Cottonmouth snakes are medium bodied pit vipers native to the south land of America. They get the name cottonmouth from the way they show their defenses by coiling into a circle and opening their mouth exposing the solid white inside which is also equipped with 2 large hypodermic needles pointed in the direction of the threat.
Cottonmouth snakes receive a reputation as being extremely aggressive but bites are still very rare and are often a result of human error or alcohol related incidents. For whatever reason people like to provoke these animals in front of their friends after having a few beers to look cool which usually ends up with the provoker in the hospital.
These animals are in fact venomous and demand a lot of due respect. Cottonmouth snakes have hemotoxic venom that works by killing tissue cells in the bite area. This hemotoxic venom also stops blood from coagulating correctly therefore causing large amounts of blood loss and internal bleeding. Bite victims sometimes will experience blood loss from their eye balls and nostrils as a result from receiving a bad bite. The pain associated with venomous snake bites is often the worst experience of the victims life that consists of a burning sensation that comparable to a gunshot wound.
Full envenomations statically occur about 50% of the time, the other 50% of the bites are considered dry bites which contain no venom. All bites should be taken extremely serious with the victim seeking medical attention as soon as possible.
With timely treatment the effects on the body should be minimal as long as anti-venom is administered by a qualified medical professional. The good news is, most hospitals throughout the south land of America keep a good supply of Crofab anti-venom on hand to treat snake bites from copperheads, rattlesnakes and of course cottonmouth snakes. Crofab is designed to be able to snake bites from most native venomous snakes here in the United States.
All in all its best to treat these animals with the upmost respect and use extreme caution when encountering a cottonmouth in the wild.
If youd like more detailed information on these animals like identification, habitat and natural history please visit my website at this link Cottonmouth Snake. There are also some great images. See you there.