Poisonous Snakebite Without Venom Injection (Dry Bite) 

You have been treated for a bite by a venomous snake. Fortunately, the amount of venom injected was so small that you don't need more treatment. This is called a dry bite. In the U.S., 2 in 5 to 1 in 4 pit viper bites and 1 in 2 coral snake bites are dry bites. It is very unlikely that any delayed signs of snake venom poisoning will appear. But watch for the signs listed below to be safe. You may get a tetanus shot depending on the injury and what vaccines you have had. You will likely not need antibiotics. This depends on where the bite is, how severe it is, what type of snake bit you, and other factors.

Home care

Follow these home care guidelines:

  • Keep the bite area clean and dry, and watch for the warning signs listed below.

  • You don't need any special treatment. Any local pain or soreness you have should go away over the next 24 hours.

Follow-up care

Follow up with your healthcare provider, or as advised.

When to get medical advice

Call your healthcare provider right away if any of these occur:

  • Swelling of the bite area that gets worse

  • Pain in the bitten arm or leg that gets worse

  • Redness around the bite

  • Fluid drains from the bite

  • Fever of 100.0º F (38º C) or higher, or as directed by your healthcare provider

  • Bruising or abnormal bleeding

Was this helpful?

Yes No

Tell us more.

Check all that apply.

Last question: How confident are you filling out medical forms by yourself?

Not at all A little Somewhat Quite a bit Extremely

Thank You!

© 2000-2020 The StayWell Company, LLC. All rights reserved. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professional's instructions.