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Snake Antivenom

By: C.M.Shorter

Venomous snake bites may be treated with Antivenom. Snake antivenins are a man-made biological product called anti-ophidic serum. Anivenin serum treatment are based on the vaccine process developed by Louis Pasteur, the famous French microbiologist & chemist. He is credited with many notable scientific achievements in the field of chemistry and was perhaps one of the greatest scientists of the 18th century to study "germ warfare". The study of microrganisms contaminating milk and fermenting beverages by Louis Pasteur led to the process we know today as pastuerization which involves heating these liquids to kill bacteria & molds. Louis Pasteur was the first scientist to bring us the rabies vaccine which is still used to fight that dreaded disease to this day through a series of therapeutic inoculations.
Snake Antivenom

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Snake Antivenom is effective on most snake bite victims, but only if administered within an extremely narrow window of opportunity. Scientists obtain venom from live snake specimens - sometimes called "milking a snake" usually with the snake striking cloth placed over covered glass jars. Every drop of venom retrieved through this forced bite process is precious in procuring Antivenins for poisonous snake species.

This snake venom is then injected in small amounts into mammals such as horses, sheep, or rabbits. These animals have an immune response whereby antibodies against the venom are generated naturally. The Antivenom is then harvested from the blood of the animal, purified and stored to treat future envenomation for snake bite victims.

Antivenins are normally administered to the victim as soon as possible following a snake bite attack - usually with 4-5 hours. Since the advent of Antivenom, many snake bites which were almost always fatal have become only fatal rarely if it can administered to the victim in a timely manner. Even though the antivenins are purified by multiple processes, it may contain other serum proteins and some individuals may have an extreme hypersensitive reaction to the injection and is only administered exercising caution.

Snake bites are often times on an individual's extremities (hands and feet) where there is little muscle tissue to absorb the venom injected in the bite. Normally antivenins are stored in freeze-dried ampules and injected into muscular areas for absorption. Some antivenin is only effective in liquid form and must be stored by a method called "cold chain" storage.

Antivenins effective against only one given species are classified as "Monovalent" whereby antivenins effective against a broad range of species are classified as "Polyvalent". For instance, there is not a specific Antivenom developed for an Australian Copperhead bite strike so emergency medical providers are advised to use either Tiger Snake Antivenom or a polyvalent one. The first snake Antivenom was discovered in 1895 by Albert Calmette against the deadly Indian Naja Snake, better known as the Cobra. Since that time and through the beginning of the 19th century antivenins were also formulated for many venomous arachnids (spiders), scorpions and the Amphibia class of animals which includes poisonous frogs and toads.

As always, we hope you enjoyed this article featured as part of TigerHomes Sanctuary's continuing Educational Series. We also hope you will take this opportunity to visit our world renowned Animal Cams. You are invited to take your own snapshots and enter your pictures into our Viewer Gallery Contest for a chance to win monthly prizes! The SANCTUARY is a permanent home to Rare White Tigers, Golden Tigers, Bengal Tigers, Siberian Tigers, African Lions and Lemurs. Our residents are quite the characters and simply amazing to watch in their natural habitats. It is our Mission to preserve and protect these Endangered Species. You can help save Endangered Species right now by visiting our Gift Shop. Become a proud Sponsor! Please help us by sponsoring the animals & our work. TigerHomes Sanctuary welcomes and needs your support!

As always, we hope you enjoyed this article featured as part of TigerHomes Sanctuary's continuing Wildlife Education Series. We also hope you will take this opportunity to visit our world renowned Animal Webcams. You are invited to take your own snapshots and enter your pictures into our Viewer Gallery Contest for a chance to win monthly prizes! The SANCTUARY is a permanent home to Endangered White Tigers, Golden Tigers, Bengal Tigers, Endangered Siberian Tigers, African Lions and Various Species of Lemurs. Our residents are quite the characters and simply amazing to watch in their natural habitats. It is our Mission to preserve and protect these Endangered Species. You can help save Endangered Species right now by visiting our Sanctuary Gift Shop. Become a proud Sanctuary Sponsor! Please help us by sponsoring the animals & our work. TigerHomes Sanctuary welcomes and needs your support!

CLICK HERE TO SEE ANIMAL WEBCAMS
See also:
How to Avoid Snake Bites
| Poisonous Snake Bites Effects | Snake Venom | Snake Fangs
Other Snakes:
Diamondback Rattlesnake
| King Cobra | Spitting Cobra | Kingsnakes & Milk Snakes

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