This snake’s got balls. Golf balls, that is, stuck inside her stomach!
From the Georgia Sea Turtle Center Facebook page on March 18: “We performed surgery on a grey rat snake that was found in a chicken coop in Newton, Georgia today. This snake had mistaken golf balls for chicken eggs and ate them. Without surgery to remove the golf balls, this snake surely would have died, as she could not pass them. This was a delicate operation as we had to cut into the stomach (where there is a lot of bacteria), so Dr. Norton and Dr. Cassle (a visiting resident veterinarian) had to be sure to keep the incision site very clean and flushed out. They also had to make sure each layer of the stomach, body cavity lining, and skin were sutured closed. The snake has been started on antibiotics and we are hoping she will recover quickly!” less
“Here is an x-ray of the rat snake.”
“The snake was fully anesthetized and intubated for surgery.”
“Dr. Norton and Dr. Cassle look at one of the offending golf balls.”
“Dr. Norton removing the first golf ball!”
“After over an hour, just one last layer to suture closed!”
This was a delicate operation, as the incision into the stomach had to be flushed out and kept clean because of all the bacteria in the stomach.
Veterinarians at the facility then had to ensure each layer of the snake’s stomach, body cavity lining, and skin were sutured closed. She is now on antibiotics, hoping to make a quick recovery.
This little snake is lucky: Since she could not pass the golf balls, they surely would have killed her.
Check out these x-rays of some other animals who swallowed things that did not belong in their stomach: