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Non-Venomous Snake Bite

You are probably reading this because you are not used to snakes. Those who live in hot climates where snakes are common already know what to do in case of any snake bite. And it is easy for the average person who does not live among snakes in nature nearby to assume that non-venomous snake bites are harmless. If so, here are some pointers from my recent experience.

First of all, it is important to recognize that the snake is a sentient being and has all the fears and reservations that any animal would have. Be careful if you handle them. Get expert advice first. And if the “expert” is handing you a snake to handle without advice, I would decline the offer. Not only can you get bitten, but the snake has feelings too and needs to be handled in a way that feels safe and comfortable.

Secondly, should you have done everything right but get bitten anyway, seek medical help straight away. But the snake is non-venomous, I may hear you say. Well, here is the interesting news. A bite from a snake (or any strange animal, for that matter) can deposit bacteria under your skin. Even if you wash your skin afterwards, there may be bacteria already lodged inside your skin that can cause havoc.

Thirdly, if you have handled snakes and not felt a sharp bite but maybe a tickle, do not assume you have not been bitten. I would have expected a snake biting my hand to have been excruciatingly painful, but it was not painful. It felt like a tickle. For me personally, symptoms only started to appear two days later. This added further confusion as to the cause, until I showed it to an African relative. Snake bite, she said. Then a person who keeps snakes as pets, whom I met purely by accident, also said the same.

There are a few ways to do this naturally, but trust me, I have tried the natural route and still ended up with a raging infection under the skin. It was misdiagnosed as contact dermatitis by one doctor, who gave me cortisone cream. When that only made the hand worse, I realized this was no allergic reaction. This is especially since I myself treat any allergy-like reaction, so really, why the symptoms if it were an allergy? Still, I took antihistamines and lots of painkillers whilst using natural antibacterials and disinfectants. But it was a very slow process. One morning, I got up after having forgotten the long-winded natural treatment the night before, and my hand was red, throbbing, and had lots of new blisters. Time to go to the doctor again. This time, I was finally taken seriously and given antibiotics. It is a very strong dosage and for longer than normal, so the situation must have been serious. I should have persisted and gone back for medical care earlier when the steroid cream made the hand worse. I should also have sought medical help as soon as symptoms appeared.