Niagara Gazette

Web Extra

August 17, 2013

Pet snakes can slither their way into your heart

(Continued)

Health and sanitation are also considerations that shouldn’t be overlooked when choosing your pet. 

"Hygiene is important," said Gentry. "Salmonella is a bacteria that can be carried by pet reptiles and can be transmitted to humans, so washing hands is recommended after handling a pet snake."

Though there are many snakes that make suitable pets for adults and children alike, the safety of owning a snake as a pet is sometimes called into question. Just recently, two young boys in Canada were strangled to death while they were slept by an escaped pet python.

However, Gentry noted that isolated tragic incidents involving large constrictors or poisonous snakes shouldn't discourage people from choosing an appropriate snake species as a pet.

"It is significantly less common for a snake to harm its owner in any way than for a dog," Gentry said.

About 2 percent of the US population is bitten by a dog every year, leading to more than 30 deaths per year, Gentry said. Large constrictor snakes have killed fewer than 20 people in the United States since 1978.

Gentry explained that the most common causes of a pet snake to bite is a feeding error, where the snake missed the food item and bit the owner's hand, or a handling mistake where the snake clearly demonstrated its intent to bite, but was handled anyway.

"The human animal bond with any pet should not be underestimated," said Gentry. "The risks of owning a pet snake are no greater than owning a dog or cat and absolutely do not outweigh the benefits."

Pet Talk is a service of the College of Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences at Texas A&M University.

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Web Extra
  • Gojira Japanese fans speak on the evolution of 'Godzilla'

    Japanese fans want it known: The radiation-breathing, skyscraper-stomping monster they call "Gojira" was born right here in Japan, 60 years ago.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Bryan Yes! WWE's Daniel Bryan catches suspected burglar

    A former WWE champion known as Daniel Bryan chased two burglary suspects he saw exiting his Phoenix home this week and subdued one until officers arrived, investigators said.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • taylor.armerding.jpg AMERDING: Inequality crisis shot with factual problems, hypocrisy

    President Obama, various media and political liberals say inequality, of all things, is the defining issue of our times. Yet this message is delivered by multimillionaires and a president who jets from tee time to stump speech on the taxpayer's dime.
     

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Almost half of America's obese youth don't know they're obese

    The good news is that after decades of furious growth, obesity rates finally seem to be leveling off in the U.S.. The bad news is that America's youth still appear to be dangerously unaware of the problem.

    July 27, 2014

  • Can plants hear? Study finds that vibrations prompt some to boost their defenses

    They have no specialized structure to perceive sound as we do, but a new study has found that plants can discern the sound of predators through tiny vibrations of their leaves - and beef up their defenses in response.

    July 27, 2014

  • cleaning supplies Don't judge mothers with messy homes

    I was building shelves in my garage when a neighbor girl, one of my 4-year-old daughter's friends, approached me and said, "I just saw in your house. It's pretty dirty. Norah's mommy needs to clean more."

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Russia's war on McDonald's takes aim at the Filet-o-Fish

    Russia said earlier this week that it had no intention of answering Western sanctions by making it harder for Western companies to conduct business in Russia.
    But all bets are off, apparently, when you threaten the Russian waistline.

    July 26, 2014

  • How spy agencies keep their 'toys' from law enforcement

    A little over a decade ago, federal prosecutors used keystroke logging software to steal the encryption password of an alleged New Jersey mobster, Nicodemo Scarfo Jr., so they could get evidence from his computer to be used at his trial.

    July 26, 2014

  • Brother sues W.Va. senator over business loan

    U.S. Sen. Joe Manchin's brother claims he's owed $1.7 million that he loaned to keep a family carpet out of bankruptcy in the 1980s.

    July 26, 2014

  • NIA iPad pals art 1 120613 Has the iPad lost its swag?

    The company reported this week that sales of its sleek, pricey tablet were down 19 percent from last quarter and 9 percent year-over-year. CEO Tim Cook tried to reassure investors that Apple's new partnership with IBM to sell its devices to IBM's corporate customers will help make iPads ubiquitous in the workplace. "This isn't something that worries us," he said of the iPad sales decline. But the numbers are disappointing no matter how you spin them.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

Featured Ads
House Ads
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
Opinion
House Ads
Night & Day
Twitter News
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Front page