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Even non-venomous snakebites can cause personal injury

In our blog post last week, we covered the story of the customer who was bitten by a snake at Lowe's. Fortunately, it wasn't a venomous snake. That fact, however, doesn't mean that the person didn't suffer injuries from the snake's attack. All snakes have teeth that can cause injuries. This might interest some of our Wisconsin readers.

Small non-venomous snakes and larger non-venomous snakes can cause bite marks and lacerations on the area their teeth sink into. In the case of large snakes, massive lacerations are possible. Those can require emergency medical care.

Another issue that anyone with a non-venomous snakebite has to watch for, even if the lacerations seem minor, is infection. Redness, tenderness, red streaks, swelling and warmth are signs of an infection that you should watch for.

To help prevent an infection, Banner Health recommends washing snakebites with soap and water and applying an over-the-counter antibiotic ointment to the bite. The website also warns to contact a doctor if an infection occurs. Additionally, if any other symptoms occur within the first six hours after the bite, medical attention is necessary.

With larger snakes, such as constrictors, there is also the chance of suffocation. As the snake winds around a victim, the snake squeezes. When the victim exhales, the snake tightens up. This prevents the victim from being able to inhale.

The risks associated with snakebites are considerable. Anyone who has been bitten could face considerable medical bills. That, along with the trauma of dealing the bite, might make some victims think of seeking compensation.

Source: Reptile Gardens, "Non-Venomous Snakes" accessed Jan. 27, 2015

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