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Posted by MsTT on May 12, 2003 at 14:33:56:
In Reply to: Unfortunately..... posted by tj on May 12, 2003 at 08:57:46:
:What I want to know is, when you see all of the pictures and hear about all of the 110% perfect procedures, how many procedures are done that you don't hear about? How many snakes are actually being killed while the surgery is being performed by a non-licensed hacker?
Obviously there isn't going to be much reliable data on that. I did once hear a self-admitted garage venomoider ("Mah wife won't let me bring no poison snakes inta the house") state proudly that now that he was really experienced, almost one out of every three snakes lived. He was doing rattlers on newspaper with a hobby kit scalpel using the refrigerator for anesthesia.
Most of the recent venomoids I saw being sold at the last few Columbia shows were pretty horrendous. A number of them had swollen and infected wounds or sunken heads with asymmetrically contracted tissue. Some still had their stitches in. Subjecting a recent surgery patient to the stress and the low temperatures of an exhibit hall is pretty much begging for toxic septicaemia. It is very much a shame that there are people who love money a lot more than snakes and view the animals as scaly dollar signs instead of living, feeling creatures.
They don't care too much about their customers either, because I saw animals sold that I would consider to be a very bad risk without a solid course of antibiotics and debriedment. But are these expensive toys getting veterinary care from the people who buy them? In every case where I questioned the customer, the answer was no.
If the people buying venomoids were in fact regular members of our community, it might be possible to get some feedback as to how many of them died of massive septic infections after a purchase. But I suspect that many of the people who buy venomoids aren't really hot keepers. And of those who are, many are rightfully ashamed to admit that they bought a crippled snake. So I'm not sure how much data we could objectively get on the mortality rate of botched venomoids. I expect it depends largely on post-operative care as snakes can survive some fairly massive traumas as long as they manage to escape infection.