310-374-8047
 
 

Mojave Green Can Bite You In A Whole New Way

Mojave Green on Mojave Road Saw this one on the Mojave Road
While going off road, especially in the southwestern part of the United States, people often wonder about snakes, rattlesnakes in particular.

Several rattlesnake species inhabit the United States, with the Diamondback and Mojave Green rather prevalent in the southwest (and most of Mexico). They are similar in appearance, but the Mojave Green rattlesnake is far more poisonous.

Found at higher elevations – in the 2,000 to 4,000 foot range – Mojave Green rattlesnakes (sometimes spelled Mohave) prefer grassy areas or scrub brush like creosote and mesquite. They have a diamond pattern down their backs like the Diamondback rattlesnake, but the pattern disappears near the tail. They derive their name from their blue green color.

Mojave Green feast on kangaroo rats, lizards, and other small critters. Unlike most snakes, Mojave Green young ones are snakes, not eggs.

Rattlesnake venom contains several poisons, chief among them being neuro toxins and hemo toxins. Neuo toxins affect the central nervous system, while hemo toxins cause you to bleed internally. Symptoms of a snake bite, which can take several hours to appear, include blurred vision, slurry speech, difficulty in swallowing and speaking, and respiratory failure. A rattlesnake has the capability of biting you but not injecting you. The young ones don’t have as much control over that process, so they’re more likely to inject you. Not all snake bites result in poison being injected, but you should treat all bites as serious matters.

According to Emedicinehealth.com , approximately 7,000 snakebites are reported in the United States each year, with five to 10 of those being fatal.

What makes the Mojave Green rattlesnake noteworthy is the potency of its venom, which by one estimate is about 16 times as toxic as the Diamondback rattlesnake venom.

What to do if you see a rattlesnake

 Mojave Green on Mojave Road Another one on the Mojave Road
The best way to avoid being bitten by a rattlesnake is to stay away. That sounds obvious, but some people find out the hard way. Most snake bites occur because the person has tried to handle or otherwise mess with the rattlesnake.

If you hear the distinctive rattle, stop and look carefully. Rattlesnakes can be difficult to see at times. Once you’ve located the rattlesnake, step away. Most rattlesnakes will slither away if you make any noise. Stomping or pounding the ground with a stick may help. Mojave Green rattlesnakes, however, tend to stand their ground. Give them a wide berth.

As is the case whenever you’re outdoors, remember to wear boots and long pants; long-sleeved shirts can help, too. Wear shoes and use a flashlight at night. Although they generally are more active during the daytime, rattlesnakes are known to feed at night. You may find one near your tent or the latrine.

What to do if bitten by a rattlesnake

The first step, as with all emergencies, is to avoid panicking. Keep a cool head and think this through. Realize that rattlesnake poison typically needs four to six hours to take full effect. Don’t drag your heels on this issue, but unlike what the movies suggest, bites from Mojave Green and Diamondback rattlesnakes don’t result in instant death to a human.

Remove any jewelry near the wound and loosen the clothing, as that part of the body may swell from the reaction. Don’t cut the wound. That will do more damage and won’t help at all.

Clean the wound and apply a bandage. (Do not apply ice or a tourniquet.) There is no need to kill the snake. When calling the hospital mention that the person has been bitten by a pit viper (the name for that class of snakes). There is just one anti-venom for all rattlesnake bites.

If possible, keep the person – or at least the affected body part – as still as possible. That will slow the flow of rattlesnake venom throughout the body. You may not have a choice in this matter, however. If the person was bitten while hiking, he will have to walk some distance if he can’t be carried.

Call 911 or the National Poison Control Center (800-222-1222) for help. Make sure the person gets to the hospital, even if there are no visible signs of poisoning. Bite wounds are severe, and must be cleaned properly. The doctor may also administer a tetanus shot as a precaution.

Anti-venom is administered through an IV. It generally takes about 30 minutes to administer a bag of anti-venom, and the person may need more than one. (There is no anti-venom you can take out in the wild. It is available only in a medical facility.) Medical staff will also observe the patient for some time to see if there is any allergic reaction to the anti-venom.

Because rattlesnake bites are so rare, not all hospitals carry the anti-venom. This is another reason to call for help as soon as the person is bitten. Give the hospital as much lead time as possible to obtain the anti-venom if needed.

While rattlesnakes are dangerous, they’re easy to avoid. Many people are fascinated when they encounter a rattlesnake, and use the opportunity to take interesting pictures. Think of your rattlesnake “experience” as an educational one. Just keep your distance.


# # # # #
PS:
From Rose Ann G. Soloway, RN, BSN, MSEd, DABAT
Clinical Toxicologist
National Capital Poison Center

"Data are available from the American Association of Poison Control Centers. The most recent report is from 2009 and is found here: http://www.aapcc.org/dnn/Portals/0/correctedannualreport.pdf

This report includes snake bites about which U.S. poison centers were consulted. The numbers are minimum numbers. In the U.S., there is no requirement that snake bites be reported to any agency so comprehensive figures are not available. To the best of my knowledge, there are no other data sources for U.S. snake bites.

The following were managed by U.S. poison centers in 2009:
  • Non-poisonous snake bites (known or unknown species): 1325
  • Copperhead envenomations: 1428
  • Coral envenomations: 92
  • Cottonmouth envenomations: 193
  • Rattlesnake envenomations: 1252
  • Unknown crotalid envenomations: 576
  • Unknown types of snake envenomation: 3,424
Three fatalities were attributed to rattlesnake envenomations; the type of rattlesnake was not specified.

In a poison emergency, call 1-800-222-1222. Your call will be routed to the U.S. poison center that serves you, based on your area code and exchange. The National Capital Poison Center serves the entire Washington, DC metro area. The Center is not a government agency and depends on your generous contributions. To donate, log on to www.poison.org/donate, send a contribution to the National Capital Poison Center at the address above, or designate 8476 (United Way) or 28290 (CFC). Stay informed! Sign up for The Poison Post®, the Center's free eNewsletter. Send your email address to PoisonPost@poison.org or text “POISON” to 22828. Also, like NCPC on facebook!"




##########################

Related Articles from Badlands Off-road Adventures

Did you miss the previous articles?



##########################

T&T Rail Road Adventure in November


Death Valley

Our goal is to cross through Johnson Valley, enjoying what it has to offer, and making our way North along the old Tonopah & Tidewater (T&T) Rail Road bed to the Rasor OHV, Afton Canyon and the western edge of the Mojave Preserve. On the way we will skirt the Rodman Mountain Wilderness and cross I-40. This adventure is 2 days of scenic, historical, light wheeling and a night ( 2 if you prefer) of primitive camping under the stars. We can plan a Dutch Oven pot luck for our evening meal.
Check out the details and sign up on the website: http://www.4x4training.com/Adventures/TTRailroad.html


Watch this video about the Tonopah & Tidewater RR
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bZUQZv6TK24&feature=email

You can register directly at http://www.4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#TTRailroad


##########################

Getting Started Off-road driving Clinic December 10


Getting Started Off-Road Clinic

The clinic is held in Hungry Valley State Vehicle Recreation Area near Gorman CA. This clinic is specifically designed to meet the needs of novice off-highway drivers or someone with a bit of experience who is looking for a more complete understanding. This is a one-day session. The session includes classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction. More Details...


You can register directly here


##########################

Advanced Beginner Clinic December 11


Advanced Beginner Clinic Example

The clinic is held in the El Paso Mountains near Mojave CA. The goal is to help you get a "better feel" for tire placement and to visualize the obstacles as they move into your blind zone. You will gain more behind the wheel experience combined with picking lines. The difficulty level is one step higher than the basic class and you can expect some pin striping. More Details...


You can register directly here


##########################

Tread Trainer Clinic January 7, 2012


Tread Class Example

There is a Tread Lightly! Tread Trainer Clinic Jan 7, 2012. This year it will be held in Anaheim. You are encouraged to sign up for the Tread Lightly! Tread Trainer Certification Clinic. This is a one day course. There is a minimal fee of $25 to cover class materials and handouts. It requires a commitment to teaching and spreading the word about Tread Lightly! Principles and outdoor ethics.

You can find out more details on line at http://www.4x4training.com/TrainingClinics/Tread.html .

And register on line at http://4x4training.com/calendar/calendar.php#Tread.

##########################

4 Wheel Drive Radio Shows


These 2 four wheel drive radio shows you can listen to on-line or download as a podcast.

##########################

Christmas Ideas

For Christmas consider giving a gift certificate for a Class or Adventure in 2012

Or a Winching DVD as a Stocking Stuffer


##########################

Any of Item would make a good Christmas Gift from
Badlands Off-road Adventures Store

Click here if you cannot see the full store



##########################



I hope to see you on the trails!
Tom Severin, President
Badlands Off Road Adventures,Inc.
4-Wheel Drive School
310-374-8047
http://www.4x4training.com
Make it Fun. Keep it Safe.
#####
If you find this information valuable, please pass it on to a friend. You can forward them the email. If you received a forwarded copy of this newsletter and would like to subscribe for yourself, go to: www.4x4training.com/contacts.html and follow the instructions to join our mail list.
Want To Use This Article In Your Magazine, E-Zine, Club Newsletter Or Web Site? You are welcome to use it anytime, just be sure to include the following author/copyright information: Tom Severin, 4x4 Coach, teaches 4WD owners how to confidently and safely use their vehicles to the fullest extent in difficult terrain and adverse driving conditions. Visit www.4x4training.com to develop or improve your driving skill.

Copyright 2011, Badlands Off-Road Adventures, Inc.





Back | Phone 310-374-8047