Injury and Envenomation by Exotic Snakes and Other Venomous Pets in Europe
In the Western world, there is an undeniable increase in the trend for exotic pets among which there are many venomous species. Over the past few years, tarantula bites and exotic fish stings have become frequent in several countries; however snakes are unquestionably the most dangerous of all these unusual pets. Breeders of these exotic snakes are collectors in search of rare specimens for which toxicity is poorly known. Furthermore, some breeders do not hesitate to interbreed these species, thus creating new breeds for which it is difficult to predict toxicity. The European and North American medical practitioners are not trained to deal with patients who have been envenomed by exotic animals. It is therefore advised to consult a specialized department in order to assess risk and draw up a therapeutic protocol according to the venomous species concerned and the clinical picture observed. Finally, it must also be made clear that antivenoms, often the only solution for a quick recovery, are not available in most cases. In order to get out of this unsatisfactory situation, several antivenom banks have been set up by well-informed teams and medical toxicologists from different countries.
KeywordsAntivenom bank Clinical toxicology Envenomation Exotic snakes Poison Centre
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