Huggormsbett hos hund i Sverige : en klinisk studie och litteraturöversikt
Abstract: Every year many dogs in Sweden are bitten by the adder, a venomous snake (Vipera berus). Despite the fact that adder bites are so common in dogs there have been few investigations made that study the effects of treatment with glucocorticoids, a drug that is commonly used. We have carried out a literature study concerning adder bites in dogs and a prospective study where case history, clinical signs and treatment have been recorded in dogs that were presented at two veterinary hospitals after a confirmed or suspected adder bite. Fifty three dogs were included in the study out of which 22 were treated with glucocorticoids. In our study, the group of dogs treated with glucocorticoids was compared with the group of dogs that did not receive glucocorticoid treatment by the owner or on arrival at the clinic. Clinical signs including general condition and local swelling were recorded at four occasions during an observation period of about three weeks. There were 21 males and 32 females and the most common breeds were German shepherd and Labrador retriever. The mean age was four years. Seventy four % of the dogs arrived to the veterinary hospital within three hours after the adder bite. Seventeen % of the dogs had been treated with glucocorticoids before arrival at the veterinary hospital. On arrival at the veterinary hospital 73 % of the dogs had some degree of disturbed general condition. Envenomations occurred most commonly in the head and nose (77 %). Twenty eight % of the dogs were treated with glucocorticoids by the veterinarian at arrival to the veterinary hospital. Sixty eight % of the dogs were treated with analgesics and 19 % of the dogs were treated with antibiotics. All of the dogs were treated with fluids. No deaths occurred during the observation period. All the dogs hade some degree of swelling over the area of the adder bite on arrival at the veterinary hospital and this swelling had a tendency to increase over the first 24 hours. As concerns glucocorticoid treatment there was no significant difference in development of swelling or general condition between groups. However, there was a trend that the proportions of dogs with a higher degree of local swelling at presentation were larger in the groups that were treated with glucocorticoids compared to the untreated group of dogs.
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