Fatal Vipera xanthina palestinae envenomation in 16 dogs

I. Aroch*, G. Segev, E. Klement, A. Shipov, S. Harrus

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Scopus citations


Sixteen fatal dog envenomations by the snake Vipera palaestinae over a 14-y period are described. Most envenomations occurred during the late night hours in the warm months, and 8/16 dogs were bitten on the limbs. The most frequent clinical signs upon admission were soft tissue swelling and edema, local pain, depression, bleeding, lameness, dyspnea, and 6 dogs were in shock. Thrombocytopenia was present in 14/16 cases and increased hematocrit (13/16) and hemoglobin (9/16) concentration were the most common hematological abnormalities upon admission. Biochemical abnormalities included increased activities of muscle enzymes and alkaline phosphatase, hypocalcemia, and hypocholesterolemia. Creatine kinase activity was markedly increased in 2 dogs. During hospitalization serious complications in many dogs were disseminated intravascular coagulation, acute renal failure, seizures, cardiac arrhythmias, acute necrotizing pancreatitis and severe laryngeal edema; these required intensive and expensive therapies. Specific antivenin (10 ml) administered to 8/16 dogs did not prevent death. Glucocorticosteroids were given in 8 cases; however, their use was associated with complications. Four dogs suffered sudden death, 2 of which died 1-2 d after discharge. Necropsy performed on 3/16 dogs found soft tissue swelling and local bleeding at the envenomation sites as well as bleeding in several distal body organs and tissues.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)268-272
Number of pages5
JournalVeterinary and Human Toxicology
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 2004


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