Importance of checking animals before a purchase

I like checking out petco near me every so often (its nice to look at things i dont have and dont have space for)

Today i noticed they had a snow (i think) corn snake. I noticed they were a bit small to be for sale from what id consider, so i decided to give them a closer look to see if they were at least healthy.

Well, picture one is a passing customer glance, picture two is because o have PTSD and look everywhere now haha.

Can you tell the problem?

(The store was informed and they were immediately taken off display and put into quarantine.)


Can’t tell exactly on my phone but looks like ticks around the eyes


I just shuddered. :grimacing:


Bad shape


Oh no, mites?

Last time I went to petsmart they had an banana spider ball python listed as an albino, so someone’s in for a fun wobbly surprise


The snow has mites in it’s eyes!


Looks like the other snake has them in the eyes too. I worked at a pet store chain (won’t name) in pet care and this store did not check or quarantine any reptile that came in. It/them went straight to the floor. No soaking, nothing. There was no protocol or pet care training. It was all about the almighty dollar…… so sad


Hmmmm. Imagine that!

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I imagine these went straight to the floor, but i will give them kudos that when i brought it up, within 5 minutes they were removed from the sale tank and isolated, the rep said they would be going to the vet tomorrow, which realistically this is a great opportunity to have them gain more weight before putting them back up for sale (its gonna take a bit to break the reproduction cycle of the mites without treatment, going to have to do so many enclosure changes as the mites leave to lay their eggs. But it is doable.


And what really irks me is that mites have to be very painful. And don’t get me started on these big business reptile wholesalers that distribute these poor animals.

And there are all the poor birds, pocket pets,etc.
Sorry but I have seen it first hand……

That’s all!:grimacing:


Its all good, im sure user experience varies to a point, however a corporation is always going to put profit first. The sad truth is even if the workers want to help these snakes, they are so young that i doubt they survive whatever “treatment” the workers are allowed to give. But im not paying to save them, nor risking them bringing disease into my home. Maybe they will be adopted out instead for somebody else to deal with, with a disclaimer. But i doubt it.


It is aa the others said, and you are kinda right in a sense as i believe ticks are a type of mite. But they are afflicted with snake mites.

Oh geeze, I spaced how small the snakes are. Hopefully they treat them and get them healthy.

Thats my hope

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Actually where I worked, any animal deemed ill was eventually seen by a vet, actually at the vet clinic where I also used to work. Then any meds would be sent with the animal back to the store for the animal care employee to administer to the quarantined animal.

The word “eventually” is important here because sometimes the animal doesn’t even get to the vet in time. (various reasons) I watched 2 sick little finches die in their cages before they even got to the vet. One had just come from the supplier and the other sat in the store quarantine for days. And I was not management so my hands were tied.

In the case of these 2 little snakes, IMO they were so tiny because the blood was being sucked out of them. But also IMO, if they are taken to a vet quickly there is a very good chance they can be saved. I have seen Dr Clarke work miracles on even the sickest tiniest of creatures and a lot can be done with tiny snakes.

Unfortunately you don’t know what happened to these little snakes after they were pulled from the floor. And I have a sneaking suspicion that( IMO) nothing was done to clean anything. After all, wherever these 2 little guys came from there are plenty more coming. Unless word gets to the wholesaler from the store,……so it is a vicious cycle.

I am sorry to be so cynical but I have seen what goes on first hand in the store I worked at so I have a hard time believing it’s any different with any of these other big name pet store chains……


We used a can of frontline spray on the enclosure and deep cleaned it all after a bad run of corns with mites at my old box store job. They all pulled through after treatment as well. But we actually had a store manager knowledgeable in all the small pets so we were really on top of things. And thankfully the in house vet office had 2 vets we could drop them off with any time, one that did small animals and the other that did reptiles. Anything too crazy for them was referred ut to the exotic specialist nearb… that was usually where the wait was the killer for us.

The most onoxious offenders were guinea pigs constantly coming in with ringworm or red ear sliders with septicemia and shell rot. Nothing I could do on the turtles since they were shipped in, but at least when I was in for delivery day I was allowed to refuse them for it.

Now that I left, they really struggles getting the small pets section under control =_=


On that note, I believe they recently aquired them (i check fairly often) and i believe they are QDRing (quality deficiency report) the animals and may not use that source again. Though i do not have faith they know how to clean everything properly. I didnt see anywhere in the other enclosures or on the other tanks, and the bedding looked brand new. So hopefully for everyone i caught it before it spread.

As for the size, they definitely seem like hatchlings, their bellies were even still a bit distended.


Yes I forgot about ringworm. Actually the Guinea pigs with ringworm fared better than the other animals at my store.

And once a little white mouse got mauled by his larger cage mate. The little guy did get taken to Dr Clarke who treated his wounds and prescribed an antibiotic. As a pet care employee I was allowed to “adopt” him. I gave him his little mouse meds and I named him Hercules. He lived for about 1 1/2 years.

I know this is not reptile related but adopting little Herc was the best experience I got from working there.

Thank you for relating your story……



Even if the bedding looked new the mites can still hide in the cracks of the tank and tend to crawl up the walls.

And as @armiyana mentioned, Proventamite will solve the mite problem so hopefully that store will follow through. Let’s hope so! We will give them the benefit of the doubt anyway!!! And yes hopefully it was caught in time before spreading!


I meant as in they were recently added, so i hope they hadnt had time to leave that cage yet. We all know they arent going to treat everything. But if the mites didnt leave yet, they might get lucky with treating the one enclosure.