Python's X-Ray Proves Life-Threatening Mistake

A python in Australia made a major mistake when it decided to make a meal out of a slipper.

A Coastal carpet python had to undergo surgery after it ingested a slipper it found in an Australian home. Dr. Josh Llinas, of HerpVet, a reptile department within the Greencross Jindalee Veterinary Clinic, performed the hour-long surgery on the reptile, sharing images of the surprising X-rays and the extraction to the veterinary office's Facebook page.

"You can't make this stuff up folks. This wild, Coastal carpet python, was brought into the clinic by a local snake catcher after it was found in a home having ingested a slipper. This made for one of the most impressive radiographs I have seen," Llinas wrote in the Facebook post.

The slipper, which was too large and lodged too far into the snake's body, had to be removed via coeliotomy and gastrotomy. The reptile was under general anesthesia while the vet performed the surgery, making a 17-inch incision in order to remove the foreign object, according to Australia's Courier Mail.

"Sometimes you can remove the foreign bodies by helping them after they've been relaxed…by helping them move it up the digestive tract and out of the mouth. This was just way too big and it wasn't going to come out," Llinas said.

"After removal of the slipper…the stomach was closed in two layers, the body wall muscle was closed and surgical staples were used for the skin," HerpVet explained.

The python was given fluids, anti inflammatories and pain killers, and will be in rehabilitation for multiple days, though it is not known where he will go after rehabilitation.

The snake found itself in its less than pleasant predicament after it slithered into the home of an elderly man in a Haigslea, west of Brisbane. The man had called a relative after he noticed that one of his slippers was missing, and during their search for the missing footwear, they came across the Coastal carpet python.

"The man was going to bed, and normally he puts his slippers under his bed. What happened was he woke up Wednesday morning and there was a missing slipper. They were looking for the slipper, and couldn't find it anywhere. Someone thought maybe a possum took it, so they were looking around for a possum, and that's when they discovered the snake days later," Sally Hill of N&S Snake Catcher explained. "You could feel the rubber in its stomach, you could feel the sole of the slipper through the skin."

While it may seem odd, Dr. Llinas said that it is not all that unusual for a snake to ingest foreign objects.

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"In the last couple of months, I've had quite a few foreign bodies removed from snakes. I had a pillow case removed from a black-headed python, and just a few months ago, I had a tennis ball removed from a snake," he said. "This was probably one of the more unusual things I've removed. I've heard of others swallowing thongs, stuffed toys. You name it, they will eat it."