Doctors in Fort Worth say they're seeing more people come into hospitals with venomous and life-threatening snake bites. About halfway through 2017, there have been 20 cases at Texas Health Fort Worth. Compare that to 2016 where there were 21 bites for the entire year.
Dr. David Smith is the trauma medical director at Texas Health. He says the bite numbers are the worst he's seen in 20 years and thinks it has to do with more families moving to rural areas west of Fort Worth.
"We keep pushing into those habitats, and we've got to be aware," Smith said.
Steve Glassinger learned that lesson the hard way on his Weatherford ranch this week. The husband and father of two says he stepped just a few feet from his house to adjust the sprinkler late one night and immediately was bit four times by two copperhead snakes.
"It was this intense stinging and burning, then I felt something slither across my foot," Glassinger said.
Glassinger was wearing open-toed shoes and didn't have a flashlight when he went outside, two things he says he'll never do again.
"I definitely have more respect for the nature we get to live in," Gallinger said.
Doctors say if you are bit by a venomous snake, it's important to get to the hospital as quickly as possible. But Dr. Smith says the best approach is prevention. According to him, anyone in rural or suburban parts of North Texas should always wear closed toed shoes, carry a flashlight at night and never reach or step into any brush or area you can't see clearly.
Snake bites swell quickly and can result in amputation or lost flesh if not treated immediately. Luckily for Glassinger, he went to the doctor right away. He's expected to recover fully and hopes his story will help keep others safe across North Texas.