Poll Recap: Venomous Snake Concerns
Are venomous snakes a concern in your area? We posed this question to our readers in last week’s online poll, and asked them to share about their experiences with snakebites in horses.

A total of 351 readers respondents and we’ve tallied the results! About half said they live in an area where venomous snakes are a concern, while the other half said they do not.

Additionally, more than 70 people commented about their concerns and encounters with venomous snakes:

Many people commented that they have venomous snakes in their area, but they’ve never had a horse bitten:

  • “I live In Arizona and have never had a horse bitten, but worry constantly about dogs that follow on trail rides.”
  • “We have rattlesnakes in Arizona but I have never had a problem with them.”
  • “I’ve never had one bitten. But snakes get in stalls at times.”
  • “Only copperheads in my area and horses have never been bitten.”
  • “I’ve seen one, but my horse has not been bitten, thankfully!”
  • “Rattlers and copperheads are prevalent in this part of Pennsylvania. I’ve seen both, but luckily no bites so far.”
  • “Horses have never been bitten, but on the trail the snakes give ample warning to avoid going too close.”
  • “We have copperheads. They have never bitten my horses or any of my other animals.”
  • “Rattlesnakes and Mojave greens in my area. No bites to horses, fortunately.”
  • “Rattlesnakes are in the field with the horses until the horses ‘mow’ down the field. No bites yet.”
  • “Western Rattlers rare and king/gopher snakes keep the pop in check. Never had a horse bitten, thank heaven.”
  • “We have copperheads, rattlers, coral snakes, and water moccasins. No bites to horses, which are out 24/7.”
  • “Yes, but not aware of any bites at my boarding barn.”
  • “Copperheads and rattlesnakes live here but I haven’t encountered any. No horses bitten, either, knock on wood!”
  •  “I’ve never had a horse bitten, but I don’t ride in the woods. One of my dogs got bitten.”
  • “A few of our neighbor’s horses died because of snakebites. None of our horses have been bitten.”
  • “We see some copperheads around our farm, but none of our horses have ever been bitten.”
  • “Lots of rattlesnakes around, but I’ve never had a horse bitten and don’t know anyone who has.”

Others said their horses have encountered a snake:

  • “One of our yearlings stepped into a coppermouth nest and was bitten some 10-12 time on one hind leg.”
  • “My horse was bitten on nostril. He lost his airway and had to have trach (tracheostomy, which involves surgically creating an opening through the skin into the trachea to allow for insertion of a breathing tube), but survived.”
  • “Yes, I live in Louisiana have had two horses bitten by water moccasins in the same stream.”
  • “It was a very large rattler and not a dry bite. Luckily I keep most meds on site and have an excellent relationship with a good vet.”
  • “A horse in our barn died after a copperhead bite due to airway closure, they just didn’t get to him in time.”
  • “A lactating mare was bitten by an Australian king brown snake survived with antivenom and antihistamines.”
  • “My horse was bitten by a water moccasin in Florida, near a seasonal spring, during a hurricane. He died.”
  • “Santa Fe, New Mexico, has lots of venomous snakes. My Thoroughbred filly was bit on the chest by a rattler.”
  • “My horse was bitten by a rattlesnake last summer. No treatment just rest.”
  • “Two horses bitten on nose by Prairie Rattler, on same day. Both survived with the vet involved.”
  • “Timber rattlers and copperheads by me. I’ve only one mare bitten and I named her first foal Snakebite.”

Some shared their snake-related concerns:

  • “Lots of rattlers in San Diego and it’s scary.”
  • “It is a constant concern from early spring until winter.”
  • “I’ve run into six this summer riding. My friend’s horse has been bitten and was sick for almost a year.”
  • “Rattlesnakes are everywhere here. You just have to keep your eyes wide open!”
  • “I get the small rattlers with a shovel, the mare flattens them!”
  • “We have puffadders, which are lazy and won’t give way when a horse investigates and sniffs them.”

A few respondents commented that they do not have venomous snakes in their area:

  • “No venomous snakes that I’m aware of in our area, thank goodness!”
  • “I have not encountered a venomous snake.”
  • “I’ve never seen rattlesnakes or copperheads here. Have seen coral snakes but not concerned for horses.”

And others left general comments:

  • “I’ve seen more than 100 rattlesnakes in my years of horse ownership and never once had a problem.”
  • “We just moved our horses, previously stalled in a New York City barn, out west. Our new vet suggested a rattlesnake vaccine, and we’re glad we did.”
  • “I have not personally had any encounters with snakes, but know of others who have.”
  • “No bites, but we’ve come close a few times! Friend’s horse was bitten, but had boots on fortunately!”
  • “My horse has not been bitten. Would leg wraps be protective enough?”
  • “I didn’t see rattler coiled under horse trailer! Sent chills up my spine when it rattled! Close call!”
  • “My horse has not been bitten, but the stable manager was, and had to be briefly hospitalized.”
  • “I don’t stall my horses in the summertime because the need to be able to get away from the rattlers.”
  • “Feral cats seem to keep the rattlers at bay.”
  • “No personal experience, but owned a filly who was afraid of white lead ropes post-snake bite.”

You can find more information on snakebites in horses, the rattlesnake bite vaccine, read a veterinarian’s account of how she handles rattlesnake bites, and learn what to do if you suspect a snake has bitten your horse at TheHorse.com!

This week, we want to know: Have you spent a period of time during your life horseless (not owning or regularly riding/working with horses)? Vote now and tell us about your experience at TheHorse.com/polls!

The results of our weekly polls are published in The Horse Health E-Newsletter, which offers news on diseases, veterinary research, health events, and in-depth articles on common equine health conditions and what you can do to recognize, avoid, or treat them. Sign up for our e-newsletters on our homepage and look for a new poll on TheHorse.com.