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Snake Bite!? Help! What Is This! *update At Bottom*


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#1 HolleysRider010

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 09:46 PM

I'll get pictures up asap.. what do snake bites on a horse look like and what are the effects that they cause? I went to check on my horse and he had a huge swollen patch on his neck that spread across his mane to the other side of his neck and there are a few scratches but we couldn't find any defined puncture wounds. His gums seem pale and the area is very sore. My mother works at a vet clinic and she called him and he said he would be fine till morning when we can give him a shot of penicillin. What does this sound like to you. cvm?















and his gums look pale to me..


Edited by HolleysRider010, 20 July 2009 - 11:34 PM.


#2 ozland

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 10:00 PM

If it should be snakebite (kind of an odd place for it) make sure tetanus shots are up to date. More horses are lost from the lack of tetanus shots than the actual snakebite. That said, running cold water over the area may help relieve some of the pain and swelling.

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#3 daisysmom

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 10:20 PM

Normally, horses get bit on the nose by snakes. Their head is down grazing or something makes noise and they stick their nose in it to see what it is. Their heads will swell up like the elephant-horse. They have noisy, heavy breathing and look and feel like crap. If the swelling is on the neck, I would think spider but he could of been rolling or sleeping and rolled onto a snake. I've always been able to find the fang marks. Check higher up above the swelling. If you don't have any dex, I would grind up 10 benadryl and get those in him. Cold hose the swelling. If he's having any trouble breathing, it is an emergency. This is a good opportunity to have a discussion with your vet about having Penecillin, bute and Dex on hand for such a situation.

#4 HolleysRider010

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 10:23 PM

daisy's mom.. what do you think it could be now that i have the pictures up? i am going out there now with some ice packs and i am going to apply them for a few minutes, not directly to the skin though because i know that could speed up the tissue damage if it is a snake bite.. he has scrapes not bite looking marks. what is Dex, if you know the full name to it please tell me because it might be more familiar then. Oh and the wet marks on the close up of the wounds is alcohol and not dried up blood.

Edited by HolleysRider010, 19 July 2009 - 10:24 PM.


#5 HolleysRider010

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 10:30 PM

i am going out there now to give him the grinded up benadryl.

#6 daisysmom

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Posted 19 July 2009 - 11:23 PM

Dexamethasone is a steroid that will help limit the swelling and help with any breathing problems. Is he having trouble dropping his neck to eat and drink? Pinch test him to see if he's hydrated. That might explain the pale gums. Just mild discomfort should cause some paleness. What's the spot in the middle of the swelling? Old or new? Bee sting? The scratches don't look like the problem.

#7 HolleysRider010

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 12:53 AM

all the marks on his neck are just scratches.. he is really sensitive to that area now, he seems to be uncomfortable dropping his head but he is eating and drinking fine. I can't go back out till morning, but when the sun rises the slightest bit I will be out there.. We mixed the benadryl with water and put it in a syringe and I gave it to him. We will get the dexamethasone and penicillin tomorrow morning after I make sure he is okay. He seemed to be breathing fine.. and he's eating and walking around. I'm just so worried about the little guy.. I love him to death.

#8 BethanyW

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 02:31 AM

Well that would be a VERY odd place for a snake bite. Though anything is possible I suppose.

Lets go the KISS methods first:

1. Have you vaccinated him recently, and if so is that the vacc site?

2. Did you walk the pasture/enclosure and look for any areas that look like a struggle took place? Sometimes horses can get hung up on a branch or bush and impale themselves with a stick, twig or thorn.

3. Can you find multiple wounds (puncture or otherwise)? If not, probably not a snake bite.

I recommend lots of cold hosing, vital monitoring and a follow up phone call with the vet to make sure the tetnus (just like Oz said) is up to date.

Hope he gets to feeling better soon.
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#9 HolleysRider010

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 02:53 AM

I was so worried it was a snake bite that I didn't think to look around but his field is 17 acres and the back part of it is woods and forest with 2 small ponds. Tomorrow morning I will walk it and check it out once I make sure he is okay. What is odd is on the side with the most swelling there are two scrapes side by side then another one, and on the other side it's another scrape and a small dent looking thing, kind of how it looks when someone bites your arm. He hasn't been vaccinated recently so that couldn't be it. I'm so scared he won't be okay in the morning. My worst fear is having to bury my best friend and that would be him.

#10 manesntails

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 05:21 AM

That looks, to me, like infection from those cuts.

It looks like the cuts healed over and there is infection under the skin.

CALL a VET.








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#11 HolleysRider010

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 07:40 AM

manesntails, could an infection happen that quick because of a cut? He was fine that morning and then that afternoon he had the swelling. I went back out there just a minute ago and the swelling is still there and it's warm to the touch but it's gone down some. My vet is mixing up a penicillin and dexamethasone shot for me to come and pick up about 10 a.m. to give him. He is alert and eating fine, he was trotting around when donkey started braying and he acted fine. We will get that shot in him asap. I have no idea what it could be.

#12 Bayfilly13

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 12:00 PM

Yes, an infection can take root that quickly. Take his temperature. Take his heart rate and respiratory rate. Then you can call the vet with some good information.

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#13 HolleysRider010

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:33 PM

Okay, Doc gave me the dexamethasone shot to give him, and some bannamine, I gave that to him about 10 this morning, the swelling had went down a small bit but it is spreading outwards and down towards his neck, then he sent me a penicillin shot and some bute tabs, he got the shot and one bute tab at about 6:30 to 7.. the swelling is still there, it's not as hot to the touch but it is worrying me that it could start interfering with his breathing ability.. he is eating and drinking fine, but around the swollen area is very sweaty. Could this possibly be an allergy?

#14 Prairie Rose

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Posted 20 July 2009 - 11:52 PM

It looks to me like what can happen from a puncture wound (tree branch, perhaps?). Air gets under the skin and causes the hematoma looking swelling. The 'air' pocket will spread and work it's way down due to gravity. It takes several days for the body to absorb and dissipate.
Do you hear an air 'hissing' sounds when handling the area or when the horse walks?
I really, really think that this is a puncture type wound.

Having your horse physically seen by a vet would be your very best course of action.
If it is indeed a puncture wound there may be some material yet inside, under the skin, that you cannot see. It may need to be cleaned out.

I also feel that a 5 day course of penecillin should be given.

Please see a vet asap.

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#15 BethanyW

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 01:42 AM

With the new symptoms (spreading of the swelling, continued heat, and the addition of sweating in the area) I would highly recommend that the vet see this horse in person.

Quite frankly there are just too many things that it could be for us to really give you more than general advice. The new stuff worries me though and I would personally feel much better if a vet saw that in person.

I truly hope your boy gets better quickly and with as little fanfare as possible.
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#16 HolleysRider010

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 11:07 AM

Thank yall so much, I will be back soon with new pictures and an update on how he is today. I will call Doc and see what he thinks and if he can come out today.

#17 HolleysRider010

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 12:27 PM

Okay I just got back from checking on him, and the swelling is gone, the only place still of concern to me is around the scratches is still a little puffy, we are going to continue the penicillin, Doc seems to think it was an allergy of some sort.

#18 DiluteMe

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Posted 21 July 2009 - 01:07 PM

From the direction though wounds are on the side of the neck it looks like he impaled himself on something like a lower tree branch. Maybe he was running along went to jump over a ditch or fallen branch and impaled his neck on a branch, since he was running it snapped off immediately.

I would really be concerned about foriegn objects in it under the skin. I would ask your vet to come out and feel and touch and maybe even do a bit of an exploritory, definately flush it out.

Definately follow suite with those antibiotics, but I would definately be concerned about impalement and a foriegn object in there.

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