Horse fights for life after suffering snake bite - FOX 10 News |

Horse fights for life after suffering snake bite

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BUCKEYE, Ariz. -

A valley family's pride and joy is fighting for her life. Their horse Mocha was bitten by a Mohave rattlesnake.

We talked to the owners about the horse’s recovery.

The most venomous type of rattlesnake, the Mohave rattlesnake, bit the horse. Now the horse is fighting every day to breathe. She even has a feeding tube.

But her owner says this horse is like family and they won't give up.

“She was looking at me, just flicking her head in the air so I knew something was not right.”

Jill Wass found her horse Mocha struggling to breathe. Her head was heavy and swollen after a Mohave rattlesnake bit her. For nearly a week now, Mocha has been in the animal hospital.

“It’s been hard really really hard and you can see my kids are heartbroken too,” she says.

Jill Wass got Mocha just five months ago, but she says already she's formed an unbreakable bond with the 20-year-old horse.

“She is the type of horse that has transformed my family. My 6-year-old can ride her. My mother who’s in her 70s can ride her.”

Mocha might have been dead by now had Wass not acted swiftly. When she found Mocha struggling for air, she called her neighbor who works at a vet clinic. Before the pair rushed the horse to the vet, she learned...

“Horses can’t be compromised, the only respiratory system is the nose so once the mouth is shut you're in big trouble, they can’t mouth-breathe," says Kathy Hainline.

To give you a sense of how swollen Mocha's nose, was it was about six times the size of a regular horse’s nose.

“We are just trying to keep her fever down, keep the anti-inflammatories in her and just try to keep her strong until swelling goes down.”

But the animal hospital bills are mounting -- costly the family thousands to give the horse a fighting chance.

“I know some people would think why don’t we just put her down and walk away but she’s got a heart of gold and we are not going to give up on her.”

The cost of helping this horse survive is nearly $1,000 a day.

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