Snake Handling and Restraint

Key Points

  • DO wash hands thoroughly after handling prey species; DO NOT smell like snake food.
  • DO recognize aggression or fear in the snake, indicated by the body held in rigid coils or drawn up in an S-shaped posture.
  • DO use assistants when handling large snakes.
  • DO NOT allow a boa or python to form a complete loop around your neck.
  • DO utilize slow, gentle movements and provide adequate support when handling a snake.
  • DO wear disposable gloves, whenever possible, and always wash hands thoroughly after handling a snake.

Veterinary practices are often more hesitant to deal with snakes than with other pet reptiles, yet for the most part snakes are probably the easiest reptile patients to capture and restrain in clinical practice. This article reviews the defense mechanisms of snakes as well as transport, restraint techniques, and potential complications . . .


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