivenom; or

e. Do not administer pain or anti-anxiety medications 

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[quote user="writersblock"]I've just bought some snake repellant spray and see how that works -- haven't seen any in our garden yet I have to say.
[/quote]

I'm VERY interested in buying snake repellant , where did you find it? How much was it ? what is the surface you can cover with it ?

You all seem to like them so.....  keep them in your gardens please !!! [Www]...[:)] ...[;-)]

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I was also told by my neighbours that there was a lot of snakes at the moment in my area, when I was there last week, what would I find in my area Chris ? 30km ish north of Carcassonne but high up in the Montage Noir. My neighbour ran out when she saw me set off for a walk with a forked ended stick to push the snakes away.... But sadley I didnt see any... although got a fright from a bit of bicycle tyre on the verge, I thought blimey thats a big buggar ..... for just one moment [blink] 
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Viperine snake, (ponds and rivers - harmless).  Grass snake, (often in or near water - harmless). Western whip snake - harmless.  Aesculapian snake - harmless.  Possibly Ladder snake - harmless.  Southern smooth snake - harmless.  Smooth snake - harmless.  Asp viper - venomous but not life threatening.

There is no evidence that snake populations are increasing, in fact there is evidence to the contrary, all snakes in France have seen a reduction in population numbers for a combination of reasons. Discarded bicycle tyres on the other hand have seen some increases in numbers in certain regions. I was out all day today in perfect snake territory and all I saw in the reptile department was a few green lizards although there were some other highlights that made the day interesting.

Chris

 

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Thanks for that Chris, I have my camera for ever ready in hope. I did get a nice pice of a very bright green beetle with red edging, and saw loads of large lime green lizards but they were to fast for me.

I have my eyes on springs when I out there I see so much. For me the red squirrels make my trips worthwhile.

The reason the french lady told me for the large amount of snakes out at the mo ( if i understood her correctly) was as it had been so wet and on those few days very hot , they liked the steam bath effect and it brought them all out , could there be any truth in that ?    

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I have to admit that I'm actually looking forward to seeing a snake ............. ( I think I'd prefer to see it in a neighbours garden though in reality!!!!)

We have some very large boulders in our area- I think they were dumped during an Ice Age melt- and the farmers have relocated them into huge piles in the fields.

We have a smallish pile in our garden,and they look perfect for snakes to curl up and hide/overwnter in.

Strange feeling....sort of want to see them....and then prefer not to!! ( talk about being brought up in a temperate zone with a wasp being the scaryest thing to look out for!!!!![:-))])

Bit worried for the cats though.....hope mother nature kicks in with flight mode rather than attack mode!!

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Chris - I have just bought a house in the S. Correze and  I have quite a lot of trees. Any likelihood of snakes being up in the trees?  In the past 2 weeks I've seen 3 snakes over a metre long dead on the road - Zac
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For the original poster, it says that if your dog has been bitten by a vipère, take him to the vet within and hour if possible and keep him as calm and quiet as possible.  Carry him rather than letting him walk or run, to avoid accelerating the heart and spreading the poison in the body.

 

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The first year we lived here (Herault) we had an Asp Viper (black) in our front room.  It had been a rainy day and they come down from the local castle when it rains.  Being half asleep, I picked it up and threw it out of the door.  Not seen any more asp vipers but plenty of other snakes whilst out walking, but they tend to slither off before you get too near.  I must say though, the viper was calm when near my wife, but although I was half asleep it took quite an objection to me (starting hissing and looking aggressive) when I neared it.  The day after I invested in one of the bite kits from the local pharmacy:).  We get more black scorpions in the house than anything else, along with our winter visitor (who seems to have moved out for now) who we believe is a stone marten.

I think one of my favourite locals has to be the preying mantis, they just look like aliens:)

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  • 1 month later...

We intend taking our dog - English Pointer - when we go to our house in Bearn (64) at the end of the month. Being only 16 months old he has loads of energy, is an 'outdoor dog' as well as very curious and will no doubt rummage around in the garden most of the time. When there last month our neighbour said he'd seen a 'vipere' whilst he was cutting our grass - everyone has been / is friendly and helpful - and although we intend to keep grass etc short, we would appreciate any info upon types of snakes likey to be encountered? Reading the rest of this thread a trip to the vet is necessary if he gets bitten -and the doctors if we do.

Checking the water meter in its hole in the concrete as we left, I'm sure that there was a discarded snake skin - or a very long / thin leaf - which wasn't there a couple of days earlier. Is this likely at the end of June? 

Dessie Dog   

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Here's a couple of good sites below (especially 'Planet Passion') that identify various reptiles.

I've recently moved into a new place with lots of land, which had long grass, and many types of lizards, but mainly Common Wall Lizards and Green Lizards, plus Western Whip snakes. I and the dog had a head to head with a meter plus WWS on the driveway and I was amazed how fast it slithered up the wall of the house. It soon came back down when one of my kids came to the window to see what the commotion was about. Another head to head (it was half a meter away), the dog stayed perfectly still and quiet and the snake slithered away across the driveway. No problems, as long as you don't irritate them.

A French neighbour told me that the Western Whip snakes keep the vipers away, but if you want the WWS to move along, then find yourself some hedgehogs!!! I think I'll leave it as it is for the moment and keep the grass short.

Re the shedding of skins I also found one, which was off the WWS.

Re the lizards, my neighbour again tells me that the Green Lizard if cornered will bite you; say on your finger, and is reluctant to let go. But they are beautiful to look at.

Hope this helps you - Zac

www.reptilesamphibians.suite101.com/article.cfm/venomous_french_snakes;

www.planetepassion.com/SPECIES%20FACT%20SHEETS/SNAKES/Couleuvre_verte_et_jaune.htm

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