NOW ACCEPTING NEW PATIENTS!
Contact us to book your pet's next appointment.

902.434.3111

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.

Category:

Blog

How to make medication request hassle-free!

Getting your requests to your veterinarian can be quite a process, especially when you are uncertain about the necessary information we need to fulfill the request. Let’s take this opportunity to review the information required and help you understand why it's helpful in ensuring a smooth and hassle-free experience. What do I need to know before I make a prescription request?   There are 5 important pieces of information you'll need to have ready to relay to your veterinary team when requesting a prescription. Medication name Medication concentration Medication dose Medication instructions Quantity you need Let me explain what each one is and why we need it. This information can all be found on your pet's medication label.  Medication Name – This is simple enough; it is the name of your medication, and yes, it is very important. If you call and say you want to refill Fluffy’s eye medication, this won’t help us if they are on 3 different eye medications. Knowing the name of your pet’s medication can be the difference between the correct refill and the wrong refill. Medication Concentration – All medications come in many concentrations, and we want to ensure that your pet gets the correct one to avoid the risk of over- or under-dosing. The concentration is either written as milligrams, mg/mL or a percentage. Pills and tablets can be things like 2.5mg, 10mg, etc. Liquids will be in forms such as 20mg per ml, 200mg/ml, etc., and other medications, such as eye ointments, may say something like 2%. Medication Dose – The dose indicates how much of the medication your pet should be given and how often—for example, 1 tablet every 12 hours or a 1/4″ strip 3 times a day. Medication Instructions – We don't have the exact wording of your label, but we need to know how you are giving the medication currently. This may sound something like I give 1 pill in the morning and 2 pills in the evening or I give 3 units every 12 hours, etc. If what you are giving is different from what is on your medication label, then tell us what you are currently giving and why. It is not recommended to change medication instructions without speaking to your veterinarian.   Quantity You Need – To ensure you have the supply uu need and avoid multiple trips, please be sure to know what amount(s) of your pet's medication(s) you need. This may be given as a number amount, such as 30 pills or the length of time the medication needs to last,  such as 30 days worth. If you tell us 1 bottle, it doesn't necessarily help us as many medications come in multiple-sized bottles. TIP: Create a folder in your phone’s photo album called Medications, take pictures of your pet’s medication labels, and place them in there for quick access!   Keep in mind that your veterinarian pharmacy, like all other pharmacies, will need time to fill your medication. We kindly ask that you give us 24-48 hours' notice for filling medications as our veterinary staff are very busy and may not always have time to fill medications same-day. TIP: If you are like me and have trouble remembering to get medications refilled on time until you use the last one, there's an APP for that!   If it's a regular medication - there is an app called medisafe that lets you track medications and can be used for pet medications as well. You can set custom notifications to remind you when to refill your medication, such as when you have 5 pills left. If the medication is your pet’s flea and tick medication, check out the app "Flea & Tick"  (iPhone) (Android). This app allows you to track when you last gave your pet their last dose and upload a photo of your medication so you always have what it is at your fingertips. Lastly, look for things your clinic may have, such as QR codes on your medication bottles to help remind you to refill when you run low or website pages like ours (Pharmacy Requests) to make it easier for you to request your medication. Stayed tuned for Part 2.   Written by: Ashely G, VT

Read More
See All Articles