Venomous snakes of the family VIPERIDAE. Viperus berus is the only naturally occurring species responsible for snake poisoning in the UK.


[affected.gif] Animals most affected
Dogs, cattle, horses, sheep.


[etiology.gif] Etiology
Envenomation occurs after biting and injection of venom by the snake, either while the animal is in the field (cattle, horses), or during hunting (dogs). In general, incidents of snake bites occur between the months of April and October.
The site of the bite is frequently on the abdomen or the udder in the case of cows (when they lie down in open fields or in the cow shed); or on the nose and legs (dogs).


[toxic.gif] Toxicity
The venom contains a number of active compounds:

The severity of the envenomation depends not only on the size of the animal which has been bitten, and its age, but also on the amount of venom involved, or whether any venom was injected following the snake bite. (Two bites are considered an envenomation in humans.)


[clinical.gif] Clinical features
The affected animal takes fright and runs off, distressed, bellowing or barking. The clinical signs are relatively pronounced (albeit dependent on the amount of venom injected and the body weight of the bitten animal).

At the site of the bite

General signs


[treatm~1.gif] Treatment
Local

General