Do snakes always inject venom when they bite?

A snake can bite you whether you were aware or not. However it will only bite an aware person if he provokes it intentionally. Victims may panic immediately after being bitten without knowing whether the bite can kill or not. It is important to have a first aid kit around and you should treat such cases with the attention they deserve. In this article I will help you understand that not all snakes are poisonous and how you can determine if a snake bite was from a non-poisonous snake.

Probability of being bitten by a poisonous snake
There are no fixed rules to tell whether you are likely to encounter a venomous or non-venomous snake. The season of the year, locality within a state, type of habitat, time of day and weather conditions can determine what kind of snake you may encounter. Apart from these, there are some physical patterns that are visible on most venomous and non-venomous snakes, they include;

  • Color patterns
  • Eye shapes
  • Presence of heat sensing pits
  • Shape of a snake skull
  • Presence of rattlers
These features may be shared by snakes regardless of being poisonous or not thus they are not entirely reliable.

When snakebites are likely to occur
A snake bite is likely to occur when a subject tries to hurt the snake or provokes it. Such instances can manifest in the following scenarios;
  • A child picks up a snake out of curiosity
  • Adults may pick up specimens thinking they are skilled enough
  • Thinking an animal is dead and trying to touch it
It is also possible to be bitten by an unseen snake. This will happen especially at night whereby the subject may hurt the snake unknowingly and it retaliates.

Identifying the seriousness of a snake bite
Determining the seriousness of a snake bite is very difficult. A victim may examine the bite marks and observe the shape of the bite marks. A red round hole with yellowish or colorless fluid flowing from the bite marks are a sign of venom. A bite from a non-poisonous snake is characterized by tiny black prick marks.

Handling of victims after snakebites
In a study of 1300 cases of snakebites from venomous snakes it was found that only 10% of the bites led to death of the victims. Administer tetanus and give antibiotics to victims to lessen pain on the way to hospital.

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