ISSN 2398-2985      

Venomous species

Jreptile
Contributor(s):

Vicky Strong

Robert Johnson


Introduction

  • The keeping of venomous species of reptiles within private collections, zoos and in research facilities remains popular, and so it is possible that any veterinarians working with reptiles on a regular basis may be asked to treat one of these animals.
  • Bites from venomous reptiles have the potential to be fatal. Purpose designed procedures and specialist handling are required when working with venomous species to ensure the safety of all concerned.
  • Due to their dangerous nature, it is advised that only experienced reptile vets whom have received adequate training work with venomous species.
It is possible for clients/members of the public to bring a venomous species to you, oblivious of the fact that it is a dangerous animal. Therefore, the precautions outlined in this article, should be taken when handling a reptile of unknown species. Whilst these notes offer guidance for the safe handling of venomous species, they are by no means intended as a substitute for proper training and experience.

Legislation

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Venomous species

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Venoms

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Working with venomous species

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Handling equipment / methods

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Anesthesia

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Dead reptiles

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Emergency protocol

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Further Reading

Publications

Refereed papers

  • Recent references from PubMed and VetMedResource.
  • Leonatti Wilkinson S (2014) Guide to venomous reptiles in veterinary practice. J Exotic Pet Med 23 (4), 337-346 VetMedResource.
  • Johnson R (2011) Clinical technique: handling and treating venomous snakes. J Exotic Pet Med 20 (2), 124-130 VetMedResource.
  • Lock B (2008) Venomous snake restraint and handling. J Exotic Pet Med 17 (4), 273-284 VetMedResource.
  • Boyer T H (2006) Common procedures with venomous reptiles. Vet Clin North Am Exotic Anim Pract 9 (2), 269-285 VetMedResource.

Other sources of information

  • Environment, Planning and Sustainable Development Directorate - Environment (2018) Reptile Policy. Website: www.environment.act.gov.au. Last accessed 28th February 2018.
  • Johnson R (2018) Management of Venomous Species including Emergency Protocols. In: Mader’s Reptile Medicine and Surgery. 3rd edn. Eds: Divers S J & Stahl S. Elsevier, USA (In Press).
  • UK Legislation (2018) Dangerous Wild Animals Act 1976. Website: www.legislation.gov.uk. Last accessed 28th February 2018.
  • European Commission (2016) Welfare, Invasives and Health Issues related to Exotic Animals and Plants. Website: http://ec.europa.eu. Last accessed 28th February 2018.
  • Funk R S (2015) Clinical Challenges in Treating Venomous Reptiles. In: Proc ExoticsCon Conference. pp 469-472. Available to view here (pdf). Last accessed 28th February 2018.
  • Antonio F B (2014) Venomous Reptile Restraint and Handling. In: Zoo Animal and Wildlife Immobilization and Anesthesia. 2nd edn. Eds: West G, Heard D & Caulkett N. Wiley & Sons. pp 337-350.
  • Boyer D M (2004) Appendix 3: Special Considerations for Venomous Reptiles. In: BSAVA Manual of Reptiles. 2nd edn. Eds: Girling S J & Raiti P. BSAVA, UK. pp 357-362.
  • United States Department of Agriculture, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (2001) US Federal and State Regulations Pertaining to Reptiles and Amphibians. Website: www.aphis.usda.gov (pdf). Last accessed 28th February 2018.

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