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                    [post_date] => 2019-01-22 15:25:32
                    [post_date_gmt] => 2019-01-22 20:25:32
                    [post_content] => Welcome to the third exotic animal blog! I’m sure there will be some playing around with format over the next several blogs, and I am open to ideas and feedback if someone has some special interests. For some blogs I had the idea of exploring different groups of our exotic animal pets and discussing them in broad historic terms, followed by any ecological, ethical or environmental concerns with those groups and finally a discussion about how this teaches us to care for them better in captivity as companions.

Green tree python

I’m going to start this week with snakes since they have a bit of a bad rep in our culture, and they are one of my favorite unsung heroes.

Snakes in Western Culture

Interestingly, snakes fair better in Eastern and Native American culture, perhaps because people in these areas had more natural interaction with reptiles. Many Native American tribes viewed snakes as symbol of fertility or of healing. The shedding of the skin was a rebirth. In Chinese mythology, Fuxi and Nuwa are deities involved in the creation myth. They are half human and half serpent; the gods of human creation, hunting and fishing. Snakes protect the Buddha from the elements after his enlightenment. A number of snake gods (nagas) are present in Buddhism and Hinduism in protective roles.

In Western culture, not so much…

Going back to one of the earliest Western cultures, we can see reptiles in Greek mythology. Here we see Medusa and her Gorgon sisters with snakes for hair. She turned men to stone with a mere look. The hydra is a multi-headed snake that was defeated by Hercules. When one head is cut off, two more grow in its place. The Lamia in Greek mythology is a half-woman, half-serpent that devours children. Moving forward to the Judeo-Christian times, they didn’t get much better press. A serpent first appears in the Garden of Eden when it convinces Eve to try forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, leading to the downfall of humanity. In later literature, snake-like dragons are slain to defend the honor of a fair maiden. Milton describes Satan and demons as serpentine in Paradise Lost. Saint Patrick is most well known for leading the snakes out of Ireland. In pop culture we have films like Anaconda and Snakes on a Plane. Indiana Jones encounters snakes in every creepyT2JB159_-_Jungle_Book_capital_K tomb he enters. In The Jungle Book, Kaa the cobra is the antagonist. Harry Potter has to hide the fact that he can talk to snakes since that was previously only known to be something done by Voldemort. The Slytherin house is perceived as the "bad" house in that series. It’s little wonder why we have phrases like “snake-in-the-grass” and “speaking with a forked tongue,” or why evil people are “cold-blooded.” Let’s not forget that people who are acting irrationally, emotionally or with severe anger are responding to their “reptilian brain.” When looking for some positive examples of snakes in Western culture, I didn’t miss the obvious example for me: the Rod of Asclepius (often mistakenly referred to as the Caduceus). This is the staff and snake that represents the medical professions. However, a very popular theory is that the snake is a representation of the dual roles of a physician dealing with sickness and death as well as health and life. It is also thought to represent the fact that many medicines can also act as toxins.

Natural history and ecology of snakes

Evolutionarily, reptiles were the first true land animals. Many of the reptiles’ characteristics are related to the fact that these animals were the early adapters to life away from water. Prior to the evolution of reptiles, the vertebrates were limited to fish and amphibians, both of whom were intimately connected to the water and had at least part of their life intimately tied to an aquatic environment. Scaly skin with few glands is an adaptation to conserve water. Lungs had developed in some amphibians, but were now seen in all life stages of reptiles. Snakes are very closely related to lizards,157115988 and in fact likely evolved from burrowing lizards, losing their limbs from generations of evolution where it was advantageous. More complex and efficient locomotion has become possible without limbs. Boas and pythons actually retain some remnants of pelvic bones and hind limbs. Snakes have existed for tens of thousands of years because they are so well adapted to their environments. It’s a common misconception that they are simple organisms because their lineage is so distant and they have not developed traits like the ability to use tools or keep a stable body temperature; however, these species have evolved complex behavioral and physiological adaptations to fill these needs. Burrowing, basking, daily schedules, anatomy, blood vessel dilation and color changes are all adaptations to control internal body temperature, hydration and other biological processes. In the wild, snakes play a valuable role in the ecosystem. They are predators that are usually near the top of the food chain. Without their presence, rodent and bird populations can explode and drain resources. Snakes in the wild are facing numerous threats from the pet trade, climate change, habitat loss and outright slaughter in the name of fear. “Rattlesnake roundups” still happen today. These are events where rattlesnakes are caught in the wild and killed by the hundreds. They are usually done with no evidence that the population is overgrown. Closer to home, here in New England, wild snakes are being threatened by Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, otherwise known as snake fungal disease. This fungus grows on wild snakes while they are hibernating. When they emerge in the spring, they can have infections in the skin, eyes or lungs and can cause death. If you want to help, you can donate to the conservationists studying this disease. You can also make sure you adopt pets that are captive bred (most are in recent years). Educating people about the complex lives of these animals and understanding the source of fear can help people get past this irrational fear and gain some compassion and respect so that they are protected for the future.

Caring for snakes as pets

This background helps us care for our pet snakes better. Understanding that snakes have adapted to a variety of environments helps emphasize the need to research the species kept at home. Every effort should be made to match the captive environment and behavior to that in the wild. This does take some effort, but it can be a lot of fun. Learning more about your pet’s wild habitat will help you understand them better. Learning about their normal behaviors can help you create some fun activities and provide enrichment.

Puzzles & Learning

Snakes are capable of learning a great deal.fbf233f1a94f09b7a4870ce93a001838 You aren’t likely to get them to sit up and speak, but in zoos, snakes have been taught to shift cages and enter tunnels voluntarily to assist in safe handling of venomous species. Puzzle boxes or mazes can be utilized to help them “hunt” for their frozen, thawed pret items in captivity. This helps stimulate their minds and get additional exercise. It also provides a fun challenge to add to the puzzles and keep them compatible with the behaviors. Mazes for constricting species won’t work since the tight space doesn’t allow them to wrap properly, but some puzzle boxes will. Other snakes hunt in burrows. Mazes work very well for them.

Habitat

Some snakes have a very large territoryExoTerraMedSet._SL285_ in the wild and move to different locations for sleep. In captivity, frequent changes to the furnishings can help stimulate more normal behavior. For arboreal (tree-dwelling) species, a variety of branches can be offered with different textures, thicknesses and at different levels in the cage. Burrowing species may enjoy different substrate materials at different times. Try to offer as much variety as they would have in the wild and enjoy watching them explore the different environments! Some snakes have very small ranges and may be stressed by too much change, but you can still create very elaborate habitats to explore.

Handling

Many snakes also appear to identifydavid-cropped individual people and do well with handling. Getting them out of the enclosure (with proper supervision, of course) and letting them explore a room, be held in hands or interact in a different enclosure can help encourage more exercise and mental stimulation. It’s also a great way to bond with your pet and increase the enjoyment of having them in your life. If they do very well with handling, maybe they can help be ambassadors to show new people how gentle and interactive they can be. They can help dispel the fear in others who can then understand the importance of protecting these wonderful animals.

Resources

Rescues: Gecko Sanctuary (yes they have snakes, too!): www.geckosanctuary.org Education/conservation: New England Herpetological Society: http://neherp.com/ Northeastern Reptile Welfare League: https://www.nereptilewelfare.org/ Enrichment: Facebook page for Reptile Enrichment and Training: https://www.facebook.com/groups/reptileenrichmentandtraining/ Articles: http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/The-Vet-Report-Environmental-Enrichment-for-Reptiles/ https://www.aazk.org/wp-content/uploads/Suggested-Guidelines-for-Reptile-Enrichment.pdf Snake Fungal Disease: https://cwhl.vet.cornell.edu/disease/snake-fungal-disease  

More from Exotic Pet Tales:

Giving Pets as Christmas Gifts Meet Our Specialist! [post_title] => Exotic Pet Tales: The Misunderstood History of Snakes and Snakes as Pets [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => exotic-pet-tales-the-misunderstood-history-of-snakes-and-snakes-as-pets [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-22 15:25:32 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-22 20:25:32 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=11785 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11751 [post_author] => 25 [post_date] => 2019-01-17 11:06:33 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-01-17 16:06:33 [post_content] =>
Welcome back to our pet recipes series!
Does winter have your pup a little down in the dumps? Has your pet’s usual kibble lost its appeal? We've got just what you need: a fun, fresh, healthy kibble topper snack to start off 2019 right!

Apple Carrot Crisps

20190115_142633 We know this time of year can be challenging to keep your pet’s diet filled with variety. We recommend finding the freshest produce when preparing any recipe: keep it seasonal, keep it fresh. This apple carrot crisp recipe is hearty and delicious and will surely bring a spark of happiness to your pup. It even doubles as a great treat and a kibble topper!  

Ingredients:20190115_133907

 

Instructions:Screen Shot 2019-01-17 at 10.58.34 AM 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Add coconut oil and peanut butter in a small bowl. Microwave for 30 seconds on high until peanut butter and coconut oil are fully melted.
  3. Add oats, apple, and carrot – mix very well.
  4. Scoop mixture onto a parchment paper lined baking dish. Press dough into a large circle
  5. Bake at 375 for 15 minutes.
  6. Allow cookies to cool and serve as scoops or kibble topper!  Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
 

Your pups will thank you later!

Tested and approved by Sebastian, Smeagol, CoCo Bean, and Miss Piggy! [playlist type="video" ids="11755,11756,11757,11758"]
Stay tuned for next month's February/Valentine's Day themed recipe!

More from Ethos Pet Kitchen:

New Year's Resolution Cookies Frozen Sweet Treats Thanksgiving Morsels Awesome Autumn Appetizers Wholesome Apple Bites Chewy Blueberry Peanut Butter Cookies [post_title] => Ethos Pet Kitchen: Apple Carrot Crisps [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => ethos-pet-kitchen-apple-carrot-crisps [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-17 11:06:33 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-17 16:06:33 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=11751 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11708 [post_author] => 27 [post_date] => 2019-01-16 13:11:15 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-01-16 18:11:15 [post_content] => Acupuncture, as a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), has been used to treat diseases in both humans and animals for several centuries, dating back to 2700 BCE. Despite this long Acupuncture 2tradition in Eastern cultures, acupuncture has only gained popularity among Western-trained medical doctors since the late 1970s. This slow integration is likely due to the clash between the metaphorical approach to the body and disease taken by the ancient Chinese and the hard science of Western medicine.

Straight to the Point - Understanding the Basics

In comparison to conventional Western medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) assesses the individual in a holistic sense when diagnosing a patient’s disease or painful state.  In addition to blood tests and diagnostic imaging of different body parts, an accurate TCM diagnosis also depends on subtle changes in the animal’s behavior and daily habits to reveal the underlying disease.Acupuncture 1 In order to appreciate the perspective of TCM, one must understand the concept of Yin and Yang. The Yang represents the hot, light, external and exuberant aspects of the body and the Yin represents the cold, dark, internal and restorative aspects of the body. Yin and Yang are relative descriptive terms that apply to all aspects of the body and the world, including different behaviors, areas of the body, times of day, and others.  In the same sense that a “left side” only exists with a “right side”, the Yang can only exist with consideration of the Yin. According to TCM theory, pain or disease is the clinical manifestation of an imbalance of the Yinand Yangwithin the body, where there is too much or too little of either force. In TCM, there are two important substances that are circulated around the body – Blood and Qi(pronounced Chee), the imperceptible form of energy that gives the body life. The varied internal organs are responsible for generating these substances and distributing them around the body. Blood and Qi travel throughout the body by a channel network system, similar to the arteries and veins well described in Western medicine. This network is composed of various “meridians”, like interstate highways, located just under the skin along external surface of the body.  An obstruction in a meridian that impairs the flow of Blood or Qiis very similar to a road block and creates an area of pain. An acupuncturist is able to access these channels by inserting an acupuncture needle into specific points along these meridians, allowing them to restore the flow of Blood and Qi while also influencing the internal organs themselves.

How Does it Work

Acupuncture has been successfully used for several centuries by the ancient Chinese to treat a multitude of diseases. However, the metaphorical explanations of the TCM theory has not satisfied Western-trained scientists in describing the underlying mechanisms of acupuncture treatments. A series of research projects have since been performed and have revealed that acupuncture likely acts in multiple ways. Acupuncture can help to alleviate acute and chronic pain in many patients.  The placement of needles at specific places along the meridians likely triggers changes in the spinal cord and in the brain that reduce the perception of pain.  Additionally, a specific needle technique can also be used to release focal muscle spasms, often called muscle knots, which are often implicated in patients with back pain. Acupuncture also improves wound healing by increasing local blood flow to tissues. Current theory suggests that the insertion of an acupuncture needle triggers a microscopic trauma, leading to a release of inflammatory signals by cells in the region which ultimately increases the blood flow to the area.

Should My Pet Get Acupuncture?

There are many patients that could benefit from acupuncture treatment. Acupuncture has had positive results in pets suffering from neurologic disease, chronic arthritis, chronic intestinal disease, non-healing wounds, dermatologic disorders and a multitude of other ailments. While acupuncture can be used in patients with cancer, it should be reserved solely as palliative treatment for pain.  As acupuncture has been shown to increase blood flow, it is possible that acupuncture therapy can result in further tumor growth.  However, it can be utilized after the tumor has been removed to improve wound healing and bolster the immune defenses against recurrence. An acupuncturist will typically evaluate your pet in an initial consultation that examines many facets of your pet’s lifestyle, behavior, and medical conditions.  After arriving at a TCM diagnosis, a typical treatment schedule will include weekly treatments for the first 4-6 weeks with a gradual taper of treatments to once per month or every other month until the condition is resolved. While acupuncture may not heal all conditions in every patient, such an integrative strategy with conventional Western medicine maximizes the benefits of both medical philosophies. [post_title] => East Meets West: An Integrated Approach to Veterinary Medicine [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => east-meets-west-an-integrated-approach-to-veterinary-medicine [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-18 10:39:03 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-18 15:39:03 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=11708 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11710 [post_author] => 25 [post_date] => 2019-01-15 12:06:44 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-01-15 17:06:44 [post_content] => jaymi-heimbuch-_JH_4993-162 Coyotes are becoming an increasingly urban species, earning them the name "urban coyotes." These are coyotes that reside in metropolitan areas, suburban neighborhoods, and even some urban cities due to the abundance of food and lack of predators. If you live in a rural area, you may sometimes hear strange howling or yipping noises at night coming from a pack. If you're in the suburbs, you may have seen a coyote quickly cross the road or scamper into a backyard. They are everywhere, and they are here year-round. [playlist ids="11731"]

The new age of coyotes

Coyotes are canines that are found throughout North and Central America and are able to live in an array of ecosystems. They typically live in a pack consisting of a mating pair and up to four more individual coyotes. Coyotes are considered omnivorous, meaning that they eat both animals and plants. [caption id="attachment_11734" align="alignright" width="216"]IMG_7646 Coyote in backyard Peabody, MA[/caption] As urban and suburban development has expanded into rural areas, the interaction between humans and coyotes has increased. Coyotes are afraid of people by nature, however this increased interaction has desensitized them. As a result, they have become less fearful of humans and are now starting to be seen more frequently in populated areas. The increased exposure and desensitization has led to an increased frequency of attacks on both humans and pets. Coyotes are active at night, especially during the hours of dusk and dawn. These seem to be the most common times that coyote attack incidents occur. The typical victim is a small breed dog, but on occasion a large breed dog or even an outdoor cat may be attacked. The locations of the wounds may vary, but the majority of attacks on small breed dogs occur around the neck region.

What can I do to prevent attacks?

Here are a few things you can do to prevent your pets from being attacked by a coyote:
  1. Leash: Always keep your pet on a leash (6 ft or under), especially in areas known to have coyotes.
  2. Avoid dawn & dusk: Avoid letting your pet out in the yard during dawn or dusk unsupervised.
  3. Be loud: If you encounter a coyote in your yard or while walking your dog, make yourself large and loud (yell, wave your arms, flap your jacket, carry an air horn). Never turn your back or bend down to pick up your pet.
  4. Fencing/enclosure: “Coyote-proof” fences [caption id="attachment_11717" align="alignright" width="212"]Coyote_Roller_Fence_system-741x429 Coyote-proof fence[/caption] should be at least 8 feet in height and be made from materials coyotes cannot climb. An alternative would be a 6 ft fence with “coyote-rollers ” on top. The fence needs to be buried at least 1 foot underground.
  5. Eliminate smells: coyotes are attracted to areas by smell so be sure to feed your pets indoors, keep bird feeders out of reach, and trash cans sealed tight.
  6. Hazing: There are non-contact [caption id="attachment_11714" align="alignright" width="203"]IMG_3786_large Coyote Vest[/caption] hazing techniques to scare off coyotes and to “re-sensitize” them to being scared of humans. Guidelines are provided by the Humane Society.
  7. Coyote vests: Consider a protective coyote-proof vest for your dog.
 

What can I do if my pet is being attacked by a coyote?

What should I do if my pet was attacked by a coyote?

If your pet was attacked, seek immediate veterinary care through your primary care veterinarian or an emergency hospital. Even if you do not visualize any bite wounds or blood, your pet should be checked. Small puncture wounds may be hard to visualize and clipping your pets fur may be needed to get a better assessment. Depending on the severity of the injuries, typical treatment consists of pain management, antibiotics, cleaning the wounds, and potentially surgery. We live in an area where we must coexist with coyotes and other wildlife, so always err on the side of caution. Coyotes usually will not approach humans, but if they are ill or desperate they may. If your pet spends time outdoors, always keep an eye on them and keep them close. Our emergency team is here for you and your pet 24/7/365 if you need us, but we hope you won't!

References:

1. VM Frauenthal, P Bergman, RJ Murtaugh. Retrospective evaluation of coyote attacks in dogs: 154 cases (1997–2012). J Vet Emerg Crit Care 2017;27(3):333–34. 2. A template coyote management & coexistence plan. Prepared by The Humane Society of the United States.
10710845_804418006299934_1984828027682433818_n Dr. Nir Ben-Ari grew up in the Metrowest area and returned to Massachusetts after joining the Air Force, going back to school for veterinary medicine, and then working in San Diego as an associate emergency veterinarian. He has special interest in surgical emergencies. He enjoys spending time with his baby boy and wife, and his hobbies include surfing, basketball, and traveling.

Related blog posts

Encountering Young Wildlife Winter Hiking with Your Dog Dakota's Run in the Woods: When a Team Comes Together to Save a Life [post_title] => Urban Coyotes: Keeping Our Pets Safe and Coexisting with Coyotes  [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => urban-coyotes-keeping-our-pets-safe-and-coexisting-with-coyotes [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-15 12:06:44 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-15 17:06:44 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=11710 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11703 [post_author] => 27 [post_date] => 2019-01-14 14:41:48 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-01-14 19:41:48 [post_content] => Bringing your pet in for a cardiac evaluation can be an intimidating experience.  At Port City, the Cardiology team works hard to make this experience as calm and worry-free as possible for both you and your pet.  A visit with the Cardiology team often involves a discussion of your pet’s history followed by a thorough physical examination. Upon completion, there will be a performance of cardiac diagnostics, as deemed necessary, to diagnose your pet’s cardiac condition. The most commonly utilized cardiac diagnostic is a cardiac ultrasound (echocardiogram) which allows us to evaluate the cardiac structure and function.   Echocardiograms are performed with the owners present to minimize patient anxiety. Animals are restrained on their sides throughout the procedure by skilled technicians that make sedation often unnecessary as they calm patients by petting them and providing belly rubs during the exam. In addition to echocardiography, other common cardiology diagnostics performed at Port City include:
  1. 6-lead electrocardiogram (EKG) to monitor heart rate and heart rhythm
  2. Ambulatory ECG monitoring (24 Hr. Holter examination or event monitor)to monitor heart rate and rhythm for up to 7-days for intermittent arrhythmias (abnormal heart rhythms)
  3. Digital radiography
  4. A full range of laboratory testing
Port City is one of few locations capable of performing a procedure called biphasic cardioversion for patients with an arrhythmia called atrial fibrillation.  The procedure involves shocking patients under light sedation/anesthesia to help convert the arrhythmia to a normal rhythm improving heart rate and quality of life. Therapeutic plans are tailored to your pets needs and the Cardiology team will work with you to provide the best care. The cardiology serviceis available at Port City Monday through Thursday from 7AM-5PM.  Port City is also a 24/7 emergency hospital.  We encourage our readers to feel free to call and reach out to a cardiology team members anytime with questions or to further discuss our offerings. [post_title] => Bringing Your Pet in for a Cardiac Evaluation [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => bringing-your-pet-in-for-a-cardiac-evaluation [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-14 14:41:48 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-14 19:41:48 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=11703 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11620 [post_author] => 27 [post_date] => 2019-01-10 11:27:55 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-01-10 16:27:55 [post_content] => Every once in a while, a case comes to one of our hospitals (in this case Mass Vet) that is so complex that it requires the involvement of multiple departments, multiple specialists, and combines a significant blend of diagnostic and therapeutic technology.  In the case discussed below doctors and technicians from our Emergency, Critical Care, Radiology, Surgery and Client Care departments were all involved. These cases, while sometimes horrific, are really where our teams shine.  We don’t just talk about the collaborative approach to our work, we pull together and work seamlessly towards one shared goal - a positive outcome for the beloved family member that we have been granted the privilege of caring for in our hospital.

Dakota's Story:

Thursday December 13th started out as a normal day for Dakota, a 4-year old German Shorthaired Pointer (GSP), and her family. She was out for one of her daily runs in the woods. Unfortunately, the day took a dangerous turn when Dakota impaled herself on a tree branch while running through the woods. Dakota’s owners saved her life by carrying her the mile and a half out of the woods to their vehicle. She was rushed to her regular veterinarian where she received pain medication and x-rays. She was then immediately referred to Mass Vet Referral Hospital in Woburn for further care. When Dakota arrived at Mass Vet, a portion of branch roughly 18 inches long and 3 inches in diameter was visible protruding from her armpit and entering her chest. [Some images are disturbing, click to reveal with caution].
warning - disturbing content, open with caution Dakota-CT
Dakota on arrival at the hospital Setting Dakota up on the CT scan
  The primary concern for her at this point was determining how much damage had been inflicted to her heart, lungs, and major vessels from the stick.  It was also not clear at this point how far the stick had penetrated, or  whether it entered her abdomen. After further stabilizing care, Dakota had a CT scan performed which showed that she had a pneumothorax (air in the chest causing collapsed lungs). The CT also confirmed that the stick had penetrated her diaphragm and entered her abdomen. Her pneumothorax was emptied, allowing her to breathe more comfortably, then Dakota was rushed to surgery.
Image-3.png warning - disturbing content, open with caution
CT images of Dakota's injury Preparing Dakota for Surgery
  In surgery, Dr. Kohler opened her chest, removed the stick, and sutured the hole in her diaphragm. She was very lucky that none of her vital organs were pierced by the branch. Dakota spent the next three days recovering from surgery in the ICU with chest tubes in place to ensure continued healing of her lungs. By the following day, Dakota, clearly a fighter, was able to walk and started eating. dakota-afterDakota was discharged to her very relieved family on Sunday December 16th.  She is now home continuing to recover. Dakota will continue to be monitored for any signs of complications or infection, but so far she has exceeded everyone’s hopes of recovery. Thanks to her family’s quick action, Dakota’s fighting spirit, and the medical teams involved with her care, she survived a terrifying accident and will get another chance to run in the woods.   [post_title] => Dakota's Run in the Woods - When a Team Comes Together to Save a Life [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => dakota-gsp-success-team-approach [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-10 12:26:09 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-10 17:26:09 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=11620 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11664 [post_author] => 21 [post_date] => 2019-01-08 09:13:49 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-01-08 14:13:49 [post_content] => It is highly likely that you have been to a specialist, urgent care or emergency room at some point in your life. Hopefully, you had good insurance for those visits. Human medicine is without a doubt an insurance-driven industry, and with over 90% of Americans holding some type of insurance (Census 2017), it is likely you may not see a full itemized bill from the hospital as much of your bill is covered by your insurance. Those of us with insurance may take for granted the burden-free feeling of being able to get an x-ray or have surgery with little debt. However, even in human medicine, insurance companies can restrict networks, or hospitals can refuse to perform more expensive procedures on the uninsured. [caption id="attachment_11683" align="alignright" width="232"]IMG_0842 Luka having a small mass removed at Bulger via laser.[/caption] Veterinary medicine, although very similar to human medicine in its highly educated medical staff and state-of-the-art medical equipment, does not have the same insurance umbrella that human medicine benefits from. Pet insurance has gained great awareness over the past 15 years triggering more insurance companies to offer pet insurance and new companies being created. This increase and ease of accessing pet insurance keeps monthly premiums low and competitive for us, the consumer. The idea of a $20-$40/month premium is much easier to swallow than a $5000 emergency surgery. So why don’t more people have pet insurance? Some may not know much about it, others may have difficulty paying the monthly premiums, but throughout the veterinary community doctors and technicians are trying to educate their clients more on this benefit. There are so many insurance companies to compare and you can pick the right plan, with the right price tag, for you and your pet.

Why does veterinary care seem expensive?

The truth is, it’s not. When you compare averages of prices for diagnostics, surgical procedures, or emergency visits in the veterinary world, the cost is aligned with human hospitals if not much cheaper. It is not unusual to see the same CT scan in a veterinary specialty hospital that would be at your own specialist’s office, or similar surgical instruments, medications, and anesthesia. It would be amiss to not consider the similar schooling a veterinarian and a human doctor complete. Veterinarians and human medical doctors obtain a 4-year undergraduate degree, 4 years of medical school, and usually either an internship or in some cases, if they pursue getting boarded in a specialty, a 2+ year residency and exam. Considering this, veterinarians still make a great deal less on average than a human doctor. estimate medical cost chart-01 So, why does it seem so expensive? Because without pet insurance, we are paying in full for diagnostics, procedures, surgeries, treatments, and medical expertise. And these bills can hit us at an unplanned, emotion, traumatic, or financially difficult time in our lives. Your number one goal in an emergency situation is to save your pet, and the veterinary team’s number one goal is to save your pet. Many hospitals have payment plan options like Care Credit or Wells Fargo, but without any insurance or a pet savings account, the burden of debt feels like a betrayal during a distressing time.

Veterinary teams care deeply about your pet

This is a difficult subject for many veterinary professionals as most despise talking about money and just want to treat every pet with limitless resources. To provide the advance care with state-of-the-art equipment, payment does have to be made and pet insurance seems to be the answer for more and more pet owners. Veterinary teams will always provide care to stabilize and make patients comfortable while further diagnostics, treatments, and options are being discussed. [caption id="attachment_11681" align="alignright" width="211"]IMG_0590 Luka having a CT done at Mass Vet (2017)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_11682" align="alignright" width="209"]IMG_0628 Luka and his amazing Neurology team at Mass Vet (2017)[/caption] I too was late to the pet insurance game and as such, my dog Luka now has pre-existing conditions in the eyes of insurance companies. After Luka started having seizures, we went to Mass Vet to see Dr. Silver in the Neurology department for a diagnosis and treatment. Even though I couldn’t afford an MRI at the time, Dr. Silver and the team worked with me on a different diagnostic approach that worked for me. Maybe it wasn’t the fastest or best diagnostic plan, but I had limitations and was grateful for the options. In the end, we got a diagnosis and found a treatment that worked. Three years later Luka is insured and doing great, but he is on a twice daily seizure medication forever that will never be covered by insurance. Since that time however, he had a CT scan and a couple hospital visits for minor and various reasons, all which were covered by his insurance. I pay $34 a month for my almost 9-year-old pup to be covered, and it is worth every penny for the comfort of knowing I don’t need to choose a treatment plan or hospital based on cost. I want what is best for my dog and that includes the same standard of care, expertise, and equipment that I would want for anyone in my family.

Solutions

Veterinary care, like human medical care, is not going to go down in price as the years pass. So, to find a solution you first need to look at your own finances and future outlook. The solution may be different for everyone. Or perhaps you have the comfortable means to pay for unexpected veterinary bills. The bottom line is veterinary care has a price tag and if we didn’t pay for care, it is highly unlikely these hospitals we rely on would be able to maintain such extraordinary medical technology or employees. Your primary care veterinarian and specialty hospital are on your team. Work with them and through your situation with honesty, and they will be honest with you for best approaches to financial hardships and treatment options.     Please take a look at some of our related posts: Decisions in Pet Insurance  Why you should buy pet insurance- even for your young, healthy pet A Day in the Life: General Practice Veterinarian Torn Cranial Cruciate Ligament in Dogs: Diagnosis, Surgery, and Recovery Epilepsy in Dogs and Cats [post_title] => Why Is Veterinary Care Expensive? [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => why-is-veterinary-care-expensive [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-18 10:12:28 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-18 15:12:28 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=11664 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [7] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11640 [post_author] => 21 [post_date] => 2019-01-03 11:05:41 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-01-03 16:05:41 [post_content] => "Experience is a hard teacher because she gives the test first, and the lesson afterward." - Vernon Law IMG_1485This quote rings true when it comes to pet insurance. Many pet owners may push off the recommendation of getting pet insurance for their young dog or cat because they are healthy, only to find themselves checking out the pet insurance brochures while in the waiting room after their pet has had an accident or major surgery. Here are a few reasons why purchasing pet insurance when your pet is young and healthy will not only save you money, but provide your loved furry friend with the best care possible.

Premiums are lowest when they are young and healthy!IMG_1483

As pets age and grow the likeliness of developing a chronic condition or encountering a serious health issue increases. To cover the expected growing costs of medical care, insurance companies will increase monthly premiums for older pets getting insurance. Purchasing insurance when your pet is young, if you can, is more economical for you as the insurance company knows the likelihood of your pet having any major illnesses in the near future is slim.

Pre-existing conditions

If you want to get the most out of your plan you should absolutely sign up before your pet has any illness or accidents!

Examples:

If your young dog develops an ear infection which is later ruled to be the cause of a food or environmental allergy, and then you purchase an insurance plan, that plan will never cover the cost of ear infections, allergy related issues, or any medications to treat either.

Another example, one I saw often in general practice, is a dog (of any age!) tears a cruciate ligament and the owners manage to do surgery. They are told as they are discharged from the hospital that it is not uncommon for this injury to happen again in the other leg. If they purchase a plan now, it is unlikely the second surgery will be covered even though it is a separate leg, and would theoretically be injured in a new way and on a new day. This is often considered a bilateral condition and is essentially "pre-existing". However, if they had pet insurance at the beginning, both surgeries would be covered.

Peace of mindIMG_1484

It is important to be realistic with yourself. If you can afford a monthly premium, but not a catastrophic event, perhaps an insurance plan is the right choice for you. Most insurance companies allow you to create the plan that works for your pet and your wallet: selecting a deductible and return percentage that gets you the monthly cost you want.  Research shows that owners with pets who are generally healthy throughout their life will pay more in premiums than they will receive in claims. However, there's no way to know if you are getting the puppy or kitten that is going to be perfectly healthy, or the one that is going to eat his toys, roll with the porcupines, develop kidney disease, or help himself to your favorite chocolate bar. Insurance gives you peace of mind when your best friend will get the best care, no matter how much it costs. Veterinary care, as in human medical care, can be costly due to the same state-of-the-art equipment, highly skilled staff, and 24-hour facilities. The veterinary world however, is not an insurance-driven industry as the human medical world is. This can become clear when we receive a veterinary bill and usually never see most of our own human medical bills since insurance takes care of most of the cost.

What now?

There are so many companies out there to choose from, it may seem like a daunting task to narrow in on one to pay for the next 10-15 years. There are fantastic resources such as petinsurancereview.com that provide reviews by real owners that are unsupported by any single insurance company. You can also check out our blog on Pet Insurance Decisions to help you get started. It's a personal decision, but one that you will hopefully be happy you considered. Good luck to you and your furry friend!   Related Blog Posts: Consumer Guide to Pet Insurance Decisions in Pet Insurance New Year's Resolutions With Your Pet Pet Emergencies: What Can't Wait Tonight Or Over The Weekend   Connect with us on social media! [post_title] => Why you should buy pet insurance- even for your young, healthy pet [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => why-you-should-buy-pet-insurance-even-for-your-young-healthy-pet [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-01-03 11:05:41 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-01-03 16:05:41 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=11640 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [8] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11371 [post_author] => 21 [post_date] => 2018-12-21 14:22:04 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-12-21 19:22:04 [post_content] => 4....3....2...1... Happy New Year! Each year around this time we make promises to ourselves and loved ones to do better and be better. Many of us may keep those resolutions well into the year, or even for a lifetime. As you start to think about your resolutions, consider including your pets in those promises and goals! Here is a list to help you get started. 

 1. Try a New Activity

Enlight1082It’s almost guaranteed that your pet will enjoy anything you do with them, but adding something new can rejuvenate your regular routine. There are many things you can try at home or out and about: yoga, hike a new mountain, join a Meetup pet group, snowshoeing, and so much more.  

2. More Play TimeIMG_0830

Adding a few extra hours of playtime a week can have a lasting effect on your growing relationship. Your pet will surely take notice, and you may even feel your stress levels decrease and health improve.

3. Schedule a Routine Doctor’s Visit

A visit to the veterinarian is more than getting up-to-date on vaccines. Early detection of many diseases can be found with just a physical exam and basic blood panel. Your health is important too! If you have been putting others before your own health, think about scheduling a visit with your doctor or specialist.

4. Measure Your Pet’s Food Every Time

food cupSometimes we may just grab the closest cup to us, but “1 cup” really depends on the cup you are using. If you have been eyeballing the kibble amounts, try using a measuring cup to create consistency in your pet’s diet. Your family veterinarian can help calculate the exact amount you should be feeding your pet based on their weight, activity level, and brand of food they eat.

5. Groom Your Pet

IMG_0518Brushing your pet can help form a tighter bond between you. That is, if your pet doesn’t hold a particular grudge towards the brush. Plan to sit down and brush your pet at least once a week. Long-haired pets, or those prone to mats, will need daily brushing.

6. Brush Their Teeth

Veterinarian brushing cat teathOkay, this is a tough one. Even veterinary professionals have a hard time honestly saying we do this every day, but the fact is, pets do need consistent teeth brushing. Once a day would be ideal, but even if you can work into your weekly routine, you could prevent certain diseases that stem from bacteria in the mouth, or a large dental surgery in their future.

7. Enroll in Pet Insurance

IMG_0770Emergencies can hit you at the worst times. Take the financial burden out of caring for your pet. Insurance company’s monthly fees start as low as $20 a month and can cover 75-100% of emergency costs. Take a look at our Pet Insurance Blog for insightful ways to select the right company for you.

Dog waiting to get delicious treat outdoors.8. Teach Them a New Trick

No pet is too old to learn something new. Have you always wanted your pet to ‘roll over’, ‘spin’, or ‘give high-five’? This is the year!

9. Schedule a Photoshoot

IMG_0491On any given #SundayFunday, get your phone out and snap some photos of your pet. Organize your mobile photo albums so you have your pets all in one place to enjoy the next time you are having a rough day at work. Share those photos with us on Facebook!

10. Consider Fostering

There are many rescues and shelters in need of foster parents. Have a discussion with your family to see if fostering is something you can do.

11. A Pet Bucket List

IMG_0795Do you have a senior pet? Make a list of the most enjoyable activities you can think of, and create a bucket list that both of you can enjoy. Take a road trip, go on a pet-friendly vacation, get an extra special treat while out for a drive. Whatever you think your pet would love, create an extra special experience for them this year.

Happy New Year!

Is there anything we missed? Share your New Year’s pet resolutions with us on social media! To all our followers, clients, and communities across our network, Screen Shot 2018-11-30 at 11.47.02 AM  

[post_title] => New Year's Resolutions With Your Pet  [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => new-years-resolutions-with-your-pet [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-12-21 14:22:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-12-21 19:22:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=11371 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [9] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11599 [post_author] => 27 [post_date] => 2018-12-20 08:26:57 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-12-20 13:26:57 [post_content] => Adopting a new pet is very exciting! We want to help you keep your new pet happy and healthy, while also ensuring your other pets at home remain happy and healthy.

Reptiles and amphibians can be affected by many parasites, viruses, and bacteria. Many times they are able to cope on their own and not have any problems. Stressful events can suppress the immune system and create problems from these conditions when there were no other concerns before. Introduction to a new home is one of those stresses for many animals. 

Red-eared slider close-upNew pets can start to shed disease under these circumstances even when they appear healthy. We don’t want to risk anything being spread to other animals in your home. 

Quarantine Guidelines:

Quarantine for reptiles and amphibians should be established for 60-90 days using the following guidelines:

The new pet(s) should be physically separated from other reptiles and amphibians. Ideally this means a different room since some viruses can be airborne.  Chinese Water Dragon (Physignathus cocincinus) on a branch

Cage furnishings should be very easily cleaned. Paper substrate is the best for cleaning. This is not a good time to offer wood or clay furnishings unless you are prepared to dispose of them if needed. 

When cleaning and feeding, deal with your previous pets first, then any new reptiles in quarantine, then any that are sick. Wash well and change clothes between. 

Do not share bowls, feeding tongs, or furnishings between animals. 

Observe closely for any changes to droppings, changes to appetite, nasal discharge, abnormal behavior, weight loss or other concerns and seek veterinary care with any concerns. 

Many species should be tested for specific diseases before coming out of quarantine and all should have a fecal test near the beginning of quarantine. Talk to one of our veterinarians for specific recommendations. 

Following these recommendations can do a great deal for keeping your reptile or amphibian collection happy and healthy for a long time. It can save a lot of money and frustration and help your pets have a better quality of life. 

[post_title] => Quarantine Recommendations for New Reptiles and Amphibians [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => quarantine-recommendations-for-new-reptiles-and-amphibians [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-12-20 08:26:57 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-12-20 13:26:57 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://www.ivghospitals.com/?p=11599 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) ) [post_count] => 10 [current_post] => -1 [in_the_loop] => [post] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11785 [post_author] => 25 [post_date] => 2019-01-22 15:25:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2019-01-22 20:25:32 [post_content] => Welcome to the third exotic animal blog! I’m sure there will be some playing around with format over the next several blogs, and I am open to ideas and feedback if someone has some special interests. For some blogs I had the idea of exploring different groups of our exotic animal pets and discussing them in broad historic terms, followed by any ecological, ethical or environmental concerns with those groups and finally a discussion about how this teaches us to care for them better in captivity as companions. Green tree python I’m going to start this week with snakes since they have a bit of a bad rep in our culture, and they are one of my favorite unsung heroes.

Snakes in Western Culture

Interestingly, snakes fair better in Eastern and Native American culture, perhaps because people in these areas had more natural interaction with reptiles. Many Native American tribes viewed snakes as symbol of fertility or of healing. The shedding of the skin was a rebirth. In Chinese mythology, Fuxi and Nuwa are deities involved in the creation myth. They are half human and half serpent; the gods of human creation, hunting and fishing. Snakes protect the Buddha from the elements after his enlightenment. A number of snake gods (nagas) are present in Buddhism and Hinduism in protective roles.

In Western culture, not so much…

Going back to one of the earliest Western cultures, we can see reptiles in Greek mythology. Here we see Medusa and her Gorgon sisters with snakes for hair. She turned men to stone with a mere look. The hydra is a multi-headed snake that was defeated by Hercules. When one head is cut off, two more grow in its place. The Lamia in Greek mythology is a half-woman, half-serpent that devours children. Moving forward to the Judeo-Christian times, they didn’t get much better press. A serpent first appears in the Garden of Eden when it convinces Eve to try forbidden fruit from the Tree of Knowledge, leading to the downfall of humanity. In later literature, snake-like dragons are slain to defend the honor of a fair maiden. Milton describes Satan and demons as serpentine in Paradise Lost. Saint Patrick is most well known for leading the snakes out of Ireland. In pop culture we have films like Anaconda and Snakes on a Plane. Indiana Jones encounters snakes in every creepyT2JB159_-_Jungle_Book_capital_K tomb he enters. In The Jungle Book, Kaa the cobra is the antagonist. Harry Potter has to hide the fact that he can talk to snakes since that was previously only known to be something done by Voldemort. The Slytherin house is perceived as the "bad" house in that series. It’s little wonder why we have phrases like “snake-in-the-grass” and “speaking with a forked tongue,” or why evil people are “cold-blooded.” Let’s not forget that people who are acting irrationally, emotionally or with severe anger are responding to their “reptilian brain.” When looking for some positive examples of snakes in Western culture, I didn’t miss the obvious example for me: the Rod of Asclepius (often mistakenly referred to as the Caduceus). This is the staff and snake that represents the medical professions. However, a very popular theory is that the snake is a representation of the dual roles of a physician dealing with sickness and death as well as health and life. It is also thought to represent the fact that many medicines can also act as toxins.

Natural history and ecology of snakes

Evolutionarily, reptiles were the first true land animals. Many of the reptiles’ characteristics are related to the fact that these animals were the early adapters to life away from water. Prior to the evolution of reptiles, the vertebrates were limited to fish and amphibians, both of whom were intimately connected to the water and had at least part of their life intimately tied to an aquatic environment. Scaly skin with few glands is an adaptation to conserve water. Lungs had developed in some amphibians, but were now seen in all life stages of reptiles. Snakes are very closely related to lizards,157115988 and in fact likely evolved from burrowing lizards, losing their limbs from generations of evolution where it was advantageous. More complex and efficient locomotion has become possible without limbs. Boas and pythons actually retain some remnants of pelvic bones and hind limbs. Snakes have existed for tens of thousands of years because they are so well adapted to their environments. It’s a common misconception that they are simple organisms because their lineage is so distant and they have not developed traits like the ability to use tools or keep a stable body temperature; however, these species have evolved complex behavioral and physiological adaptations to fill these needs. Burrowing, basking, daily schedules, anatomy, blood vessel dilation and color changes are all adaptations to control internal body temperature, hydration and other biological processes. In the wild, snakes play a valuable role in the ecosystem. They are predators that are usually near the top of the food chain. Without their presence, rodent and bird populations can explode and drain resources. Snakes in the wild are facing numerous threats from the pet trade, climate change, habitat loss and outright slaughter in the name of fear. “Rattlesnake roundups” still happen today. These are events where rattlesnakes are caught in the wild and killed by the hundreds. They are usually done with no evidence that the population is overgrown. Closer to home, here in New England, wild snakes are being threatened by Ophidiomyces ophiodiicola, otherwise known as snake fungal disease. This fungus grows on wild snakes while they are hibernating. When they emerge in the spring, they can have infections in the skin, eyes or lungs and can cause death. If you want to help, you can donate to the conservationists studying this disease. You can also make sure you adopt pets that are captive bred (most are in recent years). Educating people about the complex lives of these animals and understanding the source of fear can help people get past this irrational fear and gain some compassion and respect so that they are protected for the future.

Caring for snakes as pets

This background helps us care for our pet snakes better. Understanding that snakes have adapted to a variety of environments helps emphasize the need to research the species kept at home. Every effort should be made to match the captive environment and behavior to that in the wild. This does take some effort, but it can be a lot of fun. Learning more about your pet’s wild habitat will help you understand them better. Learning about their normal behaviors can help you create some fun activities and provide enrichment.

Puzzles & Learning

Snakes are capable of learning a great deal.fbf233f1a94f09b7a4870ce93a001838 You aren’t likely to get them to sit up and speak, but in zoos, snakes have been taught to shift cages and enter tunnels voluntarily to assist in safe handling of venomous species. Puzzle boxes or mazes can be utilized to help them “hunt” for their frozen, thawed pret items in captivity. This helps stimulate their minds and get additional exercise. It also provides a fun challenge to add to the puzzles and keep them compatible with the behaviors. Mazes for constricting species won’t work since the tight space doesn’t allow them to wrap properly, but some puzzle boxes will. Other snakes hunt in burrows. Mazes work very well for them.

Habitat

Some snakes have a very large territoryExoTerraMedSet._SL285_ in the wild and move to different locations for sleep. In captivity, frequent changes to the furnishings can help stimulate more normal behavior. For arboreal (tree-dwelling) species, a variety of branches can be offered with different textures, thicknesses and at different levels in the cage. Burrowing species may enjoy different substrate materials at different times. Try to offer as much variety as they would have in the wild and enjoy watching them explore the different environments! Some snakes have very small ranges and may be stressed by too much change, but you can still create very elaborate habitats to explore.

Handling

Many snakes also appear to identifydavid-cropped individual people and do well with handling. Getting them out of the enclosure (with proper supervision, of course) and letting them explore a room, be held in hands or interact in a different enclosure can help encourage more exercise and mental stimulation. It’s also a great way to bond with your pet and increase the enjoyment of having them in your life. If they do very well with handling, maybe they can help be ambassadors to show new people how gentle and interactive they can be. They can help dispel the fear in others who can then understand the importance of protecting these wonderful animals.

Resources

Rescues: Gecko Sanctuary (yes they have snakes, too!): www.geckosanctuary.org Education/conservation: New England Herpetological Society: http://neherp.com/ Northeastern Reptile Welfare League: https://www.nereptilewelfare.org/ Enrichment: Facebook page for Reptile Enrichment and Training: https://www.facebook.com/groups/reptileenrichmentandtraining/ Articles: http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/The-Vet-Report-Environmental-Enrichment-for-Reptiles/ https://www.aazk.org/wp-content/uploads/Suggested-Guidelines-for-Reptile-Enrichment.pdf Snake Fungal Disease: https://cwhl.vet.cornell.edu/disease/snake-fungal-disease  

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