Rattlesnake, waiting on doormat, bites Phoenix man without warning

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Paramedics rushed Ron Webster to the hospital on Saturday night after he stepped on a baby rattlesnake. Paramedics rushed Ron Webster to the hospital on Saturday night after he stepped on a baby rattlesnake.
The painful step happened as Webster headed in the house for the night. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The painful step happened as Webster headed in the house for the night. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
His foot puffed up like a balloon and the venom began creeping up his leg. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) His foot puffed up like a balloon and the venom began creeping up his leg. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
The rattlesnake was killed. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) The rattlesnake was killed. (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)
PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5) -

Paramedics rushed Ron Webster to the hospital on Saturday night after he stepped on a baby rattlesnake.

Young rattlesnakes that have not shed their skin don’t have the ability to rattle their tales so this strike came without a heads up.

Webster’s home, surrounded by desert brush, gets wildlife visitors regularly but he didn’t expect one to be waiting on the doormat in the garage. The painful step happened as he headed in the house for the night.

“I felt something under my foot and then I felt a sharp pain and I initially thought I got poked with a piece of Cholla cactus that the dog will occasionally drag in,” explained Webster. “So, I kind of jumped back and I saw the snake sitting there.”

The young snake, just inches longer than a television remote, managed to sink one fang into Webster’s foot and release some venom.

“Initially I thought it might be a dry bite, like it didn't inject venom and within a few minutes, right about the time the fire department was getting here, it started to hurt and it started to welt,” said Webster.

His foot puffed up like a balloon and the venom began creeping up his leg.

“The only way I could describe it, and I've never had this pain before, is to slowly start dipping your foot down into boiling water,” he said. “It was just a burning, throbbing kind of electrical shocks going to my two small toes.”

Amidst an admittedly macho effort to have his wife drive him to the hospital, the pain grew worse and he jumped in an ambulance. Paramedics called poison control to make sure the hospital they were headed to had antivenom.

Those drugs and some painkillers kicked in about an hour and a half after the initial bite. Doctors told him getting to the hospital right away and his own personal health helped his recovery. He received 16 vials of antivenom.

Two days later, he returned home. Webster’s walking around gingerly with a still swollen foot. He’s more cautious of every step he takes around the house. However, he’s not worried about one snake in particular. Anymore.

 “When I got home, the snake had mysteriously beheaded itself. So I guess it felt bad,” he joked.

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