We remain open to provide care for your pets. We are following the direction of government and regulatory authorities and have implemented hospital and visit protocols to keep both you and our team safe. For regular updates on our hours and visit protocols, please follow our social media platforms.

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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We love Halloween! From the cool and creative costumes, trick-or-treating, parties, and (let's be honest) the candy, Halloween can be a fun time for everyone. But, there are many hazards that our pets face during these fall festivities.

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COVID-19: Additional measures we are taking

Dear Clients,

Due to the close contact that our work requires, we have taken additional measures to protect you and our team while providing care for your furry family members.

The following changes took effect Thursday, March 19, 2020:

1. We are currently operating a “closed waiting room” policy to protect our clients and staff. When you arrive, please remain in your vehicle and use your cell phone to call us at 902.434.3111. We will meet you at the door and bring your pet into the clinic for an examination with the veterinarian. We will take a history of your pet over the phone. Once the examination is finished, the veterinarian will call you to discuss treatment etc for your pet. For those who do not have a cell phone, an easy knock at the door will work the same way!

2. We are continuing to accept appointments for urgent or sick pets, as well as time-sensitive appointments and surgeries. All other services will be scheduled for a later time.

3. The animal hospital is still OPEN with the following NEW hours as of Sunday, March 29, 2020 :
Monday, Wednesday, Friday: 7:30 am - 6:00 pm
Tuesday and Thursday: 10:00 am - 8:00 pm
Saturday: 8:30 am - 2:00 pm
Sunday: CLOSED.

4. If you are ordering food or medications, please allow 2-4 business days as our suppliers are dealing with increased demand and are trying to fill orders as quickly as possible. We will advise you as soon as your order arrives. Please call us when you arrive to pick up your order, but do not enter the hospital. Our staff will take payment over the phone and bring your order to the door. You can also use our online store and have your food delivered directly to your home. To sign up for the online store, visit our website.

5. For the time being, we are not accepting cash as payment. Credit cards and debit card payments are still available.

6. Following the recommendations of our government and medical experts, we are doing our best to practice social distancing within the constraints of our roles. As such, we have taken measures to avoid both contracting and facilitating the spread of this virus.

Thank you for helping us be diligent for everyone's safety. As we have heard from all levels of government, the situation is fluid and any updates will be provided as changes occur.

- Your dedicated team at Companion Animal Hospital