Understanding Snake Venom and How It Works

What makes a snake different from so many other kinds of animals is its ability to produce venom to be able to subdue its potential prey or enemies. While not all snakes have this capability, there are enough species of these predators out there that can do real damage to you, your family, and your pets.

If they are bitten by one of these snakes that is able to produce venom then it can lead to sickness and eventually even to death if not treated right away. This is why if you live in an area where venomous snakes are known to exist it is important to make sure that you are aware of what a rattlesnake, copperhead, water moccasin, or other venomous snake looks like.

If you are bitten by one of these reptiles then you should be aware that there are four different kinds of toxins that the snake can inject into you. They are as follows.


These kinds of toxins affect the nervous system of the organism that they have bitten. This will lead to paralysis, which will eventually lead to death in the organism. The way that this works is quite simple.

When the snake bites its victim, it injects the venom into the body. That is then passed into the blood stream where it starts to diffuse across the body. When it reaches nerves it stops them from being able to conduct normal processes, and in a very short time organs and systems will begin to shut down. This can mean that the lungs will not work so that person cannot breathe in and out, plus muscles throughout the body can be locked in a contraction. This will make it so that the person is unable to breathe and death will occur shortly after that.

If you are bitten by a snake that has released a neurotoxin into you then you need to get treated right away. Waiting can be terminal.


This kind of venom is intended to shut down the heart, and will actually stop the heart from being able to beat. Death is almost certain when this kind of poison is injected into the prey. The heart is essential in all organisms if that organism is going to survive, and if the heart has been damaged so that it will not function, then it will not be long until the victim passes on.

If you are bitten by a snake that emits a cardiotoxin, then getting treatment right away is essential. You also want to stay as calm as possible so that the toxin will take longer to reach the heart and other important organs.


This kind of toxins looks to damage cells in the body. When it has reached a sufficient enough level in an organ or other part of the body, it will begin to break down cells, which can lead to a killing of the organ. This can mean that the stomach, intestinal lining, or other area of the body where the toxin has reached can cause severe damage.

While the effects of this are not nearly as dangerous, making sure that you receive treatment is paramount. Do not dawdle.


These kinds of toxins affect blood vessels and blood cells. This can make the blood vessels so that they will constrict to a point where blood will not be able to pass through the tightened blood vessels. The cells can become damaged which will cause them to be ineffective in carrying oxygen and other nutrients, which can lead to illness and even death.

You also want to make sure you take care of this right away if you are bitten.

For more information about Understanding Snake Venom and How It Works, go to my Snake Removal - How to Get Rid of Snakes home page.

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