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Opening a Snake's Mouth

Discussion in 'Snakes - General' started by TitoAndKatt, Jan 27, 2011.

  1. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Can someone please instruct me (pictures and videos would be helpful as well) on how to open a snake's mouth to get a peek inside? With all of this stuff with Shiiva lately, I feel that it would be a good thing to know...
    (Shiiva is a BP by the way, but I figured the technique should apply to most snakes...)
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Holding the head and very gently sliding a plastic credit card into the mouth will usually make them gape.
  3. peter84jenkins

    peter84jenkins Well-Known Member

    I agree with Merlin's advice. You can also use one of those 6" cue tips, plastic spoon, clean sexing probe, or a speculum that is designed for propping open a snakes mouth such as this one Speculums

    Just make sure you are gentle.
  4. Flint

    Flint Elite Member

    Also it can be helpful to have an extra set of hands for bigger snakes. When snakey had pneumonia, I had to administer oral medication every 2 days. He eventually learned to bring a coil over and hold his mouth shut by constricting on it lol. So I had to ask my dad to hold his body while I held his head and opened his mouth like merlin suggested.
  5. didisayh

    didisayh Member

    I usually hold my snake's body kind of between my legs while I'm sitting down, and then gently hold the head with one hand and slide the credit card or syringe in near the corner of the mouth.
  6. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Will that not potentially knock/break her teeth? I will see if I can get my bf to help me out, I want to take a peek into Shiiva's mouth just to make sure. And Flint that is hilarious! They are such smart animals they really don't get enough credit. Thanks for the replies I'll update how it goes later. I probably won't be able to try until tomorrow bc I definitely want help.
  7. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Snakes have kinetic skulls - the parts move. When they strike, the teeth come forward. When they are not striking, the teeth are usually folded back, relatively flat. There is always the distinct possibility of a tooth being damaged if you are careless, of there is a sudden movement (from you or the snake.) but by using something smooth and unlikely to snag a tooth (such as a credit card), it is unlikely.
  8. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Ok that makes me feel better. Thank You! :)

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