WellSpan Home

Poisonous Lizards

Topic Overview

The Gila monster and the Mexican beaded lizard are two types of poisonous (venomous) lizards found in North America. These large, thick-bodied lizards have short, stubby limbs. They live in desert regions of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico.

Poisonous lizards do not generally bite unless they are handled. Lizards bite with teeth rather than fangs. Venom enters the bite wound by dripping down grooves in the teeth rather than being injected through fangs, as it is with poisonous snakes. Lizards tend to hang on to their victims, making them hard to remove once they have bitten. Dry bites, in which no venom is released, may occur. But lizard bites are less likely to be dry than are snakebites.

The force of the jaws of a lizard can cause a crushing, or compression, injury. These injuries can cause severe swelling and may damage underlying tissues, blood vessels, nerves, joints, or bones. The force may cause the skin to split open or scrape off. Tissue may be damaged either from the bite itself or from attempts to remove the lizard.

Symptoms at the site of a poisonous lizard bite may include:

  • Moderate to severe bleeding.
  • Throbbing or burning pain.
  • Swelling that gradually gets worse over several hours.
  • Teeth left in the wound.

More general symptoms may include:

  • Weakness.
  • Dizziness.
  • Nausea and vomiting.
  • Profuse sweating.
  • Trouble breathing.
  • Symptoms of a severe allergic reaction.

If you think you have been bitten by a poisonous lizard,call 911 or other emergency services immediately.

Related Information

Credits

ByHealthwise Staff
Primary Medical ReviewerWilliam H. Blahd, Jr., MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine
Adam Husney, MD - Family Medicine
Kathleen Romito, MD - Family Medicine
Specialist Medical ReviewerSean P. Bush, MD, FACEP - Emergency Medicine, Envenomation Specialist

Current as ofNovember 20, 2017


Are you sure you would like to cancel?

All information will be lost.

Yes No ×

About the provider search

This search will provide you with WellSpan Medical Group and Northern Lancaster County (Ephrata) Medical Group primary care physicians and specialists. If we don’t have a WellSpan Medical Group physician to meet your criteria, the search will expand to include community physicians who partner with WellSpan Medical Group physicians through the WellSpan Provider Network or provide care to patients on the Medical Staffs of WellSpan’s Hospitals.

×

Schedule Your Next Appointment Online with MyWellSpan

Use your MyWellSpan patient portal any time to view available appointments, and pick the date and time that best suits your schedule.

Go to MyWellSpan

New to this practice?

If you don't have a WellSpan primary care provider and would like to schedule a new patient appointment with a provider who is accepting patients, just log into your MyWellSpan account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to see the offices that are accepting new patients in relation to your zip code. If you are not enrolled in MyWellSpan, go to https://my.wellspan.org, call 1-866-638-1842 or speak with a member of the staff at a participating facility to sign up. New patient scheduling not available at all practices/programs.

Already a patient at this practice?

If you already have a relationship with a WellSpan practice, simply log into your account, and go to the Appointment Center section. As you progress through the scheduling process, you will be able to schedule an appointment with any provider or practice that already counts you as a patient. Online scheduling varies by practice/program.

×