Kwagga’s recovery after Viper bite!

There is only one poisonous snake in Sweden. It is the common European viper (Vipera berus) and it is not really very poisonous. It is quite wide spread through Sweden and there are approximately 1300 reported bites (on humans) per year. There is however almost no human fatalities from this snake and we can consider Sweden a safe country with regards to snake human interactions.

European viper
European viper

Our cat Kwagga is a very active hunter. She is also known to live dangerously and “died” in December only to return 2 weeks later starved and close to being really dead (read the tale here). We were not surprised to find her with a non-poisonous grass-snake  (Natrix natrix) a while ago. We tried to discourage her to catch snakes and took the snake away from her (releasing it into the fields while keeping her indoors for a while).

Grass snake in our garden.
Grass snake in our garden.

This did not work.

On a Saturday (when the vet is closed), she went out hunting and came back mid morning. Carina saw that she was sitting a bit strange and on closer inspection Kwagga informed us, with unhappy growling, that she was not feeling well. At this stage we did not know what was wrong but after approximately 30 minutes it was clear from her swollen foot that something bit her on the leg. We phoned the vet (the emergency vet), and after describing all the symptoms she told us that it is likely that it was a snake and that we should bring Kwagga for some treatment.

The main treatment for cats is fluid and Kwagga got a drip to increase her fluid intake and painkillers. Some tests for liver and kidney damage were performed and everything seemed to be fine (follow-up tests will be done in a few weeks).

Kwagga resting after treatment.
Kwagga resting after treatment.

After a few days kept indoors Kwagga seemed fully recovered and are out and about again searching for the next adrenaline rush – a patch of missing fur, where the blood was drawn, the only reminder of her adventure with a snake.

Right foot - shaved patch for drawing blood, left foot - completely healed after snakebite.
Right foot – shaved patch for drawing blood, left foot – completely healed after snakebite.



20 thoughts on “Kwagga’s recovery after Viper bite!

  1. Sorry to hear of Kwagga’s wound and pleased to hear she had enough remaining lives to survive. We went through something similar with our cat, Jade, while living on Okinawa. She encountered a couple habus and returned with wounds. Fortunately, they’d struck her head. Fortunately, too, the treatment was prednisone, and she was already on pred for her asthma and breathing issues. Being as determined as she was, Jade lived on another eighteen years after her snake encounter.

    That’s a beautiful fur friend you have. Cheers, M

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh, beautiful Kwagga! So glad she is OK. She looks like a young version of our 15-year-old Eddie, right down to the little tuft of white fur on her chest. He is also a valiant hunter; good luck on Kwagga’s future conquests!


  3. She’s beautiful – I love black cats. That is one cat, however, who I would require to live only indoors. She has proven herself to be a fool around snakes. It’s not worth the risk with such a lovely pet.


  4. Luckily no chance of finding a snake in our garden here in Riga, Latvia. Our adopted cat Sid is usually into everything and anything so if we had snakes around we would be quite worried. Glad Kwagga is alright and Sid sends his sincerest meows to her.


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