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Snake Bites
Treatment of adder bites in dogs
  1. Nicola S. Bates and
  2. David A. Warrell
  1. Veterinary Poisons Information Service, Medical Toxicology and Information Services, Guy's Hospital, 13 Mary Sheridan House, London SE1 9RY
  2. Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, Oxford OX3 9DU
  1. e-mail: nicola.bates{at}

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IN 2011, the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS) reviewed 422 telephone inquiries concerning dogs with adder (Vipera berus) bites received between 1985 and 2010 (Sutton and others 2011). European adder antivenom was used in 56 per cent of cases, steroids in 51 per cent, antibiotics in 56 per cent and antihistamines in 20 per cent. Among dogs treated with antivenom, case fatality was slightly lower than in the rest (0.3 per cent versus 0.5 per cent, though not statistically significant) and swelling resolved more rapidly (47 hours on average versus 94 hours). Although antivenom is not required for the management of every case of adder bite, it is usually recommended for potentially serious cases, …

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