Laser Surgery in a Rattlesnake

This wild caught Eastern diamondback had neoplastic (cancerous) growths on its jaw. Laser surgery is being used to remove the growths.

It is unknown what causes cancer in reptiles, but environmental toxicity may be a factor. We have also seen Eastern diamondbacks and cottonmouths in very poor condition in the wild from what we suspect may be organophosphate poisoning from fertilizer runoff. Unfortunately we have not had the budget to run any tests to confirm this.

If you can contribute towards our research budget, we may be able to publish this kind of data and help change the legal status of some types of pesticides that are harming the wildlife.

   Return to index