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Be aware rattlesnakes have emerged from hibernation

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The beginning of summer starts in just over a week but there are already dangers lurking this season… we’re talking about rattlesnakes.

In the past month already, the Washington State University Veterinary Teaching Hospital has treated a dog and a horse bitten by the snakes. The threat is right here in our backyards; the horse was bitten on a trail in Asotin County. Both were treated and sent home, but animals can easily die from these bites.

Officials with the university said because of the long winter, the hatching season for these snakes is at its peak right now.

Dr. Jenifer Gold, Clinical Associate Professor said, “They actually pose a bigger danger because they don't know how to regulate how much venom that they give, for instance the horse that we had here that was bit. They never truly saw the snake that bit him.”

Dr. Gold said that Rauder, the 22-year old horse, was bitten by a young rattlesnake, meaning that there was less venom present within the snake. He was treated with ant-venom, which is usually recommended for people and animals.

Health officials say that if your animal is bitten get to your veterinarian as quickly as possible and cover the wound.

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