The scientific name of the giant centipede is the Scolopendra gigantean. Popularly it is called the Amazonian giant centipede or in some areas the Peruvian giant yellow leg centipede. It belongs to Anthropoda Phylum but despite its large dimensions it’s not aggressive towards human beings. In fact the venom of a giant centipede is not even fatal to human beings or large mammals like dogs, cats and livestock.
But towards insects the venom debilitating and it is meant to kill the insect as food for the centipede. The largest species of centipedes is found in South and Central America’s amazon forests. The centipede has modified jaws placed strategically on its head to help it grab onto its prey and inject it venom into the insect. The claws are strong enough to inject venom into small mammals like frogs, lizards and even mice.
Severe reactions to centipede bites
Although the bite of centipede is not really severe enough to warrant medical attention the reaction of the individual to the bite can be fatal because of an allergic reaction that results in an anaphylactic shock. This allergic reaction is not only bound to occur in human beings alone, even animals can go into an anaphylactic shock following a bite by a giant centipede.
In humans the symptoms include
Trouble breathing because of a swollen tongue or restricted air passage ways. This happens mainly because the venom may cause the victim to have pronounced swelling. Typically the swelling can be seen physically in the face like on the eye lids and the lips. But it can also occur internally with the tongue inside the mouth and the muscles in the throat also expand restrict air from going in and out of the lungs.
Other symptoms include lowered or elevated blood pressure as well as fever and chills. Some people have severe muscle cramps or are unable to use their limbs as normal. There is also a rash in the bite site which may be localized or it may spread to other parts of the body. It may be preceded with itching or the itching may come after.
Effect on animals
The chances of a family pet or livestock coming into contact with a giant centipede are higher than human contact. Did you know that animals can also suffer anaphylactic shock as a result of an allergic reaction to a centipede bite? Dogs and cats that suffer an anaphylactic shock show the following symptoms:
- Excessive drooling in dogs and cats begin to salivate uncontrollably
- The animal will probably have a seizure
- A weak pulse or a rapid heart rate
- Cold limbs and pale gums
- Lack of focus in the eyes
- Loose stool and vomiting
- Difficulty breathing
The best thing to do when a cat, dog or any other animal is bitten by a giant centipede is to take it to the vet ASAP.