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Posted by GaryF on March 12, 2003 at 02:44:46:
In Reply to: GTP with bark chip in his mouth posted by ORherper on March 12, 2003 at 00:24:45:
If it doesn't come out itself within a few hours then you'll need to get it yourself.
I've had this happen a few times and the first approach is always stealth. Using some tweezers or forceps, try to get very close to the chip without touching the snake at all. The snake will generally freeze until you actually touch it or the bark chip. When you are close enough try to grab the chip. The snake will jerk it's head away leaving (hopefully) the chip in the tweezers. This only works if enough of the chip is exposed for you to grab it.
Otherwise, take out the snake and make sure that it is calm before working your fingers up the neck to just behing the head. If you are not confident then take your time but be aware that the longer the process goes on the more the stress on the animal. The object isn't to actually hold the head but to gently but firmly restrain it at the point where the head meets the neck. At this point you may need someone to hold open the mouth using a pen (or something appropriate to the animal's size) at a 45 degree angle to the head.. An interesting point is that snakes will very rarely bite down if the object you use is metal. Using something wooden or plastic, though seemingly softer, is more likely to result in a damaged teeth.
Anyway, good luck.
:Hi- I recently fed my GTP- and in his excitement- he grabbed too soon for my frozen/thawed rat and got a piece of bark chip in his mouth. After swallowing the rat- he spent some time trying to close his mouth over the chip which eventually lodged where baseball players put their chew- between the lower lip and teeth. Do I need try to open his mouth and pry it out or will it come through or out on his own? I have very limited experience in holding a snakes head ......