The effectiveness is because the lizard protein is about 50% identical to glucagon-like peptide-1 analog (GLP-1), a hormone released from the human digestive tract that helps to regulate insulin and glucagon.  In fact, Gila monsters seem to like water and can be observed immersing themselves in puddles of water after a summer rain. Always wear heavy gloves when handling your Gila. Your Gila will also need plenty of “elbow room” to be happy. Work with an experienced Gila handler to learn the ropes before taking on a Gila of your own. Exenatide was the first product in the class to reach the market and was launched in 2005. The University of Arizona is an EEO/AA - M/W/D/V Employer.Contact Us | Admin | University Privacy Statement, irrigating the wound with plenty of water. You need to provide those heated and cool areas for your captive Gila. , The Gila monster emerges from dormancy in January or February and mates in May and June. They inhabit scrubland, succulent desert, and oak woodland, seeking shelter in burrows, thickets, and under rocks in locations with ready access to moisture. Place moist peat or sphagnum moss inside, and let your Gila enjoy. immobilizing the affected limb at heart level. They eat only a few times a year. The official mascot of Eastern Arizona College located in Thatcher, Arizona, is Gila Hank, a gun-toting, cowboy-hat-wearing Gila monster. Handy's friend, Dr. George Goodfellow of Tombstone, was among the first to research the actual effects of Gila monster venom. One of these, helodermin, has been shown to inhibit the growth of lung cancer.. Myths that have formed about the Gila monster include that the animal's breath is toxic enough to kill humans, that it can spit venom like a spitting cobra and that it can leap several feet in the air to attack, and that the Gila monster did not have an anus and therefore expelled waste from its mouth, the source of its venom and "fetid breath". They are described as shy and retiring reptiles, not prone to attacking humans unless they are significantly agitated. The constituents of the lizard's venom that have received the most attention from researchers are the bioactive peptides, including helodermin, helospectin, exendin-3, and exendin-4. Gila monsters literally use their teeth to deliver their venom.  Heloderma means "studded skin", from the Ancient Greek words helos (ἧλος), "the head of a nail or stud", and derma (δέρμα), "skin". Gila monsters are protected by every state they live in, and severe penalties await those who violate the law. The Gila likes underground burrows and rocky crevasses in the wild, so you’ll want to try and replicate that as best you can. “Because Gila monsters are diurnal [active by day],” says Petra Spiece on Kingsnake.com, “a naturalistic photoperiod should be provided. 1-800-222-1222 • Free • Confidential • 24 hours a day • 7 days a week. Because the Gila monster's prey consists mainly of eggs, small animals, and otherwise "helpless" prey, the Gila monster's venom is thought to have evolved for defensive rather than for hunting use. Eggs should be given sparingly — they may make your Gila obese. Reportedly the very largest specimens can weigh as much as 2,300 g (5.1 lb). It depends on where you are. Never hold your Gila by the head or tail — this can cause injury. And in some states, it’s illegal to own a Gila monster. In 1952, they became the first venomous animal to be given legal protection. If not, perhaps a gerbil is a better pet for you. Most serious bites occur when the Gila monster's lower jaws secure a firm hold on the victim that lasts for several minutes. The bite made him ill and he spent the next five days in bed, but he completely recovered. Feed your Gila mice and rats, such as you would get for a snake. The tail is about 20% of the body size and the largest specimens may reach 51 to 56 cm (20 to 22 in) in total length. If you are bitten, it is important to remove the lizard as soon as possible. Arizona laws protect these fascinating animals from being captured or held in any manner.  The Tombstone Epitaph of Tombstone, Arizona, wrote about a Gila monster that a local person caught on May 14, 1881: This is a monster, and no baby at that, it being probably the largest specimen ever captured in Arizona. Remove soiled substrate immediately. Four potentially lethal toxins have been isolated from the Gila monster's venom, including horridum venom, which causes hemorrhage in internal organs and exophthalmos (bulging of the eyes), and helothermine, which causes lethargy, partial paralysis of the limbs, and hypothermia in rats.