Wednesday, December 29, 2004

SNAKES!!!

I never thought I would own a snake. I purchased a ball python for my girlfriend's brother for his 17th birthday combined with Christmas. (I dropped like $200 total for everything...snake, cage, accessories etc) I was pretty upset when the snake had major burns on it's underside from it laying on the heating pad that was attached to the underside of the tank. Apparently a snake, if it is cold enough, will not move from a heating element even if it is being burned. That meant the cage temp was not warm enough since the snake even moved the substrate (the bedding consisting of cypress bark) to lay directly on the glass above the heating pad.

Now the thing that disappointed me was the fact that the boy was more worried about getting some new Cichlids (a fish) for his fishtank than finding out what was wrong with his snake. So just the day before yesterday when I took the snake out to see what was wrong with it (I had been doing some research online to learn about health problems in ball pythons)I was pretty horrified to see that it was in such a bad state. The snake smelled horrible, like rotting flesh. It was in the middle of a very poor shed and the whole underbelly was brown, crusty, and it looked as if the stomach was rotting away. I felt horrible for the snake. Any animal in captivity can only rely on what kind of care its human gives to it.

I called a vet right then to make an appointment for it, also to see if it was even feasible to spend the money on it if it wouldn't survive. Made an appointment fro yesterday at 9:20am... ugh early days on my winter break... When at the appointment I found that indeed they were blisters from it laying on the bare glass and in it's own urine. I had to leave it there to be soaked and examined thoroughly. I didn't think she (Selene the snake)was going to make it.

When I came back I had a different snake (yes, she is mine now because I told "Allen" that since he didn't take care of the snake and was about to let it just die then if I nursed it back to health it was MINE). She looked great. They had taken off most of the remaining shed, and they took all the blistered skin off. Her whole underside is raw and pink...even bleeding in a spot slightly, but she was BETTER! And she is going to LIVE!!! I have to give her antibiotics twice a day and wipe an ointment on her belly a few times a day as well.

I cleaned out her pen before I went to get her. I put old t-shirts in there. I want her to be comfortable with that belly of hers being so raw and all. No more bark for substrate anymore. I am going to look for some indoor outdoor carpet for her when she is healed up. That way it I can have one piece clean to put in when the other gets dirty and wash the one I take out. I can do that once a week or so.

So... like Allen said yesterday (as I was treating the snake)"I bet you never thought you would be doing this to a snake did you?" I just stopped and said.. "Nope... Never did I ever imagine myself giving a snake medicine and caring for one like this." It was kind of a surreal moment. She is so sweet tho. Not an angry bone in her. She is still docile. I am not doing anything to antagonize her. I do have to hold her head as I rub the ointment on her body and give her the meds, but when I let her go she just slithers around like nothing happened. I am so happy.

I will post some photos here soon to show how her belly looks. She really is a beautiful snake!

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