Fatal self-envenomation in a brown tree snake,Boiga irregularis, from south-east Queensland


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Abstract

The case history and clinical signs of a fatal self-envenomation event by a brown tree snake, Boiga irregularis, in South-east Queensland, Australia, are presented. Clinical signs began 20 minutes post-envenomation with muscle twitching, ataxia, and heat seeking behavior which progressed to partial paralysis by 6 hours, generalised paralysis and respiratory arrest at 10 hours and cardiac arrest by 12 hours post-envenomation. Clinical signs are suggestive of potent neurotoxicity for B. irregularis to its own venom.HIGHLIGHTSA case of self-envenomation in Boiga irregularis proves fatal.Clinical signs of envenomation are consistent with other reptilian prey species.Neurotoxic effects included ataxia and respiratory failure associated with paralysis.

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