A dog has had his leg amputated after being bitten by a snake while on a walk in Perthshire.
Junior the Yorkshire Terrier is in critical condition at Edinburgh Veterinary School’s ICU after being attacked by an adder near Pitlochry on Thursday.
The eight-year-old dog was bitten on his right paw at the River Tummel while out on a walk with his owner Lucy Gordon and her two other dogs, Maggie and Bear.
Lucy, 23, did not notice Junior had been bitten until they got home, where she discovered a small cut on his leg.
She told STV News: “On Thursday I decided to walk the dogs along the beautiful banks of the River Tummel which leads up past the dam and back down toward Loch Faskally in Pitlochry; we were completely oblivious to the nightmare that was away to unfold.
“Junior gave no indication that he was injured while on our walk, it wasn’t until that evening I noticed he was uncomfortable and continually grooming his paw.
“On Friday morning I checked his paw and found a small cut on his pad, which I smothered it in an antiseptic cream. I assumed he had stood on something sharp.
“On Saturday morning I noticed his foot was really swollen, so I jumped straight into the car and took him to the vet.
“When I was told by the vet that she suspected it could be a snake bite I was totally shocked.
“As soon as they saw the wound, he was referred to the Edinburgh veterinary school, as they were the only ones able to administer the anti-venom.
“They were not fully convinced, but after running tests and taking bloods they said that both the high toxins in his blood and the measurement of the puncture wound confirmed it was indeed an adder bite.”
After vets discovered that the injury was an adder bite, Junior was put into the ICU in Edinburgh’s Veterinary School – before being transferred to Aberdeen where he had his leg amputated.
Lucy added: “Unfortunately, Junior had to have the leg amputated. The operation was successful, and he was comfortable through the evening.
“However, the vets are still extremely concerned as he isn’t eating and will have to be put back onto the feeding tube.
“They believed if we didn’t act to remove the leg, he didn’t stand a chance.
“Having the leg amputated is not the outcome we were hoping. The vet has advised that the tissue damage is beyond repair, and they are still concerned about the risk of infection, blood poisoning and organ failure.”
Lucy now wants to make fellow dog owners aware of the danger of snakes in Scotland and has launched a fundraiser to help aid Junior’s operation costs.
She said: “I want to take this opportunity to make fellow dog owners aware of the danger of adders and grass snakes to their pets.
“Junior showed no indication that he had been bitten but if you suspect this has happened to your pet then timing is everything.
“We would honestly do anything to help Junior get the help he so desperately needs but the looming vets’ bills are the harsh reality.
“I feel horrible asking other people for help as I understand so many people are having a difficult financial period now, but I have been completely overwhelmed with the love, support and generosity of friends, family, local community and fellow dog lovers.
“If we happen to raise more money than we need to be able to help Junior we promise to donate that money to local animal charities.
“Junior is a very important member of my little family and that is why I am so heartbroken at what has happened to him.”
You can donate to Junior’s GoFundMe here – https://www.gofundme.com/f/help-juniors-vet-bills-after-snake-bite?member=19076013&sharetype=teams&utm_campaign=p_na+share-sheet&utm_medium=copy_link&utm_source=customer.