MAINTAINING A SNAKE COLONY FOR VENOM COLLECTION.
ARMY MEDICAL RESEARCH LAB FORT KNOX KY
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Housing and sanitation, as well as proper feeding and handling, influence lifespan and venom production of snakes. Housing of snakes includes temperature control and cage construction and cage furnishings. The last is also a factor in sanitation. Construction and furnishing of snake cages is discussed in detail. Technique of snake handling described in detail is important not only for the safety of handlers but also because it affects optimal results of venom extraction and snake mortality. The authors innovations are presented. Techniques of venom collection differ with types of snakes. Improved techniques of extraction have increased production of venom without adverse effects on snakes. Apparatus for venom collection, designed and constructed at USAMRL, has improved yield. The authors new method of obtaining venom from coral snakes, which utilizes a device designed and constructed at USAMRL, is presented. Generally held concepts of feeding are discussed and the authors techniques and instruments are described. Many recommendations regarding feeding are presented. Isolation of newly acquired snakes, detection and prevention of disease and post-mortem examinations, and shipping procedures and equipment used by the authors are discussed. Author
- Animal Husbandry and Veterinary Medicine