Saturday, February 21, 2009

Sickness and snakes

Gee. The title sounds like I might be interested in reptilian medicine. That is hardly the case. I've been sick (I blame Kevin) and the snakes have been dead. I am, in that sense, doing much better than the snakes.

First the snakes. In one day last week clients brought in two injured snakes. Dog attacks. One wasn't dead yet - but it is now. The other was dead on arrival. For some reason, I wasn't part of that discussion, they wanted to know what kind of snake it was. I was handed the plastic, lidded pail.

I know nothing...

except how to make a phone call. I called someone for whom we had a card filed under wildlife.

"Can you describe the snake?" she asked.

I put on my plastic gloves, popped the lid, and pulled the snake out.

"It is a grey-green color with a yellow belly with red spots."

"How big is it?"

Quick! conversion!! "It is about a meter long." (Internal dialog. "Ewwww.")

"We'll send someone over to pick it up."

"OK." Internal comment - "Why did I have to describe it, let alone pick it up, for that?"

The next day there was a message to call back.

"It was an Eastern Brown Snake. Those are very toxic snakes." What kind of dog killed it? he wanted to know. How is the dog?

It was a little terrier. Twelve years old. As far as I knew the dog was fine.

"These snakes have very short fangs so if the dog has a lot of hair that is often enough to protect it."

I called the dog's owner. I told her it was an eastern brown snake. She thought that was interesting since the snake wasn't brown. As it turns out, although they live IN TOWN this dog had killed 3 brown snakes last year!! Yesterday she had looked out and seen the dog shaking something she had found under the mango tree in the back yard.


There is nothing much to say about my cold. It is day 8 and I have had enough.


Friendless said...

A metre-long snake wouldn't fit in your mango tree.

NNV said...

Is this a cut on our (fruitless) mango tree???