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Old 05-10-17, 03:44 PM   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

Yes that's the aim of that article; to inform people on how to setup UV in a way that is safe for the animals. I think it's very important such information is spread to people as your general petstore is perfectly content to sell you a lamp which has a UVI of 15 at the distance you intent to use it, simply because it's more expensive. That will kill your animal in short order.

The knowledge on UV in a "XL" type petstore that has everything you wish to get close to my home is almost infuriating. I had a talk with the guy managing the reptile department about the dangers the setups pose to the animals (f.e. 10.0 UV light hanging right in the vision of the basking animals (beardies)) and even got him to understand why it's bad only to realize that he simply said "yes" to things to get rid of me as the next time I came (and consecutive times) ... nothing changed. Treating a UV light as a normal light is very dangerous as we humans cannot see those wavelengths and basically without proper knowledge one shouldn't even touch those lights. Perhaps I should ask him to lay 12 hours straight under solarium lighting to get him to understand.
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Old 05-10-17, 03:59 PM   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

There are more than enough threads covering the ineptitude of pet stores and those who work there. I am interested in establishing the benefits, or lack thereof, of exposing rodent eating snakes to UVB. Anecdotal observations of perceived behavior modification are not interesting.
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Old 05-10-17, 04:06 PM   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

What exactly would you like to see FWK? I can ask Fran if there is any further research available.

Personally I would provide UV, in some form, to most any captive reptile that I have.
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Old 05-10-17, 04:21 PM   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

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Originally Posted by Skipper7 View Post
What exactly would you like to see FWK? I can ask Fran if there is any further research available.

Personally I would provide UV, in some form, to most any captive reptile that I have.
If I have not stated it clearly enough already, I want to know what benefits exposing rodent eating snake to UVB provides. As someone who keeps quite a few snakes, and takes pride in providing them proper care, this is potentially very important. It has been suggested in this thread that "they hugely benefit" (they being rodent eating snakes) from being exposed to UVB. I want to know how.
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Old 05-10-17, 04:40 PM   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

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There are more than enough threads covering the ineptitude of pet stores and those who work there. I am interested in establishing the benefits, or lack thereof, of exposing rodent eating snakes to UVB. Anecdotal observations of perceived behavior modification are not interesting.
Exact research in this area is limited. There has only been some research in diurnal snakes which shows the health benefits of providing UVB to them. It's a rather new research area..

I'm sure Fran would be able to provide you a multitude of reference materials and information. She has done extensive research into this area and has a veterinary background herself.

Also the article itself contains 1.5 page of references..
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/18241029
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/19484753
https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3427189/

There are many more references but the above are specifically for snakes and benefits of moderated UV radiation in general.

Edit: there should be plenty of easy to find articles on benefits of D3, and benefits of UV exposure in general (same applies for humans as for other species). Humans also don't need UV exposure per se, but not exposing oneself to UV comes also with health risks (decreased immune response, cardiovascular effects, cancers, ...).

Last edited by TRD; 05-10-17 at 04:50 PM..
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Old 05-10-17, 06:32 PM   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

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Originally Posted by FWK View Post
...and it even warns of issues that exposure can cause, such as skin cancer and vision damage. [/URL]
This is why i'm not sold...If a snake loves their UVB light that's great...but is it worth it if there's a greater rish of developing cataracts after a decade of being under it? I'll let those who really feel strongly about it's benefits use it to find out, not me, at least not right now. I work with eyes for a living so it makes me think about these things much deeper than some.
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Old 05-10-17, 10:56 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

@Andy. The uv a snake in the wild is exposed to is way way above anything we can provide in a viv. Think of my olive pythons - the uvi index for North West Australia is exceptionally high for example.

In captivity you just need to provide light, shade and the option for total darkness. The snake will then photoregulate much as it would thermoregulate.

Again my snakes demonstrate this all the time. Whilst they all were all out basking at the time of that photo if I went in late morning they'd likely all be hiding.

Note snakes use uvb for much more than just D3 production (although they do use it for that just not to the extent lizards do) but they also see it and use it for visual perception thus not providing uv is depriving a snake of a proportion of its sight, not harming it.

Snakes are incredibly good at sensing their needs and expose themselves to uv as and when they require it but as stated above absolutely they need to be able to get out of it.

Some keepers have been using uv for 10+ years with no ill effects and use it on some very rare snakes and some very expensive collections and do not see it as a risk whatsoever.

I understand your caution but all I can say is try it and you will see positive behavioural changes in your snakes. I'll leave you with this comment from a chap called Francis Cosquieri - a UK resident with a huge and diverse collection (and i quote with his permission):

'It amuses me when people argue until they are blue in the face that these animals "don't react" or "are not affected" by UV.

Contrary to the opinions of some, we don't just pull our opinions out of thin air, rather from actually seeing the differences in our animals.

I freely admit I used to keep many (MANY) snakes in racks and tubs for years, at one point about half of a collection that at the time was over 300 strong.

It was not reading books or papers that changed my mind, it was observing the difference with my own eyes when the animals are provided with this stimulus that convinced me to shift everything I keep over to UV. That was around ten years ago and I have never been more satisfied about my choice than I am today.'
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Old 05-10-17, 11:20 PM   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

I would also throw a challenge out there. People have asked for papers to show snakes need uv. Is anyone in the contrary side of the argument willing to find a paper (science peer reviewed as was requested of me) that shows snakes do not benefit from uv.

Note I am already aware of the one where all the snakes went blind. That was research by Fran Baines also and she later discovered the bulbs used in the research were defective and emitted strong uvc which was the cause of the blindness. These bulbs are no longer on the market.
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Old 05-11-17, 07:38 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

Definitely some things to ponder, Danny. I can't say that it's a black and white issue, and that intrigues me.
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Old 05-11-17, 09:09 AM   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

This has reached the point, and predictably so, where I'll just be repeating myself, so I will not post again on this topic unless real data is tabled. You continue to offer only your own anecdotal accounts of what you see as behavior modification as evidence of a benefit otherwise unmeasurable. I understand the benefits you are seeing, and they are entirely your own. You like to be able to see your animals. Humans are highly visual creatures, I get it. The increase in D3 production observed in the paper on Corn Snakes is exactly what we'd expect to see, but extra D3 does not necessarily denote a benefit. Excess D3 is exactly that, and will be filtered out by the body and disposed of. It's like suggesting I would be healthier simply by doubling up on my multivitamin intake. In reality my body would just have to work harder to dispose of the excess. Clearly much more research is needed, but based on decades of highly successful snake keeping by millions of hobbyist and professionals that do not offer UVB I suspect the benefits are likely minimal at best. If you'd like to make a rather silly comparison, for humans the negatives of UV exposure far outweigh the benefits.

It is also worth noting that snakes are largely instinctually driven animals. If they were so good at sensing their needs thermostats wouldn't be so critical as they are. It is demonstrable that certain species in particular (I'm looking at you Ball Pythons) cannot sense surface temperature and will therefor quite literally cook themselves if given the opportunity. Observing that they appear to utilize UVB basking opportunities certainly does not mean they derive any benefit from it. They bask because instinct dictates them, not because they are aware of a benefit. It is up to us to determine what they do and don't need, and provide the proper conditions accordingly. Thus far I have seen no evidence to even suggest that rodent eating snakes benefit from UVB exposure.
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Old 05-11-17, 09:46 AM   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

I'm sharing here two great answers about the UVB for snakes debate.
One is from John Courteney-Smith HERE
The other is from Frances M Baines HERE

These files are shared on my google drive as I can't find the original source at the moment.

I think is is a good read and with some good points on the matter.
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Old 05-11-17, 10:05 AM   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

The one by John Courteney Smith mentions that UV lighting helps with shedding and growth...I have to mention that I've never used UV lighting for snakes yet have never had slow growers or bad sheds aside from perhaps a handful of tail tips over the years... Nothing mentioned about relative humidity, substrate choices, different prey items and the differences in nutrition...just UV. How can that not be regarded at best as extremely subjective?

The second paper has the following; "..This paper does not, however, establish whether snakes do synthesise vitamin D3 in the skin..." "...Nature typically utilises free resources very effectively; we should not be surprised if it turns out that very few snake species are unable to synthesise vitamin D3 in the skin under natual UVB light." It also goes on to mention that there is less risk of skin damage from the sun in comparison to one of the products studied.

@ Danny, that paper above mentions that it was actually a light with high UVB output, not UVC as you mentioned...I believe that's the same paper you're referring to? I will continue to use LED light in my vivs to enhance aesthetics. Practically everything so far I have read including what you has posted in months' past, although creating a bit of a grey area rather than black and white and very intriguing, seems subjectively biased. As far as your challenge is concerned, the desire for me to prove what you're asking simply isn't there. Why you ask? Well, when a new idea or method of keeping is domonstrated and the goal is for it to be accepted, it should really be proven in order for that to happen, not the other way around. I'll use UV lighting when it's demonstrated objectively that there is a benefit and will continue to raise, breed and sell perfectly healthy snakes without it just like the thousands of breeders before me. You will use UV because you think your snakes benefit from it, and there's nothing wrong with what either of us are doing at the end of the day. Still skeptical...intrigued...but skeptical.
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Old 05-11-17, 10:16 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

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Originally Posted by FWK View Post
This has reached the point, and predictably so, where I'll just be repeating myself, so I will not post again on this topic unless real data is tabled. You continue to offer only your own anecdotal accounts of what you see as behavior modification as evidence of a benefit otherwise unmeasurable. I understand the benefits you are seeing, and they are entirely your own. You like to be able to see your animals. Humans are highly visual creatures, I get it. The increase in D3 production observed in the paper on Corn Snakes is exactly what we'd expect to see, but extra D3 does not necessarily denote a benefit. Excess D3 is exactly that, and will be filtered out by the body and disposed of. It's like suggesting I would be healthier simply by doubling up on my multivitamin intake. In reality my body would just have to work harder to dispose of the excess. Clearly much more research is needed, but based on decades of highly successful snake keeping by millions of hobbyist and professionals that do not offer UVB I suspect the benefits are likely minimal at best. If you'd like to make a rather silly comparison, for humans the negatives of UV exposure far outweigh the benefits.

It is also worth noting that snakes are largely instinctually driven animals. If they were so good at sensing their needs thermostats wouldn't be so critical as they are. It is demonstrable that certain species in particular (I'm looking at you Ball Pythons) cannot sense surface temperature and will therefor quite literally cook themselves if given the opportunity. Observing that they appear to utilize UVB basking opportunities certainly does not mean they derive any benefit from it. They bask because instinct dictates them, not because they are aware of a benefit. It is up to us to determine what they do and don't need, and provide the proper conditions accordingly. Thus far I have seen no evidence to even suggest that rodent eating snakes benefit from UVB exposure.

I began typing out a very similar, yet somewhat less coherent response earlier, but decided to just delete it. But, since you've said it so well, I'll just piggyback and say, "Ditto."

I'm open to the possibility that UVB might benefit rodent-eating snakes, but I'm going to need some real data to believe it. It just seems very unlikely they get much, if any benefit from it.
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Old 05-11-17, 10:32 AM   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

For what reason do animals have instincts though? They are survival mechanisms so inherent in a species the behaviour is genetically coded.

It is generally only vital or very beneficial behaviours that become instinctive ones. Why is it snakes preferentially seek a uvb source over a non -uvb source (yes there are papers proving this behaviour).

And as I say snakes see far in to the uvb portion of the spectrum so to not provide it is to deprive them of a good deal of visual sensory information. Ok this information may not be essential or even required for health of survival but you wouldn't keep a dog and cover one of its eyes for example.

I guess much of this depends on husbandry philosophy and that's not meant as a criticism even though I appreciate it may come across as one. I will spend more on a setup than the average keeper because I want to keep my snakes as naturally as is possible given the available technology. In nature they have the option of uv exposure so I provide it I captivity.

I will post the details of a whole host of papers as well.

And as I say - my challenge is there also and i think it a fair one. You've asked for and courtesy of TRD have been provided with some papers suggesting uv to be beneficial. Equally I am asking for papers showing it is not beneficial because thus far your counter arguments are only anecdotal.

It is not a fair debate if we are not allowed to rely purely on anecdotal evidence but you are. You are asking for the science - so am I
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Old 05-11-17, 11:25 AM   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Need Information please

I did warn the OP in my post at the very beginning that this was a hotly debated subject...so far I haven't been disappointed!

Hopefully the OP is enjoying themselves!!
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