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ST. LUCIE COUNTY, Fla. - Think back a few weeks to Easter and Passover. Is your stomach reminding you of your holiday overindulgence?
Dr. Leonard Fox recently came to the aid of a Treasure Coast resident who really overindulged. It was a five and a half foot long yellow rat snake.
"He's actually not that mean," Dr. Fox said.
So how did the snake end up at the Animal Hospital of West Port St. Lucie?
At Easter time, a family spotted the snake slithering in its yard. It had ingested a ceramic egg that was part of the hunt.
"They yelled and screamed and the snake took off. About a month later, they found the snake in their garage with a big old bump in his belly," said Dr. Fox.
The snake, a common species in Florida, was caught and brought to Dr. Fox, where an X-ray confirmed everyone's suspicions.
The X-ray shows the egg pressing against the snake's organs. So Dr. Fox went to work, prepping the snake for surgery. He then made an incision right over the location of the egg going between the scales, dissected down, got the stomach out, made an incision into the stomach, and pulled out the egg.
The snake is all stitched up now and on the road to recovery. The doctor says this was a first for him, and he did do a little research before the procedure.
"I've done many on dogs and cats and I thought it would be similar and it really was," said Dr. Fox.
Dr. Fox says the main difference is that it took more anesthesia than he thought to knock out the snake.
He's been tube feeding the snake and thinks later this week the snake will be ready for his first mouse.
Dr. Fox plans to watch over the snake for the next six months or so that it can shed twice and he can remove its sutures before returning it to the woods.
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