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Venomous Animals Kill In Horrible Ways—and Also Cure

By Simon Worrall PUBLISHED September 18, 2016 What do Odysseus and TV wildlife expert Steve Irwin have in common? (Stingray barbs killed them both.) What is the most venomous creature in the world? (The Australian box jellyfish.) What does it feel like to get high on cobra venom? (Weird.) Could bee venom cure Lyme disease? (Possibly.) These are some of the fascinating stories Christie Wilcox tells in Venomous: How Earth's Deadliest Creatures Mastered Biochemistry. When National Geographic caught up with her by phone in Hawaii, she explained why the king cobra packs such a punch; how snakes may have helped our ancestors evolve bigger brains; and why the Gila monster’s venom may hold the key to the treatment of diabetes and even Alzheimer’s. [Find out about the medical potential of venom.] Let’s cut to the chase: What are the five most dangerous venomous creatures in the world? Oh, I love that question! [Laughs uproariously] You have to give snakes their due because overall snakes kill 90,000-plus people a year and disable countless more—though the sad fact is we don’t exactly know [how many] because a lot of these places are poor and don’t have medical systems that allow Continue reading >>

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  1. CosMonster

    My beloved old kitty died last night. He had had a seizure, and the vet recommended that we wait a few days to make sure his hiding and not eating much was not just post seizure disorientation. Last night, though, he started breathing in a very labored way and twitching. I knew he was dying, and called the vet because I know those things can be drawn out and I didn't want him to suffer.
    The vet, though, was off on a livestock emergency call. We don't have an emergency vet around here, and I couldn't reach the only other vet practice in the area. I was looking up numbers for the nearest emergency vet (about 50 miles away) when he passed.
    That made me think...I know how to humanely put down a horse if the vet is far out and it will end their suffering, although thank God I have never had to do it. But what about small animals? I am thankful that he seemed to pass without much suffering, but it can't have been comfortable. What if he had spent the night suffering? I know it can happen. I knew he wasn't going to make it--in fact I knew the seizure was the beginning of the end (he was 24, and his health had been declining somewhat recently, just not enough that his quality of life was gone), but the vet didn't want to euth yet and I was willing to try.
    I am sorry if this thread is inappropriate, I will close it if I need to. But I just keep running through "what-ifs" in my head and I find myself really worried that I'll be in this situation again, but the cat will be in pain. Are there veterinary guidelines for humanely euthanizing a dog or cat like there are with livestock? If not, how do others who live in remote areas deal with the lack of 24/7 vet availability in small animal emergencies?
    I know how to deal with this in horses, but I feel useless with small animals. And I miss my kitty.

  2. appaloosalady

    First, let me say I am sorry for the passing of your kitty and that it sounds like he truly did not suffer much in the end.
    If I have a small animal suffering, I have my husband shoot them the same as he would a horse in the same situation, just with a smaller caliber weapon like a .22. If he wasn't home I would do it myself, but have been lucky enough not to have to deal with that particular situation.

  3. Zu Zu

    Thoughts and prayers and huge hugs for you today ~ RIP Kitty ~
    I, too wonder about this ~ thanks for posting ~ interested in this information ~ as I am always so "paralyzed" with my sick animals & vets are sometimes, rather frequently not available = weekends and Holidays.

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