at Tue Feb 7 08:50:24 2012 [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by CaseyLazik ]
Hey Stu. Sorry to hear about this. Mitch and Rick clearly have a lot of experience with the species and this condition. As it has been pointed out, however, it is not KNOWN what the cause is although stress in the environment does look to be at least one contributing factor. The fact that you have never seen this condition in the four plus decades you have been keeping snakes, including zonata, lead me to think you probably have a handle on the correct husbandry for the species. We've had numerous conversations about Lampropeltis over the years and you clearly understand the differences between alterna and zonata. Considering how quickly the snakes came down with the condition, I think it is just as possible the snakes got stressed during the shipping process as any other reason that caused the condition to appear. This is assuming they were healthy to begin with, which really is not possible to know for sure.
It seems that this thread has gone from "what is it?" to "what is going to be done about it?" or "who is liable?". In other words, is the breeder going to refund the money? Does this breeder have a small collection or is it a large collection of zonata with new animals coming in frequently? There's more we don't know about this condition than what we do.
As a breeder and businessman, I would take them back and refund the money with an apology to my customer. I would also discuss what has worked best for me and make sure this information was readily available. The point is, none of us know for sure what caused this and as a breeder, I feel there is an obligation to do the right thing and take the sick animals back and refund the money. I hope he/she will work out a satisfactory solution to the problem.
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