EXPERIMENTS ON SNAKE POISON. Br J. Fairer,
(Continued from page
Experiment No. 1.?A cobra (bansburriah keautiah) wa3 bitten by a large krait, 4 feet long, at 12-20. The bite was inflicted on the edge of the hood. 20th August. The cobra is not, nor has been affected. Experiment No. 2.?A fowl had half a drop of poison freshly taken from the krait, mixed with eight parts of water, injected
thigh at 12-28. 12-29.?Stands in a dejected attitude, staring. 12-35.?Has been lethargic for the last few minutes; eyes closed; crouched ; head fallen forward, with beak resting on the ground. 12-38.?Lying down; starts when roused by sound or touch. 12-40.?Lying on its side, paralysed ; head fallen over. 12-46.?Muscular twitchings. 12-56.?Still alive; lies motionless except for occasional convulsive twitchings. 12-57.?Dead?in 29 minutes. Blood removed from the body formed a firm coagulum soon into its feathers
after death. Experiment No.
3.?Half a drop of cobra-poison mixed eight parts of water, injected into a fowl's thigh at 12-33. The poison is freshly taken from the cobra ; the fowl is rather smaller than the one in the last experiment. 12-36.?Limps on injected leg. 12-40.?Crouuhed. 12-42.?Head drooping, restwith
THE INDIAN MEDICAL GAZETTE.
ing on it9 beak. 12-45.?Crouching; eyes closed ; head nodding. 12-48.?Point of beak resting on the ground. 12-54.? Quite paralysed. 12-56.?Convulsive movements; purged. 12-59. ?Quite paralysed. 1 p. m.?Convulsive, springing from the ground. 1-6.?Dead?in 33 minutes. The object of these two experiments was to test the relative power of the two poisons by taking the same quantity of each, and using it on animals of about the same size. This fowl poisoned by the cobra was rather smaller than that poisoned by the krait, and yet it lived longest after being inoculated: so far the krait's poison would appear to be the most active of the two. It would be almost impossible to judge from one experiment, where there are so many causes that should interfere
latter struck at the mongoose, 'who returned the attack, and they were both scratched about the nose, for both were bleeding. They were in the cage for nearly an hour, each seeming very anxious to avoid the other. The cobra with on the
defensive, always erect, and his head raised 20 inches from the ground. Whenever brought near each other the cobra struck, and the mongoose snapped; the result in each case being a bleeding wound about the face or mouth. This cobra's mouth, which he kept open, was red with blood. Both seemed very tired, but the mongoose, though scratched, showed no
severely symptoms poisoning. were taken out, and the cobra was made to close his They jaws on the mongoose's thigh at 1-20 p.m. This was folio-wed to disturb the natural results. Yet it is sufficient to prove that by no immediate effect, they were returned to the cage; and the poison of the krait is very similar in its deadly action to that behaved exactly as they had done before. The cobra's poison of the cobra. had most probably been exhausted in its furious assaults. Experiment No. 4.?A cobra (koyah gokurrah), 3 feet 10 They were again taken out of the cage, and as the mongoose inches long, was severely bitten in the hood by a tentuliah wa3 not affected, he was bitten again on the thigh by a much inches 10 5 feet and long, keautiah, cobra, very vigorous and smaller cobra; after which they were put into the cage powerful, at 12-45. The bite was a very determined one, and together. In this case the action of the mongoose was quite the poison effused profuse. he was evidently not, as he had been of the larger 20th August.?No evil results, the cobra is unaffected (after different, cobra, afraid of this one. The cobra assumed the defensive seven days.) attitude at once, and as the mongoose ran at him, struck. The Experiment No. 5.?A small frog was bitten by the largo and krait, which must have been much exhausted by repeated biting, mongoose gripped him in several places along the body, finally caught him by the head, biting him severely about the The frog was dead at 1-14, or in six minutes. at 1-8 p. m. mouth, in doing which the poison fangs of the snake must have Present: Drs. Fayreb and Ewart.?August 20th, 1870. over and over again wounded the mongoose's mouth, for the Experiment No. 1.?A Bungarus Fasciatus, 68 inches long upper jaw of the snake was repeatedly in the mongoose's mouth, and 5 inches in girth, was made to bite a middle-sized, but and both were streaming with blood. The cobra was soon hors full-grown, pariah dog on tbe thigh, at 12-45.?He closed his de combat and was removed from the cage?not dead, but very jaws twice or thrice, but the bites were doubtful. 1-35.?Not severely hurt. The mongoose had not succeeded in biting into affected. 1-55.?Not affected, the fangs had evidently not the brain,but only in front of it. The cobra, however, was penetrated. Bitten again by the same snake. 2 p.m.?Is evi- helpless. The mongoose was by this time, 1-45, under the influence of dently affected: sits down, is sluggish. 2-10.?Very sluggish. The dog after this began slowly to recover, on the the poison, which no doubt was inflicted by the last cobra which following bit him on the thigh, and when the mongoose took the cobra's day was quite well. Experiment No. 2.?A young and very lively spectacled jaw in his mouth. The bitten leg became paralysed, and by cobra, 14 inches long, was bitten in the muscular part of its degrees he became more and more sluggish, but did not die till body by a krait, 48 inches long, at 12-50.?The krait is the 8-5 p.m. After death the blood coagulated firmly. ono that came from Delhi, and it has not bitten for some The result of this experiment was somewhat different to that days. At 1 p.m. the cobra was very sluggish; at 1-8, so sluggish that on Then the mongoose also wa3 not affected a former occasion. it moves with difficulty, and can be easily handled: it makes his fi"-ht with the cobra, but succumbed immediately during no effort at resistance. 1-20.?Apparently dying, movements afterwards when bitten on the thigh. I imagine the fangs must scarcely preceptible. 1-22.?Dead. have penetrated a large vein, for death occurred almost instantly. There can be no doubt, I think, that this young snake suc- In this case it did not occur for several hours. But the animal cumbed to the poison of the krait, and this settles the ques- died with the same symptoms as all other creatures poisoned by tion of the susceptibility of one poisonous snake to the venom the venom. deadly of another. But in this case the krait was very large, and the This last experiment, however, certainly seems to show that, cobra very small. I doubt whether a cobra of equal size would whether by its activity or owing to protective influence of its have died. thick hair, it has, when bitten, a toleration of the poison greater Experiment No. 3.?A krait, about 30 inches in length, was than that of other animals of similar size. Such indeed is bitten by the same krait that killed the cobra in last experi- the case in other animals: for instance, the cat is apparently ment, at 1-22 p. m. 2-4.?Not affected. No apparent effects less sensitive to the than the dog. poison 23rd August.?No effect. on the following day. Experiment No. 4.?A full-grown fowl was bitten in the Present: Dr. Fayrer.?August 2"th, 1870. thigh by the same Bungarus Fasciatus that bit the dog in experi- Experiment No. 1.?A piece of the side of an ordinary 1-50.?Affected; drooping. 1-55.? ment No. 1, at 1-47 p.m. patent leather shoe, consisting of one fold of patent leather and to one side; crouches ; head twisted tail movements Convulsive ; one of thin leather lining, was fastened on to a pariah dog's nodding. 1-58.?Fallen over, paralysed. 2-4.?Lies paralysed ; thigh in the fashion of a boot or shoe. reflex action still marked; a fly sitting on the eye-lid, it starts. A powerful full-grown fresh cobra was then made to close No convulsions. 2-5.?Dead?in 18 minutes. his jaws on the part. This he attempted to do at once and after death. The The blood coagulated firmly immediately bit freely several times, but he was evidently quite unable to bitten part was swollen and discolored. make the fangs penetrate, or at all events he could not do more Experiment No. 5.?A nearly full-grown mongoose (Iler- than make them partially penetrate. The dog was unharmed. pestes) was put into a large cage with a very large and vigorous The experiment was made at 4-3 p. m.; at 4 40 the dog was The snake cobra (tentuliah keautiah) nearly six feet long. quite unaffected, showing that the teeth had not penetrated. immediately assumed the offensive attitude in ono corner of the A large quantity of poison was shed on the leather as the snake into the shrunk the whilst terrified, mongoose, evidently cage, touched the surface in closing his jaws: it was poured in quanthe the cobra, other corner. When roused and pushed towards tities, at least 20 drops must have been exuded. of
January 2, 1S71.]
ON FISII AS
It would appear from this experiment that ail ordinary shoe Would protect the foot from being bitten. Boots or shoes and leather gaiters would be very safe. Experiment No. 2.?Part of the sleeve of an ordinary black cloth coat lined with silk, was made to cover a pariah dog's hind leg; and the cloth folded over the part was presented to a very powerful and fresh cobra of the largest size, nearly six feet long. He bit two or three times : the fangs im-
fiercely bedded themselves in the cloth, and it was soon saturated with Poison; but the dog showed no signs that the fangs had penetrated his leg, nor was blood drawn. This occurred at 4-7 p.m. 4"37.?Dog not affected. 4-40.?The sleeve again applied, and another very large cobra made to close his jaws on the leg enveloped in the sleeve. This he did with the greatest vigor, but the fangs apparently did not penetrate the leg; as before, the coat was saturated with poison. ?A. third very largo cobra was made to bite, and this time the d?g winced as though punctured. 4-50.?The dog seems sluggish, as though partially under the influence of the poison. 5-5.?lie I10w looks lively as though he were unaffected. He perfectly recovered after this, and at noon the following day was quite well. The fold of black cloth and silk in this case proved almost a complete protection. Experiment No. 3.?Two folds of ordinary white flannel Were wrapped round a large pariah dog's thigh, and a large and fresh cobra was made to bite through these. The snake bit fiercely and retained his hold for a time. The fangs penetrated the dog's leg, for blood marked the punctures. This was at 4-11. The flannel was soaked with poison. 4-27.?Dog sluggish, evidently affected. 4-37.?Ditto. 4-54?Seems uneasy, whines and snarls. 5 p.m.?Yery restless, lies down, up again. 5-8.? When he walks is very lame on bitten leg and staggers in his gait. 5-20.?Vomited. 5-30.?Purged. 5-35.?Convulsed. 5-40. ?Dying. 5-50.?Dead?in 99 minutes. Blood coagulated firmly after death. The flannel partially, though it would not completely protect; the intensity of the poisoning was certainly diminished. Experiment No. 4.?A woollen knitted sock was placed on a fowl's leg, and a powerful cobra made to bite through it at 4-37 p.m. The fangs penetrated, and the fowl died almost immediately, so rapidly that I was doubtful whether it had aot been squeezed to death in handling it. Experiment No. 5.?The same woollen sock put on to a dog's thigh, at 4-38 p.m., and a full-grown, vigorous cobra made to bite through it. The fangs penetrated, for the dog whined, and blood points marked the punctures. 4-39.?Limps. 4-52.? Much affected, legs weak. 5-4.?Vomiting. 5-10.?Convulsed. 5-12.?Died?in 34 miniutes. Blood congulated firmly. The sock was not sufficient protection, the fangs penetrated, and the poison in both cases acted rapidly. Experiment No. 6.?A large cobra was made to bite on a single fold of a piece of American drill, such as white trousers are usually made of in India. The fangs penetrated and their Points could be 110
the other side.
This cloth would afford
against cobra bite. Experiment No. 7.?A drop of poison from the cobra shed in experiment No. 1, was dropped into a large fowl's eye, at 4-10 p.m. 4-37.?The fowl has been drowsy and stupid for some minutes ; the eye also is much congested. 4-56.?Five drops of cobraPoison put into its mouth and washed down with a teaspoonful ?f water. 4-58.?Very drowsy. 5-6.?Very sluggish, head drooping; purged. 5-3.?Feathers all ruffled ; and purged. 7-3 p.m?Crouched; head nodding. 8-20.?Convulsed. 9.?Dying. *0.?Found dead. Blood coagulated firmly on removal. In this case death did n?t occur till nearly five hours. Experiment No. 8.?A drop of cobra-poison put into an protection
&c.?BY EEANCIS DAT. albino rabbit's eye at 4-24 p.m., and about six drops of tho diluted with a teaspoonful of water, put into its mouth, which it swallowed. 4-2G.? Eye very slightly congested. 4-28 ?Very restless, twitching movements of head. 4-31.?A few violent convulsions, and then death, in seven minutes. same
Tho blood was removed in fifteen minutes and coagulated firmly. Experiments No. 7 and 8 prove beyond a doubt that the poison is absorbed by a mucous membrane, and that it is dangerous to apply it to those surfaces as to introduce it into the stomach. The practice of sucking a poisoned snake bite may be attended with danger, and should be discontinued, as it endangers a second life, whilst probably doing very little good for the first. Tho six first experiments show how far protection may be conferred by certain articles of dress. A pair of boots or shoes and gaitters protect (probably entirely) the parts covered. Broad clotlx lined with silk is almost complete protection in caso of tho cobra bite, and a fortiori that of the krait. Flannel, white American drill, and a woollen sock afford some, but very little, protection.