We had quite a Colorado adventure at the hunt yesterday.  It was at a different more rural fixture, where there are few gates, and no cell phone or internet.  We only hunt there once a year, so it is also easy to be a little off on directions.  And there was only 8 in the field.  We were a long way from the trailers and Lauren and I had just asked permission to leave the field, as she hurt her finger when Snickers took a stumble.  We were alone just our daughter and I.

Anyway, on the way back, Snickers got bite by a Western diamondback rattlesnake.  We thought he just stepped on the snake as it slithered off, rattling.  But then Snickers went to raising his foot and was immediately lame and after 30 minutes of trying to hand walk him back, he couldn’t move, could barely breathe, and was really close to dying. We were still a long way from the trailer. Luckily, I was able to back to him with the trailer, as our daughter bravely waited by herself.  I encourage all horse owners living in the West to read this article, so you can know what to do a little better than we did, but I figured that a tourniquet, sucking the venom out, and/or lacerating the wound were all out of date recommendations, as I knew they were for bird dogs. He is doing well, following his antivenin and is expected to make a full recovery, following his antibiotics and other treatments. Read the article please, it might help save your horse. I was surprised at how severe a reaction it was, as I heard that horses getting bitten in the leg were not that big of a deal. It was a major deal.  He remains in the hospital for two more days.  The antivenin medicine alone was $2500, plus the three days hospital will make for an $8000 veterinary bill.  Yikes!

http://casperjournal.com/news/article_ddec493a-3d8f-5b21-b11e-55ab65a1b368.html

http://www.horsekeeping.com/Horse_Newsletter/September_2009.htm