Our team continues to be here for you and your cherished pets. We are OPEN and are now able to provide a wide range of services. To learn more about the changes we have implemented in response to COVID-19 and what to expect during your next visit, click here.

Transporting Snakes to the Vet

Transporting your pet to the vet safely is important for any patient, including snakes. Here are a few things that you can do to make your limbless lovely’s trip more secure.

Generally, two layers of security are recommended to bring any reptile pet to the vet. Appropriately-sized pillow cases or handmade snake bags work very well! The second “barrier” is ideally a plastic container, preferably one with locking latches for extra security.

 

Small Snakes

Very small snakes can be transported using a small lock-top plastic container, such as the one pictured here. A small cloth snake bag or small towel can be used to make the snake feel more secure. This juvenile Cornsnake is quite comfortable in a small storage container, either using a snake bag or a small hand towel.

 

Medium to Large-Sized Snakes

Larger snakes can be secured in one to two pillowcases, and then transported in a lock-top plastic tote. This Boa Constrictor is approximately 1.5 m (5 ft) long and fits comfortably inside a medium-sized tote.

 

Very Large Snakes

Very large snakes can be comfortably transported in large storage totes, preferably those with lockable tops. Extra “locks” can be added along the sides of the lid using large binder clips. A large towel or blanket lining the tote, with a second towel or blanket on top of the snake, help provide extra security during travel.

 

Does my snake need a heat source while I travel?

It depends! Since we have such varied temperatures throughout the seasons here in Nova Scotia, we recommend adding a heat source when the temperature outside is below 18-20 °C (64-68 °F). Our preferred heat sources include either a rubber hot water bottle, or a thermotherapeutic compress (such as the Magic Bag®), that can be placed either inside the plastic tote underneath your snake, or outside the container if it’s too small.

Overheating can cause hyperthermia and death within minutes. It is critical that you test the temperature of any heating device before using it for travel with your pet. We recommend using an infrared thermometre (“temperature gun”) to ensure that the heating device is no warmer than 30 °C (86 °F). While many reptile species can easily tolerate temperatures warmer than this in the wild or in their home enclosure, remember that they will be stuck in an enclosed space and cannot move away if they feel too warm. Another “rule of thumb” is to test the heating device against your skin: If it feels so warm that you cannot hold it against your bare arm for more than 60 seconds, then it is too warm for your pet snake. If you’re using a thermotherapeutic bag, be sure to “jiggle” it around while testing as they can have an internal “hot spot” from being warmed in the microwave.

Regardless of if you use a heating device or what you use, once you and your pet arrive in the exam room we can provide an electric heating pad to make sure that your pet stays comfortable.

 

Does my snake need air holes?

Generally, no. Reptiles have a relatively slow metabolic rate compared to mammals, meaning that their oxygen needs are much lower. Most containers are not completely air tight, and unless your snake will be in the container for several hours they will not need extra air holes. Adding air holes can actually compromise the container’s ability to retain heat.

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Last updated: September 21, 2020.

Dear Clients,

With recent changes to restrictions on businesses, we can continue providing our full range of services, under certain restrictions. As our province enters the next phase of the reopening plan, we have some updates to share with you about our safety measures.

We are continuing to see all cases by appointment only including pets in need of: vaccines, wellness exams, blood work, heartworm testing, spays and neuters, dental services, parasite prevention, and more.

Beginning July 20, 2020, clients are able to come into the hospital with their pets with the following restrictions:

SAFETY MEASURES TO KEEP EVERYONE SAFE

OPERATING HOURS

Beginning on Monday, September 21, we are available to serve you and your pets during the following hours:

Monday - Friday: 7:30 am – 7:30 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am – 3:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED

Thank you for your patience and understanding and we look forward to seeing you and your furry family members again!

- Your dedicated team at Companion Animal Hospital