13-Foot Python Has Full-Size Blanket Removed From Body by Vets: 'A Medical Phenomenon'

A team of veterinarians have saved the life of a 13-foot-long pet Burmese python after removing a full-sized blanket from the snake's body.

The 52-pound python known as Aurora had accidentally ingested the blanket after feeding, according to a video posted to TikTok, which shows how vets at the Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center managed to remove the blanket.

Aurora's owner Jennifer Wessel—a lover of exotic animals—said the seven-year-old snake may have mistaken the blanket for food.

"When she was eating her rabbit, she actually accidentally ate the blanket with the rabbit, because it more than likely just kind of smelt like her food," Wessel told KSNV.

Wessel only realized what had happened when she saw that Aurora's body was unusually enlarged and her blanket was missing.

After realizing that Aurora had eaten the blanket, Wessel took the snake to the Las Vegas Veterinary Specialty Center for treatment.

"They're not made to digest that fabric, and they have a very special digestive system," she said.

Vets at the center decided that performing surgery to remove the blanket would be too risky, so instead they opted for a technique known as an endoscopy.

First, the team anaesthetized the snake before inserting a flexible tube with a camera attached into Aurora's mouth and down into her stomach.

They then inserted a grasping tool in order to carefully pull the blanket out—in a procedure that took around 30 minutes.

"We were able to grab ahold of the blanket, and then we used slow steady pressure while all of our helpers were helping to push the blanket up as we were pulling," one of the vets involved in the procedure, Nicole Smee, told FOX5. "It was a huge relief, it was a big deal for our hospital."

The TikTok video shows just how large the blanket was.

"We had no idea how big the blanket was until that thing started coming out, and we saw how big her jaws would actually open. It was incredible," Smee told KSNV.

Pythons have numerous teeth inside their mouths that are curved inwards, which help to provide a firm grip on prey and facilitate swallowing.

"So it was truly incredible to pull it back out, a medical phenomenon," Wessell told FOX5.

Smee said she had never seen a case like this one in her entire veterinary career, telling KSNV that the snake would probably have died soon if the team hadn't removed the blanket.

"Her stomach was completely full, so there was no way that she would have been able to eat anything, so she would probably eventually starve to death," Nicole Smee told KSNV.

Wessel said she was grateful for the efforts of the veterinary team, with Aurora recovering well after the procedure.

"We're just so thankful that everything went well, and I'm still able to provide this baby what she needs," Wessel said.

Burmese python
Stock image showing a Burmese python. Vets in Las Vegas have removed a full-sized blanket from a pet Burmese python. iStock
13-Foot Python Has Full-Size Blanket Removed From Body by Vets: 'A Medical Phenomenon' | Tech & Science