An occasional species of the heaths and scrub  

A doctor says ... - A doctor says:
HI you state of adders: but I never see reports of people being bitten by them. Here in the Purbeck area of Dorset the adder is probably as 'common' as it is anywhere and if people were being bitten by them we would know about it.
I worked as a GP in the Wool area for 30 years and in an average year saw several adder bites (one year 6). My guess is that they are fairly common in 'holiday areas'.
Some were quite serious (needing hospitalization) but most were warning shots or bites of snakes that didn't envenom much (probably low after a previous strike or didn't want to waste venom on an inedible being, I suppose). So some patients were only mildly effected. I did have one chap who had a scratch on his leg, and thought he had been snagged by some wire in long grass, but careful inspection you could see the other 'puncture' wound on his shoe. A lucky escape I think.
The common symptom was sudden nausea (and vomiting), faintness, and then over next couple of days the effected limb swelling up and looking very strange green colour and very painful. It could take several weeks from a bad bite say on a the leg to settle enough to go back to work.
Most victims were holiday makers from towns and didn't realise that to pick up an adder is not the wisest thing to do.
Having said that I am glad they are surviving well, just need to keep unwise people away from them.
--- 27th July 2016 ---


Species Detail
Common Name Adder
Alternative Name Viper
Scientific Name Vipera berus
Family Snakes
Species Reference Inns 074
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ID Notes