I was recently thinking about the pre-digestion role certain toxins in venom play when elapids kill their prey. That made me start thinking about the fact that almost everyone feeds dead things to their snakes which made me start to wonder how that affects their digestion. This may be me lacking a key point but this is how I understand it: When say a live mouse gets bitten, their lymphatic system pumps the venom around a bit before they die and so spreads it around the body. This means that things like the myotoxins get a good spread and can start to break down a lot of muscle tissue. When a dead mouse gets bitten though, there is going to be very little spread of the toxins and the breakdown will be much lower. So I’m imagining that, if the same snake was fed exactly the same size mouse but one is live and one is dead, there should be a difference in digestion. Obviously keepers have successfully kept these snakes without issue for a long time but has it ever caused problems? Or does the venom do so little that the difference isn’t even noticeable? Does anyone know whether this has been studied at all? I’d love to look at any good reading material people may know of.