- Associated Press - Thursday, November 6, 2014

POWELL, Ohio (AP) - A veterinarian at a central Ohio zoo has removed the venom gland from the mouth of a 4 ½-foot rattlesnake in a surgery that required extra precautions because the stuff is highly toxic.

The chief veterinarian cut out the gland last week in a 15-minute procedure on an eastern diamondback rattlesnake at the Columbus Zoo and Aquarium. The vet wore extra gloves and face shields, and the staff had anti-venom on hand.

The swollen gland had been limiting the reptile’s ability to eat, and medications weren’t working to treat it.

The Columbus Dispatch and WBNS-TV report the veterinarian replaced the gland with a silicone implant made from caulk. That helps maintain the facial structure of the 19-year-old snake.

The snake was anesthetized during the process.

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