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Thread: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

  1. #21
    Forum Moderator aSnakeLovinBabe's Avatar
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    Quote Originally Posted by garterchick View Post
    .

    So here's the thing: I'm the shipper and no, I'm not plain dumb, really stupid or uncareing. What Greg didn't tell everyone is that I did hold off on shipping for several days because of temperatures regardless of how many texts he sent me trying to convince me it would be fine. Only when the projected temps at both ends allowed for save shipping did I aggree to do so. Yes, maybe I sholud not have shipped him regardless, hindsight is 20/20, but I did the best I could by insulating the box really well and by including a heatpack.
    So, to those of you that feel the need to resort to name-calling without knowing all the facts, please inform yourselves and be a little less judgemental.
    Thank you,
    What sort of heat pack did you use?
    Mother of many snakes and a beautiful baby girl! I am also a polymer clay artist!


  2. #22
    "Fourth shed, A Success" thamneil's Avatar
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg'sGarters View Post
    I felt it, it was really stiff. Like he had just swallowed a block of wood, if he wasn't frozen, I don't know what it was. I knew not to warm him up too quickly, that's why I used my hands as opposed to breathing on him or putting him in a warm cage. It's like when you are working out in the snow, and you come in and run hot water on your hands it is EXTREMELY uncomfortable. I warmed him up over about 2 minutes.



    Is it possible that the cold might have kept him alive? I know that when someone gets a finger cut off, you are supposed to keep it on ice until you can get to a hospital.



    I wish I had too. At the time though, I was more worried about getting the snake back alive than to filming the whole thing, with my luck he would have died in the time I was filming it.



    I had taken a few courses on emergency care. When you dial 911, no matter who you need, the police are always first on the scene. You learn a little bit of emergency care, just in case you are first on a scene and you need to prevent them from dying until the EMT/Paramedics get to the sceme.



    If he wasn't frozen, what were the SOLID chunks along his body? They felt like ice. Plus how about if he hadn't been frozen long enough to destroy the tissue? Honestly It is about 1/5-1/4 the length down the snake. I wasn't sure of the heart location either, so I took the brightest light I had, and shined it through him (he is albino, I could see through him) and located the heart (it is longer than a human heart).

    Freezing equals ice and ice kills tissue instantly. There is not such thing as not frozen long enough. A frozen snake is a dead snake. Warming him over two minutes is ridiculously fast. The snake needs to come to room temperature before getting any warmer.

    Whatever police training you received would have been more or less useless in this situation. The physiology of a reptile is entirely different than that of a person. The best thing you could have done in this situation is just leave the animal somewhere quiet and hope that it pulls through.
    guidofatherof5 likes this.
    Neil
    The Thamnophis Aficionado

  3. #23
    Subadult snake garterchick's Avatar
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    A 10 hour hand warmer which is all I could find.
    tina, aka garterchick

  4. #24
    Forum Moderator aSnakeLovinBabe's Avatar
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    I felt it, it was really stiff. Like he had just swallowed a block of wood, if he wasn't frozen, I don't know what it was. I knew not to warm him up too quickly, that's why I used my hands as opposed to breathing on him or putting him in a warm cage. It's like when you are working out in the snow, and you come in and run hot water on your hands it is EXTREMELY uncomfortable. I warmed him up over about 2 minutes.

    Greg.... your snake was not frozen... plain and simple. Next time, just leave it to warm up in room temperature air. Whether or not you've caused damage remains to be seen.

    Is it possible that the cold might have kept him alive? I know that when someone gets a finger cut off, you are supposed to keep it on ice until you can get to a hospital.

    That is to stop decomposition from occurring so that there are more hopes of reconnecting the tissue and getting it to stay healthy. If a person dies, they keep the body very cold. Does that keep them, or bring them back to life? of course not. If a person is extremely ill and on the verge of death, cooling them down to almost freezing would do nothing but kill them.. the last thing it would do is keep them alive. The same can be said for a reptile or any other creature... cooling is done to stop decomposition by slowing/halting the growth of bacteria. Not to keep things alive.

    I wish I had too. At the time though, I was more worried about getting the snake back alive than to filming the whole thing, with my luck he would have died in the time I was filming it.

    Don't take that comment too seriously. lol.

    I had taken a few courses on emergency care. When you dial 911, no matter who you need, the police are always first on the scene. You learn a little bit of emergency care, just in case you are first on a scene and you need to prevent them from dying until the EMT/Paramedics get to the sceme.

    How much police training do you really get at 15? Where I live we received these same courses as a part of regular school. It doesn't apply to reptiles, it applies to humans. If you had just laid him on your counter, he would have revived on his own.


    If he wasn't frozen, what were the SOLID chunks along his body? They felt like ice. Plus how about if he hadn't been frozen long enough to destroy the tissue? Honestly It is about 1/5-1/4 the length down the snake. I wasn't sure of the heart location either, so I took the brightest light I had, and shined it through him (he is albino, I could see through him) and located the heart (it is longer than a human heart).
    Your imagination running wild, perhaps? It certainly wasn't ice you were feeling. Please tell me, how would the internal organs freeze FIRST before his extremities of skin, tail and that sort of thing? We don't doubt that you located his heart. But you didn't locate a frozen heart. A reptile's heart beats slower and slower the cooler they get. If they get cold enough. It can seem as though it has completely stopped. Whether the animal is frozen for 3 seconds of an hour, it doesn't matter. The irreversible damage is caused the exact moment the water forms into ice crystals. Water expands in volume when it freezes. To see what I mean fill a jug COMPLETELY with water until there is no air left. Freeze it. The jug will be either really distended or may even crack open because the ice expands it so much. This same thing happens on a tiny basis inside of cells. The water turns to ice, explands and ruptures their cell membranes. This is why frozen specimens cannot really have a necropsy performed that would give any sort of real indication as to why it died. The moment tissue is frozen, it is damaged.
    thamneil likes this.
    Mother of many snakes and a beautiful baby girl! I am also a polymer clay artist!


  5. #25
    Forum Moderator aSnakeLovinBabe's Avatar
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    Quote Originally Posted by garterchick View Post
    A 10 hour hand warmer which is all I could find.
    Okay. Thank you for being honest. Now I am going to be honest. That right there, is your biggest mistake. And no matter how you look at, it WAS highly irresponsible to do so. The only heat packs you should be using are the uniheat packs (or if there are any other brand that is the same thing) which last something like 48 hours, distribute heat slowly and evenly, and are made specifically to ship live animals. They cost something like $2.00. They can be ordered from many distributors online. Hand warmers get out of control hot! And heat needs to be consistent the entire time, not just for 10 hours. The reason you use a heat pack that lasts 2 days, is so if the box is delayed for a day, the reptile still has a chance. This snake would have been dead for sure had there been any delays. Even without delays, 10 hours is not enough... they are in the box for at LEAST 18 hours. Truthfully even properly packed this shipment may have failed. Heat packs will fail if the temperature drops below a certain point. Generally unless you're lucky, and you get a week of mid 50 degree weather (like we had here a week and a half ago) shipping this time of year is a big no-no. Even at the temps that Greg says were forecasted, I would not have shipped anything because it is close enough that a temperature drop of even a few degrees below the forecast would be bad. Reptiles die all of the time at the hands of the inexperienced shipper. At least this one didn't, and now that you know, you will be able to take the lesson away from this mistake and hopefully it won't happen again. Honestly on most forums you would be slammed really, really hard for this. Luckily, this forums is a bit on the soft side.
    Mother of many snakes and a beautiful baby girl! I am also a polymer clay artist!


  6. #26
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" chris-uk's Avatar
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    Quote Originally Posted by Greg'sGarters View Post
    I felt it, it was really stiff. Like he had just swallowed a block of wood, if he wasn't frozen, I don't know what it was.

    Then you'll have to face the fact that you didn't know what you were seeing and feeling. Did he feel brittle? Was his skin so hard and cold that your fingers felt like they were sticking to him? The fact remains that if he had frozen he would not have recovered. Therefore, based on your most recent update on the this little guy (i.e. that he seems to be recovering well) we need to discount your earlier observations which made you think he was actually frozen.


    Quote Originally Posted by Greg'sGarters View Post
    I knew not to warm him up too quickly, that's why I used my hands as opposed to breathing on him or putting him in a warm cage. It's like when you are working out in the snow, and you come in and run hot water on your hands it is EXTREMELY uncomfortable. I warmed him up over about 2 minutes.

    This, "
    I knew not to warm him up too quickly", followed by, "I warmed him up over about 2 minutes"... Two mutually exclusive statements. You knew to warm him slowly, yet you did it quickly.


    Quote Originally Posted by Greg'sGarters View Post
    Is it possible that the cold might have kept him alive? I know that when someone gets a finger cut off, you are supposed to keep it on ice until you can get to a hospital.

    To answer your first question - No.
    If you know about packing a dismembered finger on ice for the trip to hospital, you'll also know about the importance that the finger should never come into contact with the ice. Many fingers cannot be reattached because someone knew half of this and just dropped a finger in a bag of ice. Direct contact with the ice freezes the flesh and kills it.


    Quote Originally Posted by Greg'sGarters View Post
    If he wasn't frozen, what were the SOLID chunks along his body? They felt like ice. Plus how about if he hadn't been frozen long enough to destroy the tissue? Honestly It is about 1/5-1/4 the length down the snake. I wasn't sure of the heart location either, so I took the brightest light I had, and shined it through him (he is albino, I could see through him) and located the heart (it is longer than a human heart).
    I'd go with Shannon's "your imagination" and feeling what you thought should be there.
    As soon as tissue is frozen the cells start breaking down.
    I'll try the bright light with my albino, I'd not realised how much detail would be visible right up against a bright light.



    Quote Originally Posted by aSnakeLovinBabe View Post
    The irreversible damage is caused the exact moment the water forms into ice crystals. Water expands in volume when it freezes. To see what I mean fill a jug COMPLETELY with water until there is no air left. Freeze it. The jug will be either really distended or may even crack open because the ice expands it so much. This same thing happens on a tiny basis inside of cells. The water turns to ice, expands and ruptures their cell membranes.
    Not only the pressure from the increased volume, but at a microscopic level the ice crystals are sharp and piece the cell structures. I vaguely remember a histology lab session where we looked at various tissues freezing.


    I'm glad that this little garter has survived his trip, but I'd like to think anyone reading this thread will realise that garters don't survive freezing and takes all the precautions necessary to prevent them facing a similar situation.
    Chris
    T. marcianus, T. e. cuitzeoensis, T. cyrtopsis, T. radix, T. s. infernalis, T. s. tetrataenia

  7. #27
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" Didymus20X6's Avatar
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    Cool story!

    freeze.jpg
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff.

  8. #28
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    Quote Originally Posted by garterchick View Post
    So here's the thing: I'm the shipper and no, I'm not plain dumb, really stupid or uncareing.
    So, to those of you that feel the need to resort to name-calling without knowing all the facts, please inform yourselves and be a little less judgemental.
    Thank you,
    Since you were responding to my comment I'll say that it wasn't so much a judgement as it was an observation. Sorry about that last part where I said a person would have to be really stupid. That, I shouldn't have said. And when I said it's just plain dumb to ship them this time of year, I wasn't saying that the shipper was dumb, but rather the action was. We've all done stupid things. Doesn't mean we are stupid.

    I think it's been mentioned a lot of times in shipping discussions that those hand warmer type heat sources are a big no-no. Not only do they get way too hot (depending on how much oxygen is available) but they also consume all the oxygen in the box. They literally use it all up so those packs can theoretically suffocate the snake. That's how those work. They work by rapidly oxidizing iron (they generate heat by rapidly rusting iron in the packet) and that consumes oxygen. That's why they don't "activate" until you open the package. The more oxygen available, the hotter they get and the faster they quit working. In other words, in order to not burn the snake up, it would have to be in an oxygen poor environment, (there's even a warning about NOT using them if you're on supplemental oxygen because with extra oxygen present, they'll catch fire) which would harm the snake anyway so, its burn up, or suffocate, take your pick.

    For future reference, screw what the recipient says about the temps. Check the national map and look at the lows, not the highs and if you see all that cold (blue) on the map, don't ship. Even in a relatively warm January it's not safe to be shipping snakes at all. December through February should be completely off limits for shipping. Forget about what the temps are.

    So now you know. Luckily he didn't suffocate, cook, or show up frozen solid. You lucked out big time on that. As Shannon said, in most forums you would have gotten it a lot worse but we had to give you at least some bit of a hard time about it.

    Greg, if the snake isn't acting completely normal by now I would say there's probably been some lasting damage/injury. I hope he makes it. Does he seem limp when you pick him up or does he hold his head up normally? Alert and responsive or just kind of lie there?

  9. #29
    Adult snake Greg'sGarters's Avatar
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    Quote Originally Posted by garterchick View Post
    .

    So here's the thing: I'm the shipper and no, I'm not plain dumb, really stupid or uncareing. What Greg didn't tell everyone is that I did hold off on shipping for several days because of temperatures regardless of how many texts he sent me trying to convince me it would be fine. Only when the projected temps at both ends allowed for save shipping did I aggree to do so. Yes, maybe I sholud not have shipped him regardless, hindsight is 20/20, but I did the best I could by insulating the box really well and by including a heatpack.
    So, to those of you that feel the need to resort to name-calling without knowing all the facts, please inform yourselves and be a little less judgemental.
    Thank you,
    I would like to confirm this statement to be 100% true. It is not the matter of anybody being stupid other than mother nature. I am not stupid, she is not stupid, nobody is stupid.
    -Greg
    1.1T.s. concinnus, 1.1 T.s. parietalis, 1.0 T.s. semifasciatus, 0.1 T. radix
    "Garters are predictable. Predictably variable" - Neil Balchan


  10. #30
    "Third shed In Progress" kimbosaur's Avatar
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    Mother nature is not stupid.
    aSnakeLovinBabe likes this.
    kimberly

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