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Posted by MsTT on May 12, 2003 at 01:09:18:
In Reply to: Your pleasure, a snake's pain. posted by robin on May 12, 2003 at 00:37:13:
:I am a farm girl, been doing most of my own vet work all of my adult life. I think that I am observant of my animals needs.
That is definitely a big plus.
:I did not do the venomoid surgeries on these 5 snakes out of the 100+ that I keep. I purchased them already done. They were however done by a competent person. I have recieved all but one with stitches still intact, and all had normal feeding response. I feel that if they were in pain the feeding reponse would be diminished, or absent.
Not necessarily. I've been having an interesting time trying to keep a green mamba with a horribly shattered jaw from moving it voluntarily, so she's getting her food and water through a tube and intracoelomically under anesthesia. She does show clinical signs of pain, but she also shows more willingness to move that jaw than is really good for her. I think she might well eat given the opportunity, but that doesn't mean that pain is not present.
A snake on a malfunctioning hot rock won't move. It will literally cook to death. Yet when these cases are caught and treated, the burned animal does show clinical signs of pain. It just doesn't have a withdrawal reflex. Eating is certainly one good sign that the snake is healthy, but I don't think we can say for sure that it means the animal is free of pain.
: Now that I have had them awhile, I have not seen a change in behavoir, leading me to believe they were behaving normally when they arrived, thus were in little to no pain.
A lot of that would depend on how long the healing period was. Most of the serious post-op pain signs I see in snakes are over a fairly short period of time, from 12 hours to a few days depending on the type of surgery.
: I do not feel that surgery under anesthesia to remove venom glands or ducts needs pain management afterwards.
The generally accepted view these days among reptile veterinarians is that any invasive surgery is appropriately managed with post-op pain meds. However this is a fairly new development, and while it is definitely well entrenched in the current literature you will still find old-timer vets who can remember when the refrigerator was considered good anesthesia.
: If I am wrong, and god is a snake, I guess I am in trouble.
What do you mean, "if"? LOL