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Venomoids

Discussion in 'General Venomous' started by Microscope Jockey, Nov 15, 2004.

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  1. Microscope Jockey

    Microscope Jockey Elite Member

    Ok I'm in the mood to stir things up (as usual) so lets have a nice mature discussion about:

    What is your opinion of venomoids?

    I got thinking about this after reading some interesting articles about hot snakes this weekend and bcause this spring I got to meet some venomoid snakes and actually got to touch a Gaboon viper.

    My opinion is that there are far too few scientific studies published in peer reviewed journals on the subject of the different components and uses thereof of venom therefore practically NO information has trickled down and been translated into a format of use or interest to the general public.
     
  2. Jay DeMore

    Jay DeMore Elite Member

    This came up once before, I don't feel it is fair or healthy for the animal. Doesn't most snake venom start the digestive process? Has anyone considered the longterm effects on the snakes themselves? I say leave them as they are! If you choose to own venomous than be responsible about it, and be safe.
     
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    This came up on another forum as well and several long term 'Hot" keepers stated that since they feed F/T the snakes do not even strike the prey and so are not envenomating it. I can see a use for venomoids for eductional purposes but as for just doing it to be able to say "Hey I'm cool! I have a poisonous snake"....
    Thumbs down!
     
  4. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    All I can say is: They scare the crap outta me!! :p
    I have no desire to own one....
     
  5. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    Personally, I have a mutual respect for them. The hobby, has been weirded out with several things; Morphs, hybrids, and venomoids. It's never a dull moment. Personally, I dislike hybrids more than venomoids.

    Yes. However, this doesn't mean it's a necessity. As merlin stated, most hot keepers don't even feed live animals to their prey in which case would be pointless. Snake venom must travle through the blood stream of an animal to take full affect. A dead animal has no methods to distribute the venom making it stationary which would be meaningless for the snake. Either way, I highly doubt a venomoud snake's digestive system is that much different than any other snake.

    As Merlin has said, I agree they can and have served a purpose for me when it came to educational shows. Such as, Ball pythons may be able to keep the attention of a 3rd grader but to audiences which are my age, I would have to have something worth while. I have used Crotalus in a lot of my shows I have done because well, everyone is intrigued with venomous snakes. No one is let on its a venomoid and I treat them to be just as deadly. You can not substitute any other snake to be a rattler and sometimes to make points we have to cross a few lines. Plus I used venomoids because a lot of people equal distractions and distractions could mean a serious hurt. Venomoids provide 'safty' as well a topic piece.
    Everyone is satisfied.
    Zane
     
  6. Microscope Jockey

    Microscope Jockey Elite Member

    Actually Jay and Zane, well everybody, the bit about the digestion hasn't been proven conclusively one way or another(especially after that comment about the long-time hot keepers), which was my original allusion to scientific studies and the general public. I think the reason for this is that it would take a very LONG time to do such a study and it would be very expensive and since no large commercial entity would profit from the results of such a study they have yet to do one.
    Here's an example of what you'd have to do for that kind of research to give you a better idea of why it would be a huge pain:

    You'd have to have a VERY large number of snakes of the same age and the same gender and it might even be helpful if they were related. The large number helps eliminate some of the problems caused by individual variability. You'd have to have a secure facility large enough to house all these beasts. As if all this weren't a big enough pain half of the test subjects would have to be sucessfully devenomated ( I think that's what you call the surgery) and fully healed, which means you'd have to find a vet willing and able to operate on say 50 venomous snakes. Next you'd have to have a staff trained to handle all the beasties, hot and not, safely since they will have to be weighed and periodically examined by a vet not to mention all the routine maintanence associated with snakes complicated by the fact that they are hot or are treated as though they are. So now can you see why nobody has done this yet? Somebody MAY be doing this but I'm not aware of it yet. Anyway thanks guys, this is shaping up into a very civil and interesting discussion :D
     
  7. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    I know there's proof of venom aiding digestion such as the Proteolytic and collagenases enzymes.

    What I was consisting was that a venomous snake digestive system cannot truly be that much different from another snake's. As with the studying, I would find it to be a much greater task than even what you described, being all venomous snakes have different components and different amounts of toxic and nontoxic compounds; Snakes, even in the same species release different amounts of venom with different bites (Even in food responses) and the size of the snake would determine a lot as well. I've even seen a hot atrox hit a mouse multiple times and the rodent still lived on to tell the tell, until he was manual put down. To fully decide that venom is truly a large part of digestion you would have to study more than one species of multiple ages and health issues.

    What I was getting at, even with hots, most of us feed our animals dead prey items. A dead animal won't easily allow hyaluronidases to help pass the venom through the body of the prey item. Even then, a lot of snakes I have witnessed simply just grabbed the mouse and just started swallowing.
    I had a friend who "Produced" his own venomoids and claimed to have been keeping a few of his first animals for over 15 years and by visually checking them out, they look great. Some of the best looking animals I've witnessed. This is what helps me decide that digestion does not solely determine aide from the venoms.
    Zane
     
  8. Kikai

    Kikai Elite Member

    I'll have to post the pics when I get home. :)
     
  9. Microscope Jockey

    Microscope Jockey Elite Member

    Lets clarify what I mean when I say "proof". Proof in a scientific sense means many controlled experiments have been performed and reproduced by a number of working groups and the results are consistently the same. Additionally it helps if these results have been published in a reputable peer reviewed journal. To be fair you can never actually "prove" anything in science but you can present "irrefutable evidence". Just because a venom component has been shown to have proteolytic activity (breaks down proteins) does not mean it aids in digestion but then again it doesn't mean that it doesn't. Conclusive reproducable results must be presented. You are perfectly right Zane in your ascertation that different species at different ages would have to be studied but keep in mind that the example I gave for illustrative purposes was simplified and that all age groups and difference species would have to be in different test groups or else the study could not be considored "controlled" as age and species are both variables. Additionally in vitro and in vivo experimentation would have to occur, which would mean sacrificing test subjects under certain circumstances. There is a lot of information available at the moment regarding the molecular classification of different venom components but that is because most research regarding venomous snakes is aimed at better understanding what the components are and what they might do to a human that is bitten with the ultimate objective being the production of antivenins and pharmaceuticals based on snake vemon components. So to reinterate my original opinion: there just is not enough information available either way regarding venomoids in relation to their digestion and other aspects of thier health after surgery.
     
  10. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

  11. Kikai

    Kikai Elite Member

    Pictures

    These are pics of some of the venemoids we were able to see and interact with at NERD when we went up for a visit. I wish I had more time to debate the subject, but my life is hectic with work, kids, yaddada yaddada....so I'll just say that I think venemoids have a place in our world. If the surgery is done by a professional veterinarian there are few complications. The long term captives that have had the surgery are thriving, so digestion isn't too much of a issue. I don't think aimals should have the proceedure for the casual herp enthusiast. I think this is an educational tool only type situation.
    Anyway, here are the pics of the beautiful animals we were able to see and interact with. If they were intact, this experience never would have happened........
     

    Attached Files:

  12. venus

    venus Founding Member

    Those are beautiful, thanks for posting them. Of course my favorite will always be the Gaboon...
     
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The cobras are impressive too.
    Something about that look!
     
  14. Jay DeMore

    Jay DeMore Elite Member

    Truth be told I would love to have one to add to my educational talks.
     
  15. Microscope Jockey

    Microscope Jockey Elite Member

    The cobra to the far right was soooooooo mellow. She has to be prodded excessively to hood up and she was soooooo gorgeous, I was standing well within strike range when that photo was taken. The gaboon viper felt so strange to the touch. They look like velvetbut when you touch them they are rough. We went up there to do something fun for my birthday and we didn't even know the venomoids were there. I'd never even heard of one before that day.
     
  16. Kikai

    Kikai Elite Member

    I never expected them, either, and it was my first time seeing any snake like that in person. I had never heard of "venemoids" prior to seeing them, and I got my butt handed to me on another forum (coughkingsnakecough). Handing me my butt is no small feat!! It was like I had posted a pic of me sitting by a campfire roasting a baby on a stick. One of the other reasons why I'm here and not there. :)
     
  17. Inphormatika

    Inphormatika Elite Member

    I was watching this very interesting show on animal planet, it was something about some hospital where they treat a lot of people who get snake bites. A bit later on in the show, they show a facility where they had I think 50 rattlesnakes (for milking and antivenin purposes). And these weren't your average rattler, either. They would apparently catch wild ones and then test the potentcy of their neurotoxins, and only keep the very strongest. One of the things it showed was feeding time for the snakes. I dunno if those mice were P/K or F/T, but they were certainly dead. Given the amount of time facilities such as that one have been open, it would be interesting to se what kind of data they have on feeding dead prey.
     
  18. Kikai

    Kikai Elite Member

    I agree, Inphormatika! That would be a good place to start research at least. I watch that show, too, with my kids. I think it's called Venom ER.
     
  19. KrokadilyanGuy3

    KrokadilyanGuy3 Elite Member

    Heh.. Kingsnake..
    Most forums I visit have a low tolerance for -moids and have never really been civil by any means when it comes to this. However, you will always have people disagreeing with something in this hobby, as I disagree with morphs and hybrids. Can't make everyone happy.
    Zane

     
  20. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Beautiful pics Kathy and Heather, but I completely disagree with venomoids. I think it is wrong and disgusting.

    There is no reason IMO to de-venom a snake - the main argument for seems to be for educational purposes. I went to a show once that taught about venomous snakes, and it was brilliant, and no venomoids in sight.. the snakes were displayed and handled by trained people behind glass. Anyway, IMO, allowing people to touch venomoids creates a false security with snakes, which would not react in the same way in the wild.

    I think it is a cruel practice, and not at all neccessary,. for those people who own venomoids as pets, there is no reason. There are plenty of snakes that are beautiful, that cannot cause death by injecting venom. If someone is to own a snake that could kill in the wild, they should own it with the respect it deserves in its natural form. IMO someone who keeps a venomoid as a pet cannot be bothered to go through the proper training needed to keep venomous, wants a status symbol, and doesn't want to risk death.

    I read an amazing article, "against" venomoids, by Mark O'Shea, in reply to an article "for" venomoids, and I will happily send it to anyone who wants to read it. I also have the "for" article. Mark's piece is fantastic and every point he makes is absolutely right.
     
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