Efforts underway to secure rattlesnake antivenom

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Efforts began last week to help Idyllwild residents in case a person or pet is bitten by the notorious Southern Pacific rattlesnake.

Kathy Keane, whose dog Lucky died from a bite this summer, organized the session which 10 people attended. “I don’t want anyone else, parent or dog owner, to go through what I did,” she said at the beginning.

During the initial meeting, the attendees discussed several steps, including acquiring a supply of the antivenom and training individuals to administer it. One person asked about the possibility of liability if the person administering the treatment is not a trained medical professional.

One possibility is an arrangement with a veterinarian from Anza. Keane has spoken with her and she may be “willing to come to Idyllwild to administer the antivenom, but as yet has no experience with CroFab [the veterinary name for the anti-
venom].”

Other topics discussed included meeting with and educating the various summer camps and schools on the Hill about the presence and potential danger of the snake, which carries a neurotoxic venom.

However, Keane and Iver Scott’s research discovered that the anti-
venom could cost between $2,500 to $4,000 per vial or $5,000 to $6,000 for a pair, the common retail distribution. If bitten, a child or large dog might need four to five vials to recover from the venom’s toxic results.

“I’m hoping we have enough money to purchase the antivenom so that anyone bitten — human or dog — doesn’t have to pay for the antivenom,” Scott said.

So fundraising will be a major topic as the group goes forward. Also, they will investigate the opportunity to establish and gain a nonprofit, tax-exempt 501(c)(3) status.

 

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