R U ONE IN 7000?

Venomous Texas Snakes

About 7,000 people are bitten by venomous snakes in the U.S. annually. On average, 1 to 2 people in Texas die each year from venomous snake bites in Texas.

Roughly half of all venomous snake bites are “dry.” That is, the snake does not inject venom into the victim.Feb 20, 2020

And will you be that one in 7000 bitten each year in Texas by a Venomous Snake?  Rattlesnake, Copperhead, or Water Mocassin?  

Well, if you are DON’T FREAK OUT!  It happens.  You know, they say, shit happens.  But yes, it does.  And finding a poisonous snake ready to strike your hand or foot or face or leg will make your heart skip a beat.  Yes, just seeing that snake head trained on YOU will put an Eye-Opening Event in your life.  And no matter when I see or find a poisonous snake. I still have a flicker of the ole heart.  And yes. I helped take people on Rattlesnake Hunts in Sweetwater, Texas.  And still, they get me when I find one unexpectedly. One of my worst unexpected came when I was sitting on a commode in the 3rd Grade in our house and a 6ft Rattlesnake came out from under the Claw Handle Iron Bathtub next to the commode.  Yep, there’s this monster snake and there I am.  He coiled-up and we stared at each other and I just sat and sat and sat.  I just sat there thinking THIS WAS IT!  And strangely, I wondered if that snake could or would bite me in my tiny pecker?  You know, a kid with his kid thoughts. And I thought would he bite me on my pecker?  Such a weird thought to admit today.  Huh, I never told my kids that one.  But there I was.  And I was in it in a bad way.

Those hidden, unexpected finds are bad. But getting bitten is worse.  BUT DON’T PANIC!  And in Texas, don’t ever just pick up a large rock or board or tin from a roof.  Or that cheap little blue plastic wadding Pool. No, snakes love being under them because their main food, field mice like being under them too. And if bitten. Controlling the flow of Venom and your breathing is paramount and controlling yourself.  Get a hold of yourself. DON’T PANIC!  And try your best to see what kind of snake it was.  LOOK FOR THAT “V” SHAPE OF THE HEAD.  Black?  Brown, no rattlers?  What type?  Yes, Coral Snakes too. Red and Yellow will kill a fellow.  Lots of snakes will bite you, but most DO NOT KILL YOU.  When you get bitten, you’re still in the Driver’s seat.  You mostly still control the situation. But again, control, make slow, breaths breathing through your teeth.  Not wide-mouthe open breathing as fast as you can.  Your adrenalin is going to kick in and you need to control that.  But now, here’s some of that better information from another source-

If possible, take these steps while waiting for medical help:

  • Move beyond the snake’s striking distance.
  • Remain still and calm to help slow the spread of venom.
  • Remove jewelry and tight clothing before you start to swell.
  • Position yourself, if possible, so that the bite is at or below the level of your heart.
  • Clean the wound with soap and water. Cover it with a clean, dry dressing.

Caution

  • Don’t use a tourniquet or apply ice.
  • Don’t cut the wound or attempt to remove the venom.
  • Don’t drink caffeine or alcohol, which could speed your body’s absorption of venom.
  • Don’t try to capture the snake. Try to remember its color and shape so that you can describe it, which will help in your treatment. If you have a smartphone with you and it won’t delay your getting help, take a picture of the snake from a safe distance to help with identification.

Symptoms

Most snakebites occur on the extremities. Typical symptoms of the bite from a nonvenomous snake are pain and scratches at the site.

Usually, after a bite from a venomous snake, there is severe burning pain at the site within 15 to 30 minutes. This can progress to swelling and bruising at the wound and all the way up the arm or leg. Other signs and symptoms include nausea, labored breathing and a general sense of weakness, as well as an odd taste in the mouth.

Some snakes, such as coral snakes, have toxins that cause neurological symptoms, such as skin tingling, difficulty speaking and weakness.

Sometimes, a venomous snake can bite without injecting venom. The result of these “dry bites” is irritation at the site.

Venomous snakes in North America

Most venomous snakes in North America have eyes like slits and are known as pit vipers. Their heads are triangular and they have fangs. One exception is the coral snake, which has a rounded head and round pupils. Nonvenomous snakes typically have rounded heads, round pupils and no fangs.

That last was from the Mayo Clinic-

https://www.mayoclinic.org/first-aid/first-aid-snake-bites/basics/art-20056681

While I was a young boy, we were taught how to deal with a rattlesnake bite and kept Snake Bite Kits in our Cars and Trucks in West Texas.  Our seeing a Rattlesnake was routine and we saw’em all the time.  But you learned quickly what terrain features to AVOID.  Cliffs with horizontal cracks in them was a NO NO. Sometimes, we used long Cactus Sticks hitting the ground side to side in front of you would help warn a snake you were coming.  And when you heard the rattling of that Rattled, you STOPPED.  And you looked in that direction.  And when you run across six or more, you’d be better off backing off after they stop rattling.  But when you were hunting them. You stood your ground and collected them. I always look for that “V” figure their head makes with THEIR rows of fangs on both sides of that V.  Their tongue is going in and out at the bottom of that V.   But if you come to Texas, have a good experience here, but the Snakes are plentiful in some areas.  Also, those Black Widows and Scorpions.  Nothing worse than having a Scorpion fall on your head or lap from the ceiling in your home. Or finding a snake under the covers in your bed.  But they love being under these Blue Kids Pools people buy for their littlest kids to splash in.  But after the water turns green and you flip it over-

Watch Out!  Could be a Copperhead under it and if it’s near your foot, it will strike at you.  For me, I grab the far end and roll it toward me, so when it’s completely off the ground, my feet and legs aren’t close to a sleeping snake that just got woken.

So, please be careful…and have a happy Summer.