A Snake-Spider Bite?

Before we begin, a word of warning. The second image in this post is graphic and shows an infected wound. If you choose to continue on, I'd put that sandwich down first ... Mmkay?

You know when you were a kid and ya kept getting hurt, bumping into things - falling off your bike and such? People would say you were in "the wars". Well, it seems that - at least for me, the wars continue.

At our joint we have a number of critters that come and go - some are benign and some are not. But on the whole, we all tend to get along without too much drama. Occasionally though, there are small conflicts ...

A short time ago I was bitten on the hand by a Brown house spider, they are related to the Red-back spider and while nowhere near as venomous, they do have an annoying little bite. And it seems no matter how many Daddy long-leg spiders we encourage into the house, the Browns just keep on, keeping on. I have been bitten a few times, normally resulting in a bit of a blister and some itchiness that goes away after a few days - no big deal in the whole scheme of things - but all that was to change.

It was a fairly standard evening at ours. I was feeding some of the resident critters and had made my way to one of the two pythons we are lucky enough to care for, to give her a nice plump rat. I opened her cage and, having decided that tongs just weren't necessary, reached in holding the (euthanised) rodent by the tail. Babylon, our usually very well-behaved spotted python, edged out, off her favourite branch - her tongue flickering like a flame in a cyclone - all was fine.

Until it wasn't

As Babylon approached, Jo asked me a question and in my complacency, I turned my head to answer. Yup, you guessed it. In the blink of an eye, I was now holding a rat, while a snake was holding me - with her mouth.

Within moments, Babylon realised she'd been somewhat over enthusiastic and, with a very slight popping feel, almost apologetically removed her needle sharp teeth from my skin. She realigned herself and took her meal with her usual aplomb.

Now, I've had my share of snake bites - so I didn't jerk away from her bite or attempt to pry her jaws off me. I just stayed still. Doing anything else would have risked injuring her and actually just making the bite worse.

I tutted and shook my head at myself, watched to ensure she was eating okay and went to wash the blood off, pausing to snap a phone pic for prosperity - I never imagined that I would be doing a whole post on the incident - but here we are.

Because what I hadn't considered was the fact that one of her fangs had pierced the skin of my yet to heal spider bite. Thus, the area was already compromised and ripe for infection.

The spider bite is barely noticeable under the blood - but it became significant later

After a time my hand became redder, there was swelling and godawful itchiness. I put antibacterial creams on and tried to keep the area clean and dry - (good luck with that in the tropics). As the days wore on, the infection deepened and spread, I had a Dr's appointment already booked, so thought I'd just hold out 'till then.

Currently, in my neck of the woods, Dr appointments are harder to find than an honest politician. Of course, I suppose I could've gone to the hospital - but I'm one of those insufferable men who goes to the hospital only if I've obviously broken something, or, I'm not conscious enough to have a say in the matter.

Seriously - don't continue on if you're squeamish

An almost necrotic infection

... So - did I lose a thumb? - A hand?! Well, no - thank god, as that's my - how to put this?, that's my self comforting hand.


Eventually, suffering a fever and feeling very ordinary indeed, I made it to the Dr's - where she gave me her, by now familiar, "How're you still bloody breathing?" look.

Still, she's an awesome Doc and a top lady, and despite her obvious doubts as to my mental acuity, she got me on antibiotics and had the wound cleaned and dressed properly. Things are healing nicely as a result.

And what of Babylon? Never fear, she's just peachy. And as I'm not one to hold a grudge, especially when I'm at fault - we continue to be firm friends ...

As you can see - happy as a bivalve mollusc ...

And at the end of the day - that's all that really matters.

Despite my occasional, selfish disregard for my own well-being, please take care regarding any wounds/bites inflicted by either pets and/or wild animals. And treat yourself with the care and respect you deserve.

Take care