PATIENT UPDATE! We have had a great reaction and many questions regarding our Black Rat Snake patient that we posted about on the 18th. The skin is healing nicely and the patient is getting more active every day. Though not yet eating on its own, this patient can be easily tube fed a critical care diet. Many commenters were concerned about the level of pain associated with this injury and we were thrilled to see that so many people care and are aware that yes, of course, reptiles feel pain!
Within moments of intake, this patient was started on a well-balanced pain management protocol including strong opioid pain medication as well as anti-inflammatories. Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of research looking at treating pain in various reptilian species and we encourage all veterinarians and rehabilitators to stay up to date. Protocols that were appropriate 5 or 10 years ago are no longer considered adequate.
We hope that by sharing our experiences treating pain in reptiles it will encourage people to get these injured animals into the right hands as quickly as possible. Because most people are not well-versed in assessing reptile pain levels, many finders feel that the animal is alright if they are alert, moving, and defecating despite skin wounds and shell fractures (which are in fact open bone fractures in turtles). This leaves people believing it is ok to hold onto the animal for a few days to see if it improves before calling their local veterinarians and rehabilitators. These animals are in excruciating pain and attempting to treat them without proper training is akin to breaking your leg and waiting at home on the couch for it to heal without pain management or repair.
We are grateful that we have so many caring individuals in our community who get these animals to us so quickly. Now that you are aware of reptile pain and how properly trained professionals can manage it, we hope you will spread the word and make sure that people get these injured animals to their local wildlife rehabilitators as quickly as possible. Thank you to the finder of this snake for making sure it got the care it needed. We hope that it will continue to do well! Смотреть полностью