SNAKEBITE IN LLAMAS
For an account of a llama bitten by a rattlesnake, his treatment, and recovery see Glacier's snakebite page.
Miss Z's rattlesnake bite was less traumatic..
DROUGHT CAUSING MORE SNAKE BITES in CENTRAL TEXAS
Date: Friday, June 19, 2009
Hospitals across Central Texas say they're seeing an alarming increase in rattlesnake bites. Hays County treated five people for the bites in recent weeks. Travis County reported 11 rattlesnake bites in the last three months.
Experts tell CBS 42 it is mating season, but it's mostly the drought that's pushing them into residential areas to find water.
"They've caused more human fatalities than any other snake in our country," Jarrod Forthman said while holding a Western Diamondback rattlesnake. He knows first hand about the dangers of these snakes. One bit him on his thumb years ago.
"It feels like you've just been set on fire," he said about the pain.
Forthman told us his thumb swelled to the size of an orange, and then burst. Five surgeries and more than $100,000 worth of medical bills later; he's left with an amputated thumb.
"Fortunately, I've only had one of those mistakes and it didn't cost my life," he said.
Forthman works with snakes every day at The Snake Farm in New Braunfels. But he said he's never seen so many rattlesnakes, especially near residential areas, than right now. "These snakes are everywhere," Forthman exclaimed.
John Moseley with San Marcos/Hays County EMS told us it's startling how many calls the dispatch center is now receiving for rattlesnake bites. "We've had three in the last week," Moseley said.
Now, Moseley and Forthman are working to educate the public to be more careful and more aware of their surroundings.
During the day, you most likely won't find snakes in the grass, but under rocks or in drainage ditches trying to stay cool. At night, they are more prevalent in areas with high grass, near some source of water. Rattlesnakes won't chase you, but if someone gets too close and they feel threatened, the snakes will most likely strike.
If you get bit by a rattlesnake, it can be deadly. Experts say to call 911 immediately, try to stay calm and keep your blood circulation as slow as possible. The sooner the venom gets to the heart, the less chances of survival.