Do you love having animals at home but you want to have something that’s a bit different from cats and dogs? Freaking out that we extracted 9 rotten teeth during your pet’s dental or haggling and complaining about the astronomical cost of the procedure we had to perform on your animal that we told you it needed every year for the past three years at its annual health check, but you decided to forget about each time you walked out the door.
Thinking of these considerations, perhaps the worst possible husbandry system for R.I.’s in reptiles is the all too common trend of keeping snakes (single lung, poor clearance) in rack systems, with very little space to move (inhibits respiratory clearance), in close proximity to dozens or some cases hundreds of other animals (thus facilitating spread of infectious agents) and where they are not checked frequently enough or for a sufficient time to spot the early signs of infection in the first place.
These effects include genetic defects not conducive to survival for a natural lifespan, or animals not surviving far past hatching or birth if at all, decreased disease resistance, a failure to thrive or internal deformities not apparent on first glance.
Despite what animal sellers may say, appropriate care for wild animals requires considerable expertise, specialized facilities, and lifelong dedication to the animals. This week I was presented with a sub-adult red-sided garter snake (Thamnophis sirtalis infernalis), a North American species of snake which feeds primarily on fish …