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We've come through extended drought, followed by historically bad bush fires, then flood. It has caused many animals to seek refuge in places that were safe from the fires and flood. Subsequently there's a lot more snakes around my horses.

What immediate first aid treatments should be given to a horse that has been bitten by a snake?

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If you got the possibility, make a picture of the snake. If it is a venomous snake the picture will help to determine the type of poison way faster by an expert.

If I didn't knew the type of snake, I'd call the veterinarian immediately. On humans you might want to do some blood-letting, which I do not think is recommended with horses by anyone else than professionals on that, so I doubt there is much you can do apart from the usual wound treatment.

Anything that stops the blood from spreading in the body would be helpful, but you can simply not bind off a horses leg (if you know otherwise: correct me please!), so there really isn't much one can do apart from taking all measures to have the horse relaxed and calm and provide as much detail on the snake as possible.

You might determine the snake's kind beforehand if you have the possibility and maybe you can store some antidotes or at least emergency contacts for antidotes and information on

  • how fast the poison acts (how much time to act?)
  • how long it takes to acquire the antidote in case of emergency
  • how to transport / store the antidote
  • how to apply it

All this kind of information might take to long to gather in case of real emergency, so work out some emergency plans that can be followed through step by step and fast. In a situation like this you might not be able to think as reasonable as normal, so make sure visualize yourself handling the situation calm and secure several times to be able to remain focused if it happens.

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  • I'm not sure it's possibly for non-medical people to obtain antidote for snake toxin. – user6796 Mar 8 at 2:21
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    Yeah that might depend on the country you live in and well... Let's be honest, stable managers often get stuff under the hand they shouldn't have (at least from some vets), so I'd leave that possibility open to those who manage to get one for the one or the other reason ;) – kaiya Mar 8 at 9:59
  • Yep, in Australia, there's a load of venomous snakes and anti venom is expensive. – user6796 Mar 8 at 11:44
  • @MelissaLoos if the snake is poisonous, just keep the horse from eating it. A venomous snake however, is a different story... – SuperStew Mar 27 at 16:29
  • I am no native speaker. You can just edit the post if I used a wrong term ;) – kaiya Mar 28 at 12:27

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