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  1. #1
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Vent/cloaca Checks

    I thought I would post a garter snake maintenance item I do with my snakes. The nice thing about this is you can take care of it when youíre just holding them. After a while it becomes automatic and you do it all the time, which is never a bad thing.
    While they are moving through your fingers be sure to feel the underside. When you get to the vent/cloaca area you should feel a nice smooth transition onto the tail. The vent/cloaca is covered by an anal plate scale. It may feel different but not rough, crusty or enlarged. Be sure when you get to the vent area you also feel the sides of the vent. Sometimes snakes strain to defecate/poop and tear the corners of the vent. Also breeding females can be injured there during mating.
    When a garter snake defecates the anal plate opens and the rectum is pushed slightly outward. Just before the snake is finished it usually wipes itself on something, usually the clean glass or the sides of their home.
    A crusty/dirty vent is not common. It could be caused by something as simple as poor wiping. Stress, dehydration or possibly a new food item they are adjusting to could also be the cause.
    I think that intestinal parasites can be a cause of this problem and if your snake hasnít been dewormed or dewormed recently it may need to be done. A Vet. can do a fecal float test to determine if parasites are present.
    When I find a crusty/dirty vent that snake is moved to a plastic tub and paper towels. Keep the snakes tub as clean as possible until the problem has cleared up or has been identified and treated.

    A warm water soaking will loosen up much of the crusty material (usually feces). You may need to use a towel to rub this area clean but as a rule it wonít require much effort.
    I always apply some antibiotic ointment or silver sulfadiazine to the area once itís clean and dry. Observing the snake for a week or so will show whether this is nothing or something a Vet. should be consulted about.
    Catching this kind of issue is important as an untreated problem could cause the death of the snake.
    Checking for problems regularly is an important part of keeping healthy, happy snakes.
    Steve
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

  2. #2
    Pyrondenium Rose kibakiba's Avatar
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    Re: Vent/cloaca Checks

    Thanks for making this Steve! It is useful to check the snakes cloaca/vent areas at least every once in a while. I check my snakes when I hold them, and they've become used to it. A few of them would fuss any time I wanted to check them over... One (Snap) still does.
    Chantel
    2.2.3 Thamnophis ordinoides Derpy Scales, Hades, Mama, Runt, Pumpkin, Azul, Spots
    (Rest in peace Snakey, Snap, Speckles, Silver, Ember and Angel.)

  3. #3
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Vent/cloaca Checks

    I really is a simple task that can be so important to the snakes health.
    Steve
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

  4. #4
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" d_virginiana's Avatar
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    Re: Vent/cloaca Checks

    Good idea posting this. It's not something I would have really given any thought to unless something was already wrong.
    Lora

    3.0 T. sirtalis sirtalis, 1.1 T. cyrtopsis ocellatus, 1.0 L. caerulea, 0.1 C. cranwelli, 0.1 T. carolina, 0.1 P. regius, 0.1 G. rosea, 0.0.1 B. smithi, 0.1 H. carolinensis

  5. #5
    I have a condition! RedSidedSPR's Avatar
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    Re: Vent/cloaca Checks

    Never thought of doing it... I shall start.

  6. #6
    Thamtographer katach's Avatar
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    Re: Vent/cloaca Checks

    All my snakies poo holes are good
    Kat
    2.2 T.s.pickeringii, 0.4.7 T.ordinoides 1.1 T.marcianus 1.1 T. radix 1.0 T.s.parietalis 1.2 Pseudacris regilla

  7. #7
    Pyrondenium Rose kibakiba's Avatar
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    Re: Vent/cloaca Checks

    Haha, nice way of putting it!
    Chantel
    2.2.3 Thamnophis ordinoides Derpy Scales, Hades, Mama, Runt, Pumpkin, Azul, Spots
    (Rest in peace Snakey, Snap, Speckles, Silver, Ember and Angel.)

  8. #8
    Thamtographer katach's Avatar
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    Re: Vent/cloaca Checks

    Kat
    2.2 T.s.pickeringii, 0.4.7 T.ordinoides 1.1 T.marcianus 1.1 T. radix 1.0 T.s.parietalis 1.2 Pseudacris regilla

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