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Sandsnakes, garter snakes and skaapstekers [bite symptoms]

South African snakes with venoms that are not considered to be medically important.

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Sandsnakes, garter snakes and skaapstekers [bite symptoms]

Postby mania » Tue Jun 12, 2007 10:30 pm

Hi is any one able to tell me if there are any symptoms when bitten by either of the following and what are the symptoms: striped/rhombic skaapsteker(psammophylax species) ; any sand snakes (psammophis species) and garter snakes(elapsoidea species)

Thanks
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Postby Bushviper » Wed Jun 13, 2007 7:05 am

Ouch, oh well it wont be so bad! (In a nutshell)
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Postby Pythonodipsas » Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:15 am

Generally you should be ok! I wouldn't trust a garter snake (elapsoidea) too much though....may not be life threatening but may cause complications and a large one could kill a frail person.

Some people have reacted badly to Psammophis (and Telescopus - tiger snake) bites...like me, from a Psammophis subtaeniatus (Stripe-Bellied Sand Snake).

Caught in the act:
Image

1 hour later
Image

4 hours later
Image

Besides the swelling I felt fine. My armpit on the opposite side was swollen and tender. I have had many psammophis, etc. bite me when being caught and never had this kinda reaction.
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Postby EDDY » Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:39 am

One of our regular customers, a kid that I think is around about the age of 14- 15 wanted to sell a skaapsteker to me. But I told him I cant buy it because its indigeonus and you need a permit for it. Just remember this is the same kid who told me he caught a rattlesnake in the veld who spat at him.

A week or so after this he came into the shop with hes mother and she told me that the snake bit him and hes whole body swelled up and he landed in hospital for treatment.

Now from what I know if a skaapsteker bit you, you will get a headache or so. But maybe this kid had a allergic reaction or something.
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Postby Pythonodipsas » Wed Jun 13, 2007 8:51 am

Sounds like BS - maybe he had some swelling but I doubt his whole body swelled up.

Also rear fanged colubrids like heralds (crotaphopeltis) and skaapsteekers (psammophylax), etc can't give you headaches. Thats an old-wives tale. If anything the venom has a mild anticoagulant effect, much like aspirin and should take a headache away.

I think if people get headaches it is a psychosomatic response.
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Postby hammies » Wed Jun 13, 2007 9:52 am

I was bitten by a skaapsteker once(I didn't let it chew me), and absolutely nothing happened, except for a little red mark where the teeth punctured my flesh. I suspect only the front teeth got me though.
i'm not a complete idiot, some parts are still missing!!
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Postby alexander » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:06 am

I was bitten on SARCA 21 by a Western Stripe-bellied Sand Snake (Psammorphis subtaeniatus) and it seemed to get all its teeth in except the fangs,

Image

another volunteer got bitten by the same snake and the snake chewed and managed to get venom in, just some swelling that subsided in about 30 min.

Image

The first picture shows how wide they can actually open their mouths.
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Postby Bushviper » Wed Jun 13, 2007 10:46 am

Telescopus (Tiger snakes) can give you a headache you will not forget in a hurry. That with the stomach cramps will make you pull them off in a hurry next time they start chewing.
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Postby Irock » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:08 am

Sounds like that kid and his mother should be in hospital for swelling on the brain if you ask me! lol
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Postby Pythonodipsas » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:39 am

When the sand snake bit me my buddy said wait let me photgraph it biting you. I accepted and he got 2 shots in and I couldn't take it anymore. The snake must have chewed for at least 5 seconds, so I guess thats why I reacted.

I even had an wild adult P. brevirostris bite me on the nipple once (don't ask) and nothing happened except the horrid pain of the teeth going in.
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Postby froot » Wed Jun 13, 2007 11:42 am

I even had an wild adult P. brevirostris bite me on the nipple once (don't ask)


I just can't help it, I have to :-P
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Postby Pythonodipsas » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:03 pm

Well I have strange fetishes I cannot mention here...see I told you not to ask. :)

Seriously though - I was digging anthills at Hartabeespoort once and there was a large specimen in a chamber, i grabbed it mid body. It was a hot day, I had no shirt on. You can work out the rest. :)
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Postby mania » Wed Jun 13, 2007 1:23 pm

thanks for all the replys and pics
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Re: Sandsnakes, garter snakes and skaapstekers [bite symptoms]

Postby WW » Fri Jul 03, 2009 6:56 pm

I know this is two years old, but since this was linked to elsewhere: we would be eternally grateful if those who suffered these bites (e.g., Telescopus with headaches, etc.) could fill out out Colubrid bite survey: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?sm=GngJyk_2fmsvMIqRjeTGWFaQ_3d_3d

Many thanks,

Wolfgang
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Re: Sandsnakes, garter snakes and skaapstekers [bite symptoms]

Postby CLSmith » Fri Jul 03, 2009 8:18 pm

Just remember that any envenomation may result in an allergic reaction, that could be life threatening. Repeated exposure could also make one more sensitive allergic wise.

Safe herping!
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