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Are Western Hognose Snakes Venomous Fact vs Fiction

There seems to be a misconception that Western Hognose Snakes as well as other North American Hognose Snakes  are venomous. Here are the facts: The Genus in which Western Hognose Snakes and other North American Hognose Snakes are placed is Heterodon. Heterodon means ‘ different tooth’ in Latin, this refers to the fact that Hognose Snakes have elongated teeth at the back of their mouths. The elongated teeth are used to grip onto the slimy frogs and toads that make up the Hognose Snakes natural diet. These teeth do not have the grooves. Hognose Snakes do not have venom glands per say, they have a specialized gland called the Duvernoy’s gland that secretes a toxic saliva, which  seeps into the wounds caused by the Hognose Snakes teeth and subdues the prey while the Hognose Snake swallows it. The saliva secreted from the Duvernoy’s gland has almost no effect on humans, although a bite may cause a mild allergic reaction. Almost all bites from Western Hognose Snakes that present symptoms result from bites were the snake has been allowed to chew on the handlers finger for several minutes. Symptoms are localised and include swelling and mild pain. No systemic effects have been reported. The supposed envenomated bites I have seen on the internet look no worse that a sting from a large hornet or wasp. Western Hognose Snakes and the other species of Hognose Snakes from North America are considered to be harmless to humans.