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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
We are coming up on rattlesnake season in California, so I'm considering getting my horses the rattlesnake vaccine when the vet visits next month.

We have given our dogs this vaccine for a couple of years. A near by neighbor's dog was bit last year and they feel the vaccine saved their dogs life by making the bite less severe.

Does anyone have any thoughts or experience with this type of vaccination for horses?

Thanks!
 

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Is it available for horses? I don't live in heavy Rattlesnake country any more so I don't know. I've never used it, my vet's opinion at the time was that it might help but that there were questions about the efficacy of the vaccine (for dogs only back then) and he didn't recommend it. That's been 10 years ago, so things may have changed a lot since then.
 

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Subbing -
I was going to ask this very question! Isn't there an anti venom you can carry/keep JIC?
Ewww. Totally scary, these and a few others have met their demise around here!
 

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If you trail often i'd certainly consider it. I have always heard about the vaccine but i've never known anyone to do it to their horses, just dogs. Our horse vet has never talked to us about it. We gave it to my dog because he "hunts" and I looked outside one day and he was standing there barking and trying to nip at a little baby rattlesnake D: We also put him through training to avoid the rattle sound and never had to deal with any bites, so i have no real experience with bites w/ the vaccine.

I'm usually very careful about trail riding and checking the barn and pasture. But I still have had a few close calls. Luckily my horses are very afraid of snakes. I was stupidly cantering along on a trail when my horse suddenly leaped to the side. While I was trying to regain my balance I look down and a huge rattlesnake is coiled up in the middle of the trail. I am so glad she saw it. I don't know anyone around here who has gotten the vaccine but I think I will start asking around.
 

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I didn't know that they made such a thing! That's really cool, several times I've ran across large rattlers and I don't usually trot on the trails anymore because I'm scared that I'll ride her right into one
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We have a friend that lives where there are rattlers. He told us that it's unlikely for a horse to die from a bite. They will get sick though. Also it is worse if the bite is from a young snake vs mature one.
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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Flygap - I would assume an anti-venom is not available due to the expense of human anti-venoms for snake bites. However, if you hear about an anti-venom or venom inhibitor, please let us know. :)

Thanks!
 

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Like another poster said, it's not really common for a horse to be killed by the actual bite. Most of the time, they are bit on the nose and what kills them is the swelling because it swells their nostrils closed and they suffocate.

In all the years we've lived in Texas (smack dab in the middle of rattler country), we've had a lot of horses get bitten...only one died. She got bit on her neck, where it meets her jaw, right there close to that large vein. She didn't recover in spite of everything the vet did to save her.

All that said, I had never heard of a vaccine for bites so I don't know if it would be any help or not. I guess the thing you need to do is ask yourself if the cost, questionable efficiency (all vaccines are questionable), and possible side effects are worth it to try it out.
 

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Smrobs, what did the vet do for the bitten horses?
I'm going to talk to mine about it, just curious what yours did to compare notes.
 

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this is litteraly snake oil,
NO TRIALS, no studies, nothing showing that it does anything at all.
The claim is that dogs treated with the vaccine require less antivenom, but bites are so random and uncontrolled there is no evidence it really does anything other than take your money.
I wouldnt waste the money until there is actually some evidence that it does anything at all.
 

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Subbing because I'm worried about it, too

Stinking California.... :p
 

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Smrobs, what did the vet do for the bitten horses?

On a horse that has been bitten on the nose, what we do is take those syringe cases with the end cut off or some short pieces of large diameter water hose and put those in the nostrils so that as they swell shut, they close around the obstruction and they are able to breath through the hose or syringe cases. Then, as the swelling goes down, the tubes will fall out on their own. In addition to that, they are usually given bute and sometimes an antibiotic. 99% of ours are treated after the fact because, with them being turned out to pasture, we don't usually know they've been bitten until they show up with a swollen face.

I'm going to talk to mine about it, just curious what yours did to compare notes.
I am unsure how the vet treated the mare that was bitten on the neck, that was about 2.5 years ago and I was living in Amarillo at the time so Dad dealt with that situation.
 
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