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FL Press: Man bitten by pet puff adder

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Posted by: W von Papineäu at Thu Jun 16 06:24:51 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by W von Papineäu ]  
   

ORLANDO SENTINEL (Florida) 16 June 11 Osceola man bitten by deadly pet puff adder snake (Susan Jacobson)
A west Osceola County man received a potentially lethal bite from his venomous pet snake this afternoon and is being treated at Orlando Regional Medical Center, authorities said.
John Post, 31, was home alone when he reached into the African puff adder's cage and was bitten on the finger about 4:45 p.m., said Officer Lenny Salberg, a spokesman for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.
Post initially was taken to Osceola Regional Medical Center but was transferred to the Orlando trauma center, Salberg said. He was conscious Wednesday evening.
Reptile World Serpentarium about 5 p.m. provided the antivenin to firefighters to take to the hospital, said George Van Horn, owner of the 39-year-old attraction east of St. Cloud.
"A puff adder bite is something you want to take care of quick," said Van Horn, who survived a near-fatal cobra bite in 1995. "Even if it's not life threatening — which they often are — it can cause a lot of tissue damage around the fang-puncture area."
The severity depends on how much venom is injected and the health of the patient, said Van Horn, whose business displays snakes and provides venom to researchers at university labs and pharmaceutical companies.
Post has a permit to own the snake, whose venom is known as cytotoxic. That means it attacks tissue and blood cells, experts said. A bite can be fatal if untreated. The antivenin also works on black mambas and cobras, he said.
According to Van Horn, the slow-acting puff-adder venom causes:
•Intense pain at the bite site
•Painful, progressive swelling that is hot to the touch
•Nausea and vomiting
•A metallic taste in the mouth
•Possible loss of consciousness
The average puff adder is 3 feet long, according to snakes-uncovered.com. It is native to Africa and parts of Asia and lies in wait for its prey, which consists of rodents and sometimes birds.
Osceola man bitten by deadly pet puff adder snake


   

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