Kashmir rock agama | Laudakia tuberculata Gray, 1827

Kashmir rock agama | Laudakia tuberculata Gray, 1827   Kashmir rock agama is a species of lizard that belong to family agamidae which i...

Snake Bite & First Aid Tips In Livestock

Snake Bite & First Aid Tips

Snake Bite & First Aid Tips In Livestock
Snake bites might be an occupational hazard for farmers, but peoples give very less attention to snake bites in livestock. However, even if the animals are particularly sensitive to venom, an injury or death in livestock is dependent on various of reasons such as number of bites given, quantity of venom injected, type of animal, the size of both (animal & snake), the age and the health of the animal. Thus, their healing procedures also depend on the type of animal bitten by the snake and their sensitivity to that particular variety of snake’s venom. As reported horses are at the top place in the list of sensitivity which are followed by animals such as: sheep’s, cows, goats, followed by dogs (and by humans), by pigs and cats (www.iamcountryside.com).
When a sheep is bitten by a venomous snake, the animal will experience symptoms like difficulty in swallowing; the tongue will overhang of the mouth and dribble saliva; followed by the ejection of the abdomen contents through their nostrils. During this stage the animals are unable to move & death may occur due respiratory failure, especially if bitten by a species of cobra.
Where in case of goats the symptoms are almost are similar to those of sheep’s, despite the fact that goats show less sensitivity to snake venom. However, this group can die from bites of Viper species. Not much information is in record due to lack of research has been carried out on snake bites in case of cattle’s. A healthy animal shows more resistance to the effects of venom than an older one who is in poor state of health. Where it was bitten is also important.
How to Differentiate & Identify Snake Bites In Livestock
On average, snake bites in livestock occur at areas such as head, face, neck & legs while the animal graze. Bites on the areas like head face and neck are comparatively more severe than bites delivered on the legs. While, an animal that have been bitten on leg region show signs of a “goose stepping” sort of leg action.
Bite Types
All venomous snakes fall under two categories: elapids, & vipers. Elapids include snakes such as cobras and mambas, whereas vipers such as Puff adders, Russell viper, Saw-scaled viper etc. Species that fall under elapids category have small fangs and have a tendency to “chew” their venom (neurotoxic) into their victim. Their venom affects the nervous system and kills by paralyzing the respiratory system. While in case of viper species they have long, hinged hypodermic needle-like fangs that pierce the flesh to deliver the venom (haemotoxic) deep into the tissue which causes huge damage to the blood vessels & tissue of animal. Bleeding occurs which is confined to a small area and tissue necrosis may also occurs even in animals which have been fully recovered from the bite. In several cases, unrelenting lameness may also occur (www.beefmagazine.com/).
Nevertheless, it has also been seen in many cases that snake bites in livestock are delivered to be dry bite which means there is no venom is injected.  It is assumed that snakes are able conclude the size of an animal and as its venom is a valuable resource for them they do not waste it erratically. Therefore it is believed that a dry bite may be delivered as a warning (www.farmersweekly.co.za).
Other than this it is very important to know that not all snakes are venomous, unless the identification of snake positively, we must assume that the bite delivered is a dry bite if any case no symptoms arise. Due to the poor identification, every year thousands of venom-less snakes gets killed where, in reality, they are the best rodent predators a farmer might have (www.msdvetmanual.com).
Necrosis symptoms in Cow (Source: iamcountryside.com)
Pre & Post Treatments
Before calling the doctor (vet or other) for help, first try to find out if the animal is actually been bitten by a venomous snake besides try to click the snake species if it’s around which might be helpful in its identification before proceeding further. Even though it might be hard to locate the area of bite in case of livestock due to the hairs on their body, but bleeding or swelling in the biting area is a good signs to find out the affected area.
Usually a bite from the venomous species of snake will leave two quite distinctive stab wound on the victim’s body, which bleeds in the case of viper bites. Whereas a bite from the non-venomous species of snake will leave complete teeth marks on the victim’s body resulting in multiple number of puncture wounds which may bleed copiously while in some cases probably no teeth marks can be seen if the snake species is smaller as compare to the victims.
Do’s & Don’ts
Steps That Need To Be Remembered:
Ø If in any case the animal has been bitten near the nostrils or muzzle, these areas will show swelling, making animal difficulty in breathing.

What to Do
ü  Put a clean section of tubing inside the nostrils just to keep an airway open & in case where the victims show symptoms of paralysis, putting down the tube little bit more can give the victim more time until the help arrives.
Ø Keeping the victim calm & relax can increase the time span of animal until the help arrive as an increased heart rate can extend venom in the body more rapidly.

What to Do
Ø   Let the doctor come to the victims rather than trying to take it by walking to a more available spot, as it will increase its heart rate only.

Ø Never try to cut the area bitten and suck out the venom by any means. As venom once injected can’t be separated out of blood or if you possess a cut inside the mouth it may poison you as well.

Ø   In the case of bites delivered by cobra, just apply a pressure bandage near the bite and drape at to some extant of the limb. It’s done just to slow down the blood flow as venom is transport through it, as it will give some time to the victim to get more time until help arrives. This cannot be done in case of viper bites where swellings develop; this will do more harm to the victim than good. For bites delivered by viper and spitting cobras, only try to keep the animal calm only, and try to find veterinary treatment as quick as possible.

Ø  Do not try to apply any hot or cold pressure, as this might damage the tissue even more.

Ø  Do not try any other form of alternative treatment of your own; the only confirmed treatment is anti-venom for snake bites.

Ø  For veterinary, they must able to find out whether the animal was bitten by a snake or not, whether venom was injected or its dry bite, what kind of snake species it was or what not and if the victim requires anti-venom or not. While in most of the cases animals possibly will recover only with helpful care.

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PerSonaLife: Snake Bite & First Aid Tips In Livestock
Snake Bite & First Aid Tips In Livestock
Snake Bite & First Aid Tips
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