The owners of a dog left critically ill after being bitten by an adder in Thetford Forest have warned others to tread carefully when walking near long grass.

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Zoe Arthur and Clayton Quintin had to take their whippet, Billy, to the vet earlier this month when his back leg swelled to twice its size, later returning when it turned black and puncture wounds appeared.

The dog was kept in for observation but later that night his breathing worsened and he was taken to a specialist unit at Potters Bar in Hertfordshire.

Billy was lucky, however, and the next morning he was taken out of intensive care and after a further four days the couple were able to take him home.

Ms Arthur, a secretary from Brighton, who was holidaying with her partner, a handyman, near Thetford Forest, on August 2 when the incident happened, said: “With hindsight, instead of walking ahead and sniffing around, he walked close by so it probably happened quite early on in the walk.

“I’d say to other people to just be aware and if the dog is limping after a walk, examine him well.”

The seven-year-old whippet has now made a full recovery.

“It’s a miracle really – it was the worst weekend of my life,” Ms Arthur added.

“I think we will keep him away from long grass now, although you don’t want wrap your dog in cottonwool, and we will stay away from breeding grounds for snakes - we later found out Thetford Forest is known for them.”

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