When a rattlesnake bites a person, they die in how many minutes?

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When a rattlesnake bites a person, they die in how many minutes?

Ryan Payne

Votes: 9883

More like hours to days.

Rattlesnake venom isn’t particularly toxic- there’s just a lot of it that can be injected. The sooner you get antivenom, the better, but you’re not going to take two steps and drop dead.

Caro Anderson

Votes: 2906

How long do you have after being bitten by a rattlesnake?

Too many variables to give any sort of exact answer- & happily, many rattlesnake bites do NOT result in death.

Symptoms will start immediately in terms of increasing pain & swelling, but a great deal depends on what KIND of rattlesnake you’re bitten by, & also, WHERE on your body the bite occurred. No matter the species, all rattlesnake venom contains a mixture of enzymes that basically start the digestive process as well as serving to immobilize the prey, & there are components that speed the venom thru the bloodstream, so there’s not much you can do in the way of first aid to change that- it’

Jon Quirk

Votes: 456

Generally speaking, you have roughly 30 minutes to get to a hospital before the situation becomes unsavable.

Most rattle snakes have a hemotoxic venom that breaks down and attacks your blood and prevents it from clotting

As horrible as that sounds, most people survive getting bit by rattle snakes if they can get to the hospital fast enough, rattle snake antivenom is usually pretty plentiful since so many states have a rattle snake subspecies. Out of the 8000 people annually who are bitten by venomous snakes, only about 5 of those people die.

Your chances of surviving a bite are actually pretty high. The faster you get to medical attention the better.

Edward Peterson

Votes: 4474

How long does it take for a rattlesnake bite to kill you?

I never been bitten by a rattlesnake, but I know how long it takes for a rattlesnake to die after I shoot it. I have become very proficient with my Browning Challenger .22 caliber pistol. Rarely do I need more than one shot to put one in the snake’s head. Then it just squirms a bit and it is all over. I see a rattlesnake, I shoot a rattlesnake, and I let the coyotes have it.

Phil Egan

Votes: 8846

How long does it take for a rattlesnake bite to kill you?

Fatalities from rattlesnakes are uncommon.

Apparently deaths most commonly occur between 6 and 48 hours after a bite.

I saw an article in the National Geographic magazine some years ago that said that up to 50% of rattlesnake bites occur after the snake has been killed.

Apparently that even after death the heat sensor/bite reflex is still active in the snake.

People are bitten when they hold the dead snake up to have a close look and the heat sensors activate a strike and the observer is bitten often on the face or nose.

Terry DinermanTommy Moreels

Votes: 7494

Sure. The bite itself is rarely fatal on its own.

It is the ensuing necrosis, infection and sepsis that will kill you.

And lets not forget the searing, towering, unendurable PAIN…

You figure on leaving THIS wound untreated, Scooter…???

Michael Fetterman

Votes: 5742

In many cases, you would survive from a rattlesnake bite. The last fatality in the US was a preacher in a church in the Southeastern US, where dancing with venomous snakes to prove their faith and refusing treatment is par for the course, had succumbed to his 161st bite before he died. That was over the course of his life time.

In the old west, cowboys learned at the time, that doctors would prescribe whiskey for the pain of rattlesnake bites. Some cowboys were getting bitten every other Friday night, just to get some treatment.

I will admit, some people do die from snakebites, however, it is usually someone with other health problems that complicate the situation. Heart issues, lots of allergies, handicapped and alone, things of that nature. It is usually about 1 per 1000, since we have about 8000 bites per year and less than a half dozen fatalities. Since the year 2000 we have had nearly 30 fatalities, more than 24 of those occurred at those churches that practice temptations of faith. People who get bitten, go to the hospital within a few hours, get the real treatment of freeze dried horse or sheep white blood cells that carry immunity to every rattlesnake, copperhead, and cottonmouth in the US. Most medical facilities use polyvalent serums, that just means an anti venin that works for every snake from that continent. That way, the victim, 1. does not need to know what it was. 2. does not have to get bitten again trying to kill it. AND 3. does not bring a venomous reptile into the hospital. They don’t care what it looks like or what it is. They don’t need to know. One serum is good for all the vipers that cause pain, swelling and tissue damage. In the southeast, and the deserts, if someone is very tired, with trouble breathing, and the bite does not seem to be causing much destruction around the bite area, then they know it was a coral snake. They use coral snake serum when someone has those symptoms.

Be cautious not to watch too much Netflix and fall into the trap of the Hollywood reptiles. All the crocodiles and alligators are man eaters, anacondas eating people, pythons squeezing kids, people getting bitten in the desert, falling down two minutes later telling their friends, ‘ It’s too late for me, go on without me, save yourselves,” Rarely a few types of crocodilians get large enough to eat humans in Africa, Australia, Indonesia, Malaysia, Thailand, Myanmar, and India. There are no credible reports of any snake actually swallowing a person. The only stories seen, show up in Asian versions of the National Enquirer. Snakes that constrict, like pythons and little milk snakes, will bite their food, hang on to it with their teeth and lightly constrict enough that the blood flow stops, kind of like a full body sleeper hold. Then the start ‘swallowing from the nose. People just don’t smell good to snakes. They love the smell of rodent, bird, lizard, sometimes fish, frogs, goats, deer and dogs, but to squeeze a person, you would have to make the persons hand smell like it had touched a dog. Then the snake would think it was a dog. But nobody who keeps pet snakes ever keeps pet dogs, right? You can see how an accident could happen in captivity, but in the wild, reptiles are shy, secretive, and hide until discovered or stepped on, then the fight or flight, whatever makes more sense. Don’t make a snake defend itself, and you have a leg up on the situation. Just turn and walk away. Maybe you noticed, they have no legs and most snakes never reach speeds of 2 mph. The fastest snakes in the world go 7–10 mph depending on who you talk to. The average person walks 3–4 mph, and the a person who just saw a snake walks on average 5–7 mph. Just don’t trip, fall and split your head open. And don’t run and step on another snake, you just saw one, it may just be a good area for snakes to hang out, lots of mice or other food for them there and you don’t want to run from one and step on three. Walking is plenty fast enough.

The fastest I have heard of any snake anywhere killing anyone with venom was just over twenty minutes. It was a pretty big cobra. And the bite was right on a major artery. Just bad luck. Keep in mind, that is an exception, rarely do people die within hours.

Scott Whipple

Votes: 1096

Yes, but let’s discuss what it means to be “coiled.” Being coiled into a round ball (a.k.a. the “resting coil”) is not the best position for a rattlesnake to strike from. A rattlesnake CAN strike from this position, but it will have to uncoil itself while striking, which will limit its range and accuracy. The optimal position for biting is called the “striking S” or “S coil,” in which the snake’s tail is kept tightly on the ground while the front half of its body is elevated and drawn back into an S shape. From the striking S coil, a rattlesnake can quickly lash out to bite – with accuracy – about half its body length in distance. If you see a rattlesnake in this position, it means business! From the striking S, a rattlesnake can still use the back half its body to crawl away, while continuing to face and strike out at whatever danger it perceives.

The first picture shows a rattlesnake in the classic “striking S coil” position. The second shows a rattlesnake curled up into a resting ball coil. You can see how the second snake could go from ball to “striking S” very quickly, just by lifting the front of its body. But, it will take a second or two for the snake lift the front of its body while simultaneously uncoiling the back of its body. If the snake tries to strike directly from a resting coil, it will not have as much range or accuracy.

A rattlesnake snake that isn’t coiled at all can still bite, but it will have very little range and accuracy when it strikes. Indeed, rattlesnakes that are stretched out are generally trying to get away rather strike/bite. This last picture shows a rattlesnake in full retreat, trying to get away from me as I take its picture. Even though I’m very close, this snake is not in any position to bite me at all, and the only way it could effectively bite me is to turn around and rear up into a striking position. If I were stupid, I could get in front of the snake and let it crawl up to me and bite at short range. More often, if a rattlesnake bites from this position it’s because somebody walked right in front the snake very close, without seeing it. This does happen, because snakes tend to “freeze” in place when something large (like a human) approaches them.

Mark Werner

Votes: 2040

Much depends on the size and species of rattlesnake…. They vary considerably. Also, the location of the bite and if medical treatment is available.

A bite on the extremity by a small or medium sized serpent will, if untreated, cause a lot of tissue damage and may be permanently disabling, but may not be fatal.

However, a bite from the big species like the Eastern Diamondback may be very dangerous indeed. The fangs can be up to one inch in length and a large amount of venom injected. If the bite happens to hit a blood vessel directly (unlikely), then without medical treatment the victim could be in very serious trouble in short order.

Philippa Alderton

Votes: 9710

If it’s Trump, or any of his crew, they die in seconds 🙂 Agent Orange is Toxic!

But, your average rattlesnake does not die after biting their prey, unless their prey happens to cut their head off. Rattlesnakes are NOT bees, which when they sting, lose half of their back end.

Jeff Mellinger

Votes: 2589

How long does it take for a rattlesnake bite to kill you?

A rattlesnakes bite is most cases is not a death sentence if you get treatment soon after you have been biten. If the bite is left untreated then there is a possibility that you could die but most of the time you just get very sick.

Brodie Brickey

Votes: 4749

Rattlesnake bites rarely kill the individual. Mostly they cause loss of a limb or loss of function of that limb or extremity. Most (not all) rattlesnake venom is hemolytic meaning that it breaks up tissues, muscle, nerve, and blood are all tissues. Hemolytic venom breaks down the constituents of the tissue so it no longer functions. In the case of blood it will no longer carry oxygen or carbon dioxide. The affected nerves will no longer function and signals will no longer be sent to the muscles.

The Mojave Green Diamondback rattlesnake is the only one in the United States that has a neurotoxin in its venom. It kills fairly quickly by stopping the central nervous system from doing its job. Generally, suffocation follows if the dose of venom is high enough.

Rattlesnake venom is created by modified salivary glands, hence the digestive properties of the venom. It is a good deal for the snake. By the time the snake finds its prey a good amount of the digestive process has already taken place.

Doug Sofranko

Votes: 397

Rattlesnake bites very rarely result in death at all. Even in the rare instances that it does, it is not possible to identify a period of how many minutes. It would vary according to the snake, it’s type of (and amount of) venom Injected, health status of the victim, height, weight, etc. could be minutes, hours or days… but again death resulting from rattlesnake bites are extremely rare to begin with.

Greg Scharff

Votes: 6617

I was 8 years old when I was bitten by a Diamond Back Rattlesnake. The bite was not that painful. It was definitely more scary than painful and I vividly remember the huge fangs. I was bitten on my hand twice and there were 4 puncture marks and just a little blood. As an 8 year old since it didn’t hurt I really wasn’t scared. I remember the fireman coming and panicking which was a little scary and being put in the ambulance which was really fun as we sped through all the red lights and the traffic parted. However my arm started to swell painfully and once we got to the hospital the treatment was horrible. I was thrown into a tub of iced water which seemed to be more ice than water and was held down by several strong adults as I screamed. I still hate cold water to this day. Then after what seemed an eternity, they took me out of the tub and put my arm in a plastic bag of ice which was incredibly painful. I was then given anti venom which I had a strong allergic reaction too breaking out all over my body. I also remember getting shot after shot and being continually woken up. All in all a terrifying experience that I have not forgotten and the treatment was far worse than the bite. Hopefully the treatment is much better today.

Ryan Payne

Votes: 8583

First thinga first; take a couple of deep breaths and calm down. For most snake bites, its all shock and awe. The majority of nonvenomous bites do not cause major harm and only minor pain. Some even fail to break the skin.

Most bites will be defensive in nature; the snake will bite and them immediately recoil away. The snake has zero desire to eat you. That being said, they are not the smartest animals; they may confuse you for a rodent. If this is the case, they will likely not let go. (Its almost comical to watch a ball python or corn snake try to “eat” your thumb, only to realize its too large.)

Venomous snakes will almost always release you, regardless of the nature of the bite. Nonvenomous snakes will have to be removed.

This does NOT mean rip the snake off.

(I believe this is a reticulated python skull.)

Almost, if not all, nonvenomous snakes will have several rows of razor sharp, recurved teeth. That is not as terrifying as it sounds. These teeth will produce several dozen relatively “clean” (figurative use of the word) puncture wounds. Their teeth are designed to grip their prey, whereas a dog’s are designed to rip and tear flesh off bone.

If you are bitten by a large python, you will bleed- a lot. You will be in pain. Your house will resemble a murder scene. But, despite all this, you are not in any danger (assuming the snake isn’t constricting your neck/chest, and this is why you always have two people when handling large snakes.)

A large constrictor bite is a worst case scenario nonvenomous bite. Simply relax (hard to do, I know) and analyze the situation. Make the snake let go by pouring a small amount of mouthwash or hard liquor into its mouth. Do NOT use force; you’ll tear yourself up and potentially rip some of the snake’s teeth out.

Once the snake is off, secure it in its enclosure. Go into the kitchen or bathroom and irrigate the bite with large amounts of running water. This will flush out most bacteria and debris. Dry the bite with sterile gauze and rinse with an antiseptic (I highly recommend one with lidocaine in it.) Dab antibiotic ointment on the bite using a sterile cotton applicator and apply a NON-ADHERANT surgical dressing to the bite. This thin piece of petroleum jelly soaked plastic mesh will ensure the gauze is not clotted into the wound. Then dress with sterile gauze to absorb blood and wrap with medical tape (I recommend cloth tape.) Pop some ibuprofen (Motrin) and ice and elevate the bite to reduce swelling and pain. Go to your local pharmacy and get a tetanus booster if its been more than five years since your last one. Monitor the bite for localized infection and seek medical treatment if one develops.

If you begin to feel faint, dress the bite and lie down for a few minutes. This is a phenomenon known as vasovagal syncope that some people suffer from when injured. It is not dangerous in and of itself. (Losing consciousness while driving, however, is not harmless.)

Other than salmonella (which would require you to eat the snake’s feces,) tetanus (which can happen from any puncture wound,) and localized infections, there are no transmissible diseases from snakes.

Venomous bites require prompt medical attention to minimize damage. Don’t panic, call an ambulance, and dress the bite in the same way (just exclude the ibuprofen.) If you are healthy and not allergic, a venomous bite will take several hours to several days to kill. It is an emergency, but you are unlikely to die.

Gianluca Podda

Votes: 3151

How long does it take for a rattlesnake bite to kill you?

you might as well save yourself, poison is not deadly, but if it takes too long time it could cause gangrene in the arm/leg, it dipends from person to person (age, health etc…)

John Dasef

Votes: 3476

Original question: Are rattlesnake bites deadly?

Not generally, but they certainly can be.

Any bite from a venomous snake should be considered serious and requiring of medical attention. There are four major factors that will determine whether or not the bite is likely to be fatal:

The long-term average of deaths from venomous snake bites in the U.S. is 5 per year, while the average number of bites is around 7,000, so the odds are pretty good.

Don Mcdougal

Votes: 5341

How long do you have after being bitten by a rattlesnake?

I have waited a week to go or not gone at all but I know what’s bad bite is I recommend asap I had to deal with the bite being 3days from helo I’ve had dr tell me that I was lucky and I tell them I have had to many bites and I don’t panic that’s the key stay calm and get help ASAP

Harry Grant

Votes: 7737

When a rattlesnake lunges forward to deliver a bite, it opens its jaws to their maximum limit, as the illustration on the right side of fig. 1 kinda-sorta depicts, where this illustration really fails, is that while it’s a decent depiction of how wide the jaws of a rattlesnake would be open (they’d actually be opened wider than what you see here) when its head is approaching the victim to deliver the bite, it does not, however, depict the correct positions of the Maxilla bone and fangs which would be rotated up to a position where the fangs would be pointing directly at the victim’s leg, arm or whatever part of the body the snake was aiming at. I tried to find a drawing that would better illustrate this but failed to do so miserably.

Looking at fig. 1, notice the different mechanical positions of the Pterygoid, Quadrate and Transpalatine bones of a rattlesnake’s skull in relation to its Mandible bone when its jaws are nearly closed (if the jaws were completely closed the maxilla bone and fangs would be rotated completely up against the roof of the snake’s mouth), or when opened to its maximum extent as described above to deliver a bite.

Fig. 1 Major bones of a rattlesnake’s skull with its musculature and connective tissue removed.

When a rattlesnake bites, the Compressor glandulae muscles around the main venom gland contacts and forces venom from the main venom gland through the primary duct to the accessory venom gland through the secondary duct and down through the hollow grooved fangs, and into the prey.

Viperid venom gland and apparatus: From the Handbook of Venoms and Toxins of Reptiles, ed. Stephen P. Mackessy. CRC Press 2010, pg. 71.

Source: adapted from a webarticle titled Sanhedrin 78a-“Where do snakes store their venom-Talmudology” on the talmudology website; Oct. 2 2017.

Rick R

Votes: 4590


For credentials, I worked for years at a camp in the mountains of Southern California at which I was the person in charge of dealing with rattlesnakes. They entered our consciousness about once a week during the warm months. I’ve captured, relocated, and killed dozens of them (and I even sat on one once). I’ve been around rattlesnakes more than my fair share.

We have the Southern Pacific Rattlesnake, which are medium length, thick-bodied, and have dark gray scales with a beige or brown criss-cross pattern down their backs. They have highly complex venom, and several distinct rattle sounds they produce, from an intense buzzing sound to a choppy, repeating ‘ch-ch-ch’ sound, and different combinations of them. All of them are unmistakable, visceral sounds that seem to bypass our ears and land at the base of our primate brains.

In all that time I dealt with rattlesnakes, I only knew one guy who got bitten, and unsurprisingly, he was bitten on the hand. And why was he bitten? Because he was messing with the snake.

The snakes are not particularly aggressive, and will readily avoid a confrontation with humans if at all possible. Most bites occur to males who are aware of the snake before the bite occurs. Most bites happen on the hands, and are inflicted on intoxicated individuals. So don’t be a drunk guy trying to grab a snake, and you will greatly reduced your chances of being bitten.

Chance encounters occur, but those rarely result in bites.

Anecdote time: I was leading a hike with a group of campers, and we stopped for a short break. I sat down on a small fallen log (8-inch diameter) to rest. I sat there for probably 2 minutes, and when I stood up, I noticed a tiny little baby rattlesnake coiled up so cute and perfect right at the base of the log, right where I had been sitting, about 8 inches from my crotch. It was probably asleep (snakes don’t have eyelids), and didn’t hear us (snakes are basically deaf, but can sense vibrations in the air and through the ground, akin to hearing).

I may have just been lucky, and I concede that others have been less lucky, stepping on snakes, or encountering them by chance in other ways, and being bitten. But for the most part, you are in little danger of being bitten by a rattlesnake, and if you encounter one, stay away! Don’t go looking for trouble where it doesn’t exist. Or as the kids say, “F**k around and find out.”

Thomas Fant

Votes: 9235

Edit: If you read my answer, please also read the comment from Tom McDonald. And if you are a herpetologist or work with snakes in some other capacity, please consider weighing in.

Edit addendum: It seems that my answer rested on what I had previously thought were well understood aspects of snake bites, but apparently this is not the case. In a particular study cited by Tom McDonald below, it was demonstrated that though it may be possible for snakes to control the amount of venom they inject in a bite, there are many other confounding factors at play in differential venom delivery, and it can’t be said with real certainty whether snakes can or do consciously decide how much venom they deliver.

It can be. It’s because adult snakes have learned to modulate the amount of venom they administer in a bite, and when biting defensively will actually often avoid injecting any venom. This is because they don’t want to waste their metabolically expensive venom on an animal larger than they can eat, when a simple bite will probably cause the threat to flee. But baby snakes have not developed as much finesse, and so will often inject their entire payload of venom in defensive bites.

M. A. Steinberger

Votes: 9609

Can a horse survive a rattlesnake bite?

Can a horse survive a rattlesnake bite?

It depends on where it is bitten. If the horse has put its nose down into grass or low brush, and the snake bites it on the nose, the airways will swell shut. The horse will asphyxiate, unless you know how to do a tracheotomy and carry a sharp knife. Remember, horses cannot mouth-breathe.

if somehow the horse gets bitten on, for example, its buttocks, or in another large muscle, if kept quiet, it will normally be able to absorb the venom and deal with it without real danger.

Andie Lenhard

Votes: 4419

Will a decapitated rattlesnake bite?

The venom glands ducts go from the glands to the fangs, which are constructed like hypodermic needles. If there is any pressure put on the glands the venom can come out of the fangs. A decaptitated snake head may still have muscle spasms in the cheeks and reactive biting reflexes for some time after death, so yes it can bite you. Even well after death if you handle the head improperly it is possible to envenomate yourself.

Michael Fetterman

Votes: 9056

What is the most rattlesnake bites someone survived?

I know many people who have been bitten many times. Clyde Peeling, a big name in the Reptile Zoo community, was bitten by Rattlesnakes and copperheads 5 times whilst a teenager in the 50s and early 60s including a large western diamond back. However, his last bite was when he was 19, 2 years before he opened Reptiland, the zoo in 1964, and hasn’t been bitten since, (he has employees for that now.) I had been bitten by a spitting cobra, western diamond back rattlesnake, and a gila monster, plus had hundreds of insect poisonings from cyanide laced giant millipedes.

Bill Kelly

Votes: 8606

Yes, rattlesnakes can bite while swimming.

I knew a guy who used to swim across a lake at night as his favorite summer exercise. He’d tie a life jacket to his ankle in case he needed to rest. When he put his feet downward, the jacket would float at chest level. If necessary, he could strap into the life jacket while floating. I never thought he was all that bright, and I always thought the the biggest advantage of the life jacket is that they would be able to find his body hanging below the life jacket after he drowned.

He once started feeling really bad. He eventually went to the hospital, and they were having a hard time figuring out what was wrong with him. At some point, they decided that he’d been bitten by a venomous snake while swimming the lake. The bite could have been from a copperhead or a rattlesnake, but he was bit while he and the snake were swimming. He never felt the bite, but he felt the effects of the venom hours later.

Question as asked at the time of my answer:

Can rattlesnakes bite while swimming?

Mark Lapierre

Votes: 2448

Have you or anyone you’ve known been bit by a rattlesnake?

Yes to both. While doing a snake removal in a north Phoenix area in the 70’s, I engaged a by actual measurement a 6’ 6” female diamondback. I pinned her down all was good, till the old man who owned property decided to try to whack the snake’s head, hitting the back of my hand instead. My hand lost grip she turned and bit. Just caught a bit of skin on both sides of my thumb. No envenomation. She was gravid, gave birth to 25 young. A friend and I are active in the summer months doing educational “snakeshow” at forest service parks etc. While putting away the diamondback from showcase to regular

Kimberly Gabaldon

Votes: 2832

Does a rattlesnake seldom bite?

That depends on the situation, the species, and the individual snake. Some tend to be fairly laid back, while others are reputed to be more hot-tempered. But any rattlesnake can bite, if it is startled, or certainly if it is stepped on. Of course, most would bite if someone attempted to pick them up — so don’t.

There are 32 different species of rattlesnake in the U.S., with 83 subspecies, so generalizations are difficult.

Jaylynn Nichols

Votes: 707

Why do rattlesnakes bite?

These segments knock against each other to produce a buzzing sound when the snake holds its tail vertically and vibrates the rattle. Each time a rattle snake sheds its skin it adds another segment to the rattle. In rattlesnakes, hissing and rattling their tails both serve as warning signals and if the enemy doesn’t back away it will bite.

Doug Sofranko

Votes: 6641

Is it true that a rattlesnake can bite you even a few minutes after you cut his head?

Yes it is absolutely true. Snakes are ectothermic (cold-blooded), so they do not thermoregulate internally. They rely on outside sources for heat. Because their bodies aren’t generating their own heat, their energy and oxygen requirements are quite low. Thus, they can survive without oxygen for quite some time.

It’s also why they continue to move after having their head cut off. The nervous system of the snake is pre-programmed to make certain movements without needing a signal from the brain. Thus, the body will reflexively writhe for a period of time after being cut off from the brain. The he

Steve Noskowicz

Votes: 4875

How long can people live after being bit by a rattlesnake?

Pretty much 90 years, TOPS!

Q: How long can people live after being bit by a rattlesnake?

Brian Casady

Votes: 7180

Will a rattlesnake bite kill you without treatment?

That is a big MAYBE! Did the snake inject venom? Where was the bite on the victim? What is the victim’s overall health? What type of rattlesnake was it?

All of these questions have an effect on the potential outcome. No venom, also known as a dry bite, good potential outcome. Infection is a possibility. Venom injected: there is where other factors come into play. Is the victim an adult in good health? Chances are pretty good. Poor health, maybe diabetic or has a heart condition, chances of death are increasing rapidly. Rattlesnake type: here is another issue. Timber rattlesnake, prairie rattles

Swetha Anil

Votes: 3329

How do you treat a rattlesnake bite?

The first and most important thing to do is get away from the snake, as they can strike again if they feel threatened.

Don’t waste time trying to catch the snake, but try to remember its size and colour. This may help your medical team identify which species it was that bit you and locate the correct antivenin.

Seek medical assistance as soon as possible. Call for an ambulance if you’re able to.

There are some common misconceptions about the treatment of rattlesnake bites. While waiting for the ambulance, here’s how to minimize your risk:

Michael Smith

Votes: 4539

Do rattlesnakes play dead?

No, rattlesnakes do not play dead. There are times when they won’t rattle and willl just lay there even if you step right next to them, but that’s not playing dead that’s just staying out of the way. An example of a snake that actually does play dead is the Hognose snake. This snake will Bluster and Bluff and then if it doesn’t work we’ll roll over on its back with its mouth open tongue lolling an

Ken Saladin

Votes: 334

How come rattlesnakes don’t die from their own poison? If a rattlesnake bites another one will the bitten snake die from the strike?

I was once present in a biology lab when some students put one pygmy rattlesnake in a terrarium with another. One of the snakes soon bit the other, and that one died. This doesn’t prove that it died from the venom—a fang could have pieced a vital organ and killed the victim by physical injury alone. And even if the second snake had not died, it would not prove immunity from the venom, because many snake bites are dry bites, with no venom injection. So this is a fairly worthless anecdote, but maybe of some interest anyway.

The question of snake immunity to their own species’ venom has been asked

Laurent Colvin

Votes: 6830

Would an x-ray show a sewing needle tip if under the bone?

X-rays pass through tissue or don’t pass through tissue based on their density. Bone is much more dense than the surrounding soft tissue, and as such prevents most of the X-rays from reaching the film, and so the film remains white.

A metal object is even more dense than bone, and will show up as a solid white object on the film.

If the piece of metal is very small, it might get lost if it is behind the bone. So shots taken at different angles may be able to show the object standing out against the less dense softer tissue.

Michael Fetterman

Votes: 1718

Can a cow die from a rattlesnake bite?

Yes, they could. Hooved animals, however, are the very animals the rattle has evolved. Snakes are deaf, completely deaf to all airborne sounds. They do, however, feel the stomps of large animals nearby vibrating through the soil on their belly and possibly their jaw.

When a rattlesnake feels the ground vibrating, it instantly fears being crushed to death by large feet, and the snake starts to shiver with fear. A crooked scale on the tail, that has happened fairly recently in snake history, catches skin on each shed turning it inside out on to the next, making the rattle. The snake does not even

Richard Thomas

Votes: 8857

Are timber rattlesnake bites fatal?

It depends. Assuming you are referring to bites received by people and not field mice, bites can be fatal, but the majority of bites are not. I was bitten by a timber rattler. It was not pleasant, but I didn’t die. I did receive antivenom, which probably kept me from serious scarring or even losing a hand but not from dying (I’m betting that without antivenom I wouldn’t have died). There are many variables in venomous snakebites, and even bites from some of the most dangerous snakes, e. g., a king cobra, are not fatal in the majority of cases. My Handbook of Clinical Toxicology of Animal Venom

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