Injury and Envenomation by Exotic Snakes and Other Venomous Pets in Europe

  • Luc de Haro
Reference work entry
Part of the Toxinology book series (TOXI)


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.


Antivenom bank Clinical toxicology Envenomation Exotic snakes Poison Centre 


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© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Toxicovigilance UnitPoison Centre of MarseilleMarseilleFrance

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