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Thread: Snake tail injury!

  1. #11
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    Exclamation Re: Snake tail injury!

    IMG_20140703_111020.jpgIMG_20140708_095944.jpgHi there! I actually have a similar problem with my garter snake. I was going to post my own thread but since this one already exists maybe I can get better info! I caught my garter about a week ago and noticed it's tail was cut, the remainder of the tail looks lifeless and doesn't move with the rest of its body. It didn't look infected or bleeding at the time, but just today I looked at it and there was a tiny bit of blood on it and it almost looks like there's scales missing around the cut, like he snagged it on something and pulled it more. Should I just leave it? Do you think the tail is just coming off or something?

    The first picture is when I first got the snake, if you can zoom in you can see where the tail is slit. The second one is what the tail looks like today

  2. #12
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Snake tail injury!

    That does look like something a Vet. should take care of. I would bet the spinal cord is still active in the injured section. I also see what appears to be swelling in the section. If you have any betadine I would apply it to the injury site, once a day.
    Signs of infection can be swelling and be accompanied by smelly discharge or different colored discharge. Beautiful female by the way. Looks like a T. s. parietalis - Red Sided Garter to me. What State are you in?

    In the wild nature would take its course on this injury. The injured section could die and fall off at some point but this could also be something the snake lives with.
    With that being said she in not in the wild and I think it should be looked at by a competent reptile Vet.

    Thanks for taking the time to care for her.

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    Steve
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  3. #13
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    Re: Snake tail injury!

    Also, since it looks like the wound area is still open, it'd probably be a good idea to put him on either newspaper or paper towels for bedding. That way debris can't get in the wound and you can better monitor any bleeding/fluids coming out of the tail.
    Lora

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  4. #14
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Snake tail injury!

    Quote Originally Posted by d_virginiana View Post
    Also, since it looks like the wound area is still open, it'd probably be a good idea to put him on either newspaper or paper towels for bedding. That way debris can't get in the wound and you can better monitor any bleeding/fluids coming out of the tail.
    Very good points to bring up.
    Steve
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  5. #15
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    Re: Snake tail injury!

    Nature also often takes care of this with death. Snakes are tough, but what we find is scewed towards the survivors as the dead don't last long.

    When in doubt, if it's something you'd take your kid to the doctor for, then it's something you should take your snake in for. Doing so greatly reduces the risk of complications, and with proper pain management the snake will suffer less regardless of outcome.
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  6. #16
    T.s. affectionado EasternGirl's Avatar
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    Re: Snake tail injury!

    Many of us have used Hibiclens (Chlorhexidine Gluconate solution) to cleanse and treat garter injuries. Now that I am a nurse, I can tell you that we use the same solution in the hospital to prevent infection and cleanse wounds...it is very good and safe to use. You can purchase it at any drugstore. With garters, I recommend diluting it a little and gently cleansing any wound with it before treating with an antibiotic ointment. It will help to treat or prevent infections as it is an antimicrobial solution. After cleansing the wound, use a triple antibiotic ointment such as neosporin on the wound and keep the snake on paper towels. This is mainly directed toward the injured tail mentioned above. As for the spinal cord injury, I agree that a vet may be needed to assess the injury...just make sure it is a vet that knows something about garters.
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    "PM Boots For Custom Title" d_virginiana's Avatar
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    Re: Snake tail injury!

    If you use neosporin or any other antibiotic ointment, make sure you get the kind withOUT painkillers. The painkillers can cause serious skin irritation in snakes and will kill more sensitive herps like frogs.
    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

  8. #18
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    Re: Snake tail injury!

    Hi everyone! I wasn't getting email notifications about this thread for some reason so I did not know there were replies! I just came back to check since my snake's tail has in fact come off, just today actually... Funny enough it looks better now without the dead piece of tail hanging off the end of the snake, and before it came off it looked like the spine was broken there anyway so a vet would have likely cut it off anyway. I will go out now and try to find the hibiclens and ointment without painkillers. He healed up rather quickly last time so I'm guessing it'll be the same. I already have him on paper towels since I read online that you should do that with new snakes plus its easier to clean up.

    PS: to guidofatherof5 (or Steve) I actually have no idea what gender my snake is, I'm just calling it a "he" until I figure it out for sure haha. I caught him after breeding season so I'm guessing by the size of him (as in he looks big enough to breed) that if there's a bunch of babies suddenly hanging out in the aquarium between August and October then its a girl! Otherwise, I'll continue to assume boy. I'm guessing you're judging it based on the tapering of the tail? I'm not very good at judging that stuff by looks so after trying to compare his body to pictures online (and trying to keep him out of my hair at the same time) I finally gave up. Also, I live in Ontario, Canada =)

    Thank you everyone for your replies! Everyone is a lot more helpful here then on yahoo answers. A person there basically told me to let him go into the wild to die, and the other people that replied were just arguing on whether snake tails grow back or not lol

  9. #19
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Snake tail injury!

    Quote Originally Posted by SaytaSora View Post
    Hi everyone! I wasn't getting email notifications about this thread for some reason so I did not know there were replies! I just came back to check since my snake's tail has in fact come off, just today actually... Funny enough it looks better now without the dead piece of tail hanging off the end of the snake, and before it came off it looked like the spine was broken there anyway so a vet would have likely cut it off anyway. I will go out now and try to find the hibiclens and ointment without painkillers. He healed up rather quickly last time so I'm guessing it'll be the same. I already have him on paper towels since I read online that you should do that with new snakes plus its easier to clean up.

    PS: to guidofatherof5 (or Steve) I actually have no idea what gender my snake is, I'm just calling it a "he" until I figure it out for sure haha. I caught him after breeding season so I'm guessing by the size of him (as in he looks big enough to breed) that if there's a bunch of babies suddenly hanging out in the aquarium between August and October then its a girl! Otherwise, I'll continue to assume boy. I'm guessing you're judging it based on the tapering of the tail? I'm not very good at judging that stuff by looks so after trying to compare his body to pictures online (and trying to keep him out of my hair at the same time) I finally gave up. Also, I live in Ontario, Canada =)

    Thank you everyone for your replies! Everyone is a lot more helpful here then on yahoo answers. A person there basically told me to let him go into the wild to die, and the other people that replied were just arguing on whether snake tails grow back or not lol

    The last time?
    Steve
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  10. #20
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    Re: Snake tail injury!

    Quote Originally Posted by guidofatherof5 View Post

    The last time?
    I was referring to my older post when his tail started bleeding.

    PS I tried bandaging him up with a finger cot and paper tape but it kept falling off. I haven't seen any blood on the paper towels yet.

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