Animal Hospital

Serving Bel Air, Aberdeen & Surrounding Areas

The Hospital

Chadwell Animal Hospital opened its doors in September 2003. It was a collaborative effort by Dr. Keith Gold and Dr. Ruby Schaupp (a husband and wife team).
Chadwell Animal Hospital

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3004 Emmorton Road
Abingdon, MD 21009
443-512-8338



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Captive Care of North American Colubrid Snakes

Captive Care of North American Colubrid Snakes

Posted by Chadwell Animal Hospital on Sep 2, 2014

(King Snakes, Rat Snakes, Indigos, Hognoses, Garters, Water and Others) Client Handout from the: Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery, Vol. 10, Iss. 3 & 4, 2000   HOUSING Most colubrid snakes can be housed in smooth sided cages such as glass aquariums, or fiberglass snake cages. Wooden cages are not advisable for long-term housing. Cages should be as long as the snake and the width should be one half the snake’s length. Outdoor snake enclosures also work excellently. Several substrates (bedding material) can be utilized. Indoor/outdoor carpet works extremely well, especially for those snakes which eat fish. Other snakes will do well on a variety of wood chips. These include cypress mulch, pine bark mulch, and aspen bedding. Cedar chips are not recommended due to the aromatic which they contain. These compounds may be very irritating to a snake’s respiratory system or skin. Combinations of wood chips on one side of a cage and moist sphagnum moss or soil on the other side may be necessary for some of the smaller snakes. This gives the snake a needed choice of substrate type. Water should be provided at all times in a smooth water bowl that is not easily tipped over.  Alternatively, water may be provided twice weekly for several hours each time. This is especially useful when cage ventilation is poor. A hide box or some other area(s) should be provided for every snake. These boxes provide needed security for snakes, and may help to reduce stress and therefore disease. Rocks, branching sticks, and other cage additions provide environmental enrichment, and are very useful to snakes in terms of...

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Captive Care of Bell’s Hingeback Tortoise, Kinixys belliana

Captive Care of Bell’s Hingeback Tortoise, Kinixys belliana

Posted by Chadwell Animal Hospital on Sep 2, 2014

Client Handout from the: Journal of Herpetological Medicine and Surgery, Vol. 10, Iss.1, 2000 Introduction Bell’s hingeback tortoise, Kinixys belliana, is one of the most common tortoise species seen in the pet trade. Unfortunately, the vast majority of specimens offered for sale are imported, wild caught animals that have proven difficult to establish in captivity. It is a moderately large African tortoise, with adults measuring up to 22 centimeters and weighing up to 2 kilograms. Adult male specimens have a much longer tail than females. The preferred habitat of Bell’s hingeback is savanna and grassland. As these areas exhibit strong seasonal changes in precipitation and temperatures, the activity of the tortoises may be restricted to particular times of the year. In South Africa, for example, Bell’s hingeback may become inactive during the cool winter months of May through September. Such seasonal patterns are like important for successful captive breeding of the species. Selecting a Specimen A healthy hingeback should feel heavy and solid, roughly the same as an equivalent volume of water. A tortoise that feels light or hollow is likely dehydrated and malnourished. Hingebacks may be very shy so patience and gentle handling is necessary to allow inspection of the head and limbs. The eyes should be open and clear, or should open within seconds of initial handling. Eyes that are swollen or sealed shut may indicate dehydration or conjunctivitis. The nostrils should also be clear. Any nasal discharge should raise suspicion of a possible respiratory infection. The skin should be thoroughly inspected for ticks, mites, swellings, or lacerations. The shell may have a variety of injuries, some...

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Ball Python Care Sheet

Ball Python Care Sheet

Posted by Chadwell Animal Hospital on Sep 2, 2014

Scientific Name:  Python regius Common Name:  Ball Python, AKA Royal Python Where are they found?  West and central Africa from Senegal to Uganda, northern Sudan and Ethiopia. Natural Habitat:  Dry brush, cleared forest, open grasslands, savanna. Description:  Very thick bodied snake, about twice as thick as other pythons of the same length. Small head and very short tail. Heat sensing pits on the face between nose and mouth. Vocalization:  None Size:  Adults up to 5 ft, most about 4 ft. Hatchlings are about 12-18 inches long. Life Expectancy:  20-30 years. Record is 47 years. Color:  Chocolate brown ground color with cream colored blotches on the sides. Thin yellow strip from nose to neck. White belly. Many captive color and pattern morphs. Diet in the wild:  Gerbils, rats, mice and other small rodents. Do they make good pets?  Captive bred animals make an excellent choice, but wild caught sometimes make poor pets (usually have external parasites also). Housing:  Glass aquariums are not a good choice for ball pythons. It is very difficult to get the correct humidity. 40” x 32” x24” is a good size cage. The cages with the sliding glass door in the front and mesh on the sides work really well. Temperature:  80-90º F day and 70-80º F night. Need an under tank heat source. We do not recommend the use of hot rocks as they can get too hot and burn the animal. Humidity:  The recommended humidity is 60%-70%. If it gets too dry they may have shedding problems and will soak in their water bowl. Don’t keep the whole cage moist as you can have problems with mildew. Keep sections of the cage or hide boxes...

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