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Old July 21st, 2006, 12:05 AM  
Whisper
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Name: Kodie
Join Date: June 30, 2004
Location: Van Island, BC
Age: 29
Gender: Male
Blog Entries: 4
Default Python swallows electric blanket, gets warm, fuzzy feeling inside

It took surgery to save a 4-metre Burmese python after it swallowed an entire queen-size electric blanket — with the electrical cord and control box still attached.

The blanket must have gotten tangled up in the snake's rabbit dinner, said owner Karl Beznosk, who lives in Ketchum, Idaho. He kept the blanket in the cage to keep the 27-kilogram reptile warm.

"Somehow, he was able to unplug the electric cord," Beznoska said Wednesday. "He at least wasn't hooked up to the power. It might have been pretty warm there."

On Tuesday, veterinarian Karsten Fostvedt conducted a two-hour operation on the python, named Houdini.

"The prognosis is great," Fostvedt said after the surgery.
Neither Fostvedt nor fellow veterinarian Barry Rathfon had operated on a snake before.

"We just basically called a couple of specialists and they told us where to go in," Fostvedt said.

X-rays showed the tangle of the blanket's wiring extending through about 2.4 metres of the python's digestive tract. The surgery to remove it required a 46-centimetre incision.

Specialists at the University of California-Davis School of Veterinary Medicine told them it probably would have taken Houdini six hours to swallow the blanket. The snake probably would have died without the operation, Fostvedt said.

Beznoska, a retired ski instructor who now works as a draftsman and carpenter, is from Austria and moved to the Idaho resort area in 1965.
He has owned Houdini for 16 years and takes him to local schools for show-and-tell.


Pre-surgery X-rays of Houdini
a 4-metre Burmese python
that swallowed an entire electric blanket
with the electrical cord and control box.
(Dev Khalsa/Associated Press)

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