Someone asked if I couldn’t just grind up medication and put it in Isis’s food…unfortunately, that doesn’t work for snakes. They eat whole food, you see…and unlike mammals they don’t eat all that often. I feed Isis three rats every other week, and that’s plenty for her…so if I wanted to put antibiotics in her food, I’d have to inject the rat (or feed it a pill), then feed it to Isis, then wait a week for her to digest it…well, you get the idea. 🙁
You also can’t “pill” a snake, for anatomical reasons. The first 1/3 of a snake is mostly esophagus (gullet), plus a little bit of lung. Which means that on Isis, you don’t hit the stomach until about two feet along her length. So if I stuck a pill in her mouth, it’d just sit there in the first two or three inches of her neck, and wouldn’t make it into her system at all.
(Why is there nothing important in the first 1/3 of a snake? Basically, because boas are constrictors–they strike, grab their prey in the mouth, wind the first 1/3 or so of their body around the prey, and squeeze. If they had vital organs there, they’d be squeezing their own vitals. Not the best thing to do, so all the “important” stuff is located further down. I think the only thing you get in the early bits is a little bit of the lungs.)
Oh, and the ribs fold down. I think that’s partly so they can get through tight spaces, but also to keep themselves from breaking their own ribs while catching prey.
Snakes are actually very interesting anatomically–all their vital organs are crammed in lengthwise. I *think* they may even have only one lung, because there isn’t space for two.
Anyway, I think snakes are pretty darn cool, and the way they move is really interesting as well. But you can’t pill them very effectively, which is why poor Isis is getting injections.