Do Snakes Always Inject Venom When They Bite?

With the weather warming up, many people are starting to be more careful when out and about, to stay away from the snakes that are starting to come out to play. With these reptiles beginning to roam, you might have many questions as well, about what to do when encountering a snake, as well as what a snake bite might mean for you.

With some exceptions, most snakes do not inject venom with every bite. There are many reasons for this, depending on both who you ask, as well as the species that you are thinking about. Many people think that dry bites are used when a snake is conserving its venom in order to use it on prey that they can eat, as opposed to humans, which they cannot. Others think that ‘dry bites’, as these bites are commonly referred as, is used when the snakes’ venom has been used on prior prey, and they are biding their time until their body resupplies their venom reserves. Yet another group believe that ‘dry bites’ are usually an accident, and that the snake did not get a clean enough bite to deliver any venom. However, dry bites are usually a combination of these ideas in one.

Another problem with explanations of ‘dry bites’ lie in the fact that snakes have multiple ways that they bite, depending on the situation that they are in. Some snakes will discharge their venom from one fang, while others discharge from both fangs, or even neither fang. When they do not discharge their venom- a.k.a. a ‘dry bite’- it can be significantly less painful than a full-on, venomous bite, and can also be used to warn other predators that they are dangerous, so they should be left alone.

While many people think that all snakes will always inject venom when they bite, there are cases where this simply isn’t true, such as with ‘dry bites’. While this may put many people at ease that they will not necessarily be hurt every time that they encounter a snake, there are still many precautions that you should take when either dealing with snakes, or when going into areas such as heavily wooded land where snakes might be prevalent. Even with ‘dry bites’, however, you should be careful, and always seek the counsel of a trained medical professional, as even dry bites can cause an infection at the puncture site. If you have been bit by a snake, never take things into your own hands, and, instead, always look for guidance from a medical professional in order to ensure that you do not have any lasting effects from the bite.

Read the How to get rid of snakes page for helpful information and to learn more about Do Snakes Always Inject Venom When They Bite?

Do Snakes Always Inject Venom When They Bite?

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