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Rich Z's Blatherings Since Connie and I have retired the SerpenCo business, topics here will focus on topics of a more personal and general nature.

What do you think?
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Old 07-05-2002, 08:06 PM   #1
CornsnakeKeeper
What do you think?

I'm planning on getting some SerpenCo cornsnakes to add to my current collection... and maybe something from the Loves depending on what they have at MARS. Great quality animals from both- so I've read everywhere. In every cornsnake book, forum, or carsheet, that I have read, it reccomends quarantine for any new additions to the collection. Now, do you feel that this is neccessary with Rich's snakes? or what are my chances of them getting mites while at the show from other less-healthy animals? I'm mostly talking about mites because they are one of the only things I've heard of that can contract from snake to snake where they all need treatment. If I quarantine them, do I need to have them in an entirely seperate house? (a friend's or something?) That's what a lot of people have recommended for any new additons, but I know a lot of you buy snakes far more frequently than I, so your advice would be appreciated. thanks!
 
Old 07-06-2002, 02:59 AM   #2
Rich Z
My personal opinion is that you should quarantine any animals that you get from anyone. Period. I am a fanatic about this. I have far too much to lose by making a dumb mistake like that. Consequently, I also very rarely buy any animals anymore. Anything I buy will mean that I will have an equal number of my own hatchlings that I will not be able to keep because of the lack of space. So I am VERY critical about adding anything new.

When I do add a new animal, it goes into a separate room and the clock starts clicking on the 90 day quarantine. If ANYTHING at all looks even slightly questionable, the animal stays into quarantive indefinitely until I feel comfortable about its health. If on the 89th day I were to add yet another snake, then ALL of the animals in the quarantine room get the clock reset back to zero and everyone starts out on the 90 day quarantine.

I believe my animals are about as safe as they can be, but bear in mind that I feed my corns live mice from my own mouse colony, and north Florida has it's own share of bugs. Bugs can carry parasites to the mice, and these can in turn be passed on to the animals that eat them. Anyone whom doesn't know about this cycle will certainly be scratching their heads when their captive hatched and raised corn snake winds up with pin worms or round worms. Oh and just in case no one ever told you, it's not a good idea to bite your fingernails during or after you have handled your snakes or cleaned their cages. Human beings can become part of the parasite cycle just as easily as any other animal can. Good hygiene is a MUST when you are handling ANY animals.

And another thing I need to bring up. Breeding loans. I don't know how many times I have heard about people getting a snake on loan and then immediately throwing it in with one of their own animals. This sort of behavior is insane. If you are contemplating doing a breeding loan with ANYONE, the person sending their animal to the other needs to do this at least 90 days before they will be introduced together. This also, certainly, applies to buying an animal to be used as a breeder. If you have no other choice in the matter, then put EVERYTHING that comes in contact with the new animal in quarantine along with the breeder. If you have other animals and the worst becomes a reality, at least you will still have those other animals unaffected.

I hear horror stories about things like those mentioned above all of the time. Believe me, no one wants to watch all of their animals die one by one because they made a severe error in judgement.

So in a nutshell, I believe my animals are very clean, but I would not want to be responsible to teaching you a bad habit. So my advice is to quarantine everything you get as long as you can possibly do it. One of these days you may thank me for this advice.
 
Old 07-06-2002, 09:57 AM   #3
Simon
Great advice Rich,

I would totally agree on this! I too never just put my new animals anywhere near my own assumingly clean bunch. I don't know what the new animal has got; mites, worms, other transmittable diease. Putting the new snake into my old collection and seeing them die is like cutting my heart bit by bit until I lose too much blood and die.......slowly.....very painfully...... I would never want that to happen. So take Rich's advice and NEVER put the new collection in to the old collection right away. Try to make sure that you keep everything as clean as possible for both your's and your snake's health.

Good Luck and Happy herping!
 
Old 07-06-2002, 10:58 AM   #4
Alicia
I also quarantine for 90 days at least. I do this no matter who I got them from. I only have a very small portion of the snakes that Rich has but I don't want to lose any of my animals , especially due to careless acts on my part.

Alicia
 
Old 07-06-2002, 01:22 PM   #5
Gregg
Quarantine Question.

I have a serious question. (Actually, this thread should be in the Husbandry/Basic Care section, I suppose.)

I am guilty of not quarantining any of my new snakes. Instead, I've lulled myself into believing that everything will be okay if I 1) place the snake into it's own separate tank, 2) spend an additional $50.00 bucks for a qualified herp-vet to check it out, and 3), not handling the snake until a safe time period has passed. If I do handle it, as I have to do when I take it to the vet, I wash my hands before and after handling it. So, am I playing Russian Roulette?

As for the mice--pinkies, fuzzies, adults--I get them live from a single source who raises them and assures me that they are safe (yeah, right). Of course, I feed them dead, if they are old enough to pose a threat to my snakes. I feel that, if the mice I get are infected--and this is true regardless of the source--then I have little opportunity to know this until it is too late. By then, it's possible that all my snakes would be infected and that would be a real bummer. Taking the mice to a qualified vet before feeding them to my snakes wouldn't be cost effective.

At some point, I just have to be willing to trust, understand, and accept Life, and believe that my snakes are strong, i.e., healthy, enough to fend off most diseases, just like I do with my son. With periodic check-ups, most problems can be detected early. What would be the difference between keeping my new snake in a separate tank inside the same room as my other snakes, vis-a-vis, keeping it in a separate room, if I happen to handle the new snake and then handle one of my other snakes with or without washing my hands first and afterwards? The obvious answer is: Don't handle the new snake for at least 90 days, during which time, it should be checked out by a vet. Also, how many life threatening snake diseases are air-borne? If I do not handle the new snake, then is it possible for mites, and so forth, to pass through the screens and jump from one tank to another? I don't think so. But then again, I'm only talking about 15 to 20 snakes, not 200 or 3000, and the life's blood of a world-wide business.

If I had a world-wide snake business and was dependant upon each and every snake in my care, you're damn right I would quarantine any new purchase in a separate room (or building) and leave it untouched for 90 days and have it checked out by a vet. I prefer to err on the side of caution, that's why I spend extra to have my new snake checked out by my vet, but reason and logic must also be the order of the day.
 
Old 07-09-2002, 10:14 PM   #6
Bippy
Hypothetical Scenario:

Let's say you have a snake or two in quarantine, and one you know is sick and will take a little while to recover. Now, let's say you run across a snake at a show that you really want... Do you:

1) Not buy that snake, because you know if you put it in quarantine with the others it might get ill?

2) Buy it and put it in the same quarantine room anyway?

or

3) Buy it and try and find someplace else to put it that isn't your normal quarantine room?


Just random ponderings this thread has conjured up.
 
Old 07-10-2002, 01:54 AM   #7
Gregg
abell82,

I know you mean well, but I'm not an unintelligent man. Of course I've heard of cryptosporidia. Snakes and other animals, including ourselves, can become infected with cryptosporidia when they, we, drink water, eat food, or somehow place pieces of fecal matter into our, their, mouths which is contaminated with the infective oocysts. As for snakes, the primary cause of the infection is most likely infected rodents.

If I keep my new snake in a tank of its own, how does this affect the other snakes? The oocysts are water born, or transferred from one snake to another by a long list of bad husbandry practices, such as, not washing your hands, to mention the most likely. They are not air born.

I don't know the odds of a snake getting cryptosporidium vis-a-vis the odds of my getting it, but I suspect they are almost the same, if the water we drink is fresh, the food we eat is as high a quality as I can find, and I don't do any tank swapping with my snakes. I read in Kathy Love's book, The Corn Snake Manual, on page 65, "Cryptosporidial disease may kill snakes slowly, in up to two years, thus putting every other animal in a collection at risk of infection." If I'm reading this, and the rest of the paragraph, correctly, it means that we shouldn't try to keep a snake which has been diagnosed with this problem. It would be better to destroy the animal. Which gets me back to my original statement.

Go back and read what I wrote. Better yet, let me repeat it here:

I am guilty of not quarantining any of my new snakes. Instead, I've lulled myself into believing that everything will be okay if I 1) place the snake into it's own separate tank, 2) spend an additional $50.00 bucks for a qualified herp-vet to check it out, and 3), not handling the snake until a safe time period has passed. If I do handle it, as I have to do when I take it to the vet, I wash my hands before and after handling it.

One must be knowledgable and employ that knowledge to do the best work they can. One cannot be a "Chicken Little" and expect the threat will go away.


What was your suggestion, now? I didn't notice you trying to make a point.
 
Old 07-10-2002, 11:55 AM   #8
Gregg
Re: Gregg a self proclaimed intelligent man....

Quote:
Originally posted by abell82
like yourself should have been able to figure it out. My point(s) is/are: Yes, you are playing Russian Roulette with your snakes, and maybe you should think about quarantining new accuistions!As for being informed how much do you really know about crypto?Because it does not seem that you know all that much about it.For instance are you aware that it will not show up in a normal fecal exam?Did you know that the test for it is not all that accurate in live animals to begin with?Were you aware that it can be transmitted by you to other hosts even after washing your hands and using good husbandry techniques?Were you aware that there are two kinds of crypto (mammal and reptile)?Also how do you propose to mate one snake to another without risking infection?As you have pointed out crypto can take up to two years(or more)to kill a snake, without a quarantine....but hey, I was just offering advice you will inevitably do as you please anyway.GoodLuck!

Yes, I am aware of all of this and more; and yes, I do quarantine my new snakes. I just don't quarantine the way you and others obviously do.

Go back and read your statement above, very carefully. If I were to listen to your advice, it would be better not to have any snakes at all. Based on what you have told me so far, a 90 day quarantine in another room or building is not going to protect me, or my snakes, from cryptosporidia bacteria. So, tell me again why I should keep a new snake in a different room?

The steps I take in bringing home a new snake are the same regardless of whether I put the snake into its own separate tank, or into another room; and I'm willing to bet they are the same for you too. Now, let me repeat again what I do next, but this time, in a different order: 1) I do not handle the snake until a safe time period has elapsed. During this time, I keep the snake under observation for any outward signs of problems, cryptospodia bacteria being only one of a host of possible problems--cryptosporidium does have simptoms, you know. 2) When I do handle the snake it is to a) put it into its tank the first time, b) before and after the trip to the vet for a check up, and c)before and after the tank clean-out process. The new snake always gets its tank cleaned, water bowl filled, food, and defication removed last.

"Am I playing Russian Roulete" was a rhetorical question, and yes, "[i] will inevitably do as [i] please anyway."

Listen, there are a lot of serious problems out there. Keeping reptiles (or chickens, or rabbits, or dogs, or cats, or on and on) create additional problems, OR, increase the risk of us contracting these problems. That's one of the reasons why PETA, USHS, and other groups want to eliminate the keeping of animals "...for our entertainment." We do have to be careful and responsible with keeping pets. Where we draw the line between being careful and down right silly about it is a personal thing, I guess.

Have a good day.
 
Old 07-10-2002, 12:40 PM   #9
Alicia
Adding A New Snake

Quote:
Originally posted by Bippy
Hypothetical Scenario:

Let's say you have a snake or two in quarantine, and one you know is sick and will take a little while to recover. Now, let's say you run across a snake at a show that you really want... Do you:

1) Not buy that snake, because you know if you put it in quarantine with the others it might get ill?

2) Buy it and put it in the same quarantine room anyway?

or

3) Buy it and try and find someplace else to put it that isn't your normal quarantine room?


Just random ponderings this thread has conjured up.

This is a situation that depends on several things. It would depend on what kind of illness the snake had. What your Vet would advise and what you personally feel you need to do. For me personally I would not bring in any new ones if there is a chance of transmitting the problem to the new arrival(s). There is always a chance of illness no matter the precautions but I personally like to lower the chances of that happening if I can. I may do things that others may think is "silly" or even extreme, but I do what works for me and my snakes. Bottom line do what works for you. We each make decisions and right or wrong we live with them
 
Old 07-16-2002, 12:57 AM   #10
Bippy
Question Your Philosophy....

Quote:
Anything I buy will mean that I will have an equal number of my own hatchlings that I will not be able to keep because of the lack of space. So I am VERY critical about adding anything new.
This begs the question that since both of the new genes you discovered, Rich, came from animals NOT from your current stock, wouldn't it make more sense to acquire new animals, in the hopes of finding new genes? I mean, most captive-bred cornsnakes have been bred for enough generations that most of them don't have any undiscovered traits left in their genes...

I realize there's often a big difference between being innovative and being profitable, but still...

Just interested in your philosophy on the matter.
 

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