How Not To Die (from a Rattle Snake Bite)

The best thing about visiting my mom’s is her GIANT fridge! I raided that sucker for a colorful lunch salad.


Maybe the best thing about visiting my mom’s is her avocado trees because she has a ton of ripe ones and I added one to my salad. Free fresh avocado – not sure if it gets any better than that…IMG 7748 800x600 thumb How Not To Die (from a Rattle Snake Bite)

My little brother, Matt and cat Lucky in front of previously mentioned massive fridgeIMG 7760 600x800 thumb How Not To Die (from a Rattle Snake Bite)

I paired my salad with a small bag of popcorn for carb-age. Yes, I’m blogging from the kitchen table at my mom’s today wlEmoticon smile5 How Not To Die (from a Rattle Snake Bite) Just like old times.IMG 7757 800x600 thumb How Not To Die (from a Rattle Snake Bite)

And then we took the dogs for a walk. It’s too gorgeous outside! IMG 7752 800x600 thumb How Not To Die (from a Rattle Snake Bite)

So after yesterday’s snake sighting hearing Ben and I discussed what we should do if one of us was bitten. We both had theories…

Me:“Maybe I should run to the car to get to the hospital faster. But, that might spread the poison through my body faster, so I’m not sure…”

Ben: “I’ve heard you should try and catch the snack so the doctors know what kind of venom it has.”

So, if I’m bitten he’s going to chase after the snake and get poisoned as well? Fan-freaking-tastic.

Turns out we’re both wrong, but I was on the right track.funny ironic segway death ecard someecards thumb How Not To Die (from a Rattle Snake Bite)

Here are some Rattle Snake Facts from Along the Way

Q.  Will I alert a rattlesnake on a trail if I make a lot of noise?

A.  No.  Snakes do not have external ears and are essentially deaf; however, they are very sensitive to vibrations.  Therefore, although they may not hear you approaching, they will probably “feel” your footsteps as you get closer to them.

Q.  What should I do if I get bitten by a rattlesnake?  What if my pet gets bitten?

A.  If you suffer a rattlesnake bite, seek medical attention as soon as possible.  Remain calm and immobilize the wound, keeping it below heart level.  Do not apply a tourniquet, cut or suction the wound, and do not apply ice.  Identify the snake if possible, but only if it can be done safely and quickly.  If it is necessary to walk, do so slowly, and rest frequently.  Go immediately to the nearest emergency room or call 911.  Follow the same procedure for a pet; only take them to the nearest veterinarian.(source)

What to do if bitten by a rattle snake from Trail Blazer Magazine:

  1. Stay calm, get safely away from the snake, and have someone call 9-1-1 (or the emergency number in your area). The less the victim moves the bitten site, the less likely the venom will be profused and cause damage.
  2. Have the victim lie down with the affected limb lower than the heart. Keep the limb immobilized. If practical, splint the limb.
  3. Treat for shock and preserve body heat.
  4. Remove any rings, bracelets, boots, or other restricting items from the bitten extremity. (ItWILL swell.)
  5. Apply a light constricting band about 2″ above and below the bite, however never place the bands on either side of a joint (such as above and below the knee or elbow). This band should be made up of wide, soft material, that could be a handkerchief or shredded clothing. The band should only be as tight as the band the nurse applies when giving a blood test.
    • NOTE: The purpose of constricting bands is to restrict lymphatic flow, not blood, so they should not be too tight. Check pulses below the bands and readjust them as necessary when they tighten due to swelling.
  6. Wash the bite with soap and water (if available).
  7. If the victim has to walk out, sit calmly for 20-30 minutes to let the venom localize at the site,proceed calmly to the nearest source of help and try to avoid unnecessary exertion that will stimulate circulation of the poison.
  8. Get the victim to definitive medical care for antivenin, that will provide the greatest relief from the toxic effects of the bite. (source)

Okay back to work!


  1. says

    We see lots of rattlers while mountain biking in Colorado, and I always high tail it in the opposite direction as fast as I can. It is a huge fear of mine.

  2. says

    This post totally made me smile…I grew up with rattlesnakes in my backyard (i.e. country girl) I wasn’t scared of them (and they were big and loooong!). I’d actually take sticks and twirl them around the snake’s face till it coiled up and hissed. Then I’d run away with my heart pounding…totally a fun game right?!!

    One of my friends got bit by a rattlesnake this summer…he was trying to poke it. (he’s one of THOSE types of people!) He got bit on the finger. He went to emergency right away and said it was a little unnerving to have the nurses looking up in the manuals what to do in case of snake bite…guess it hadn’t happened in our area for a few years!

  3. says

    There’s a passage in an epic poem by Lucan written in the 1st century AD where a general gets bit by a snake and quickly unsheathes his sword and cuts off his arm at the elbow and watches as his severed hand turns black on the ground. So, you know, that’s always an option.

  4. says

    My dog was bitten by a copperhead snake (poisonous snake in the Southeast) last summer and it was the scariest thing! We weren’t exactly sure what to do but I called my bro who said to take him immediately to the emergency vet. They had to give him an IV and watch him for 12 hours to make sure he was okay. Luckily he was but I hope to never experience that again. It was scary AND expensive!

  5. says

    Hmmm this is good to know (and enlightening!) Turns out everything I thought you were supposed to do was totally wrong! I thought you were supposed to make a tourniquet and cut it and get the blood & venom out. Good thing snakes don’t hang out in Cape Breton, otherwise I’d probably be in trouble!

  6. says

    Absolutely love your blog very long time reader here. Do you mind looking at a page I composed and review it please. Thanks a lot.

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