A DOG owner has been left heartbroken after her pet died after suffering a bite from a venomous adder.
Bearded collie Ted had to be put to sleep by vets on Saturday more than four weeks after he was bitten by the deadly snake near to Smithills Coaching House .
Owner Pauline O’Brien presumed Ted, aged 11, was struggling with his arthritis when he started to limp the day after the walk in mid July.
But when his leg started to swell she became worried and took him to Vets4Pets in Moss Bank Way, Astley Bridge.
It was when vets shaved some of his fur they found the adder bite marks.
Ted was given injections after he became sick but gradually became weaker and weaker until he suffered kidney failure.
Ms O’Brien, a hairdresser, from Heaton took the decision to end her dog’s suffering.
She said: “I have lost my best friend. The vet said the phone never stopped ringing from people calling to see how he was.
“I hadn’t been near Smithills Coaching House for about a month before it happened. After he was bitten he kept being sick, he was injected a few times and we managed to get him eating for two days but we couldn’t go on with him not eating.
“He was getting weaker and weaker. The bite caused kidney failure. He was put on a drip but when he came home I could see he had had enough and thought he couldn’t go on like that. Unfortunately even though he was a big dog he couldn’t survive the bite.”
Ms O’Brien wants to warn other dog owners about the adder in a bid to prevent it happening to another pets It is also believed a man was also bitten by a snake in the area recently.
She said: “I think dog owners should avoid the area. I have previously seen notices up in caravan sites in areas out of Bolton warning people about snakes.
“There should be notices warning people. My grandchildren and I am devastated about it. I closed my hair dressing shop for the day when he died.”
Veterinary surgeon Ruth Harrison, from Vets4Pets, said the suspected adder bite was the first she had come across in 26 years of working in Bolton and Chorley.
She added: “We rarely see snake bites. We tend to see adders in the moors or wild areas. They try to avoid people. Ted’s bite looked very much like a snake bite.
“Adders are the only indigenous snakes in the UK that are venomous. The bite caused a nasty reaction, it damaged all the tissues in his leg. We were lucky that we managed to stop the reaction spreading up the leg. Different dogs are affected in different ways by the poison.”
Ted’s death comes several years after two Bolton men were bitten by adders.
Michael Lynn, was bitten in May, 2008, while walking his dog in Barrow Bridge.
And Derek Walsh, from Tonge Moor, believes he was bitten by an adder while out in Barrow Bridge in 2006.
Both men suffered serious reactions and had hospital treatment.
Russ Hedley, a nature expert who runs Nature, Talks and Walks, said it was unusual for adders to bite dogs and humans.
Mr Hedley added: “The only reason an adder would bite is if somebody was about to step on it, which is why two bites really is unusual. I have never come across it before. “Because of the warm weather snakes will have more energy and could be coming in closer contact with humans when looking for prey. They will have had a good breading season because of the warm weather.”
He said humans can have allergic reactions to the bites but they do not normally prove to be fatal.
Mr Hedley added Ted’s age may have caused him to react so badly to the bite.