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  1. #1
    I have a condition! RedSidedSPR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Charlotte, NC
    Country: United States

    A good deworming scale (Royal DS3)

    I'm in the progress of deworming my WC.

    I needed a scale to do so, but didn't have the money for some $1600 scale.

    Instead I bought a $16 scale. The Royal DS3 Postal Rate Scale...

    It does everything I need. Weighs in grams (and other stuff), has a 5 pound limit (like you're gonna have a 5 pound snake), and is easy to use.

    Anyone who needs a scale, but doesn't know what to get, or doesn't have the money, I'd check this one out.

    Royal DS3 Postal Rate Scale (17012Y):Amazon:Office Products

    Thought I'd give the scale props. For the price it's great. Does everything you need.

  2. #2
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Country: United States

    Re: A good deworming scale (Royal DS3)

    Those small postage scale can come in handy for more than just postage.
    I have one similar to yours. Been working great for the last couple of year.
    Got mine from Sam's Club for under $20. Royal Postal Scale (EX-5): Office Products
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Country: United States

    Re: A good deworming scale (Royal DS3)

    There is no shortage of affordable scales for weighing your snakes.

    When determining dosage for an animal, you need to weigh them. For garters, a fasting weight to the nearest whole gram is good enough and so you don't need an expensive scale to do that.

    The expensive scale I was talking about is for weighing the drugs. Many good deworming drugs are available OTC for cats and dogs. The problem is, those are mammals. They can handle for example, a 30mg tablet if the cat or dog weighs anywhere from 5-15 lbs and it will work. So, these drugs come in dosages that say something like "for dogs 5-15 lbs"

    When it comes to reptiles as small as garters, a few milligrams over or under the right dose can make the difference between not being effective, and death from overdose. Remember these drugs are all poison. The idea is that they are easily and quickly absorbed by the worms, but not by the host animal, therefore you can poison the worms without poisoning the host enough to do any significant harm, but the dosage must be "just right" with reptiles. Not too little, not too much.

    Well, when you're talking about a snake that weighs as little as 70 grams, we're talking about a dosage that can be around 0.65 mg. 1.65mg could be fatal. 0.25mg might not be enough and will only cause the worms to survive and be highly resistant to future deworming efforts and so from then on out, you then cannot kill the worms without killing the host.

    So, you've weighed your snake in grams, read the charts online for the proper dosages for reptiles (which is always mg per Kg so you have to do the math. 1 gram is 1/1000th of a kg) and determined the proper dosage for a particular snake is for example 0.65mg. Well that's where the expensive scale comes in. You will have to shave off 0.65 mg from a 30mg pill. This requires an expensive scale capable of accurately weighing a grain of salt or human hair, weighing thousandths (micrograms) of a gram. Luckily I work in food (fruit and juice) production and have access to an on-site USDA lab with such a scale so I don't have to buy one. They can run anywhere from $700-$1600.

    This method became necessary for me because I cannot take garter snakes to a vet in my State due to a law that oversteps its intended purpose. To stop vets from treating native wildlife illegally being kept as pets. The problem is, most vets around here consider ALL garter snakes native even if they aren't. Since most of them don't know one garter from another, they are just covering their butts.

    This also saves me from paying $65 a visit, along with fecal exams (lab work) Vets don't want to give your animal deworming drugs until they determine if worms are present. Furthermore, such tests can and do produce false-negatives if no eggs are present in the particular sample you give. It's pretty much a given that a WC garter has some sort of parasites so I just treat them, using this method, as if they do have them.

    Quite often an apparently vibrant healthy WC snake will pass loads of roundworms and tapeworms during the treatment. They tend to do much better in captivity, put on weight, live longer, and have much better immunity to infections after that. Essentially, it wipes away any disadvantages to having a WC vs. a CB snake. If you have a particular WC garter that you love very much and want to keep for many years to come, do whatever you have to do to get them dewormed. I can't stress that enough. Snakes in the wild can live with a parasite load for years but if they get sick, or if they are brought into a captive situation, the worms can severely shorten their lives and cause all kinds of complications. You wouldn't neglect to deworm your puppy knowing it had worms would you? of course not. Get your WC dewormed if you can. It's worth it.
    Last edited by ConcinusMan; 08-31-2011 at 03:25 AM.

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