All grazing animals are at risk of snakebite in areas where snakes are present. Rattlesnake venom has two types of toxins, myotoxins and hemotoxins. Myotoxins create rapid swelling, pain and bleeding at the bite site and muscle necrosis, while the hemotoxins damage blood vessels, destroying red blood cells and hindering blood clotting. Veterinarians with snakebite experience provide a good overview of the risks in large animals. This article provides a good review of snakebite for veterinary teams and representatives calling on producers.
Source: Beef, June 22, 2016.
Usually the toxins don’t have as much negative long-term effects on large animals like adult cattle but could have more serious consequences for a small animal or young calf, according to Rob Callan, head of livestock veterinary services at the Veterinary Teaching Hospital at Colorado State University. “The toxins can sometimes be more problem for horses, affecting the heart. Toxins may cause irregular rhythm, or damage the heart [which can be fatal]. I have not seen that problem reported in cattle.”