Journal of the South African Veterinary Association
On-line version ISSN 2224-9435
Print version ISSN 1019-9128
DE CRAMER, Kurt G.M.; VAN BART, Garreth A. and HUBERTS, Freek. Morbidity and mortality following envenomation by the common night adder (Causus rhombeatus) in three dogs. J. S. Afr. Vet. Assoc. [online]. 2012, vol.83, n.1, pp.84-88. ISSN 2224-9435.
In South Africa dogs are frequently presented to veterinarians following snakebite. The offending snakes are usually puff adders (Bitis arietans), cobras (Naja spp.) and mambas (Dendroaspis spp.). Night adder (Causus rhombeatus) bites in dogs have not yet been reported in South Africa. This article deals with three cases of dogs bitten by night adders in which extensive tissue damage was noted and one fatality occurred. Night adder bites may be indistinguishable from puff adder bites. Non-specific treatment included addressing the hypovolaemia and swelling. Specific treatment involving immunotherapy using the South African polyvalent antivenom would be ineffective as it does not contain immunoglobulins against night adder venom. Veterinarians should also include night adders as the possible cause of dogs suffering from severe and painful swellings suspected to be due to snakebites.