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  1. #1
    BOO!!! Deathcurl's Avatar
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    Ray Safety Thread

    Here is a link to information regarding stingray envenomation and treatment.

    http://www.potamotrygon.de/fremdes/s...%20article.htm

    I know that many of us veteran members have seen this at one time or another. I myself, keep a copy printed out by my ray tanks in the event of an emergency. Most medical staff are unaware of how to treat injuries of this nature, as it is not a common occurrence.

    Many of us like to interact with our pets, whether it be hand feeding, petting, etc. Obviously, the more you come in contact with your rays, the more the risk factor is. Make sure you bring a copy of this with you if you find yourself in this situation.

    Best advice is to avoid contact as much as possible, however, this could save you a lot of heartache by reading up on what to do.
    "What do ya mean, funny? I mean, funny like I'm a clown, I amuse you? I make you laugh... I'm here to amuse you? What do you mean funny, funny how? How am I funny?"





  2. #2
    Bad Boy redtailfool's Avatar
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    Great reminder Eric. I have the same philosophy as your when it comes to handling and feeding rays. I wouldnt risk getting tagged by hand feeding them.

    I know its fun and i really understand where the hand feeders are coming from , but id rather use thongs or nets.

    If i hand feed, i do it this way..




  3. #3
    1 is the magic number Gr8KarmaSF's Avatar
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    Lots of gr8 info. Thanks for sharing the link! Thought i would save some people some time and copy/paste for those who might be unable to view the article....

    First-Aid measures include the following essential steps:

    1. Control any visible hemorrhage; if a blood vessel is pierced, apply hard direct pressure, regardless of how painful that might be, over the source of the bleeding.

    2. Do not apply a tourniquet or pressure bandage on the entire limb; widespread swelling and systemic effects are unlikely in limb bites.

    3. Immediately place the bitten spot into water as hot as one can stand; caregivers might test it before placing the victim's sting in it. This should quickly help to lessen pain, and the area should remain immersed until pain subsides.

    4. Disinfect the area immediately on removal from hot water. The sting area can be treated with Betadine [tm] solution and scrubbed with a soft bristle brush with clean cool water and a mild disinfectant soap, such as Phisohex [tm] or similar preparation.

    5. Seek medical help even if the bite is considered trivial. The site should, at the very least, be x-rayed for the presence of broken spines and spine barbs.

    Medical care measures include the following essential steps:
    1. Treating physicians can use an infiltrating injection of 1% lidocaine to control pain if indicated. The lidocaine infiltration can be made directly into the sting or wound. Curiously, this technique has proved to be helpful in minimizing tissue necrosis, although the mechanism is not clear.

    2. If unbearable pain persists, the victim may require a regional nerve block, which should be performed by an anesthesiologist under controlled conditions.

    3. The wound area should be radiographed for the presence of spine and barb fragments.

    4. If the radiology results are positive or suggestive, the wound should be explored under anesthesia. The use of an operating microscope is helpful in confirming the presence of the sheath and smaller fragments, as well as aiding in their removal.

    5. The area should be left open to granulate and sutures should not be used, or used loosely if surgery requires

    6. The patient should be observed in the hospital overnight for symptoms and signs of allergy, and these treated accordingly.

    7. Tetanus prophylaxis should always be given, unless recently boostered.

    8. Patients should be discharged on a broad-spectrum antibiotic such as is recommended for cutaneous lesions

    9. If the patient is hospitalized, antibiotics can be loaded by injection or via an IV administration until discharge. The most troublesome expected sequelae of this type of sting are tissue necrosis and secondary bacterial infection.

    10. All penetrating wounds of the trunk (as mentioned previously) must be thoroughly worked up. The patient should be admitted to the hospital and given IV antibiotics immediately. Insidious necrosis and bacterial infection of internal organs in the vicinity of such stings is a possibility, and can be a fatal result of such wounds, sometimes days or even weeks after the initial incident. Symptomatology may be absent until infection and tissue destruction become overwhelming. At this point, little or no result from medical intervention can be expected.

    11. Penetrating stings to the chest in the region of the heart should be evaluated by echocardiography. The presence of even a small pericardial effusion may indicate pericardial and possibly myocardial penetration. Such cases should also be followed on the basis of serial laboratory studies of cardiac enzymes such as creatine kinase. CK levels have risen to high levels within 8 hours of penetration, but even this evidence may present itself critically late for meaningful intervention. A decision may need to be reached to open the chest and disinfect and clean the area of penetration prior to the possibility of cardiac muscle destruction.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/Gr8KarmaSF/videos

    Quote Originally Posted by JD7.62
    I always pictured J as a skinny Asian middle aged guy with probably salt and peppered hair, typical school teacher type, not some tatted up dude that could almost kick my butt!



  4. #4
    1 is the magic number Gr8KarmaSF's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LiuHsi;535527;
    if u are in California, and u got tagged, what are you suppose to tell the ER ppl?
    doesnt matter they will still treat you...
    http://www.youtube.com/user/Gr8KarmaSF/videos

    Quote Originally Posted by JD7.62
    I always pictured J as a skinny Asian middle aged guy with probably salt and peppered hair, typical school teacher type, not some tatted up dude that could almost kick my butt!



  5. #5
    Datnoid Gumby79's Avatar
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    I would like to share my recent experience with all ray keepers here. I've been keeping rays now for over two years, and until yesterday I've always been very careful handling them. However, yesterday proved that I'd gotten a little too comfortable with them. I wanted to do something different with the tank, so I started taking out my black sand to replace it with a more natural looking sand. As I was siphoning out the sand the four rays that are in that tank mostly kept to the other side, when I switched to the other side most of them moved out of my way. At this point almost all of sand was gone, which was making the rays very nervous. Seeing as I've never had a problem with my rays before, I could even gently move them out of my way with my hands if I needed to, I was still feeling that I wasn't agitating them. But apparently my large 18" disc female marbled motoro was not happy with me. The sand was slightly stirred up, I didn't have a very good view of where the rays were, and she had come into a corner which I was working in and I bumped her with the siphon and she nailed me with her stinger.

    Ever since keeping rays I've always kind of wanted to be stung to see what it was like. I take it back. I never want to be stung again. Ever. The pain was almost immediate and unlike anything I've ever felt before. I was stung in the palm of my hand and the pain travelled almost up to my shoulder. Luckily I do a lot of reading about stingrays, and I'd come across basic stingray first aid from this sticky and from Freshwater Stingrays from South America written by Richard A. Ross. So I got my hand in hot water immediately. However it sure did not feel like it was helping at first. I was feeling quite faint, was sweating, pale and was in intense pain so we headed to the hospital.

    On the way to the hospital I began to realize that the hot water was indeed helping, as when it would cool the pain would increase, if I took my hand out of the hot water the pain became unbearable.

    The hospital had no idea what to do. When I got there I needed to refill the hot water, but they tried not to allow me to for fear it wasn't the right thing to do. Thankfully I brought my stingray book with me and was able to show them in the book where it explained what to do. Basically it was a waiting period during which I kept my hand in water as hot as I could stand it, which did honestly help a lot. As a precaution they took X-rays to make sure there wasn't a fragment of stinger left in my hand, which sucked because I had to take my hand out of the water. They gave me a pain reliever which I don't believe helped until later in the evening, then they bandaged me up and sent me home.

    This was an awful experience which I hope no one else has to endure. Please be very careful handling your rays. I attached some pictures, which I took 4 hours after the incident, and today, 24 hours later, the area of injury is still sore and my hand is still swollen.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version. 

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  6. #6
    1 is the magic number Gr8KarmaSF's Avatar
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    I would also like to suggest that all stingray owners keep a copy of treatment by their tanks in case of any emergency that might result in a trip to the hospital!!!
    http://www.youtube.com/user/Gr8KarmaSF/videos

    Quote Originally Posted by JD7.62
    I always pictured J as a skinny Asian middle aged guy with probably salt and peppered hair, typical school teacher type, not some tatted up dude that could almost kick my butt!



  7. #7
    1 is the magic number Gr8KarmaSF's Avatar
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    http://www.youtube.com/user/Gr8KarmaSF/videos

    Quote Originally Posted by JD7.62
    I always pictured J as a skinny Asian middle aged guy with probably salt and peppered hair, typical school teacher type, not some tatted up dude that could almost kick my butt!



  8. #8
    1 is the magic number Gr8KarmaSF's Avatar
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    More info from ewurm...

    Found this great paper on why the freshwater stingray venom. I had read that the venom from the freshwater rays was more potent, but had never really seen any evidence of it. I found this paper, posted online as a word document if anyone would like a copy.

    Study reveals stingray potency


    Pictures by Neil Hepworth

    Brazilian scientists have undertaken a study which shows why freshwater stingrays are so much more venomous than their marine counterparts.

    While marine stingrays have small numbers of carefully placed venom-secreting cells, freshwater rays have venom producing cells covering the entire stinger, which makes the wounds they inflict much more painful.

    Scientists working in the Laboratory of Cellular Biology at Sao Paulo's Instituto Butantan compared the morphology of the "stingers" of a number of Brazilian rays spanning marine and freshwater species and found some striking differences in the structure of their stingers.

    Their findings are due to be published shortly in the journal Toxicon.


    Stingers
    Most species have between one and three stingers on the end of their tails, which are covered with special epidermal protein cells that secrete a toxic venom.

    In marine species, the protein cells are located only around or inside special ventrolateral grooves which run along the sides of the stinger.

    However, in freshwater stingrays, there are much greater numbers of protein secretory cells and they're spread over the entire surface of the epidermis, so even a small nick in the skin of the victim could see venom being introduced and a deep wound could see a high dose delivered.


    Although stingrays are made up of soft, pliable cartilage, their stingers are mineralised, hard and serrated, which allows them to puncture and tear skin easily.




    Reflex
    When stingrays are touched dorsally they can often use a reflex action to rapidly whip the tail upwards which can cause the victim to be pierced by the stinger.

    Since rays tend to live buried beneath a layer of sand, they can be inadvertently stepped upon by people bathing or wading in areas where they occur.

    The resulting wounds cause intense local pain, swelling, redness and secondary infection by bacteria.

    Wounds from the freshwater stingrays are considered the worst of all and are often accompanied by tissue necrosis, which causes the flesh around the wound to be eaten away.

    A number of freshwater stingray species are kept in aquaria.

    For more information see the paper: Pedroso CM, Jared C, Charvet-Almeida P, Almeida MP, Neto DG, Lira MS, Haddad V, Barbaro KC, Antoniazzi MM (2007) - Toxicon. 2007 Jun 23.



    I highlighted the pertinent portion in red for those averse to reading

    I followed up with a search for the Toxicon paper, this is all that I found:

    http://www.medscape.com/medline/abstract/17669455

    It's a study of the venom of P. Falkneri and the marine species D. Guttata and shows scientifically the difference between the venom of the two species. Toxicologists, Toxinologists and pharmacologists would be able to translate the specific action of the protein venom to layman terms, but I don't think we have any on the board unfortunately. I'll again highlight in red the pertinent portions.

    Barbaro KC; Lira MS; Malta MB; Soares SL; Garrone Neto D; Cardoso JL; Santoro ML; Haddad Junior V
    Laboratory of Immunopathology, Butantan Institute, Av. Vital Brazil 1500, 05503-900 São Paulo, SP, Brazil. kbarbaro@butantan.gov.br

    Stingrays are elasmobranchs found along the seacoast and in some rivers of Brazil. Pain is the most conspicuous symptom observed in patients wounded by the bilaterally retroserrate stingers located in the tail, which are covered by glandular and integument tissues. In addition, cutaneous necrosis is commonly observed in injuries caused by freshwater stingrays. The aim of this work was to characterize and compare certain properties of tissue extracts obtained from the glandular tissues covering the stinger apparatus of Potamotrygon falkneri and Dasyatis guttata stingrays. By sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE), tissue extracts have similar bands above 80 kDa, but most differences were observed below this molecular mass. Lethal, dermonecrotic and myotoxic activities were detected only in P. falkneri tissue extract. Edematogenic activity was similar and dose dependent in both tissue extracts. Nociceptive activity was verified in both tissue extracts, but P. falkneri presented a two-fold higher activity than D. guttata tissue extract. No direct hemolysis, phospholipase A2 and coagulant activities were observed in both tissue extracts. Antigenic cross-reactivity was noticed by ELISA and Western blotting, using antisera raised in rabbits. Species-specific sera reacted with several components of both tissue extracts, noticeably above 22kDa. Both tissue extracts presented gelatinolytic, caseinolytic and fibrinogenolytic activities, which were not caused by the action of metalloproteinases. Hyaluronidase activity was detected only in P. falkneri tissue extract. Our experimental observations suggest that P. falkneri tissue extract is more toxic than D. guttata tissue extract. These results may explain why injuries caused by freshwater stingrays are more severe in human accidents.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/Gr8KarmaSF/videos

    Quote Originally Posted by JD7.62
    I always pictured J as a skinny Asian middle aged guy with probably salt and peppered hair, typical school teacher type, not some tatted up dude that could almost kick my butt!



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