Snake answers, part 1

by Tammy McCormack. 0 Comments

Wow! I cannot believe how many emails I receive each week pertaining to questions about snakes, whether it's a pet snake, or native wild snake.

So I thought I would answer some emails that I thought were quite interesting from you.

1. What is the best snake for the first time snake keeper?

My professional opinion would be a ball python. They are a very hearty snake and they easily adapt. They vary rarely bite and are good eaters. They do not require a lot in regards to their habitat. There are wonderful people out there that know a lot about this subject such as those at your local pet store or animal shelter. Perhaps they can help you more.

2. What do I do if my snake has mouth rot or pneumonia?

As a snake trapper with a strong background in snake care and biology, I think you should never attempt to treat these types of illnesses. You could do more harm than good. There are wonderful exotic vets throughout Maryland who specialize in snakes and reptiles. You should contact one of these vets since they are highly trained to treat these issues.

3. Last summer I was bitten by a Maryland black snake. Should I have gone to the emergency room? It was just a minor bite.

Well, I am no doctor, but a mild infection can occur. You should have contacted your doctor or went to the emergency room. I have always been told to keep your tetanus shots up to date just in case this happens, but do not hold me to that since this is best discussed with your doctor.

4. My dog was bitten by a copperhead? She seemed to be fine but the next day she passed away.

I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your beloved pet. I am always responding to these types of calls. Never let your pet go without vet attention after a copperhead bite. They will become very ill from the snake's venom. Do not assume it is a dry bite. I hope your pet did not suffer, but, please, if this ever happens, regardless of whether it's an animal or human that gets bit, get medical attention immediately.

I so much enjoy answering your questions. Next week, I'll answer a few more.

As always, get out an enjoy nature during the winter.

*Tammy McCormack is a licensed DNR MD snake trapper. She writes an online columm for the You may contact her at

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