true venom effect of a copperhead???

Re: true venom effect of a copperhead???

Postby Hustler » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:17 pm

I was at a petshop near where I stay that I go to as a last resort for rats. So I see their enclosures looking like hell as usual, with wires running through their Iguana cage and the poor thing half choking itself. An exposed heating pad in their Indochinese Spitting Cobra tank so I offer assistance and asked that they lend me their tongs or a hookstick and a tub and I'll move their spitter so they can fix that heating pad before the snake gets stuck on it. So dumb and dumber that are left running the shop (The woman in charge didn't even know what the BIG Whitelips they have in the shop were until we mentioned them in conversation) obviously knew more than me and told me it hasn't happened yet so they dont need my help thanks.

So anyways, ok fine I try to calm down and ask the guy working there why they dont bloody well fix it themselves then? So he started telling me about how he will ''never ever no more!'' touch another snake again because he was bitten by a Copperhead in December and the pain was unbearable and he would rather have had it kill him than for him to go through that pain! Something to think about before getting one of these, as some are very placid while others are on tik. And they are fast when they're young!

In regards to the wiki extract, how do they measure its potency by using mice?
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Re: true venom effect of a copperhead???

Postby Scar69 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:26 pm

Interesting Hunter...
So if he doesn't want to handle another Snake why is he still at the shop? Lol strange

Wiki the question about the venom potency and see what comes up. Lol
Akshar Sookraj

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Re: true venom effect of a copperhead???

Postby Scar69 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:30 pm

Apologies Hustler lmao looooong day buddy!
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Re: true venom effect of a copperhead???

Postby Hustler » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:39 pm

I wish I knew! NONE of them know how to care for snakes or handle any vemomous snakes and yet they also have a Spectecled Cobra, a couple Western Diamondback Rattlers, a BIG Cottonmouth and such a pretty Western Gaboon to name a few.

Lol no thank you to the wikipedia idea.
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Re: true venom effect of a copperhead???

Postby Jen » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:39 pm

Agkistrodon species produce the following toxins:
- Myotoxins (damage muscle)
- Procoagulants and haemorrhagins (affect clotting)
- No neurotoxins nor cardiotoxins

This venom can cause local damage with significant pain and necrosis as per Snakes4Africa's experience. It does not affect the heart, kidneys (directly) or the nervous system. The effects on the clotting system can be quite significant, although life threatening haemorrhage is not known to be a risk (i.e. local bleeding, rather than generalised bleeding can occur. Unlike, for example a boomslang that can exsanguinate you)
The myotoxins can produce extensive tissue damage & swelling. Theoretically, the breakdown products of damaged muscle can cause acute kidney failure but this has not been documented with this venom.
Take home message - it won't kill you (unless you have an allergic reaction) but this venom is classified as "urgent & potentially lethal" Polyvalent crotalid antivenom is recommended but obviously has risk of its own.

- Reference University of Adelaide Clinical Toxicology Resource
1.1.0 Epicrates cenchria cenchria
1.1.0 Corallus hortulanus
1.1.0 Heterodon nasicus
1.1.0 Trimeresurus puniceus
2.2.0 Trimeresurus albolabris
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Re: true venom effect of a copperhead???

Postby Scar69 » Tue Feb 15, 2011 10:59 pm

Nice break down Jen,
A scenario has just occurred to me,
Say I own an adult CH and he bit me on the right hand and with all the panic I pull him off and he suddenly tags me again in the same hand but different area!
Will that escalate the venom reaction quicker to organs?(I think it may)
Does the venom yield maybe meet up in the body somewhere and cause a grater threat or am I just looking into it too much
It may sound like a dumb question but if you don't ask you don't learn
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Re: true venom effect of a copperhead???

Postby Silvrav » Wed Feb 16, 2011 7:06 am

Hi scar69...any bite it hard to describe and know the possible reaction. There is quite a few variables like:
Are you alergic to venom?
Is any of the bites a possible dry bite?
No offense, but what is your weight?

And ofcourse, handling a hot by hand is just a no no :)
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Re: true venom effect of a copperhead???

Postby Jen » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:26 am

Scar69 - There are quite a few variables to consider in this scenario:
1) The dose of the venom (1 bite with a very large injection of venom may be worse than 4 'half hearted' bites)
2) The dose relative to body weight (i.e. micrograms/kg as pointed out by Silvrav)
3) The site of the bite - areas with a very high blood supply (e.g.face) will be a lot worse than areas with relatively less blood supply
4) Intravascular injection - if you are unlucky to receive a bite directly into an artery or vein
5) The speed of blood flow through your body - related to heart rate & the volume of blood ejected by your heart per beat - which goes up with stress / anxiety / exertion
The cumulative dose of the venom does make a big difference indeed with venoms with systemic effects (e.g. neurotoxins, haemotoxins) In bites with more localised effects, I would expect that it will play less of a role.
I think we need BV's opinion here
1.1.0 Epicrates cenchria cenchria
1.1.0 Corallus hortulanus
1.1.0 Heterodon nasicus
1.1.0 Trimeresurus puniceus
2.2.0 Trimeresurus albolabris
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Re: true venom effect of a copperhead???

Postby Scar69 » Wed Feb 16, 2011 10:37 am

Thanks for the response guys,

Well clearly its very easy and at the same time not so easy to die from a hot bite,
I guess its the luck of the draw,

thanks again,
Akshar Sookraj

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Re: true venom effect of a copperhead???

Postby Bushviper » Wed Feb 16, 2011 3:39 pm

Jen you are spot on.

Another thing to bear in mind is that multiple bites are usually worse though because the snake will be more agitated if it has to bite more than once to drive you off. With local toxicity it will also be worse as the area is traumatised in multiple places.

Copperheads do kill quite regularly and not just the two cases being referred to.

The chance of an allergic reaction is also a possibility as I saw one case again with a stiletto bite yesterday. Long term effects like kidney and liver damage is also not something to laugh about. Both these can cause death too.
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Re: true venom effect of a copperhead???

Postby chris vd merwe » Thu Feb 17, 2011 8:12 pm

thanks guys will do! now for convincing my dad! wish me luck,cheers!
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Re: true venom effect of a copperhead???

Postby it_bit_me » Fri Feb 18, 2011 6:39 am

Hi Chris. First step is to not call them hots , from there on it's all downhill. :)
If I'm gonna be an old, lonely man, I'm gonna need a thing, you know, a hook, like that guy on the subway who eats his own face. So I figure I'll be Crazy Man with a Snake, y'know. Crazy Snake Man. And I'll get more snakes, call them my babies, kids won't walk past my place, they will run. "Run away from Crazy Snake Man, " they'll shout!”
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Re: true venom effect of a copperhead???

Postby Tazzmanian » Thu Mar 24, 2011 11:06 pm

Hi Chris. Have you purchased your copperhead yet?

I have read the topic thoroughly and although I cannot add to what could / will happen with a bite I can add that my female Agkistrodon contortrix (Copperhead) is a real b!tch and fast as hell. She follows my every move and recoils into the strike position every time I get close to the enclosure. This is my first venomous snake (also not last) and I have gained and immense amount of respect for her by just seeing how quickly she can strike at a fuzzy.

I am not saying you shouldn't acquire one but if you do I would recommend you be very careful when feeding (use feeding tongs) and a hook to keep her one side or even get a trap box for one when cleaning the enclosure.

Her cage is locked at all times and I have have a - danger venomous - sign on it - just in case.
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Re: true venom effect of a copperhead???

Postby Sico » Fri Mar 25, 2011 8:32 am

Sorry for my belated 2c worth on this slightly dated post. I recieved a pretty decent bite from a very small copperhead about 17 years ago. Although this was very much a juvenile (2 months old) it still managed to put me in hospital for a week, and I needed some minor surgery to and major antibiotics and pain killers. Comparing this bite to those I have had from a large Stilleto snake (5 days in hospital, no surgery - was lucky on that - lots of antibiotics and pain killers) and a similar bite that I had from a juvenile puff adder (which was about twice the size of the Copperhead AND it tagged me 3 times), and although there was a lot of pain and swelling I did not go to hospital, just managed it myself with some dressings and pain killers i scrounged out of the kombuis cabinet {I'm not saying puff adders have an insignificant bite, I was just damn lucky ;)}. Please, as everyone has already stated, don't have the misconception that copperheads have only a "mild" bite.
For that matter, any veneomous snake should be considered "potentially lethal" no matter how mild the all recorded previous cases show it to be, for the fact that we all respond differently to how the venom will act upon us, and you may be the lucky person to be famous in all the future texts as "there has been one known fatality". That said, they are AWESOME snakes and I can't wait to get home full time to get another pair :)
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Re: true venom effect of a copperhead???

Postby Jamster » Fri Mar 25, 2011 10:05 am

In my experience they are quick little buggers with a monster feeding response, keep fingers far away :D
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