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Old 08-04-2005, 01:06 PM   #1
Copperhead question

There is no antivenom for copperheads right???
What do they give for a bite....if anything
I dont have one now but have been considering it.

Thanks Jason
Old 08-04-2005, 01:45 PM   #2
You're considering getting a copperhead, or getting bitten by one?
Old 08-04-2005, 01:49 PM   #3
OK OK, I'll stop being a wiseass...

If necessary, rattlesnake antivenin is used. However, since most copperhead bites are not very potent, many people choose to not risk the injection of antivenin and stick with just cleaning, disinfecting, and waiting.

This is from the web:
Surgical Associates of Richmond, VA 23235, USA.

Polyvalent antivenin remains the most recommended treatment of crotalid envenomation, including copperhead snakebites. Because of the significant morbidity associated with antivenin therapy, some have proposed conservative therapy for less serious envenomations. Few if any studies have separated the treatment of the less serious copperhead bite from the more serious bite of a rattlesnake or a water moccasin. Fifty-five patients, including 12 children, with copperhead bites were treated over a 12-year period. All 55 patients were successfully treated conservatively without antivenin. Conservative treatment resulted in no deaths, limb loss, or residual disability. The mean hospital stay was 2.15 days compared with 3.9 days in patients with systemic symptoms. These data support a conservative approach to most copperhead envenomations and suggest that the treatment for copperhead bites should be segregated from the more serious rattlesnake and water moccasin snakebites.
Old 08-04-2005, 03:18 PM   #4
While antivenin is usually not necessary with contortrix bites they are still a medical emergency and you should always get to the hospital ASAP. Many contortrix bites only cause localized pain and swelling but others can cause systemic symptoms or even anaphylaxis.

When Ms. Terese mentioned that most bites only require cleaning, disinfecting and waiting I didn't want you to interpret her statement to mean that these things should be done at home or that you should wait to seek medical treatment. (I believe she meant that this would be the hospital's course of treatment in most cases.)

Copperheads are awesome animals and make a good first hot for the responsible keeper who already has experience with non venomous snakes.
Just treat them with the same respect that you would treat the most deadly venomous snake and you'll avoid the complacency that causes most bites.
Good luck,
Old 08-04-2005, 04:39 PM   #5
Chris, you are absolutely correct! I did not communicate that very well!

Always, ALWAYS seek medical treatment for any envenomation!
Old 08-05-2005, 12:08 AM   #6
Thanks for the responses...and yea..i new to get to a hospital...LOL
Old 08-05-2005, 05:27 AM   #7
I'll have to check with this person I know who got bitten by a Southern copperhead not too long ago. I do know he said he went to the hospital and was given antivenom treatment. What kind of treatment I will inquire about when I see him next.

The best bit (pun intended) of advice I can give you is, don't get bitten. Which means use your head at all times when dealing with hots. I'd suggest getting a good pair of tongs and make sure the enclosure you are planning to use for it is lockable.
Old 08-05-2005, 09:29 AM   #8
I do know he said he went to the hospital and was given antivenom treatment.
Probably Crofab.....It's usually not necessary but a bad bite from a big ol' southern may be enough to warrant it in some cases.

This may be a helpful link Jason...

Here's a pretty southern I saw in NW FL in June.
<img src=>
Old 01-27-2010, 09:20 PM   #9
cool i was thinking of getting one of these as a 1st time hot herp
Old 01-28-2010, 11:11 AM   #10
Tim Cole
Originally Posted by mosy View Post
cool i was thinking of getting one of these as a 1st time hot herp
Only native hots are allowed to be kept in California.

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