The owner of a dog who was bitten on the face by a 15ft long snake has issued a warning to fellow pet lovers.
Catherine Thomas, 43, from Great Ayton, North Yorkshire, described the "horrible" moment her one-year-old pooch, Harry, was attacked while they were walking together at Cod Beck on Monday evening (August 8).
It was during the evening walk that she and her husband spotted the enormous creature in the bushes.
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Catherine exclusively told The Mirror: "Harry ran over to a tree and was stood looking at it, but as I got closer I could see this massive snake straight away.
"My husband said, 'God I've never seen a snake that big before in real life'.
"He was taking photos and I was saying, 'come on, it might bite the dog.'"
The couple walked back to their car, thinking they'd managed to get away before Harry was in trouble.
But Catherine grew suspicious when she realised her beloved Cocker Spaniel kept falling asleep.
"When we got back in the car, Harry kept falling asleep, which I thought was strange because that's not like him.
"When we got home and [I saw] all the side of his face was swollen I started to panic and said, 'that snake has bitten him'.
"His neck was swelling up like a ball, it was all squidgy, it was horrible.
"With it being on his face and neck it could have blocked his airways. I knew I had to take him to the vets straight away.
"We were all worried sick about him. I didn't sleep all night."
Harry was rushed to an emergency vet where he was given antivenom treatment and had to stay on a drip for two days.
The vet told Catherine they had had to use antivenom on another dog only the day before, and that if Harry been old or very young, he could have died in the attack.
Catherine continued: "I've always known there were snakes in the UK but I've never had a problem with them until now.
"The amount of people that have told me they never knew there were even snakes in the UK is unbelievable.
"A lot of other people have got in touch to tell me their dog has also been bitten by a snake.
"If I had seen the warnings from vets I would never have taken him there, it's the heat that is bringing them out and they're really bad this year because its so hot."
The number of snake bites on dogs has surged recently as a result of the heatwave, prompting vets to speak out about the growing problem.
Vets4Pets Northallerton issued a warning to pet owners on its social media pages highlighting the presence of dangerous snakes in the popular walking spot where Harry was attacked.
In a statement on Facebook, they alerted: "For anyone who walks their dogs at Cod Beck, Osmotherley or owns dogs in the area.
"Adders have been spotted in the area and some dog owners have unfortunately already witnessed first hand what damage these snake bites can do to a dog.
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"Please be vigilant when walking your pooches around this area and if you suspect your dog has been bitten get them seen by a vet ASAP."
Mum-of-three Catherine also fears for children who might be wandering in the area.
She said: "We go there all the time, we have always gone there as kids and I took my kids there for picnics when they were younger."
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