Snakes can be fascinating pets and at Molesey Vets we’re pleased to say that we welcome them with into our surgery with open arms. A snake vet from our specialised team can provide consultations for your pet, as well as a weight clinic and health checks. You’ll be matched with a highly qualified snake veterinarian and they’ll be able to offer advice on a range of subjects including nutrition, husbandry and sex determination.
Please call our regular telephone number 0208 979 1384 during office hours and speak to one of our receptionists who will help book you for the correct consultation appointment.
Please remember to inform our receptionists how many snakes you will be bringing. Each snake will need to be scheduled individually for a consultation to allow the vet time to properly examine them, and discuss their individual problems.
Please note that our staff who answer the ‘Emergency Call’ number outside of office hours are unable to book regular day time consultations.
Here is a guideline to the different types of consultations we normally provide:
Once you have made the appointment please make sure that you, or whoever is bringing in the pet, has all the information as follows:
Please note that to sign a consent form (for example for an operation or if you pet needs to be admitted into hospital) legally it must be someone over the age of 18 years old to sign.
We require payment for the services provided immediately after a consultation. If your pet does unfortunately need to be admitted to hospital or for surgery you will be required to pay a deposit. To try and make it more convenient for you we do accept payments by cash, cheque, debit and credit cards.
And don’t forget to collect your Molesey Card – our free loyalty card that rewards you with 1% back on everything you spend with us! The card is free to all Molesey clients, and we even give you 500 points (=£5) to get you started! Ask at reception the next time you visit the surgery for more details.
We recommend your bring your newly acquired snake in for a health check before you take it home and, from then on, yearly health checks.
These health checks aim to create awareness of proper feeding and home care, as well as how to diagnose and treat any existing health problems that are early in the disease process.
Our health checks include a full physical examination where your vet will examine your snake from nose to tail for outward signs of disease.
Further tests are available at additional cost, and these include:
You will be asked a series of important questions about your snake including:
It is a good idea for you (or your representative in the consultation) to have thought about these issues and checked that you know as many details as possible before your visit.
Husbandry is essentially the ‘care’ that you provide for your snake and includes housing, bedding (substrate), hides (caves, plants etc.), heating and lighting.
With approximately 3000 species of snake recorded, each species of snake has very it’s own specific husbandry needs. If you’re thinking about keeping a snake as a pet, it is important that you know these requirements. Don’t worry, we can help!
If you’re unsure of it’s species then our trained snake specialist can help identify it during your consultation. If it is an unusual species we may have to take some photos and do some research after the consultation.
The vast majority of problems we see with pet snakes are related to problems with husbandry.
Areas you need to consider, and which can be discussed further with your vet are:
Again, each species of snake has it’s own nutritional needs.
The frequency of feeding is very important as snakes are often overfed in captivity.
Younger snakes that are still growing may need feeding every 2-3 days. Small to medium adult snakes will need feeding weekly, and very large species as little as 4-5 times per year!
If you’re unsure, then ask your vet during a consultation about the frequency you should feed your snake.
Snakes in captivity often need diets supplements to provide balanced nutrition (for example, calcium and vitamin D3). This can be discussed in detail during your consultation – it is important to understand that, whilst supplementation is often necessary, it should only be carried out under veterinary guidance. This is because overdoses are possible and potentially very serious.
Again, the food items used are dependent on what species of snake you have. The items need to be of good quality and free from disease.
We usually do not recommend the feeding of live prey for many reasons. One of the main reasons is the potential for injuries to your snake caused by live prey items such as rats and mice. You also need to consider the welfare considerations for the poor prey!
The husbandry your snake receives is effected by their sex, so it’s important to knowing your snakes gender. It can also determine what certain disease processes he/she is susceptible to (for example female snakes developing follicular stasis or egg binding).
At our clinic, we can usually determine the sex of your pet snake fairly easily.
Our specially trained vets can safely, cleanly and effectively determine sex using a technique called probing. A metal probe is inserted in the vent (the hole through which poop is passed) and by doing this your vet will be able to determine whether you have a boy or a girl. This process doesn’t need to take place under anesthetics, and can be completed whilst you wait.
Should your snake be taken ill, your vet may need to hospitalise them either for a short period of a day or two whilst investigations are underway, or for longer periods whilst they are being treated.
We have a designated exotics room (our ‘hot ward’) that has been optimised for your snake’s environment, providing the conditions essential to recovery. As with all reptiles, snakes are ectothermic, or cold- blooded, and rely entirely on the environment around them to drive their metabolism.
Providing them with the correct environment is the most influential factor in raising a healthy, happy snake.
Your snake and its environment are frequently monitored during it’s stay in our hospital. Any of it’s treatments are provided by our team of Veterinary Surgeons and Registered Veterinary Nurses.
We carry a large selection of food items. However, if your snake has a particular favourite or has a specific dietary need you may be asked to bring some food in for the duration of it’s stay.
It’s hard to believe, but it is possible for your snake to get fat!
In fact, it is quite common for snakes in captivity to be overweight owing either to being fed too much, too often or simply eating the wrong type of food items.
The good news is that our team of specialist snake veterinarians can help you with practical advice to try and get your snake back into a healthier condition.
To help avoid obesity issues we recommend regular weighing and measuring of your snake so that your vet can determine his/her BODY CONDITION SCORE. This is simply a quantitative assessment of weight to size and body fat to muscling. Should it be needed, this can be done during the physical examination.
You can download our PDF documents for more information.
Guinea Pig – Feeding
Cat – Moving House
Exotic – Critical Care
Cat & Dog – Bereavement