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I went out to the pasture on Thursday to catch my horse, and I found the lower half of her head/face completely swollen. Rattlesnake bite to the nose (we are in north central Montana, so this would be the Prairie Rattlesnake). I brought her down to the barn and called my Vet. He didn't seem too concerned - said rattlesnakes don't usually expel much venom when they're in defensive mode (i.e. scary horse checking them out). He recommended I come get a tetanus shot and some antibiotics for her in the morning. Also Bute to help with the pain and swelling. I had two pieces of garden hose ready since I've read that the swelling can shut off their nasal passage and horses can't breathe through their mouths. Fortunately I didn't have to use them, but I could tell her breathing was a little labored compared to usual. Kept her by the house where I could watch her closely, and the swelling finally started to subside on day 2. By the end of day 3 she was almost back to normal. Some pretty wicked diarrhea for a couple days - not sure if that was related to the Tetanus shot, the antibiotics or maybe the venom? Today, I gave her the last of her antibiotic regimen and put her back out to pasture. Fingers crossed she doesn't find him again! I wonder if they build up any kind of immunity after being bit once?

Anyway, thought I'd share my experience since I couldn't find much online. We survived! :)

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Wow, it's great to know that she recovered!
 
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For future reference, does it matter what size the garden hose is for a standard horse?
I was raised in Massasauga Swamp Rattler territory (NE Ohio) and Timber Rattlers were abundant at around our camp in the Allegheny Mountains In PA.

I was always told 1/2” diameter hose cut non longer 12” for the average sized riding horse. I kept them in a plastic bag, slathered in Vaseline and thankfully never had to use them.

@lhorgus I am so glad to know your horse pulled thru!:)

Years ago a good friend in Kentucky was not so lucky with the pasture bite her son’s best QH mare got on The nose.
 

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Wow . She sure did swell. I would think that would have less immunity after being bit. You can buy rattlesnake vaccines, and you may want to get some for your horse. I do for my dogs and it gives them more time for treatment from the Vet . I think the dosage is 3 shots 3 weeks apart. You may have a nest in your pasture.
 

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So glad she recovered. Venomous bites are scary. More dogs bit in this area than horses. Usually they survive. Even the smaller dogs as my mother had her 12 pounder bit by a moccasin. There were some residual after effects but not bad.
 

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I lost a really nice 2 year old gelding to snake bite. I had sent him up to my hay guy's place for his guys to start, and he was dead in less than 2 hours. Apparently he had a sensitivity to it. They said they had never seen anything swell up so fast. Yes, a vet was called, but the colt was dead before he could get there.
Thats the one true thing about livestock, if you have them, you can lose them.
I lost the dam to this colt the following winter to winter kill. Just wasn't meant to be.
 
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I lost a really nice 2 year old gelding to snake bite. I had sent him up to my hay guy's place for his guys to start, and he was dead in less than 2 hours. Apparently he had a sensitivity to it. They said they had never seen anything swell up so fast. Yes, a vet was called, but the colt was dead before he could get there.
Thats the one true thing about livestock, if you have them, you can lose them.
I lost the dam to this colt the following winter to winter kill. Just wasn't meant to be.
How sad to lose them all. I have one draft gelding that will stomp a snake. I have found dead large gopher snakes. I would consider getting rattle snake vaccines for the horses, but the snakes found have all been near my house. My dogs do get the snake vaccines yearly. It has saved 2 dogs. I small dog was bit, and then a large dog, got bit twice within a 3 month span.
 
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