Snake Owner’s Toolkit
I decided, based on my experiences working with venomous and constrictors, to write a basic toolkit that every snake owner should have in their snake room. Here’s a list and what each of these household (or not) items should be used for.
- Brown Listerine Antiseptic Mouthwash - The brown “non-scented/flavored” form is the best. With some alcohol in it and a nasty flavor this will remove a biting snake that just won’t let go. This is critical if you have large constrictors. It is also effective in cleaning out the oral cavity of a snake with an upper respiratory infection or mouthrot along with proper veterinary care.
- Neosporin w/o Pain Relief - Do not get the type with pain relief, as it contains chemicals toxic to reptiles. This is a great thing to use on flesh wounds that could occur from a rodent bite or from a cage injury. As with the listerine, it is not a replacement for veterinary care but does help prevent infections in small wounds.
- Snake Hook or Tongs - This tool will prove more useful than you think. Large constrictors should be trained with hooks so they can discern feeding time from handling time. Even large colubrids (like my feisty 9ft blue beauty snake!) are sometimes easier to work with using tongs or hooks. Plus they are a great thing to have in the field or the car if you ever want to move snakes off the road! A MUST for working with venomous.
- Temp Gun / IR Thermometer - One from home depot would work fine, but you don’t need one with an extreme range either. This allows you to measure accurate temperatures in a snakes enclosure without disturbing them. Another must for venomous.
- Kitchen Scale - This is the one I have, and it’s worked great for 6 years! This is great for smaller species like corn snakes and ball pythons to track weights or to track weight loss in a non-feeding snake. Also good for breeding if you want to weigh gravid females, eggs, or babies.
- PAM and Reptile Spray - No, not the kind in your kitchen. Prevent-A-Mite is a must for bringing in new animals (spray only the substrate w/o water bowl, follow instructions) to prevent mite outbreaks, and is also the most effective in treating mites if you already have them. Reptile Spray can be used directly on the animal (unlike PAM) to help relieve some immediate discomfort. If you are having trouble with mold in your cages on your decor, BioShield works wonders.
- Chlorhexidine - By far the best cleaning solution for your reptiles. For one, it’s cheap, and you dilute it 1 oz per gallon, so it lasts you forever! It also is safer than bleach solution and is not risky to our reptiles fragile respiratory systems. No rinsing or airing out needed.
- Liquid Band-Aid - For breeders! If you ever have mold on eggs or a weak spot or even a tear, you can repair it with liquid bandaid. Works like a charm.
- Leather Welding Glove - Not necessarily needed. Is useful if you have a particularly bitey squirmy snake that won’t sit on a hook. Some venomous keepers use these for small snakes or babies, but based on my experience I don’t recommend using gloves for venomous. Rear-fangs would probably be more acceptable to use this with.
This isn’t the stuff you’ll find at Petco but more likely online or at your local hardware store. Hope this is of some use to you, as these are often things recommended to keepers for certain issues and I thought making a concise list would be more helpful.