WESTMINSTER - Living in this beautiful state we know we share the outdoors with animals, lots of them. One we need to be aware of this time of year, rattlesnakes.
Their bites are painful, and survivable if you know what to do.
Donald Lough says he thought a walk through the dog park with his girlfriend and dog would be the exciting part of his day.
“The next thing I knew I felt something stinging me it felt like a wasp sting and I looked down and I had two puncture wounds on my leg and we looked down and saw a snake slithering away,” said Lough.
The first thing he did was call 911.
“The paramedics showed up within 5 minutes,” he said.
He was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
“It got numb right here around the area, the bite then it got a little bit red, my lips and my nose started to get numb like when you're at the dentist and get an injection,” said Lough.
He says the pain also increased and doctors gave him an anti venom to combat the reaction to the bite.
“It was a weird sensation with my facial muscles, like my face was moving and I wasn't doing anything.”
Dr. Daniel Fong with Good Samaritan Medical Center says he has seen three rattlesnake bite victims this year at his hospital alone and says if you're bitten the best thing you can do is not get rattled.
“Just sit down and try to relax and have someone call 911 or call them yourself,” said Dr. Fong.
That is exactly what Lough did, although he has some medical training.
“I've worked in surgery for 40 plus years so I kind of know what to do,” said Lough.
He also knows what not to do.
“I didn't ice it, I didn't try and cut between the bite marks and suck out the poison, one I couldn't reach it and it wouldn't work,” Lough said.
He says normally, he is always looking at his surroundings, but now he'll be looking even harder.
“I'll be more cautious and carry a big stick,” Lough said.
Rattlesnakes can show up just about anywhere outdoors.
Officials say that was the second time in a week they were called to Westminster Hills dog park for a rattlesnake bite.
Denver Health has the following tips on what to do if you encounter a rattlesnake.
- Dress appropriately. Most bites happen to the hands, feet and ankles.
- Wear good quality hiking boots, tennis shoes, and thick socks. Ankle boots are best. Avoid sandals, open-toed shoes, or walking barefoot.
- Wear long, loose-fitting pants.
- Avoid sticking your hands or feet into holes, thick grasses, and other places where you can’t see snakes that may be hiding.
- Use a flashlight. Flashlights can help you spot a snake on or near the trail at dusk when snakes tend to be active.
- Always hike with a friend.
- Communicate. Carry a cell phone and make sure family and friends know where you are hiking and how long you plan to be gone.
- Stay out of the way. Stay on well-used trails and avoid wandering into tall grass, underbrush and weeds.
You can find more information here.
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