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Terry L. Rhodes, Executive Director

It should be noted that all the causes of regurgitation mentioned here can also lead to vomiting. The mechanics are different but the cause is often the same. That’s not to say that only these things can lead to regurgitation (or vomiting for that matter), but that these are some well known causes in snakes.

How to prevent regurgitation

Sometimes despite your best efforts you will find yourself needing to treat a snake which is regurgitating its meals. Clearly it doesn’t take a scientist to realize that if a snake is vomiting it is not getting its nutritional needs met. In cases where a snake is regurigtating repeatedly you will need to worry not just about the causes, but also worry about what the snake needs for proper care.

How to treat a snake that has regurgitated a meal

Next give the snake an opportunity to rest. Don’t handle it or bother it for several days. Don’t shove more food into the snake’s face either. Just let it rest. In fact if your living situation allows for it I suggest setting up a small closet, or room where no one will go in and out of. Put your snake in there to give it even more peace and quiet.

When you do offer it another meal (try to wait about 2 weeks after your snake regurgitates before trying again) it will need to be about 1/4 to 1/2 the size it normally would be. This is especially true of snakes that have vomited, but I use the same principle with snakes that have regurgitated and had great results.

If necessary seek a professional assessment of the situation from a veterinarian. Better to spend $50, $70, $100 on a quick checkup and consultation than to spend ten or twenty times that when the snake has been pushed to the brink.

Snake regurgitation is no small matter and should always be treated with great respect. It can easily move into the realm of becoming a killer if not dealt with accordingly. Never just ignore it and think it will magically fix itself. It is an indication that something is wrong in paradise.

The final piece of advice this article can give is to contact a vet if your snake regurgitates. They may or may not want to see you, but there’s a reason that they are paid professionals who deal with animals and “you’re” not.

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OIP has issued 962 total opinions since its inception in FY 1989, including 355 formal opinion letters. Opinions are designated as formal and made available where they provide guidance on UIPA or Sunshine Law provisions or apply to factual situations that have not been fully addressed in prior formal opinions. Formal opinions are distributed to government agencies and other requesting parties and are also maintained on OIP’s website, where you will also find a searchable index by subject matter of all formal opinions.

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To view or print an opinion letter and summary, just click on the OPINION LETTERS link below. You may alsocontact OIPfor a copy of the signed opinion. Using your editing function, you can do a key word search within the subject matter index for OIP’s formal opinions. Beginning July 2012, formal opinions are groupedon this website by fiscal year (FY), which beginson July 1 and ends June 30. For example, FY 2016 runs from July 1, 2015, throughJune 30, 2016.

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OIP has issued 619 informal opinions since FY 1989 (including U Memo 18-14 and S Memo 18-6). Beginning in FY 2009, OIP has posted on this website charts of its informal opinion letters, in three categories: Sunshine Law opinions, UIPA opinions, and UIPA decisions on appeal.

Beginning July 2012, informal opinions are groupedon this website by fiscal year (FY), which beginson July 1 and ends June 30. For example, FY 2016 runs from July 1, 2015, throughJune 30, 2016.

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In re Office Of Information Practices Opinion Letter No. F15-02 : Order Denying Office of Hawaiian Affairs, Board of Trustees’ Motion for Summary Judgment The Board of the Office of Hawaiian Affairs had appealed OIP Opinion Letter No. F15-02, whichthe First Circuit Court upheld in denying the Board’s motion for summary judgment.

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