Ultrasound for a Snake

Last Thursday Katy and I took Todd, our black rat snake in for an ultrasound of his heart. Since Dr. Godshalk, a board certified veterinary radiologist, doesn’t have a lot of snakes for clients, we had to bring a “normal” snake so she could compare the heart of one to the other. We took the snakes to VSH in Cary- this is where, 3 years ago, Dr. Godshalk helped us out with Cassandra’s brush with death. All went well.

Todd was a great patient!
G, our healthy corn snake was used as a comparison, and we checked out the anatomy poster before beginning.


Dr. Godshalk checked out G first to get some normal sizes to compare to.


We learned that Todd’s heart is huge- and not in a good way. We’ll gather the results and figure out the best next steps.


4 responses to Ultrasound for a Snake

  1. Michele says:

    Might a large heart indicate that Todd is really athletic (IronSnake?) or that he’s just really kind?

    Did Dr. Godshalk consider these options? 😉

    Very cool post. Look forward to the updates.

  2. Sherry Samuels says:

    unfortunately, this large heart is not a good thing. We haven’t determined the next best ways to proceed yet.

    As far as us noticing, this snake has had interesting issues on and off. Quite honestly, Katy noticed one day she could see the snake’s heart beating… not usually able to be seen by the naked eye.

  3. dj says:

    Kudos to Katy, only one of the Museum’s wonderful keepers, for noticing Todd’s heart problem. Also read an older blog where the keepers noticed Cassandra the lemur’s respiratory problem early which saved her and that blog said it was during Keeper’s Appreciation Week. Think Cassandra’s blog was last July either this week or next week. Thank the keepers!!!

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