Outdoor Magazine

April 21, 1991



The following is a summation and series of quotes from a two part

article that appeared in OUTDOOR LIFE magazine. The name of the

article is "A Shock Cure for Snakebite" and was written by Larry

Mueller. Part 1 of the article was in the June 1988 issue and Part 2

was in the July 1988 issue.

Back issues of OUTDOOR LIFE can be purchased by writing OUTDOOR

LIFE, Back Issue Department, P.O. Box 54733, Boulder, CO 80233.

The price per back issue is $4.00. A cheaper way out is to call the

OUTDOOR LIFE home office at (212)779-5000 and ask them to send you a

copy of the article. They will do this free of charge but you may

have to tell them that you are a subscriber to their magazine.



Part 1


The first part of the article tells several stories of cases where

high voltage DC was used to treat snakebites. In the first case,

Dr. Daryl Neans, a veterinarian of Pflugerville, Texas, tells the

story of a rancher who brought in a dog that was bitten on the face

by a rattlesnake 30 minutes earlier.

The dog's face had started swelling and because Dr. Neans had

previously read an OUTDOOR LIFE article about the treatment, he

connected a wire to one of the spark plug wires of his truck then

grounded another one to the frame and used the two wires to shock

the "dog's face half a dozen times around the bites."

The treatment seemed to relieve the dog's pain, but "for insurance,

Dr. Neans had followed the shock treatment with the usual cortisone,

antibiotics, and tetanus antitoxin, but he's convinced that the

shock had already effected the cure."

The article explains why Dr. Neans believes in the cure:

"Body tissue is negatively charged, snake venom is slightly

positive, and unlike charges attract. If ionization of the

venom molecules is altered by electrical shock, he reasoned,

perhaps they can't attach themselves to animal tissue and

destroy it."

Dr. Markus Kryger had read about the treatment in a medical journal

when he opted to use it on courthouse employee in southwestern

Missouri who was bitten by a copperhead just outside the courthouse.

He used jumper cables attached to the spark coil of his car to treat

the wound after giving the woman a tetanus shot and disinfecting the

bite. "Within the hour, the puzzled patient was back at work."

Dr. Kryger became convinced that electrical shock could deactivate

snake venom because of the chemistry of the poison. Besides

proteins and enzymes, venom contains copper and other trace metals

whose electrical properties could be easily upset by high-voltage

shock, thereby possibly uncoupling what makes the venom work.

Dr. Ronald Guderian is a missionary doctor from Seattle who is given

credit for being the first to use high voltage DC to treat

snakebite. He has "successfully treated more than 60 cases in the

Esmeraldas Province of Ecuador."

Based on Dr. Guderian's experience it seems that if the treatment is

received within 15 to 20 minutes after the bite has been inflicted

then the pain stops almost immediately and no swelling will occur.

If swelling has already started, then it stops and the pain soon

subsides. Dr. Guderian typically uses a Nova Technologies stun gun

with one of the electrodes modified so that the current can be

passed directly through the limb by placing an electrode on each


"All of the successful treatments have been performed

with 20,000 to 25,000 volts or more." It has to be DC voltage, too.

The article expresses a concern that someone with a pacemaker might

be killed if they were shocked with the voltage from and ignition

system. The frequency and duration of the pulses of an ignition

system, it is feared, might scramble a pacemaker. "The only

medically tested shocking device that is safe for almost all people,

including those with heart pacemakers, is the Stun Gun, made by Nova

Technologies (2207 Braker Lane, Austin, TX 78758, 512-832-5591)."



only venomous snake of this kind in the United States is the coral


The article warns that the high voltage DC shock would not be

effective against the neurotoxins in the venom of snakes such as the

cobra and coral snakes.

Dr. Guderian's success has been with using the Stun Gun made by Nova

Technologies. The FDA won't let Nova advertise the stun gun as a

treatment against snakebite until further testing has been achieved.

There has been some trouble with reproducing the effect of the

treatment in the laboratory. It has been proposed that the reason

that the treatment has not worked in the laboratory is because those

who were doing the testing were using one of the many imitation stun

guns imported to the US from Taiwan or South Korea.

Another factor in why the treatment does not work in the laboratory

is that, in the laboratory, it is tested on small animals. In the

words of Dr. Guderian, "Think about it. Snake venom evolved for the

purpose of quickly killing prey. Humans are not snake prey: we

just get in the way some times. There may be biological differences

causing small animals to be more susceptible than humans to venom.

Or it may just be a matter of our much larger size. ….When a

small animal is snakebitten, all of it's biological systems shut

down so fast that nothing can be done to stop it. When a human is

bitten, he has a local reaction, followed by pain, swelling, and

possible death perhaps 24 hours later."

The Japanese have reported to Dr. Guderian "that his shock treatment

works on people bitten by their venomous snakes." He has also

received letters telling of success stories in Peru, Columbia,

Argentina, New Guinea and Africa.

As an explanation for why the treatment works, the article cites a

Texas chemist who suspects that electro-phoresis is taking place.

In electro-phoresis a high DC voltage is applied to a substance to

dissociate the compounds in that substance.

"Snake venom is a complex combination of proteins, enzymes

(which are proteins with biological activity) and metal

ions….The positively charged proteins travel toward the

negative terminal, and the negatively charged proteins

migrate toward the positive connection….The chemist

suggested that high-voltage shock would cause enough

separation to render the venom inactive."





This second part of the article opens by describing the experience

of Jim Scroggins, vice-president of Nova Technologies, when he took

a trip to Ecuador for the purpose of verifying the incredible claims

being made by Dr. Ronald Guderian in regards to the ability of the

Nova Stun Gun to treat snakebite.

On a hike through the jungle to visit an indian village, Jim was

bitten on the arm by a conga ant. The conga ant's "venom can cause

a limb to swell so badly that it can't be used for days."

Jim claimed the bite felt like "five wasp stings in the same spot."

He shocked the wound with a stun gun and "within 30 to 60 seconds

the pain was gone."

Even though conga ant bites are supposed to swell the whole limb,

Jim had no swelling, only a discolored area the diameter of a


Dr. Guderian began the high voltage DC shock treatment, not on

snakebites, but originally on stings and bites from scorpions, ants,

bees, wasps, and other kinds of insects.

In the beginning he used the ignition systems of outboard motors and

chainsaws to treat the stings, but he later was sent a portable,

battery powered "buzzer-and-coil" setup from a friend in Indiana.

Later on the same friend sent him several Stun Guns to try out.

While Jim Scroggins was in Ecuador, a girl was stung on the toe by a

scorpion and given the shock treatment with a stun gun. After a few

minutes the pain was gone and the girl left the emergency room.

After Scroggins got home from his trip to Ecuador, his wife was

working in the yard when she was bitten on the hand by four fire

ants. "Donna starts getting a reaction to just one fire-ant bite in

about five minutes. Then, she goes into anaphylactic shock and

can't breathe."

In the rush to go to the hospital, the Scroggins took time to treat

the hand with "two quick half-second zaps" from a Nova Technologies

Stun Gun.

On the way to the hospital, the pain had stopped, so they turned

around and went home. "There was little or no swelling, perhaps one

third of what she usually gets from a single bite."

Dr. Guderian has found out through various sources that shocks have

been used to treat scorpion stings for years in places like India.

40 years ago, people in Nigeria who were stung by scorpions were

commonly shocked with the ignition system of a motorcycle.

High voltage DC can be used to treat other things as well. While in

the city of Esmeraldas, Dr. Guderian had the opportunity to treat a

child who had been stung on the back by a stingray.

He used a wire connected to an automobile's ignition coil and 20

minutes after the treatment the child was back in the water again

playing as if nothing had happened.

A Dr. Stoddard talked to by OUTDOOR LIFE points out that bacteria,

like venom, is largely protein. So are viruses. In Europe, acne is

being treated with electricity.

Dr. Guderian has treated boils with high voltage DC. According

to him, if a boil is treated before it comes to a head, the swelling

and reddness will be gone in three to four days.

Dr. Stoddard even suggests that in the future rabies may be treated

with electric shock.

Dr. Guderian is amazed at how well the shock treatment works to

relieve pain. He suspects that the pain deactivation process is

separate from the deactivation of the poison.

The article tells the story of a Texas woman who suffers from severe

migraine headaches and voluteered to be treated with a stun gun.

She was shocked on the back of the neck and once on each side. The

pain went away, but in the morning it was back, only this time much

weaker. The process was repeated again and the pain totally


It is proposed in the article that, "the same high voltage shock

that upsets the electrical charge of venom proteins may upset the

charges in body proteins that signal pain to our brains."


Submitted to KeelyNet by Michael McQuay

EXCELLENT, thanks Mike!!