Antivenom?

Discussion in 'Before & After the Hunt' started by Matt_WY, Mar 2, 2019.

  1. Matt_WY

    Matt_WY AH Veteran

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    I realize the probability of getting bitten is small, but dang.....black mambas, geeen mambas, puff adders, cobras......

    We've got plenty of rattlers here at home and I grew up around copperheads and water moccasins, but these African snakes seem to take things to a whole new level. Sounds like with some you have maybe a chance to get to a hospital; with others, not so much.

    So does anyone carry antivenom? Is that typically something the ph or someone has along on their person? Would it be best to bring your own?

    Are there antivenoms that are broadly effective against the most common bites? Are there reputable sources for getting the stuff so that you know it's not counterfeit or expired? What is the shelf life on a kit?

    Or chance too small to worry about?
     
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  2. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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  3. IdaRam

    IdaRam SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Thank you Wayne, great info.

    I have seen two snakes in 3 trips. A reticulated centipede eater and some kind of garter snake. Neither venomous to humans. Your chances of having an issue are extremely remote. Don’t let concern get in your way of enjoying every moment of every day.
     

  4. Matt_WY

    Matt_WY AH Veteran

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    Thanks @BRICKBURN . Good info there.

    Sounds like about 100$/vial and most bites need at least 10-12 vials, so $1000-1200 min. Plus needs refrigerathion. Plus 40% of adults are alergic to it so you have to be prepared for anaphylaxis.

    Sounds like a no go. Will just have to watch where i walk. And maybe get a pet mongoose.
     
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  5. Matt_WY

    Matt_WY AH Veteran

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    Thanks. I dont view it as a deterrent. Its just part of the experience. That said, i also carry a tourniquet, celox, etc...just in case. :)
     

  6. Adrian

    Adrian AH Fanatic

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    I've only ever seen one snake in four trips, a small Horned Adder.
    I don't think the chances of being bitten are high enough to worry about carrying antivenom or worrying about it.
    Some folk have had encounters with Mambas but I don't ever remember anyone here with a story about being bitten while hunting.
    If you're hunting from a blind it would be prudent to check the inside for unwelcome occupants first of course but I say don't worry about it and enjoy yourself.
    If you're concerned, ask your PH about it.

    I bet you aren't thinking about taking a parachute on the plane.....
     
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  7. Bushpig4Ever

    Bushpig4Ever AH Enthusiast

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    Because most likely they are dead, unable to talk anymore :ROFLMAO:

    I have seen quite a number of snakes during hunting, i e puff adders, pythons and cobras. Once a puff adder was lying on the path, half a mouse hanging from its mouth. The black guide grabbed a stick, wanted to kill the snake. He was extremely surprised when I told him leave the snake alone.
     

  8. Neale

    Neale AH Enthusiast

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    @Matt_WY Your most serious issue will be bitten by the African Bug that has no cure, minor relief is obtained by reading hunt reports and major relief is obtained by booking another hunt.
    Australia has many venomous snakes but it does not stop us from enjoying the great outdoors. You should be more worried about the mad African drivers.
     

  9. Von S.

    Von S. AH Fanatic

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    Snakes.?

    Snakes you say?

    At 6'4" and 250 I must be a site when I hike up my sun dress, scream in a high pitch, running around in circles, dropping water like a fire hose, eventually running head long into a tree knocking myself out cold....and that's just for the little ones.:E Yawn:
     

  10. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    The only snakes I've seen are a squashed puff adder and a live cape cobra, both on roads and not more than a mile from the camp adjacent to his property. I've used the same outfitter for six trips. He has the anti-venoms for snakes on all his concessions. Admittedly, I never gave snakes much thought until I was browsing through his photo album and saw ones killed by him.
     
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  11. johnnyblues

    johnnyblues AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I’ve only seen one on my first trip to Namibia and he was busy in our pond in front of the lodge!

    8A6E49CF-EE79-47A8-B62D-C211BD9573C2.jpeg
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 4, 2019
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  12. Hammergun

    Hammergun AH Member

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    We saw a puff adder just outside our room in camp. A black mamba was found behind a potted plant while we were eating lunch and was killed by a women with a stick! Never saw a snake while hunting. We spent a day bird hunting and walked through tall grass all day. I wondered about snakes but figured that if the PH could walk all day through that grass in shorts, then I should just concentrate on bird hunting.

    The PH did have anti venom on the truck. Not much in the way of first aid stuff but I brought my own. I left the medical supplies with him when I went home.
     

  13. Brent in Az

    Brent in Az AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Anti venom, can be very expensive, depending on species. Most anti venom has a shelf life of up to 3 years if kept refrigerated.
    I saw an article that stated, the average snake bite victim wil require 6-12 vials. A rare Black Mamba bite survivor, required 40 vials.
    Based on cost, and longevity, I doubt many Safari outfitters would carry anti venom? Maybe some do for the more common species?
    Hunting in most provinces of South Africa, means you are within a couple hours of a hospital.
    Getting bit by a Mamba in a place like the Selous, pretty much guarantees you a trip into the afterlife.
     

  14. BRICKBURN

    BRICKBURN AH ENABLER SUPER MODERATOR CONTRIBUTOR LIFETIME TITANIUM BENEFACTOR AH Ambassador

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    Bingo.

    There is something to be said for walking single file.
     
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  15. Nyati

    Nyati AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    I have seen four in six trips, so yes, they are out there, even in winter.

    The good news is that then tend to run away from you.

    It does help to keep your eyes open and avoid bushes, tall grass... as much as possible.
     

  16. Wheels

    Wheels AH ENABLER AH Ambassador

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    Chances of seeing a snake during prime hunting season isn't high. Chances of getting bit are extremely small. Snakes want to get away from you as much as you want to get away from them. You are generally walking third in line, so if there is a snake, your tracker or PH will likely get tagged instead of you.

    As has been said, antivenom needs refrigeration, so you can't carry it with you. It would have to stay in camp if there is refrigeration. It is expensive. (At a hospital in Tanzania, a complete round of antivenom treatment three years ago was $6,000USD at the hospital's cost.) Not sure if it has changed, but there used to have two types, neurotoxic and hemotoxic, depending upon the snake that bit you. You may be hard pressed to even purchase antivenom if you are not a medical professional. If you have the antivenom, unless you know what you are doing, it is probably good not to try and administer it. You may cause problems and mess up the second line of medical providers when a patient makes it to a hospital.

    If you are concerned, you are probably way ahead if you have a Global Rescue / Ripcord type policy. Let them pay for the antivenom and come to you. They provide many more services and are much cheaper than antivenom.


    Two places to be careful:

    1. Use a torch while walking on paths after dark. Adders are slow moving and like to lay on paths and absorb the warmth of the day.

    2. Be careful around termite mounds. The holes and tunnels make great homes for all kinds of critters. Mambas can turn territorial around their homes.

    Enjoy your hunt. Hakuna matata.
     

  17. Dewald

    Dewald AH Veteran

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    Matt, I’ve given anti-venom to numerous patients, practicing in an A&E unit in Northern Kwa-Zulu Natal, an area with a high snake population and even higher human population, hence more snake encounters. Of note here are Mozambique spitting cobra, black and green mamba and boomslang. To a lesser extent puff adders and other cobras.

    As the anti-venom is manufactured from horse-serum, patients often develop severe immune reactions, and anaphylaxis is not uncommon. With every patient receiving anti-venom, we anticipate him/her to go into anaphylactic shock, and prepare accordingly.

    No PH, outfitter, etc in his right mind will or should give it to a client.

    Out of interrest there are 2x anti-venoms, the first being a polivalent one for most bites of significance. It has a long shelf-life in the fridge and most Emergency Centres cary stock.

    Second is the boomslang anti-venom. It is manufactured and dispensed from the Onderste Poort Veterinary school on request and flown to where needed, as it has a short half-life, and Boomslang encounters are rare.

    Enjoy the hunt and don’t stress about snakes.
     

  18. Hammergun

    Hammergun AH Member

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    When I said that there was anti venom on the truck I may have been mistaken. I heard another client ask about it and the reply was that we have that. Perhaps it was just in camp but I cannot say as I never asked about it myself. I thought the snake encounters were interesting and just part of the fun. If the PH wasn't worried then I wasn't worried.
     

  19. IdaRam

    IdaRam SILVER SUPPORTER AH Elite

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    Yup! Second in line, first to get nailed! And THAT is the real reason why your PH is always in the lead! :ROFLMAO:
     

  20. Hogpatrol

    Hogpatrol AH ENABLER SILVER SUPPORTER AH Legend

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    Global Rescue or Ripcord, don't leave home without one of them. (y)
     

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