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Sorry for the lecture but a good lesson for all....


[ Follow Ups ] [ Post Followup ] [ The Burmese Python Forum ]

Posted by Rob Carmichael on April 17, 2003 at 07:23:35:

In Reply to: JUST GOT BIT !!!! NOW WHAT ?? posted by joemichaelaz on April 16, 2003 at 17:03:47:

First, it sounds like you were the victim of a SFE, otherwise known as a "stupid feeding error"....it happens to ALL of us and it is entirely preventable. For the most part, I never just reach into any of my large burm's cages to grab/touch them when I need to move them. Instead, I always place a hook behind the head but without making contact. This provides a slight buffer should the snake unexpectedly strike. Another good method is to use some sort of shield that is held between you and the snake (great when spot cleaning, changing water, taking snake out, etc.). I use both methods depending on the snake. A resting snake suddenly touched can elicit a very strong feeding or defensive strike so having a hook, shield, etc. is mandatory equipment in my book and should ALWAYS be used when dealing with large burms. Once out of their cages, most burms become quite placid and easy to manage animals (BUT NEVER FEED THEM IN A SEPARATE CAGE).

You panicked and spraying lysol onto the face of a burm is not a real good idea; either it will cause great damage to the snake, or irritate it so much that it becomes even more aggressive. It worked in your situation but to what detriment to the snake? YOu may have a snake that will never trust you again. The fact that the snake didn't let go right away leads me to believe it was a feeding mistake (most defensive bites are a quick strike and release unless the teeth become entangled in clothing in which a constriction response may ensue). You were not prepared for this and to be honest, most burm owners aren't (you now know why that anyone who keeps large burms MUST be very aware of what they are in for).

Your other mistake was not having another ADULT in the vicinity who could have quickly come to your rescue. Having a 4-year old getting a can of lysol could actually cause more harm to your child if that can of spray had gone off in his/her face...not a real smart move but under the circumstances, you did what you feel what needed to be done. Hopefully, you can find another adult who can be around whenever you are working with your large snakes.

This is a great scenario/case study to show why every burm owner must be fully prepared for a worse case scenario. It also shows why experts preach on proper handling/maintenance procedures when dealing with large snakes (and that these are NOT snakes to be kept by young people)...you just cannot afford a mistake. You are very lucky that this wasn't a 16-18' burm...you may not be around to even write this account. Hopefully, others will take this seriously.

:Damm it hurts.. i'm typing with my left hand shaking like never before.. my 11 foot burm just bit my right forearm for the first time in 7 years.. she just ate 5 !! days ago.. a large rabbit as usuall... i was unable to move and lucky my 4 year old was in the house to help me.. he ran and got a can of lysol and sprayed the snake in the face untill she let go of my forearm.. what now..will the snake be O.k. ?? do i keep her or what ?? will she do this again ?? befoe takeing her out I spray my arm with thie lysol so I dont have any smells on me .. what do I do ??
:dam it hurts so much...

:Joe





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