Thursday, July 25, 2013

Rattlesnake Bite Vaccine - Full Article

By Lyndi L. Gilliam, DVM, Dipl. ACVIM, PhD
Jul 08, 2013

Question: I have questions about a vaccine for snakebites: My own veterinarian has not mentioned this but my neighbor’s vet recommended that they vaccinate their horses against rattlesnake venom. Last summer six horses in two-mile radius of our farm sustained snakebites, and I am trying to anticipate the upcoming season. I was told by my neighbors the vaccine is a series of three injections, and often horses develop a temporary swelling or irritation at the injection site. Can you tell me more about this vaccine? Is it effective against all rattlesnake species in the United States? Is a horse that previously has been bitten by a rattlesnake more or less likely to have a severe reaction if bitten again?

Betty Fey, via e-mail

Answer: There is, indeed, a rattlesnake vaccine labeled for horses.

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