To all Potential Venomous snake enthusiasts

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To all Potential Venomous snake enthusiasts

Postby Copperbob » Sun Aug 30, 2009 5:48 pm

Over the past few months there have been a large number of people enquiring about potentially owning highly venomous snakes, most of which have little or no experience with potentially deadly animals!
I myself have been approached by three different people this weekend alone, all enquiring about purchasing venomous reptiles and only one of these people has actually kept snakes before, one corn snake to be exact.
I find this extremely disturbing and detrimental to our beloved hobby or jobs! I have therefore decided to start a post for anyone who is considering a venomous snake as a pet.

Before even deciding which venomous snake to purchase, please consider the following.
1.Is antivenom available to treat a bite from your chosen snake? Don't forget that in South Africa, only SAMIR Polyvalent is produced and available to treat the bites of a dozen or so indigenous snakes, our hospitals DO NOT stock antivenom for exotics snakes and probably have very little or no experience in treating exotics envenomations.
2. Can you provide the snake with all its necessary husbandry requirements and an escape proof cage?
3. Can you safety handle a venomous animal without harming it, yourself or anybody in the immediate vicinity?
4. Do you have the necessary experience to deal with any unexpected situations that WILL arise?
5. Every venomous snake owner should have some sort of bite protocol in place for yourself or anyone who may be with you at the time of the bite to follow! e.g. Numbers of hospitals, anti venom suppliers, experienced herpetologists, ambulances or any other health care professionals who could be of assistance.

Once you have had a good think about the above, you need to do the following.
1. Research the snake that you are interested in and find out absolutely everything you can! e.g. Type of venom, husbandry requirements....
2. Attend a snake handling course offered by professionals with the necessary credentials!
3. If possible, find a mentor you can work with or ask questions on websites and gain valuable knowledge and experience.
4. Make sure you have all the necessary handling tools and posses the knowledge on how to use them.
5. Draw up a bite protocol and put one up near a phone and in the snake room.
6. Practice on aggressive non-venomous reptiles.
7. Consider the implications involved if you or somebody else gets bitten by your venomous snake!


The reptile market in South Africa offers mostly exotic venomous snakes and it may be impossible to get antivenom to succesfully threat an envenomation! A western diamond back rattle snake can be purchased from your local pet shop for around R500 and an envenomation could cost you upwards of R35000, if antivenom can miraculously be obtained.
Venomous snakes are not toys nor are they a wise pet to own! Not only could you DIE if bitten but you could suffer life long effects and an escape could lead to a family member or community member to suffer needlessly.
Anyone who has not owned a snake and starts with a venomous one, is in my opinion, more dangerous then the snake itself.
Here is picture of a snake bite, so you can consider the possible outcomes and dangers involved with owning one.

Cytoxic effects.
necrosis-snakebite.jpg

http://www.venomoussnakes.net/snake-bite-pictures.htm
Also an interesting topic to read.
viewtopic.php?f=45&t=15483&start=0
Stat safe!
Im sure I ve left out some important information here so if anyone has anything to add then feel free.
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Re: To all Potential Venomous snake enthusiast.

Postby gaboon69 » Sun Aug 30, 2009 6:07 pm

Looks good man.
Here is a pic of a terciopelo bite.
Newbies rarely understand what the crotaline bites can do to you.
Image
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Re: To all Potential Venomous snake enthusiast.

Postby Bushviper » Sun Aug 30, 2009 6:54 pm

Copperbob the antivenom costs could easily be in excess of R100 000-00 excluding the hospital and doctors which is expected to cost another R80 000-00 and up, unless you go to your local provincial hospital where the costs will only be for a casket and the flowers at your funeral.

I recently designed a cage for someone who was keeping fast moving exotic elapids and he can potentially keep the snake its whole life without ever touching it. This includes moving males in with females for mating etc.

Not all Rattler bites will be lethal. More than half the time you will only lose limbs and have dodgy kidneys for the rest of your life.
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Re: To all Potential Venomous snake enthusiast.

Postby Warren Klein » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:01 pm

Well said Copperbob! This is an important reminder which is often overlooked when those of us on this forum post pictures of our venomous reptiles. We often spend more time talking about the beauty of the venomous snakes we keep rather then stressing the potential dangers they pose to ourselves and the people around us. Venomous animals are not for everyone!
An inaccurate naturalist is a pest and a danger, forever perpetuating illogical deductions and landing later naturalists in trouble. Damm and blast them all to hell in the most painful way. C.J.P. Ionides
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Re: To all Potential Venomous snake enthusiast.

Postby mgiddings » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:52 pm

Thanks, I hope people listen to this.
"Well, if you spend enough time in the field you will spot special things"-Tony Phelps
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Re: To all Potential Venomous snake enthusiast.

Postby MikeW » Sun Aug 30, 2009 9:21 pm

Big respect to copperbob for posting the topic. I am 52 years old and got my first snake at aged 18. I'm quite proud of my collection, all of which are NON venomous, but dont feel the urge to "graduate" to keeping venomous snakes. Biggest reason I dont keep "hots" is I am not experienced enough and I am not afraid to admit it. The responsibility to myself and my family is too much for me and I am not a novice - if you are considering a venomous snake think twice.

The pet shop owners or individuals selling snakes also have a HUGE responsibility (legal and moral) to ensure that any snake they sell is going to someone who is capable of handling and housing it correctly. It wouldnt be easy to sleep at night if a snake you sold did damage like that above to one of your customers.
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Re: To all Potential Venomous snake enthusiast.

Postby Wolf777 » Sun Aug 30, 2009 11:42 pm

Very good post, hope this wil help people make more sensible choices from now on.
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Re: To all Potential Venomous snake enthusiasts

Postby froot » Mon Aug 31, 2009 7:30 am

I can see us linking to this topic from time to time, good one.
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Re: To all Potential Venomous snake enthusiast.

Postby Rishaad » Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:12 am

Nice one copperbob.

My infatuation for cobra's seem to be growing as each day passes. When I get the urge to start keep hots I stop and think about my very inquisitive son and also my lack of experience keeping hots in captivity. Some people may argue the point of my sons safety though as I do have a Burm and a growing RTB.
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Re: To all Potential Venomous snake enthusiasts

Postby fredsmith » Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:34 am

A good post. Hopefully the new keepers intending to keep "hot" snakes will read it properly.
Perhaps, those of you who have more pictures of what the various bites look like will post some more... Like the saying goes.. "A picture is worth a thousand words"
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Re: To all Potential Venomous snake enthusiasts

Postby Durban Keeper » Mon Aug 31, 2009 10:46 am

Good topic, people need to think. How many keepers out there get a hot as their very first snake? Crazy actually.
Life is but a dream for the dead.
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Re: To all Potential Venomous snake enthusiasts

Postby Cerberus » Mon Aug 31, 2009 1:58 pm

Great stuff Copperbob. Good idea for a thread message. I am still alive enough to know that I don't want to be dead. I would love a few hots but I against my deep desires am refraining until qualified and confident.
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Re: To all Potential Venomous snake enthusiasts

Postby Warren Klein » Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:03 pm

I thought I'd add some pictures for the shock factor! Bellow is the result of a faciotomy preformed in hospital to relive the pressure caused by the swelling of a Rattle snake bite! Even if you recover from such a bite you will have permanent scaring and may not regain full use of the affected limb.
Image
An inaccurate naturalist is a pest and a danger, forever perpetuating illogical deductions and landing later naturalists in trouble. Damm and blast them all to hell in the most painful way. C.J.P. Ionides
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Re: To all Potential Venomous snake enthusiasts

Postby Rob » Mon Aug 31, 2009 3:49 pm

Ok that shocked me!!
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Re: To all Potential Venomous snake enthusiasts

Postby Warren Klein » Mon Aug 31, 2009 4:23 pm

The same bite after a skin graph was done to close the wound and replace lost skin. So besides the bite site, you will also have pain on your thighs or backside were the new skin was taken from! This is a long and painful recovery process.
Image
An inaccurate naturalist is a pest and a danger, forever perpetuating illogical deductions and landing later naturalists in trouble. Damm and blast them all to hell in the most painful way. C.J.P. Ionides
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