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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 June, 2004, 11:38 GMT 12:38 UK
Snake slips into tight situation
Corn snake
Corn snakes can grown up to 6ft long
Fire crews and a veterinary surgeon worked through the night to save a snake stuck in its owners wedding ring.

Emergency vets on Tyneside were called at 0100 BST on Saturday after the 4ft-long corn snake became wedged in the ring.

On-call vet Jenny Walton anaesthetised the snake, which was starting to swell.

Firefighters from Hebburn, known as station Tango, cut the ring from the snake - which they later discovered was also named Tango.

The fire brigade were called to the PDSA in Stoneygate Lane, Felling, after the owner's efforts to free the snake had failed.

Jenny Walton, a surgeon for VetsNow, the emergency veterinary service, said corn snakes are not venomous and are usually docile.

The fire crew was great and was able to cut the ring off in about 30 seconds
Jenny Walton, veterinary surgeon

However, the snake had become distressed at its ordeal and its body was beginning to swell where the ring was lodged.

Ms Walton told BBC News Online: "The owners had already tried the usual things like putting oil on the body but the ring would not come off.

"They went to the fire brigade and tried to get it off but the snake was becoming quite agitated and we decided to sedate it."

The five-year-old snake was put into a chamber to administer the gas and brought out for the fire fighters to do their work.

Ms Walton said: "The fire crew was great and was able to cut the ring off in about 30 seconds.

"We then administered oxygen and the snake came round quickly.

"Because the owners acted so quickly, there has been no major damage. Some of the scales have been removed and this could lead to infection, but we administered some antibiotics.

"It may have some trouble when shedding its skin next time, but hopefully the new scales will grow back then.

"We occasionally have incidents where birds which are ringed have problems and we have to cut it off, but this is the first time we have had a snake."



Snakes stolen from zoo
10 Feb 02  |  Scotland
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15 Feb 99  |  UK News

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