SAN DIEGO — A woman’s horse died last month after being bitten by a rattlesnake in Jamul.
The incident happened back in May. Hilary Dixon said she knew something was wrong when she came home and heard a horrific sound coming from outside.
“I could hear my horse, Luna, calling for me and I heard the sound of a rattlesnake,” she said.
Dixon said she opened the gate to the horse pasture and saw that Luna had blood on her face and had been bitten by the snake on the nose. She ran to where the snake was wedged under a chain link fence and pinned it with a shovel.
Dixon said in less than an hour Luna’s face began to swell and she felt helpless.
“I stayed with her to keep her calm, I was in tears.” she said.
Dixon called a local emergency equine vet that arrived about an hour later, but it was too late.
Equine experts say here’s what you should do if a snake strikes:
- Locate the snake and back off to a safe distance before dismounting.
- Try to identify the type of snake or get a good look at it so you can describe it.
- Check your horse's breathing and insert short lengths of hose into his nostrils if he's having difficulty.
- For a leg bite, if time and distance are great before treatment is available, a tourniquet is an option.
- Even if the snake isn't poisonous, consult your vet because bacteria can also cause harm.
- Monitor your horse's progress for secondary problems, which can last months or even years.