Experiment No. 3.?I pean Mail on the



append an


extract from

antidote for cobra

the Euro-



Snake Poison and its Antidote. To the Editor






publication in both European and American journals of articles upon the subject, and particularly one under " The Cobra Question in India," I date March 2, 1870, under the heading trust you will give publicity to this communication, on account of its importance; and am induced to ask Tor it a place in the columns of your journal, in the hope that it will afford to your readers, in India mora particularly, a knowledge of an antidote for snake-poisons, which may claim


to be

noticed of late


specific, insomuch as it has never been unknown to fail in a singlo during the past three years in different districts in this country in


which I have been able to induce its

general adoption,


particularly by

Curanderos, or curers (snake-charmers.) I have devoted no little time during the past twenty years to a study of the habits, peculiarities, &e., of poisonous snakes, and have made many experiments with their poisons, with a view to discover, if possible, specific antidotes to them, and the

have been

EXrERIMENTS ON SNAKE-POISON. C.S.I. 13y J. Fayber, M.D., (Continued from page 199.; 1870.?Present: Dks. Fayeer, Murray, (Inspectand Ewart. Hospitals) Ross, BeatSON, and powerful pariah Experiment No. 1.?A full-grown an Ophiophagus Flaps, 9 feet was bitton in the

July 28th,

or-General of


thigh by

9 inches in

had been





months in

The snake, it is to be observed, and was sluggish and appa-


It had been fed on fish, which was refused to eat. The bite in this it pushed down its throat, if the fangs had it was doubtful ease was very slight, and

rently disinclined

to bite.


Penetrated. 12-24.?Rest12-19.?The dog micturated very freely. not affected. less. 12-25.?Lying down. 12-35.?Apparently 12-44. profuse. very 12-38.?Defecation and micturition again in the thigh. This made to bite the dog "?The snnke was


time there was no doubt about its fangs being imbedded, for round ; lies down; blood was drawn. 12-50.?Restless ; turns 12-55. Very restless ; gets up again. Breathing accelerated. 12-58. generally. muscles tlio of convulsive twitchings stand ; staggers and falls Breathing much accelerated ; cannot 1-2 p.m. Convulsed. 1-7. over; convulsive movements. 1-9- Bead. Convulsions; bowels acted again. 12-44. Dead First bite, doubtful, 12-15. Second, certain, or 25 minutes bite; doubtful .1-9; 54 minutes from the first from the second certain bite. The skin was removed from the the puncture was wounded part. The cellular tissue around The blood, when removed cedematous. and dark, ecchymosed, from the body after death, coagulated firmly into a red clot. in the thigh by the Experiment No. 2.?A fowl was bitten on the immediately It limped same Ophiophagus at 12-49. bitten leg. 12-54.?Fowl drooping, head falling over. 12-55. 1 p. m.?Dead? ; convulsed. ?Convulsed.


in 11 minutes. Areolar tissue about the wound ecchymosed: from the body after blood coagulated on being removed


The snake is apparently not so virulent as a cobra, for fowl lived 11 minutes after being bitten. But this miiy be ?fhe due to its weak condition for it has been long in confinement; it looks and has been fed on fish, instead of its natural death.


food, snakes, which

it declines to eat.

into its case, but it refuses to touch them.

They have been put

so "

far successful


to be able to


the law in


all animal

poisons have their specific antidotes in the gall of the animal or the reptile in which these poisons exist." The bite of the cobra, or of any other poisonous snake or reptile, can be cured by administering a few drops of a preparation of the gall of tha cobra, which should be prepared as follows :?Pure spirits of wine, or 95 per cent, alcohol, or the best high wines that can be procured, 200 drops ; of the pure gall, 20 drops ; in a clean two-ounce phial, corked with a new cork ; give the phial 150 or 200 shakes, so that the gall may be thoroughly mixed with the spirits, and the preparation is ready for use. In case of a bite put five drops (no more) of the preparation into half a tumblerful of tumbler into another backwards pure water; pour the water from one and forwards several times, that the preparation may be thoroughly mixed with the water, and administer a large tablespoonful of the mixture every three or five minutes until the whole has been given. In case the violence of the pain and haemorrhage or swelling of the bitten part should be but slightly alleviated after the whole has been taken, repeat the dose, pretics that


with the





of the


in the


way, and


curing upwards of fifty cases of snake-bites I have never been obliged to repeat the dose except in two instances, and have never lost a case. The cobra-poison is no more deadly than that of a great variety of snakes found in South America, of which may be named the Cascabel, or Rattlesnake ; Boqui-dorada, or gilded mouth; Mapana. Sapo, or frog-headed Mapana; "Mapana-fina, or Zachesis, Niger, Birri, and Verrugosa, or wart-snake. The poison of all these varieties produces death (under certain conditions?atmospherical, physical, climaterical, and electrical) in from fifteen minutes to two or three hours; but it is found that the gall of each variety (administered as previously indicated) is the perfect antidote for its own poison. The gall of the most deadly kind may be used in cases of bites of those less virulent, and is also applicable in case8 of bites of the centipede, scorpion, sting-ray, star-lizard, or lacerta stella, as

and is also very effective in Stato of

dog-bites.* Magdalena, April 10, 1870.

******* S.

B. Higgin-s.

The instructions therein contained have been most carefully followed. The alcoholic solution of the bile of the cobra was with the greatest accuracy by Dr. D. Cunningham;


a large and vigorous cobra killed on purpose, prepared without delay. The following experiment was made on the 28th of July :? A full-grown pariah dog was bitten by a cobra (Bansbuniah Keautinh) on the thigh at 12-30. The bite wa3 very slight, as the snako seemed indisposed to close its jaws. However, a very slight wound was inflicted, and it was not repeated, as it was more probable that the antidote would be beneficial, the dose of poison being slight. At 12-32 the antidote was administered exactly according to the instructions. 12-35.?Another dose given. 12-38.?Ditto ditto. 12-41.?Ditto ditto. The dog is sluggish and depressed. 12-42.?Staggers in his gait j micturates and defecates profusely. 12-44.?Another dose given. 12-47.?Ditto ditto. 12-51.?Ditto ditto. 12-53.?Ditto ditto. The dog is sluggish. 12-56.?Another dose given. 12-59. Ditto ditto. 1-2 p.m.?Ditto ditto. 1-5.?He is very sluggish and depressed. 1-8.?Convulsed; another dose given. 1-12 ditto. 1-17?Very drowsy; convulsive Ditto twitcliings ; another dose given. 1-25.?Ditto ditto ditto. 1-30. Con-



taken from

and the tincture




l"i 11-??mil




vulsed 5 another dose given. 1-34.?Ditto ditto ditto. 1-41.? Feeble respirations, almost paralysed. 1-45.?Still breathes; 1-52.?Still breathes; cannot more; has occasional convulsive twitchings. 1-57.?Dead?in eighty-seven minutes. Blood

coagulated firmly on being removed from the body. Skin raised over the bite; areolar tissue ecchymosed and cedematous. The symptoms were simply those caused by a smaller dose of the poison than usual; death resulting in 87 minutes. Experiment No. 4.?A pariah dog was bitten in the thigh by a cobra at 12-58. The bile antidote administered at 12-55. 12-58.?Another dose given. 1-1 p.m.?Another dose given. It was repeated at intervals of three minutes. 1-6.?The dog is sluggish and staggering. 1-10.?Convulsed. 1-12.? Dying. 1-13.?Dead?in twenty minutes. The antidote was administered regularly at intervals of three minutes. Blood coagulated firmly after death; aveolar tissue under the integument ecchymosed and oedematous. Experiment No. 5.?A young dog was bitten in the thigh by a spectacled cobra (Kurees Gokurrah,) at 1-25 p.m. Mr. Otlio Alexander's fluid antidote administered, and paste diluted with ammonia, applied according to Mr. A.'s instructions. 1-27.?The dog staggers, drags the bitten leg. 1-28.?Bitten leg paralysed. 1-29.?The dog has fallen over; paralysed. 1-30.?Convulsed. 1-32.?Dead?in seven minutes. The dog was about half-grown ; the cobra was fresh and vigorous. The drugs did not appear in any way to modify the action of the poison. Blood coagulated firmly after death. Experiment No. 6.?The same

Ophiophagus Elaps

used in

Nos. 1 and 2, was made to shed its poison into a shell; and on this occasion I observed that the fluid was more limpid, and not of so deep a yellow color as in former experi-


ments. Six drops of this poison were injected into the external jugular vein, which was laid bare on purpose, of a very large For a minute the dog did not and powerful dog, at 1-42 p.m. Beem affected in any way. 1-43.?Staggered suddenly when walking, and micturated profusely; in a few seconds more it was convulsed with opisthotonos. 1-44.?Fell over, apparently insensible ; there was neither cry nor indication of pain. 1-45.? Lying with the limbs extended, and breathing deeply. It remained in this position, apparently dead, but for the deep breathing, until 1-59, when it was convulsed. At 2-4 it was quite dead?in 22 minutes. It seemed perfectly unconscious after the first two minutes. Blood coagulated firmly after

death. Experiment No. 7.?A cobra was made

to shed its





and five

vein of



dead?in 2? minutes.

experiments, 6 and 7, shew the terrible activity of snake-poison when it directly enters the venous circulation. In contrasting the two, the cobra-poison appears more rapid and deadly in its action than that of the ophiophagus. Death occurred from the cobra-poison in 2? minutes, and from the These two


that the




in 22 minutes.



than in that of the

But it is to be remarked

powerful cobra;

in the case of the

and that the


gus was probably weak and sickly from confinement, whilst the cobra was comparatively fresh and vigorous. Irorn the opportunities I have had so far of testing the

relative viruleuce of the poisons of these snakes, I should say

[Noyembee 1,


that, quantity for quantity, the poison of tlie ophiophagus is not deadly than that of the cobra, if indeed, it he not less so. The Rev. Mr. Vinton, of Rangoon, to whom I am indebted for the ophiophagus, and who has much knowledge of those snakes, writes to me as follows :?" In all my experiments I have always found that, quantity for quantity, the poison of the Hamadryad ?was not so dangerous as either Cobra or Baboia. The danger ?with the Hamadryad is, however, in the very large quantities of poison. "When very much enraged it clings to its bite, and seems determined to inject a very large quantity of poison more

into the wound." From what I have seen of the

Hamadryad (Ophiophagus) I opinion as Mr. Vinton. The snake, when it did bite, held on with much pertinacity, and in earlier experiments, when it was made to shed its poison by biting a leaf stretched across a shell, at least, half a drachm was obtained of a bright orange-coloured viscid fluid, which I have already described. But nothing that I have seen of it in captivity, confirm, the account of its aggressive nature. Indeed, it seems ratliers sluggish and difficult to rouse, not assuming readily the menacing and angry look of the cobra when roused. But when much irritated, the Ophiophagus raises its head, expands the hood, hisses, and strikes, though not so fiercely as the cobra. It is probably different in the wild state, where it is said, when roused, to take the initiative, and not only attack but am

inclined to form



chase its enemy, even man. Experiment No. 8.?A bout five drops of fresh cobra-poison just taken from the snake, were put into a fowl's mouth at 2-5 p.m., and were

apparently immediately swallowed. The fowl evidently affected, its feathers rather ruffled ; it drooped, and was purged. It kept constantly shaking its head, and trying to sneeze, if we may so describe the action in a fowl. It drooped for a time, but the following day had quite recovered. The crop was full of grain, and hence the poison probably was diffused throughout the contents, and was not brought into contact sufficiently with the mucous membrane to produce fatal poisoning. Former experiments have abundantly proved the danger of applying the poison to a mucous surface. was

Note.?The Bungarus Fasciatus, bitten by the cobra on the 23rd of July, died on the 28th July. It was found that the cobra-bite had ulcerated, and a putrid opening in the tissues


the ribs.

effects of the

injected into the external drops full-grown pariah dog, not quite so powerful In thirty seconds it was as that in Experiment No. 6, at 1-55. affected, the bowels acted ; muco-sanguinolent motions, and it fell into convulsions ; its legs failed, and it remained resting on its belly. Yomited ; gave a few convulsive movements, and a









alive and well.


did not die of tho direct

The cobras bitten

by other cobras aro (severely bitten by may be l'airly said that


As these snakes were all

fresh and vigorous cobras, I think it they cannot poison each other or themselves. I




to Br. Richards,

for the

Civil Medical Officer of

following experiments which ho



to make at my request with the Krait or Bungarus Cceruleus. The snake is said to be common in that part

enough of

Bengal, and is known there to the natives as the Bhornun Chitee :? Experiment No. 1.?August ls?, 1870.?A "Krait" (Bungarus Cceruleus), after being irritated for five or six minutes, was made

fowl at 6-65 p.m.; it died, with tho usual 7-27, or 32 minutes. The body was opened at once, and tlie blood taken from the heart coagulated immeto bite tlie comb of


symptoms preceding,


diately. same Krait was made fowl's fore-arm at 1-28 p.m. The snake held on for som? time. The bitten part, which bled very much, was at onco burnt with a piece of iron made red hot. 1-40 p.m.?Tail drooping slightand & 2 much ly ; looks rather

Experiment No. 2.?August 2nd.?The

to bite





November 1, 1870.] "WATER-SUPPLY AT PESHAWAR?BY H. W. BELLE W. eating some riee. 2-15 p.m.?Bests the beak upon the ground, and crouching. 2-25 p.m.?Crouched in a corner; endeavours to keep its beak resting on the ground, but the head falls on one side ; Presently became convulsed. 3-20.?Dead?in 1 hour and 52 minutes. Body opened 30 minutes after death. The heart contained fluid blood, which, however, coagulated immediately on being drawn from it, except a portion that was mixed with Liq. Potas., which did not coagulate, and became very dark. Experiment No. 3.?The same Krait was made to bito a fowl's fore-arm at 2-12 p.m. 3 p.m.?Drooping, and drowsiness began in 17 minutes; now staggers, and then squats down. Liquor Potas. mxv, with water, administered. 3-14 p.m.?Endeavour to keep tho head straight on tho ground, but the head constantly drops on to is




tho other.

3-28.?Dead?in 1 hour and 16 minutes.


body was opened 7 minutes after death. The blood was fluid, but coagulated immediately on being drawn from the body. This last fowl died much quicker than the second, although bitten after, and with less severity. Either the excessive bleeding, or the actual cautery in the case of the second fowl prolonged life. I am inclined to believe it was the former. The experiment with Liq. Potas. was not satisfactory, as it was given much too late.

Experiment No. 4.?August 5th.?A full-grown country goat bitten by the same Krait, in one of the teats, at 4-30 p.m. At 8 p.m. appears tolerably well, but the tail is drooping. 10-12 p.m. ?Staggers about, or lies on its side; defecation, micturition, and salivation. 10-24 p.m.?Convulsed; pupils dilated, and insensible was


of the ears; eyes fixed. 10-28 p.m. hours and 58 minutes. Body opened at 11 p.m. The which was fluid when taken from body, was put into threo

light; gasping; twitching




separate glasses. No. 1 contained blood only, and this coagulated firmly immediately ; color bright red. No. 2 contained blood and Liq. Potas.; did not coagulate immediately ; it became gradually thicker; and for five minutes coagulated less firmly than No. 1; color brownish. No. 3 contained blood mixed with Liq. Ammonia; did not coagulate until tho of the 6th, and then not at all



color dark red. I could find no fang marks in the teat, either before or after death. The Krait died before the evening, owing to my having handled it too roughly in making it bito tho goat.

(To be continued.)



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