Python's Electric Meal: No More Cold Blood? Sometimes snakes eat the darnedest things. Robert Siegel talks with veterinarian Barry Rathfon, who assisted this week in removing a queen-sized electric blanket from the stomach of Houdini, a 12-foot-long Burmese Python. The evasive reptile is believed to have ingested the blanket over the weekend, along with his rabbit dinner.
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Python's Electric Meal: No More Cold Blood?

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Python's Electric Meal: No More Cold Blood?

Python's Electric Meal: No More Cold Blood?

Python's Electric Meal: No More Cold Blood?

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/5571392/5571393" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
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There are some headlines you just can't resist. Such as this one, in Thursday's Chicago Sun-Times: "Surgery Saves Blanket-Eating Pet Python."

What followed is a story out of Ketchum, Idaho, fit for the annals of veterinary medicine. Its heroes? Veterinarians Karsten Fostvedt and Barry Rathfon of the St. Francis Pet Clinic in Ketchum.

This week, Fostvedt and Rathfon saved the life of a 12-foot-long Burmese Python named Houdini with emergency surgery. The two doctors removed a queen-sized electric blanket from Houdini's stomach.

The evasive reptile is believed to have ingested the blanket over the weekend, along with his rabbit dinner. Houdini's owner told reporters that he kept the blanket in the 60-pound reptile's cage for warmth.

Neither Fostvedt nor Rathfon had performed surgery on a snake before, but things seem to have turned out well nonetheless. Houdini is now home recovering from his headline-grabbing turn under the knife.

Rathfon discusses his first foray into snake surgery.