Vets have issued a warning over adder bites after two dogs required emergency treatment.

The swift medical response for cocker spaniel Bella and miniature labradoodle Muttley ensured both pets made a full recovery.

Priory Veterinary Group’s hospital in Purewell, Christchurch, was on hand to come to aid of the dogs following separate snake incidents in the New Forest.

Read more: How to spot adders in the UK (and are they harmful to humans and dogs?)

In a post on social media, a spokesperson for the vets said: “Adder venom is at its most potent during the early season, and rising temperatures mean that adders become increasingly mobile. It is therefore extremely important to be vigilant on these warmer days.

“If you suspect that your dog has been bitten by an adder, if any sudden and significant swelling, pain or bruising becomes apparent on your pet during a walk, then please call us right away.”

They added: “The severity of the reaction to the venom is based on a number of factors so it is important to seek emergency treatment as soon as possible.”

Muttley suffered his snake bite when he was out on a walk at Avon Tyrrell while Bella fell ill at Wilverley Inclosure.

Bournemouth Echo: Miniature labradoodle Muttley Miniature labradoodle Muttley (Image: Priory Veterinary Group)

The quick thinking of Nathan Fletcher ensured four-year-old Bella got the help she needed as soon as possible after he rushed the 15kg canine back to the car.

The 25-year-old, who works as a chef at The Jetty in Christchurch, said it had been a normal walk at the popular rural spot until the pooches behaviour started to change.

Mr Fletcher told the Daily Echo: “Bella is quite an erratic dog, she’s quite crazy, doesn’t really come to you if you call her.

“She was acting a bit weird. She sat by my legs and I didn’t really know what she was doing. I thought she was after a treat. She wasn’t really acting herself.

“The next thing I know she came and put her head in my lap and she had two massive bite marks in her nose.

“At this point, she couldn’t walk or stand up, so I had to pick her up and run her straight back from the other end of Wilverley Plain all the way back to the car and then get to the vets.

“She loves just running around and not really listening to you. For her to come over and sit by my feet and put her head in my lap made me wonder what was wrong so I did a check over her whole body and I saw the two red marks on her nose and I instantly knew she had been bitten by a snake.”

Bournemouth Echo: Bella the cocker spanielBella the cocker spaniel (Image: The Fletcher family)

Mr Fletcher, who lives in New Milton, said the vets did a “cracking” job and they praised him for acting promptly after spotting the bite.

Asked what advice he would give to other dog owners, he said: “Everyone knows their dog better than anyone else so if you notice anything different or a little change check them over. If there is something wrong, get them to the vets as soon as possible.”

Nicola Holmwood, Priory Veterinary Group practice manager, said: “All of the vets and the nurses worked together and often with something like this it was after hours on a Friday but if people know it's coming they will hang on and get it covered and we get a good outcome like this which is brilliant.”

She said adder bites commonly occur on a dog’s nose and feet but sometimes spotting them is not obvious.

“Because both of these dogs were brought down really quickly and the owners knew what to do, we were able to treat them and get them back to health,” Ms Holmwood said.

Vet Marcus Willcock said: "As registered clients, both Bella and Muttley received immediate out-of-hours treatment at Christchurch hospital.

"Anti-venom was not used in these two cases for differing reasons, but with the correct treatment put in place the excellent nursing care they received they both went on to make full recoveries."