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Thread: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

  1. #1
    Adult snake Greg'sGarters's Avatar
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    Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    I had got a Checkered Garter in the mail today. However, I had been informed by the Weather Channel that temps would be in the mid 40's - around brumation temps. However, after he had already been shipped, the temps dropped DRASTICALLY. It ended up being in the mid to low 20's. This concerned me GREATLY. When the package had arrived in the mail it felt very cold. I had opened it and unwrapped everything, and below all that insulation lie a styrofoam box. I had opened the box and lifted up the paper towel covering the snake. There, right in front of my eyes lie a freshly dead, frozen snake. It was then that all the police training I had been through kicked in. I immediately picked up the snake and unthawed all his vital organs (not all of him was frozen but his heart, esophagus, stomach, and intestines were) by running my hands up and down him. Once he was unthawed, I massaged his heart, while keeping him close to me. After about 5 minutes, BOOM, I saw him take his first breath! I had revived him! He is currently doing much better, however he is still under critical condition. Below is a photo of him about a minute after he came out of cold induced "coma" (if you will).

    photo-5.jpg
    -Greg
    1.1T.s. concinnus, 1.1 T.s. parietalis, 1.0 T.s. semifasciatus, 0.1 T. radix
    "Garters are predictable. Predictably variable" - Neil Balchan


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    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    Best of luck.
    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

  3. #3
    Adult snake Greg'sGarters's Avatar
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    ​Thank you!
    -Greg
    1.1T.s. concinnus, 1.1 T.s. parietalis, 1.0 T.s. semifasciatus, 0.1 T. radix
    "Garters are predictable. Predictably variable" - Neil Balchan


  4. #4
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    This time of year it's just plain dumb to try to ship them, regardless of what your local temp might be. (shipper should have known better) Just look at that cold air mass on the national map. You just don't want to risk the snake going through that during the trip. Even if you're shipping from one of the warmer states, to another warm state, they sometimes don't take a direct route and end up freezing.

    Hopefully your snake wasn't exposed for too long. Ive seen them get cold enough that they were close to death, but make a full recovery. The critical factor is how long they were that cold.

    Ship snakes in this? In January? A person would have to be really stupid, or just doesn't care.


  5. #5
    "Fourth shed, A Success" thamneil's Avatar
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    For future reference, don't warm the snakes up too quickly when that happens. Let them gradually warm to room temperature and then place them in their enclosures. From what I have always been told, warming them up too fast will cause damage. Keep an eye out for seizures. This happened to me recently.

    And on a side note, it would be impossible for the snake to live had it been frozen. Frozen organs would no longer have worked. He was not frozen, just cold.
    EKS56 likes this.
    Neil
    The Thamnophis Aficionado

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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    Quote Originally Posted by thamneil View Post
    For future reference, don't warm the snakes up too quickly when that happens. Let them gradually warm to room temperature and then place them in their enclosures. From what I have always been told, warming them up too fast will cause damage. Keep an eye out for seizures.
    He called me when the snake arrived and I told him the same thing. The seizures would indicate possible brain damage. A snake could survive critically low temps but still end up with brain damage and if that happens they'll have seizures when you warm them up. I'd say if the snake is acting normal by now, he's probably OK. If not, it's likely he won't make it. There could still be organ and/or brain damage. Next few days will tell.

  7. #7
    Forum Moderator aSnakeLovinBabe's Avatar
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    Yes I was just about to say what Neil said... there is no way the snake was actually froze. He would be dead. I received a snake in the same condition once. An albino florida banded water snake. The seller shipped the snake with a hand warmer and without even getting the OK or a temp check first. Needless to say I received a lifeless snake cicle. as I was taking pics of the "dead" snake he revived. He ended up developing respiratory issues and perished. The seller said he was going to send me a new one and never did come through.
    Mother of many snakes and a beautiful baby girl! I am also a polymer clay artist!


  8. #8
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    Well this is a garter though, not a florida snake so hopefully he'll get through it without getting ill. I wouldn't expect a garter to get a RI just from getting really cold.

  9. #9
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" d_virginiana's Avatar
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    My dad got lucky with the ones he recently got shipped to him. We had about a week of 70 degree days, and they were shipped from VA to NC, so they weren't in-transit for very long. Had they been shipped this week, there's no way they'd have made it (hopefully the seller wouldn't have shipped in weather like this...).

    Good luck. Hopefully he makes a full recovery.
    EKS56 likes this.
    Lora

    3.0 T. sirtalis sirtalis, 1.1 T. cyrtopsis ocellatus, 1.0 L. caerulea, 0.1 C. cranwelli, 0.1 T. carolina, 0.1 P. regius, 0.1 G. rosea, 0.0.1 B. smithi, 0.1 H. carolinensis

  10. #10
    Forum Moderator infernalis's Avatar
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    Re: Freeze, the Checkered Garter Update

    Last year I fished a seemingly lifeless garter out of a snow bank (I made a thread) and it pulled through.

    My Milk snake Carmella was frost bitten and came through it.

    These little colubrids are extremely rugged, But I still would never ship one this time of year.

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