This section is from the book "The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine. Volume 2.", by J. H. Kellogg, M.D.. Also available from Amazon: The Home Hand-Book of Domestic Hygiene and Rational Medicine, Volume 2.
Fortunately venomous snakes are much less common in this country than in many others, especially the tropical portions of the globe. The most common of the poisonous snakes which are found in this country are the rattlesnake, the chickensnake, water moccasin, or cotton-mouth, and the copperhead, all of which are about equally poisonous. The bite of the rattlesnake is inflicted by means of two fangs which are used only when the snake is irritated. At the same instant that the fangs are inserted by a striking movement upon the part of the snake, the poison is injected through a little canal which runs along the side of the fang. Not every person who is bitten is poisoned, as if the snake bites through clothing, the poison may be absorbed by the clothings or the fangs may not penetrate the skin sufficiently far to inject the poison into the circulation.
The first symptoms which occur after a person has been bitten, are vomiting, coldness, lividity or yellowness of the skin, nosebleed, weak and irregular pulse, fainting, and perhaps convulsions and delirium. The bitten part swells rapidly and very extensively, and is generally very painful. If life continues for a few days, abscesses form in the swollen parts. Death has been known to occur in less than thirty minutes after an individual was bitten. Life sometimes continues for five or six weeks. A very curious observation which has been made is that hogs do not appear to be injured by the bites of rattlesnakes. It is a well-known fact that they frequently attack reptiles, kill and eat them. It is a popular error to suppose that snakes poison themselves. This is also true in reference to other reptiles.