RAUK - Archived Forum - Adder bite

This contains the Forum posts up until the end of March, 2011. Posts may be viewed but cannot be edited or replied to - nor can new posts be made. More recent posts can be seen on the new Forum at http://www.herpetofauna.co.uk/forum/

Forum Home

Adder bite:

This is Page 1

Author Message
Jerry
Senior Member
Joined: 08 Jan 2005
No. of posts: 66


View other posts by Jerry
Posted: 30 Mar 2007
Well i suppose it had to happen sometime, at 2.55pm on wed i was recording adders from an industrial area where we think new units are going to be built , myself and two friends were catching the adders , photographing each individual and then letting go, i use tongs to hold the adder near the top end and then tail as well to support the animal. It was a freshly sloughed male that pulled through the tongs and bit me on top of my knuckles. There was hardly any blood and it felt less than a bee sting. I drove to Poole Hospital and was given a steroid injection. after about 45 mins the hand was quite balloon sized. I felt quite well. after two hours the swelling was down to my elbow.At this stage at A and E  i was told i must have the antivenom. I was not too keen to have the antivenom as i know i am allergic to horses so i refused. I was admitted to a ward and monitored. My blood pressure raised a little and my heart raced off and on  a few times but i think that that was down to anxiety. The next morning my arm had grown to a giant size and my fingers were uncomfortable to use. I was givem morphine for the pain and antihistamine tablets (only 4mg though??) The pain was and still is terrible in my arm . and it is best to keep it elevated. At no time have i felt sick or even unwell, my only symptoms have been the massive swelling in my arm , i will try to post a pic of this later.Today 48 hours   later i have been discharged and me and my sorry arm will have to rest until all is well again                                    
jerry
armata
Forum Specialist
Joined: 05 Apr 2006
No. of posts: 928


View other posts by armata
Posted: 30 Mar 2007
No antivenom then? Antivenom is underused in the UK but widely used in places like Sweden the modern stuff is very good.

Jerry - why didn't you tube the darn things??

Anyway hope you are more comfortable now.
'I get my kicks on Route 62'
Alan Hyde
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 1416


View other posts by Alan Hyde
Posted: 30 Mar 2007
Hi Jerry, is that the Jerry I know from Dorset?

Sorry to hear about your mishap mate, smarts doesn't it. Wishing you a speedy recovery.


O-> O+>
Jerry
Senior Member
Joined: 08 Jan 2005
No. of posts: 66


View other posts by Jerry
Posted: 30 Mar 2007
Hiya Alan, yes it was me , thanks guys
jerry
Jerry
Senior Member
Joined: 08 Jan 2005
No. of posts: 66


View other posts by Jerry
Posted: 30 Mar 2007
[QUOTE=armata]No antivenom then? Antivenom is underused in the UK but widely used in places like Sweden the modern stuff is very good.

Jerry - why didn't you tube the darn things??

Anyway hope you are more comfortable now.[/QUOTE] Many thanks tony, i am ok now, i was just worried about allergic reaction?
jerry
Wolfgang Wuster
Senior Member
Joined: 23 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 326


View other posts by Wolfgang Wuster
Posted: 31 Mar 2007
Jerry,

Allergic reactions are easily managed in a modern hospital setting, and life-threatening symptoms of anaphylaxis are rare. If you have swelling to your elbow in 2 hrs, that is a pretty severe local effect for an adder bite - sounds like you were lucky to have got away without systemic effects, but you would have saved yourself quite a bit of pain and delay in getting your arm back to full fitness had you had the av.

And I agree with Tony - in general, tongs are not the nicest way to handle adders, tubes would be better after the initial capture.

Anyhow, glad you are OK, and hope the arm sorts itself out soon - it's not much fun having a hand out of action.

Cheers,

WWWolfgang Wuster39172.3956944444
Wolfgang Wüster
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor
http://sbsweb.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/
Jerry
Senior Member
Joined: 08 Jan 2005
No. of posts: 66


View other posts by Jerry
Posted: 31 Mar 2007
Many thanks wolfgang, i think if it happens again , i would have the antivenom. The swelling has gone from my hand to my shoulder and now down my side and the side of my stomach is now swollen 3 days later!! Although (touch wood) i feel quite well.Jerry39172.4616087963
jerry
tim hamlett
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Dec 2006
No. of posts: 572


View other posts by tim hamlett
Posted: 31 Mar 2007

my wife was bitten by an adder last year. a team of six medics worked tirelessly for 48 hours but it was no use..the snake still died.

tim


Alan Hyde
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 1416


View other posts by Alan Hyde
Posted: 31 Mar 2007


Oh and Jerry, I always knew you were a SWELL guy
Hehe, couldn't resist
O-> O+>
Alex2
Senior Member
Joined: 16 Dec 2006
No. of posts: 266


View other posts by Alex2
Posted: 31 Mar 2007

Yeah, fangs for that Alan. I seem to recall having a dream last week about someone getting bitten by an Vb, a little eerie I must say!. Out of interest how many people on this forum have been bitten by an Adder?

P.s, Best wishes for a speedy recovery Jerry.


Alan Hyde
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 1416


View other posts by Alan Hyde
Posted: 31 Mar 2007
He He Tims post tickled me too.

Well, yush i've been tagged three times and three times i've been very lucky and recieved minor bites.
My worst bite was by a neo male albolabris back in the early 90's

I'm not proud of any of them and do not intend on being bitten again. In the younger days like many guys I was alot more careless and believed myself to be invincible .
No more bites
O-> O+>
Alan Hyde
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 1416


View other posts by Alan Hyde
Posted: 31 Mar 2007
Looking forward to your bite list Tony
O-> O+>
armata
Forum Specialist
Joined: 05 Apr 2006
No. of posts: 928


View other posts by armata
Posted: 31 Mar 2007
Well...er, like you say, nothing to be proud of.

My first, and the worse was a VN female tagged with one fang when I was 11 London Zoo found some AV in the tea cupboard (I was told later [hope RG foesn't read this!] and they pumped the lot into me - my heart stopped for a while, my mother was told the worse etc etc. It 6 weeks phsio to get my arm back into shape - I was quite the hero at school though.

Then when serving in HMF in Kenya I was getting a big puffie out from under a bungalow - it nailed me fair and square on the back of my right hand - I still lack the muscle in bottom part of my palm plus a nice scar.

A weird one also in HMF in Borneo I was on patrol and my Gurkha oppo in front let a branch come back in my face -trouble was a green bamboo viper was on the branch and struck out - it was literally hanging by one fang from just under my eye. It was a dry bite but scary - and we ate the snake.

Been tagged a couple of times by Vb since over the years but nothing to write home about.

Nowadys I must be the most careful snake handler there is - I discourage all this macho stuff about necking, and some guys still free handle such as boomlang and even cobras.

Anyway Jerry hope you are mending, AV is mostly used on dogs in UK than people, but the Zagreb AV is excellent.
But I think most medical staff in UK are of a mindset that it is not needed. All of you out there, please do not underestimate the bite, and take special care.
'I get my kicks on Route 62'
herpetologic2
Senior Member
Joined: 15 Jun 2004
No. of posts: 1369


View other posts by herpetologic2
Posted: 01 Apr 2007

DO NOT DRIVE if you have been bitten - this is highly dangerous for you and other road users what if you had collapsed at the wheel!

This happened to a well known herper (now in NZ) who drove home only to collapse on his drive way.....

I think that medical staff in Urban or suburban hospitals do give antivenom - my wifes uncle (a country GP) suggested that this is not required - just good care in hospital - though of course with bed waiting targets the quicker they can get the swelling controlled which is what the antivenin is used for - I know as in my case I got home after 48 hours in hospital for the swelling to come back up to my elbow and gradually came down. I didnt have any of the initial symptoms I had while in A&E.

The doctor was worried about the swelling and so administered the antivenin through a drip.

Personally I would always tube snakes and only if I have to capture the animals

JC

PS bite lists who is being macho?

 


Vice Chair of ARG UK - self employed consultant -
visit ARG UK & Alresford Wildlife
Jerry
Senior Member
Joined: 08 Jan 2005
No. of posts: 66


View other posts by Jerry
Posted: 01 Apr 2007
many thanks for the kind words guys question, can anyone tell me if i was bitten again could i expect the same symptoms or would they be different for each bite?Jerry39173.2177430556
jerry
Jerry
Senior Member
Joined: 08 Jan 2005
No. of posts: 66


View other posts by Jerry
Posted: 01 Apr 2007
[QUOTE=Alex2]

Yeah, fangs for that Alan. I seem to recall having a dream last week about someone getting bitten by an Vb, a little eerie I must say!. Out of interest how many people on this forum have been bitten by an Adder?

P.s, Best wishes for a speedy recovery Jerry.

[/QUOTE] cheers buddy
jerry
tim hamlett
Senior Member
Joined: 17 Dec 2006
No. of posts: 572


View other posts by tim hamlett
Posted: 01 Apr 2007

tony - your book...will it be just about your experiences with uk adders or will it be about other experiences. sounds like there's a couple of book's worth in just the stuff you've posted on this thread!

tim


armata
Forum Specialist
Joined: 05 Apr 2006
No. of posts: 928


View other posts by armata
Posted: 01 Apr 2007
No anecdotes in the books sorry - save that for another time

'Old World Vipers' covers the Azemiopinae and Viperinae, 93 species in 15 genera.
'The adder' based on my long term study also includes the work of others in Europe
'I get my kicks on Route 62'
Wolfgang Wuster
Senior Member
Joined: 23 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 326


View other posts by Wolfgang Wuster
Posted: 02 Apr 2007
[QUOTE=armata] My first, and the worse was a VN female [/QUOTE]

VN???

Cheers,

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Wüster
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor
http://sbsweb.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/
Wolfgang Wuster
Senior Member
Joined: 23 Apr 2003
No. of posts: 326


View other posts by Wolfgang Wuster
Posted: 02 Apr 2007
[QUOTE=Jerry] many thanks for the kind words guys question, can anyone tell me if i was bitten again could i expect the same symptoms or would they be different for each bite?[/QUOTE]

Unpredictable - the biggest variable is how much venom the snake generously donates to the cause, and that can vary from "zilch" to "all it's got". So you may get the same symptoms, more severe, lesser, or quite different. Every bite is different, both in terms of quantity of venom and even potentially in terms of what toxins are most represented in that individual snake's venom that day.

Cheers,

Wolfgang
Wolfgang Wüster
School of Biological Sciences, University of Wales, Bangor
http://sbsweb.bangor.ac.uk/~bss166/

- Adder bite

This is Page 1

Content here