Tiny dog left ‘unrecognisable’ to owners after near-lethal snake bite

A dog who was bitten by a poisonous snake was left "unrecognisable" as she fought for her life.

Tiny Yorkshire Terrier Chloe was bitten by an adder, the UK's only venomous snake, while on holiday with her owners in Dorset.

Moments after the serpent struck, the whimpering pooch's head began to swell to twice its normal size, with a huge black bruise spreading across her face, SurreyLive reports.

As the venom took hold, her eyes completely disappeared in to her swollen head, and she couldn't open her mouth to breathe.

Owners Ray and Denise Peck, who were in the idyllic county on holiday, initially thought that their pet had been stung by a wasp after she ran in from their rented holiday cottage's garden in distress.

Chloe, who weighs just 3kg, was followed by the couple's other dog Lily, a red setter, who was showing signs of concern.

Ray said: Ray said: “We soon realised it was much worse than a wasp sting as her head was getting bigger by the minute.

"We’ve stayed in the house before and we saw an adder in the garden last year so we realised very quickly what had happened. It’s pretty much adder central down there.

“The garden had just been cut back and we think the adder has maybe been dislodged while that work was going on.”

Chloe was rushed to Vets Now in nearby Bournemouth, where Senior nurse Catherine Rose and senior vet Natasha told the panicking pet-parents that their cherished pet may benefit from anti-venom.

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Catherine said: “In a very small number of cases, anti-venom can lead to anaphylactic seizure, which we had to talk Ray and Denise through.

“After weighing up the risks against the benefits, Ray and Denise gave us their permission to go ahead while also providing supportive treatment.

“If we hadn’t given the anti-venom then there was a chance Chloe wouldn’t have made it through, partly because she is just so little and the bite was so severe.”

After three days in animal hospital. Chloe was well enough to return to the Peck's family home in Epsom, Surrey.

Ray said: “The staff at Vets Now did a brilliant job of looking after Chloe — and Lily definitely helped out afterwards!

“They’re two totally different dogs — one little, one large — but Lily could tell something was wrong and really mothered her when she came home.

“Poor Chloe didn’t look great — her face was still black from the bruise and her fur was all shaved off so the vets could check the spot where she’d actually been bitten. It looked like the worst kind of lockdown haircut!

“But it was great to have her home and we knew she was on the mend when she was back to licking Denise on the nose.

“Then she wolfed down a dinner of chicken fillets after being totally off her food and we knew everything was fine. Lily played her part too, which was a really nice end to the story.”

Adder bites most typically happen in spring as they wake up from hibernation, with being trod on or ambushed by energetic pets most likely to trigger an attack.

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