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Posted by MsTT on May 11, 2003 at 00:26:48:
In Reply to: I didn't want to........ posted by oreganus on May 10, 2003 at 18:13:42:
When I considered your snake as a breeder for the reasons I've already stated, I also thought briefly about surgery to have her venom glands hooked up again if it was only a duct job. Then I came to the conclusion that cutting open her head again merely to serve my personal whims was also unnecessary cosmetic surgery, and would not be ethical. The snake wouldn't benefit, only my ego, which is nowhere near as important as the animal's health and comfort. So I resigned myself to the embarrassment if your animal turned out to be an ethically suitable purchase. Which it didn't.
When we did surgery on the mamba that had both fangs and one venom gland half ripped out by a very crude attempt at de-fanging, our goal was to preserve as much function for the animal as possible, to save the venom glands intact if we could. I think that was the right decision in that case, but it would be the wrong decision despite the temptation if I ever did end up with a fully healed long term venomoid for any reason.
A snake's health and welfare is more important than politics or money or a keeper's ego. They are not our pawns and toys, but living, feeling creatures who deserve more compassionate treatment than they often get in human hands. I wish there was more I could do to convince people of that, but it seems like a lost cause when people who say they love snakes are willing to hurt and cripple them on purpose.