Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Snakebite! - Full Article

It’s the stuff nightmares of made of. In many parts of the U.S., summer is the season when snakes are most visible and when horses are most likely to encounter them.

The good news is that even poisonous snake bites are rarely fatal, especially if treated carefully and immediately. If you wait, however, a snake bite can lead to tissue damage, or worse, obstruction of the airway. The treatment will also depend on where your horse was bitten.

Here’s what to do if you suspect snake bite:

1. Call the vet! (If you’re on the trail, ask your vet to meet you there, if possible).
2. Keep the horse as calm as possible. If he (or you) panics, it will speed up his circulation, which increases the speed of the venom in his circulatory system. Walk him slowly back to his barn or trailer.
3. If you have a six-inch length of tube or garden hose, lubricate it with Vaseline and insert it in his nostril to allow him to keep breathing, even if his airway begins to swell...

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