COROLLA, N.C. — A 2-year-old wild filly on the Outer Banks has died after she was bitten by a venomous snake, according to the Corolla Wild Horse Fund.
On May 16, Corolla Wild Horse Fund discovered that 2-year-old filly Valor had been standing in the same place, favoring a front leg, for nearly 24 hours. That was the first sign that she would need help.
“We were devastated at the prospect of the herd losing such a young, vibrant mare but in the moment we pushed those emotions aside and got to work,” the horse fund said.
The team got Valor onto a trailer that day and brought her to the rescue farm.
A veterinarian determined that Valor had been bitten by a snake. At the time, they thought the bite left no venom but had caused infection at the wound site.
X-rays showed no breaks.
The veterinarian cleaned and treated the wound and gave the horse IV fluids and antibiotics.
The next day, Valor was able to put weight on the leg and drink normally.
On May 18, they removed Valor’s catheter and cleaned and re-wrapped her leg with plans to keep the filly on antibiotics for a week.
The team was cautiously optimistic before things took a turn.
On Friday, the Corolla Wild Horse Fund staff were changing Valor’s bandage and became worried that there was more discharge coming from the wound.
The team’s veterinarian came out to take a look and told them Valor would need to go to North Carolina State University immediately.
At the hospital, she got more of the same treatment as she had gotten when the wound was first discovered.
“We were advised that surgery would be difficult with a poor chance for success,” th ehorse fund said. “Valor would probably require subsequent surgeries and never be sound again. In addition to that, she would have required hospitalization for weeks, and months of therapy after that (assuming she survived the surgery). There’s also always the increased risk of colic, laminitis, ulcers, and other secondary conditions caused by the stress. The outlook for her having a comfortable life was very, very poor.”
They discovered that the bite did, in fact, leave venom. With that knowledge, in addition to the damage caused by the infection, they had to make a difficult choice.
Valor was euthanized Saturday.
“Valor was born on Memorial Day two years ago; that’s how we chose her name,” the horse fund said. “She certainly lived up to it. This is a tough loss for the herd, and also a very tough loss for those of us who fought so hard to keep her alive. We appreciate your respect as we grieve our loss.
“Last but definitely not least, we’d like to thank all of you for your generous support over the last week. Your donations to Valor’s care meant that we didn’t have to stop and ask ourselves, ‘Can we afford this?’ when we were told Valor needed to go to NCSU. That is a comfort that is truly hard to put into words, and we thank you from the bottom of our hearts.”