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Is this really how to cure a rattlesnake bite?

 
 
Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 09:38 am
Traces of Texas

The Texas Quote of the Day was written by Mary Austin Holley in 1836:
"The rattlesnake, which is the most venomous of all serpents, grows to an immense size, and many of them possess fangs half an inch long. Horses and cattle are frequently killed by their bite; but men, never — if proper means are taken. The remedy used by the Indians to extract the poison, when bitten, is simple, ready at hand, and said to be effective. They kill the snake immediately, taking care at the same time that he does not bite himself; they then cut off his tail, and apply the fleshy part to the bite; after holding it an instant to the wound, they remove it and cut off another piece of the snake, about an inch long, and apply it; this is repeated until the whole snake is used up. The poison having a greater affinity for the flesh of the serpent, than for that of the man, is soon extracted, and the wound becomes perfectly harmless."
----- Mary Austin Holley, Texas, 1836
 
coluber2001
 
  3  
Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 10:22 am
@edgarblythe,
Pretty barbaric and ineffective snake bite treatment. But not a lot worse and that sometimes used in modern times. One treatment possibly still used in places is the fasciotomy. They cut through the faccia of the muscles and take out the tissue with the venom in it. This results in a lot of crippling, which, in many cases, is worse than the effects of the venom itself.

The current field technique is to wrap the limb above and below the bite with an Ace-type bandage, not too tightly. This is to slow down the lymph which carries the venom. Then get the patient to the hospital as quickly as possible where antivenint is applied.
0 Replies
 
tsarstepan
 
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Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 10:49 am
@edgarblythe,
You should try it. Create a video of it and upload it to Youtube. Easily break a million views. Make some money off the process. Let us know the consequences... um... whatever you find. Shocked Wink
edgarblythe
 
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Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 11:11 am
@tsarstepan,
At least nobody suggested cutting the wound with a Bowie knife and sucking the poison out.
centrox
 
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Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 11:48 am
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:
At least nobody suggested cutting the wound with a Bowie knife and sucking the poison out.

I remember a joke about that...
edgarblythe
 
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Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 11:59 am
@centrox,
I remember it.
roger
 
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Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 03:19 pm
@edgarblythe,
Me too!

Doc says you gonna die, boy.
0 Replies
 
Linkat
 
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Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 03:38 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

The remedy used by the Indians to extract the poison, when bitten, is simple, ready at hand, and said to be effective. They kill the snake immediately, taking care at the same time that he does not bite himself;


Really - it is simple? Simple to kill the snake? I'd imagine after he bites - he books it; not to mention you would need something handy around you in which you could kill it without it biting you.
edgarblythe
 
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Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 03:48 pm
@Linkat,
I was thinking of the exertion of subduing the snake, making the blood pump faster. Unless of course you are Paladin and can take it out with a single bullet.
Linkat
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 04:59 pm
@edgarblythe,
edgarblythe wrote:

I was thinking of the exertion of subduing the snake, making the blood pump faster. Unless of course you are Paladin and can take it out with a single bullet.


That's assuming you have a gun - that is the problem the sap getting bit is likely not to have the necessary tools to take out the snake. I didn't even think of the exertion part.

0 Replies
 
coluber2001
 
  1  
Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 05:53 pm
Killing rattlesnakes often ends up ironically. A story in Texas lately about a man who tried to kill a rattlesnake. It bit him and it took 25 minutes to get to the hospital. In the meantime he was becoming paralyzed. Some people mentioned that they thought it was a Mojave rattlesnake, which has neurotoxic qualities in its venom. But the Mojave is only found in extreme West Texas, and this occurred somewhere south of Lubbock quite a bit farther east. So they concluded it was just a Western Diamondback, which are apparently evolving neurotoxins in their venom.

About 20 years ago I knew somebody who told me a friend of theirs found a rattlesnake on his Ranch and went back to the house to get a shotgun. While coming back and climbing over a fence the gun discharged and killed him.

That's rattlesnakes 2 Texans 0.
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edgarblythe
 
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Reply Wed 26 Jul, 2017 05:59 pm
There was a spot near the river in Corpus Christi that I visited out of curiosity, years ago. Looking around, I was darn near surrounded by some big rattlers. Fortunately they held back and I had time to get out of there.
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coluber2001
 
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Reply Thu 27 Jul, 2017 09:27 am
I know that some species of snakes have more defensive or violent temperaments than others. Western diamondbacks have a bad reputation for being hot-tempered, but there are also individual variations within the species. I remember once encountering a very large rattlesnake lying in a loose coil with its head stretched out in front. Two more steps and my foot would have been right on his head. I stopped and he pulled his head back, but he never rattled or even got upset. He was a laid-back old guy.
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coluber2001
 
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Reply Thu 27 Jul, 2017 09:58 am
I read a study of Timber rattlesnakes in Pennsylvania. Timber rattlesnakes range in a large part of the US east of the Mississippi, but they also range in the eastern part of Texas. In the South they used to divide the species into a subspecies called the Canebrake rattlesnake, but now they've done away with the subspecies and there is just one species.

Now in Pennsylvania they spend a great part of the year in dens. A female only breeds once every five, six or seven years, because they have to gain up fat stores and become really gordo. Then they mate in late summer and retain the sperm without fertilization and go in to the dens for the winter. It's only after emerging from the dens in the spring that they allow their eggs to be fertilized. They do not eat at all and the gravid females congregate on sunny ledges all summer. They give live birth at the end of the summer, thus they live a whole year without eating.

It's when the gravid females are congregating that hunters encounter them and kill the whole lot. So they're not just killing five female rattlesnakes, there are potentially killing 50 or more rattlesnakes.
0 Replies
 
 

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