"Serum" Horse? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 01:36 AM Thread Starter
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"Serum" Horse?

Anyone know what a "serum" horse is? In context: "King Hi formerly served as a "serum" horse at Michigan State farm after being injured 9 years ago."

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post #2 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 10:15 AM
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Serum is the liquid the blood cells float around in, to keep it in layman's terms. I imagine a serum horse was one used to draw blood off of for various reasons. He was a blood donar, essentially.
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post #3 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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Interesting!

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post #4 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 05:51 PM
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Thank God for serum horses. I owe my life to them. I was bit by a copperhead 2 years ago and the anti venom shots given were what kept me from buying the farm.

After waking up to a priest giving me last rites not 12 hours after the bite, I thank God for those horses. The doctors at the hospital told me that I had had the worst reaction to copperhead venom that the hospital had record of. For over a week they weren't sure I'd even keep my arm. Thankfully I have it and everything else below the elbow.

Sorry about the length, I just want people to know that those horses do a world of good.
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by possumhollow View Post
Thank God for serum horses. I owe my life to them. I was bit by a copperhead 2 years ago and the anti venom shots given were what kept me from buying the farm.

After waking up to a priest giving me last rites not 12 hours after the bite, I thank God for those horses. The doctors at the hospital told me that I had had the worst reaction to copperhead venom that the hospital had record of. For over a week they weren't sure I'd even keep my arm. Thankfully I have it and everything else below the elbow.

Sorry about the length, I just want people to know that those horses do a world of good.
Wait, so they use HORSE blood on humans? Or am I misunderstanding all of this?
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 06:52 PM
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Yes they do. If I am not mistaken most anti-venom's are made this way.

"Antivenom (or antivenin or antivenene) is a biological product used in the treatment of venemous bites or stings. Antivenom is created by milking venom from the desired snake, spider or insect. The venom is then diluted and injected into a horse, sheep or goat. The subject animal will undergo an immune response to the venom, producing antibodies against the venom's active molecule which can then be harvested from the animal's blood and used to treat envenomation." *cited WHO 1997

I think horses are the most commonly used because of the volume of blood in their bodies. If I remember correctly their is also less instance of allergic reaction, rejection, and immune reactions using equine bloods.

ETA: This information can be found on Wiki and on the WHO web site.

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post #7 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 07:20 PM
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It's the serum, or clear fluid that is seperated out of the horse's blood. I can tell you that if you are ever bit by a snake and need anti venom, you have to be tested first to make certain you are not allergic to the serum itself before you can be treated.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 07:42 PM Thread Starter
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Wow what great information! Thank y'all! I am very glad that everything worked out for you, possumhollow.

Thanks and Gig'em!
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 07:48 PM
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Serum horses are usually drafts or draft crosses. They get blood pulled once a week and the rest of the time, they eat very expensive hay, usually dairy-quality alfalfa. I used to trim 117 head for a serum farm. It was kinda cool to see.

When the gate opens to the building, the horses line up and come in. They don't have to be driven or pushed in because when they get in the building, they get a needle put in and a bucket of Purina Strategy poured in front of them. They eat while blood is drawn. Then they walk out and eat more hay. They're very picky about the quality of hay and grain because it affects the quality and quantity of the blood.
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post #10 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 08:07 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AmazinCaucasian View Post
Serum horses are usually drafts or draft crosses. They get blood pulled once a week and the rest of the time, they eat very expensive hay, usually dairy-quality alfalfa. I used to trim 117 head for a serum farm. It was kinda cool to see.

When the gate opens to the building, the horses line up and come in. They don't have to be driven or pushed in because when they get in the building, they get a needle put in and a bucket of Purina Strategy poured in front of them. They eat while blood is drawn. Then they walk out and eat more hay. They're very picky about the quality of hay and grain because it affects the quality and quantity of the blood.
Sounds like quite the life! I ask because I have recently been digging up some information on my great grandfather and his horse, King Hi. This woulda been back in the 1920s or so. I came across an article about them where it describes King Hi (the statement in my original post) and it's a new piece of information to me and my family!

Maybe y'all can help piece it together since you seem to know about serum farms! As far as my family knows, he bought the horse for $6 on his way to slaughter. It's possible this could have been skewed from "on his way to the serum factory (farm)" instead of "on his way to the slaughter factory" I suppose, but the fact that the article says the horse "formerly served" as a serum horse, it seems like he did reach that destination and was not intercepted by my great grandfather. SO perhaps the serum farm had no more use for him and decided to send him off to slaughter where my great grandfather picked him up... Do y'all think that's what they did with the horses when they were "used up" or done with them? It seems likely since I can't imagine him going to a serum farm and asking if they had any horses for sale haha he must have been in limbo at that point...

Idk if I explained my thought process very well there haha ^

Thanks and Gig'em!
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