The Venom Of The Massasauga Rattlesnake
The Massasauga rattlesnake does not always release its venom into a victim.
It has this incredible ability to release its venom at will and it usually does that only on a prey – very rarely in self defense. When a Massasauga rattlesnake strikes, it usually does it from about a foot away and it strikes hard for the venom to get into its victim.
The truth is, in the last hundred years or more, no one has died of this venom. The fact is that the venom is very poisonous and toxic but there have not been human deaths in a long while because of this rattlesnake. However, the amount of venom that each snake has is very small so this is perhaps another reason that humans do not succumb. In spite of this, it has become a snake that has been feared and it took depleted numbers for it to be declared as endangered.
According to the medical fraternity, most snake bites do not contain venom when the victims are humans. This is because the snake usually saves its venom for its food. These venom-less bites are classified as ‘dry bites’. However, all said and done, people panic and therefore anti-venom shots are a must more from a psychological point of view that fro a practical one in every case. Strangely, hogs are not affected by this snake’s venom and with the increase of hogs in the Wisconsin area, there is a corresponding decrease in the number of Massasaugas.
How do you steer clear of a Massasauga’s bite? Remember they will only bite if you step on them or if you scare them. So wear knee length boots and try not to step on them so you will have to be careful where you walk, always trying to stay on the path. These creatures are essentially very shy.
A Massasauga’s venom usually causes internal bleeding in its prey as the toxins prevent the clotting of blood. There are natural home remedies that people can use – come down no doubt from the old tribes in that region. They are black mud and tobacco, a salt and onion mixture, ammonia and even whiskey.