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Whose been bitten

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AGILIS View Drop Down
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    Posted: 29 May 2012 at 7:10am
Well all this negative scare mongaring by so called wildlife groups.How many of us have been bitten by a wild snake.I have when a teenager by a small adder that just about pierced the skin on my thumb and guess what I survived LOL and also had a adder bite 0n the foot whilst wearing plimsoles (trainers of the day for those who have never heard of them)this was in Gemmas old playground the Devils punch bowl in Hindhead.

Then in the 1960s I was living in QLD. Australia and got bitten twice by a yellow face whip snake slightly venomous more likely the same venom strength as our adder my own fault I decided to stop it clad only in a pair of thongs (not backless knickers lol} when it turned its head and sunk its fangs into my little toe twice.drawing blood and it bloody hurt, had swollen foot for a week and could not wear shoes,and was to embarrassed to go to the doctors good job it was not a deadly one and had plenty of near misses with death adders and dugites and the odd tiger snakes in Western Aus and been bitten by a big lace monitor on the leg and that did hurt .point being this happened because of involvement in catching etc,which means you are less likely to be bitten if not interfering with their habitat.
Well the only bite reports on this site I believe was Alan Hydes tagging and Tony Phelp,in SA.who else has had a bite even from their pet corn snake ??
Keith

Edited by AGILIS - 29 May 2012 at 7:19am
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will View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote will Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2012 at 8:54am
Hi Keith
 
since you ask, I have to confess to being on the wrong end of an adder bite three times, as follows:
 
First time, as an inexperienced and stupid teenager trying to get photo of female and newborns in Berkshire - my fault entirely, mum OK being 'arranged', but tagged by a newborn.  I had read that if you're going to die, it will be within one minute due to anaphalaxis (severe allergy).  So I sat down and timed one minute on my watch... that was the longest minute I can ever remember...  Symptoms included severe swelling, throbbing pain like shutting arm in a car door repeatedly for a day or so, painful lymph nodes especially in armpit (bit also groin!) and residual bruising along all of arm (I was bitten on the right index finger).  Certainly not 'a bee sting' as is sometimes wrongly stated even in reputable books.  What worries me about this sort of statement in the literature is that it will encourage kids to take the risk and pick up an adder which could result in serious danger to the child and awful PR for the adder and other snakes, of course.  'Just say NO, kids'Wink is my advice!
Second time, more recently, doing a survey and turning my x thousandth tin, I actually got a bite from an adder right under the corner of the tin.  I still think this was very unlucky, but I guess it can happen!  I was hoping for some immunolgical memory based on my first bite, but the symptoms were very similar to the first one.  Third bite was an ungrateful adder which I rescued from a grassland fire, and as such, I was rather hasty in picking it up.  This happened a couple of years after bite number two, and interestingly the symptoms were much milder even though this was a big male, so perhaps there was something of a proper immune response this time (but could have been less venom injected, the bite was closer to my knuckle bone etc etc).
Will be interesting to see what happens next time around!  I believe it is possible to develop a hypersensitivity if bitten enough (a bit like beekeepers when they get stung regularly), so I'm hoping I'm not yet at that stage...
 
Cheers
 
Will
 
PS Just to emphasise that each bite was purely defensive from the adder, of course, and in the first case, I got exactly what I deserved.
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Caleb View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Caleb Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2012 at 9:50am
I've been bitten several times by grass snakes, once by a smooth snake, and once by a slow worm (though that was more of a chew than a bite).

I've never been bitten by an adder, but I have had some bee stings that weren't far off Will's description of his adder bite...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2012 at 10:51am
I've been tagged twice by adders. Remarkably in both cases I had absolutely no symptoms other than my own nerves at knowing I had been tagged. First was decades ago and the last more recently in Thetford. Both events can be attributed to mishandling. Both bites broke the skin but I had no reaction either locally at the bite site or more generally. I assume these were 'dry' bites. Both events were also after long periods of not handling adder. I should stress also these were as in Will's cases entirely my own responsibility as it was me that chose to handle the animals. Both were also 'holiday' events. I've handled adders daily on projects without getting tagged in the past and confidence plays a big part in handling. Hence why those without experience/instruction ought not to do it.

I was once carrying a grass snake that was feigning death and allowed the teeth to graze my skin. Though it was a tiny puncture, it bleed profusely and itched for hours afterwards. 

I've been bitten by slow worms and even common lizards. The later is so amusing I usually show my co-workers the little critter hanging off my finger LOL

To put it into perspective, the biggest thing I fear on heaths is horse flies, I get really awful reaction to them and on several occasions have had my entire arm swell up to twice its normal size and similar lymph node pain as Will reports from snake bites along with cold/flu type symptoms. Not at all pleasant and it can take several days to a week for things to return to normal.

Horse flies actually do 'attack' lol, unlike adder who only ever bite when provoked in some way.




Edited by GemmaJF - 29 May 2012 at 11:13am
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liamrussell View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote liamrussell Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2012 at 11:54am
I've been bitten by a newborn slow worm, which was amusing.... and a supposedly non-venomous colubrid in Madagascar which caused my finger to swell up and itch for two days.

Never by a common lizard, but nearly every single one of the several hundred sand lizards I've caught has tried to kill me...
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AGILIS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AGILIS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2012 at 2:29pm
Hahaha Liam bitten by a new born sloworm could get you into a record book.I also have been attacked by the others mentioned and the most aggressive being Smoothies they really get angry when first caught if you havent a NE handlers licence keith

Edited by AGILIS - 29 May 2012 at 4:36pm
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richard2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2012 at 4:23pm
I was bitten by an adder once. At least, I think I was. I never saw the snake. It was about twenty five years ago.
 
Foolishly, I was walking through thick heather at Studland wearing trainers, when I felt a stab in my toe that was much too painful for a thorn. It really was excruciating, a burning pain that seemed instantly to penetrate deep. Despite the fact that I was on the heath to look for reptiles, the obvious thought that I'd been bitten did not occur to me. Adder bite was one of those things my mind had decided couldn't really happen to me, I suppose. I assumed I'd managed to run my toe against an unusually needle-like gorse thorn.
 
For the rest of the afternoon I felt perhaps a little off-colour, but not seriously uncomfortable - a little bit fluey and headachey, and perhaps I'm retrospectively imagining even that. It wasn't until late that night that I realised. When I pulled my sock off, the entire toe had turned black. This, I gather, is a common symptom.
 
The toe was swollen and painful for a couple of days, but I had no other discomfort. If it was an adder, perhaps the trainer absorbed some of the venom. I must have trodden on a snake that was under the heather.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote tim-f Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2012 at 7:12pm
I was bitten by a large Scallop whilst diving a few years ago.  Yes really.

I was diving without gloves and it nipped me when I picked it up.  Flash fried in a bit of butter and bacon fat, accompanied by granary bread and a glass of white wine, it tasted great.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GemmaJF Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2012 at 9:40pm
Well that will teach it not to bite people eh Tim! I just remembered I was once bitten by my son, he walked up to me quite deliberately, took my hand, then sunk his teeth into it. I had read somewhere the best 'cure' would be to bite him back, so I did! I felt dreadful but he never bit anyone again.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Iowarth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 29 May 2012 at 10:37pm

 I've been tagged by Adders a good few times. Every time, of course down to my clumsiness/stupidity/overconfidence/ineptitude and, of course, more recently, senile decay! In fact, I've been bitten by all of our British Reptiles (often!!) and a lot of European ones. I certainly share Liam's experience with Sandies - they all seem to be born with a desire to tear yer arm off and beat you to death with it from birth! Every year I get bitten by Sandies:- 

  • Capture Sandies for breeding programme -   get bitten and shat upon.
  • Attempt to release Sandies into viv -  get bitten and shat upon.
  • Transfer female Sandies to egg-laying viv -   get bitten and shat upon.
  • Transfer female Sandies back after egg-laying -   get bitten and shat upon. 
  • Transfer hatchlings from incubator to viv - get bitten and shat upon.
  • Transfer juveniles to container for release - get bitten and shat upon. 
  • Take juveniles out of container and release -  get bitten and shat upon.

Is there no end to this?Ouch Confused Apparently not as we are now instigating regular health screening which will mean catching up every animal at least once every year and, you guessed it,  get bitten and shat upon.

My Adder symptoms have ranged from Will's to Gemma's. I think, with nearly 6 decades of irritating adders, I was overconfident - now I lean more towards the "scared"! 

My most painful bite in terms of immediate impact rather than envenomation with native species was a large adult male  slow-worm. Very powerful jaws, pinsharp teeth, apparently fitted with a screw tightener like a pair of molegrips but self-adjusting, and an unpleasant tendency to twist round in an attempt to actually tear chunks out of you!

Chris

Chris Davis, Site Administrator

Co-ordinator, Sand Lizard Captive Breeding Programme (RETIRED)
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