Adder bites

anzac

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One the Yanks I know says that the best animal to have around to control snakes is a pig. He claims they will eat poisonous snakes.

I have no clue if he's having me on or what.
 

fredaevans

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One the Yanks I know says that the best animal to have around to control snakes is a pig. He claims they will eat poisonous snakes.

I have no clue if he's having me on or what.
He's not, but not for every one/every place. Their thick skin/fat is pretty effective a deterrent for 'fang penitration.'
 

beryl

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Not read this post through but our dog got bitten last year. The antidote alone cost £450. Given the adder is common it’s surprising the antidote is so expensive? Some vets refuse to use it. Ours gave the dog three hours to make some progress but in the end it was used.
 

peanut_head75

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Newport, Shrops
In all my long years I've never seen a snake that wasn't behind glass. I guess that means either I haven't been paying attention, or that my feet must stink and I scare them off.
 
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beryl

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Strange, what's the reasoning behind that ?
It’s very old fashioned. You need a lot of horses, milked venom from the snakes and a bit of time. The vet said it could only be sourced from Poland at the time. It could be EU regs possibly tariffing out cheaper sources. If you have to pay market price, the adder serum is at the lower end of the snake...
 

Buttface

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Whilst we're on the subject of Adders/Grass snakes etc, Is there anything I can make as a hibernation box for Snakes? Maybe something like a Hedgehog box, full of dry leaves and mosses? I want to make sure they stick around for good

Respect to all Fly Fishers....
Adders hibernate in traditional sites that may contain more than a few. Hibernation sites are below ground and below the frost line. Not much you can do to create a hibernation site. Best to protect any that are found. Nearby sites are usually indicated by small groups sunning themselves in early spring.

...and a message to people who don't like snakes - please don't use this (albeit well known) info' to go snake hunting, not that anyone here would. They're incredible animals and are in decline across many parts of the UK. They're also legally protected.

Some Adder facts...

1. In the UK, more people died from the anti-venom than from the Adder venom. Reason: an allergic reaction to the anti-venom. This is the reason it is no longer used in hospitals. At best, bite victims will get an antihistamine. The very young and very old are most at risk.

2. More people have died from bee stings than Adder bites. Reason: allergic reaction to bee stings.

3. Livestock farmers generally don't like Adders. Reason: feeding cattle in areas where Adders occur get bitten on the throat and can suffocate due to the swelling around the bite. This is rare. If caught in time antihistamine usually works.

4. Adders bite only as a last resort and will give ample warning, that's if you're paying attention of course. Reason: assuming it's not a dry bite, they don't want to use up that venom which is better used on their prey - it takes a while to replenish.

5. Only small animals (very small dogs, for example) are at risk to bites. They are sometimes given a (currently unlicensed) antiserum but this is rarely effective, or needed. However, as with humans, most dogs recover without requiring medical attention (unless bitten in the throat area - see cattle above). Some vets like to... erm... do the most they can, shall we say, cos, you know, worth their while :whistle: . Keep dogs on a lead in areas likely to hold Adders - common sense and foresight really.

6. All reptiles have legal protection because idiots. ...and no need to kill them anyway, even if they've bitten you or whatever. They're just protecting themselves from a stomping great foot or nasty, snappy fangs. Live and let live :)

7. Most bite victims are more likely to suffer from infection of the bite than the venom. Any bite, spider, flea, mosquito, will do this. So keep yourself clean.

Final fun fact...

Poisonous means poison is ingested (by mouth, e.g., plants, fungi, cyanide). Venomous means poison is injected (by needle or fang, etc.). Therefore, snakes, spiders, and vampires are venomous, not poisonous.

...and now an anecdote.

Many years ago whilst laying down on a sea cliff one summer evening, I heard a rustling not far from my head. I looked up and the rustling went away. A few minutes later the rustling was back. I lay still. A young Adder appeared by my head and proceeded to wander on to my stomach and curl itself up. It was evidently taking advantage of my body heat in the cool evening. I lay for a good 15 minutes before it finally slid off and up along the cliff edge to its presumed bed. One of the best experiences I've had with wildlife, and yes, I really like snakes.


Today's educational segment brought to you by,
Buttface
 
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fredaevans

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"2. More people have died from bee stings than Adder bites. Reason: allergic reaction to bee stings."

No fear of snakes in my yard but bee/wasp stings are another matter. Hugely allergic to wasp output! If they're around I have to carry a anti-venom injector tube in my pocket. Thing has a huge needle up front so you can jam the thing right through clothing.
 
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