A snake’s venom can be one of three types: cytotoxic, neurotoxic, or hemotoxic. Each type of venom affects the body differently.

Most snakes do not carry venom, but the ones that do are called venomous. If you stumble upon a snake and do not know what species it is, treat it as if it is venomous. The venom in some snake bites is enough to kill an adult, if not treated.

Eastern diamondback rattlesnake (Crotalus adamanteus) Photo credit: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=kWy0eQm–L8

Cytotoxic venom is common in puff adders and spitting cobras, among others. The venom attacks the body’s cells, potentially killing the cells.

Cytotoxic venom is divided into three categories: cardiotoxic, myotoxic, and nephrotoxic. Depending on the category, the venom will affect cells in the heart, muscle, or kidney, respectively.

Some bites result in amputation. Death is possible, if left untreated.

Neurotoxic venom is common in mambas, cobras, and sea snakes, among others. The venom attacks the body’s nervous system, interrupting nerve signals.

It can cause organ failure, immobilization, and seizers. Death is possible, if left untreated.

Hemotoxic venom is common in vipers and rattlesnakes, among others. The venom destroys blood cells in the body.

Internal bleeding can occur or blood clotting, which can lead to a stroke or heart attack. Death is possible, if left untreated.

Scientist extracting venom from a species of cobra Photo credit: http://viralportal.net/see-what-snake-venom-does-to-your-blood/

I debated on whether or not uploading pictures of the effects of snake venom. I decided not to because the images were a bit graphic. If you want to see the effects of cytotoxic, neurotoxic (internal damage, not visible from outside), and hemotoxic venom, you will need to look it up on your own.

Sources of information:



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