Cotton Mouth Snake Venom: These guys are equipped with

hemotoxic venom. To understand this type of venom that cottonmouth

snakes have and how it works, you must first understand a little background

on snake venom in general and how it affects the human body. First and

foremost, there are two basic categories of snake venom, those being

hemotoxic and neurotoxic. These two types of venom have different effects

on the human body; here are some of those differences in detail:

  1. Hemotoxic venom radically attacks blood and tissue cells causing traumatic damage to the area which received the bite. In some cases the after effects are so bad the patient may require skin grafts due totissue degeneration and muscle damage.


Hemotoxic venom works by preventing the body’s blood supply from

coagulating, therefore causing bite victims to experience large amounts of

blood loss. That blood loss is expelled through internal bleeding of the body’s

organs and bleeding from just about every orifice of the human body. With

that, there are often reports of bite victims bleeding from their ears, eyes,

nose and even fingernails.

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Bites received from snakes with hemotoxic venom can

result in loss of a limb as well as

permanent tissue and muscle damage

even when proper anti-venom is



Furthermore, victims that have been

bitten by snakes with hemotoxic venom 

report the feeling of extreme pain in the

area of the bite. I was talking to

another reptile enthusiast in Florida

once that received a bite from a juvenile cottonmouth and he described the

pain as almost unbearable. He received the bite while out boating in on a

lake and said, he’d never forget the pain he felt on the way back to the dock

to seek medical treatment. He said the wind blowing up against the bite

wound was the worst pain he had experienced in his over 40years on mother

earth. Now that’s painful!


Other native snakes with hemotoxic venom are copperheads and pretty much

all rattlesnakes (with exception of the Mojave rattlesnake which has

neurotoxic venom.)


  1. Neurotoxic venom is the other category of snake venom. Neurotoxic venom works by attacking the human body’s central nervous system and brain. When the neurotoxic venom attacks the central nervous system it often causes paralysis. With that, bite victims experience a loss of muscle control in their diaphragm and are unable to expand their lung to breath.

Another effect of neurotoxic venom is necrosis. If you’re wondering what the

word “necrosis” means, it basically means the killing of tissue cells which

leads to skin and muscle tissue literally rotting around the bite wound. That

necrosis often leads to amputation. The effects of this neurotoxic venom

often has a lasting effect on the body’s extremities’


There are a few native venomous snakes here in the United States with

neurotoxic venom like for example the mojave rattlesnake, tiger rattlesnake,

southern pacific rattlesnake, canebrake rattlesnake and the coral snake.

Throughout the globe, there are many different species of venomous snakes

that are equipped with neurotoxic venom and for the most part they’re mainly

elapids like cobras, mambas, tiapans etc.


Cottonmouth Snake Bite treatment: Anti-venom serum like CroFab®

(Crotalidae Polyvalent Immune Fab) is administered when treating

envenomations from cottonmouth snakes. CroFab is a United States company

that manufactures anti-venom for the medical industry. Only a doctor can

administer any type of anti-serum, this isn’t something Joe Bob the neighbor

can administer like in the case of bee stings with the Epipen.


CroFab is designed to treat snake bites from most US native pit vipers with

exceptions of the mojave rattlesnake and Southern Pacific rattlesnake which

may need a multi-blend of different anti-venoms to combat the presences of

both heomtoxic and neurotoxic venoms.


The good news is roughly half of all bites from venomous snakes turn out to

be “dry bites” a dry bite is a basically a bite that doesn’t result in

envenomation. You see snakes take their defenses extremely serious and

don’t tend to waste venom needlessly, they also rely on that venom for their

livelihood needing it to hunting prey items so “dry bites” do have a rhyme

and a reason.


The bottom line is take all venomous snake bites extremely serious and seek

medical treatment as soon as possible. Your life depends on it.