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Thread: Please Help, Injured Garter Snake

  1. #1
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    Please Help, Injured Garter Snake

    Hello, this is my first time posting on a reptile forum!
    Here's the story. We have always had a few regular visitors in our backyard so I am used to seeing our garter snakes from late spring to fall. I even used to play and host them as temporary pets when I was a young child. One of my favorite visitors is the largest garter in our yard, he (I'm just assuming it's a he) is about 1.5' long and is quite docile. Today I found him out in the garden, which I thought was quite odd since it is overcast and a bit chilly. I was just going over to say hello when I noticed he had an injury.

    A good portion of his tail is missing, a wound that has completely healed already. But about two inches up from the stump there is a kink in his tail. The tissue there is soft to the touch and there is what seems to be a small, fluid-filled sac or "bubble" under his skin. A few scales are missing in two spots near the wound and he does flinch slightly when touched near it. Sadly, I think his tail is broken. I've been looking everywhere for advice on what to do, but I've only seen info on open cuts/wounds. I believe in this case he might have been cut by a lawnmower or bitten by a cat, the skin around the break/wound closed and healed but an internal infection has occurred. Right now I have him in a decent sized tub with a flat towel, a heat lamp, a hide, and a water dish. He is pretty alert now that he has warmed up but I just want to make sure he is healthy and free of infection before I release him back into our yard. He's been around for about 3-4 years and I really don't want to lose him. Any help will be appreciated

  2. #2
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help, Injured Garter Snake

    Photos would be really helpful. So, all the injuries are in the Tail area, not about the vent? Thanks for trying to help the Tham.
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    Steve
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

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    Re: Please Help, Injured Garter Snake


  4. #4
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    Re: Please Help, Injured Garter Snake

    I have also given him a soak in a diluted betadine bath to help with infection. He's defecated since last night which I think is a good sign. But the area of injury seems to have become more sensitive, resulting in twitching when touched or moved.

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    Re: Please Help, Injured Garter Snake


  6. #6
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Please Help, Injured Garter Snake

    Looks like you're sporting a T. radix - Plains Garter Snake there, awesome Thamnophis. What I'm seeing does not look bad at all. At this point, I would do nothing except offer a large dish for soaking. Post up an under-tail photo with the tail pointing down and we'll sex this beautiful female(basing it solely on the head structure at this point) Night crawlers are these guys specialty. Pinkies are good also.
    Steve
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

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