We now treat venomous snakes!
We are excited to offer a niche service to individuals who own snakes native to North America in the pit viper family. Beginning in August 2023, we will offer exams, treatment, and surgery to these patients on a limited basis. This includes native snakes, such as rattlesnakes, copperheads, and cottonmouth/water moccasins. We have a group of dedicated staff and veterinarians who have received specialized training to work with these unique patients. We can’t stress this enough, but safety is our top priority for all our staff, clients, and their pets. Venomous snakes will always be contained within dedicated locked rooms and containers while at our practice.
At this time we cannot physically treat medically significant venomous snakes that are not in the North American Pit Viper Family, such as cobras, mambas, boomslangs, etc. Non-medically significant, rear-fanged snakes of the family Colubridae and venomous lizards of the genus Heloderma may be scheduled as a regular reptile appointment and are not subject to the same restrictions as North American pit vipers. If you are unsure how your venomous reptile is classified (for exam purposes) please call us, and we can let you know.
We do offer telemedicine consultations for any venomous snake or reptile, including venomous snakes not in the pit viper family, such as cobras, mambas, and boomslangs. Many reptile illnesses stem from husbandry-related problems, and our knowledgeable veterinarians are here to assist you in identifying problems to keep your pet healthy and thriving. To learn more about our telemedicine consultations, please click here.
Before you arrive:
- All venomous snakes must be contained in a tied pillowcase that is placed within a 5 gallon bucket with a sealed lid that has a screw top. These buckets can be purchased online specifically for venomous reptiles with pre-drilled holes in the lid. These breathing holes should not be more than 7mm in diameter. You can purchase sealed lids with screw tops for 5 gallon buckets but please note most do not come with pre-drilled breathing holes. Without these breathing holes your snake could die from a lack of oxygen (asphyxiate). The breathing holes are not optional. Please see the photos below for examples of what these pre-purchased buckets look like:
2. A non-refundable deposit is required to book a venomous snake exam appointment and/or procedure. This deposit is refundable if the appointment is canceled with 24 hours’ notice of the appointment when we are open (i.e. an 11am Monday appointment would need to be canceled by 11am Saturday). If you do not bring your venomous snake in the above described container your appointment will not be seen, and you will forfeit your deposit. If you are unsure if your container meets our requirements, please send us pictures or video (top view, side view, screw lid separate) at least 72 hours before your appointment and our venomous snake team will review the images or video to ensure we can safely work with your snake.
3. Venomous snake appointment availability is limited to when our Venomous Snake Team is available. Our Venomous Snake Team schedules their own appointments, and it can take potentially 24-72hr for them to return your call to schedule your visit. They can be reached by calling our regular number, 219-762-7267, and if not readily available, our reception team will collect your information to pass on to our Venomous Snake Team. If you feel your snake is having a medical emergency please let our receptionist know this. It does not guarantee our Venomous Snake Team will be able to return your call sooner but we will do our best to reach out to you as soon as we can.
Upon Arrival And What To Expect At Your Visit:
1. Upon arrival for your snakes exam or procedure please call or text our hospital (219-762-7267) and let us know what spot you are parked in. One of our dedicated Venomous Snake Team members will meet you at your vehicle and go over procedure instructions. They will also check to make sure your venomous snake is contained in the manner we specified (contained within a tied pillowcase, which is placed within a 5 gallon bucket with a sealed lid with a screw top with breathing holes).
2. All venomous snakes must always remain in their container and only our Venomous Snake Team are allowed to remove them from their container in our designated locked room.
3. Owners are not allowed to be present for the exam due to the size of our exam room to reduce the risk of envenomation for all involved.
4. Typically, most venomous snake appointments are scheduled for at least a 2 hour time slot to allow our staff plenty of time to work with your snake. If you would prefer, we can call you with exam results and our recommendations, rather than waiting at the clinic for an extended period of time. We do expect anyone who drops off their snake for an exam or procedure to be able to pick them up the same day. At admission, please do not leave until our Venomous Snake Team has collected all of our pre-exam/procedure information from you and cleared you to leave the premises.
We look forward to working with you and offering much needed medical care to our native venomous pit vipers!
Caring medicine for all animals.
Monday: 8:00am – 8:00pm
Tuesday: 8:00am – 8:00pm
Wednesday: 8:00am – 6:00pm
Thursday: 8:00am – 8:00pm
Friday: 8:00am – 6:00pm
Saturday: 8:00am – 1:00pm