Snake X-Ray Wins Contest

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Snake X-Ray Wins Contest

Burmese python X-ray wins Veterinary Practice News’ third annual X-ray contest.

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Gregory Rich, DVM, of Metairie, La., has seen plenty of reptiles swallow things they shouldn’t. A heating blanket typically isn’t one of them.

“It’s not your everyday foreign body,” the West Esplanade Veterinary Clinic vet said. But that’s what an X-ray of one his patients, a Burmese python (Python molurus bivittatus), revealed. In its attempt to eat a rabbit placed in its cage, the 12-foot-long snake managed to swallow its 3-foot-by-4-foot heating blanket in the process.


Rich submitted the X-ray for Veterinary Practice News’ third annual X-ray contest. After considering about 60 entries, judges named it the grand prize winner in the professional category.

Rich said most keepers of large snakes don’t use heating blankets inside their cages. Including one with small snakes generally isn’t an issue. “But to have a heating blanket in with a 65-pound snake,” he said, “it can consume a 1-pound heating blanket no problem.”

Python X-ray:

Submitted by
Gregory Rich, DVM
West Esplanade
Veterinary Clinic
Metairie, La.

The patient is a 12-foot-long, 65-pound Burmese python that ate a heating blanket and the rabbit that was on the blanket. Dr Rich is shown post-op holding the 3-foot-by-4-foot blanket.

Frog X-ray:

Submitted by
Shawn Messionner, DVM
Paws & Claws Animal Hospital
Plano, Texas


The owner of this frog owned several expensive exotic frogs.
The radiograph confirmed that this frog ate the gravel substrate
and at surgery 35 rocks of various sizes were removed.