Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 28
  1. #1
    Hi, I'm New Here!
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4
    Country: United States

    Found a Garter with a Broken Back, Perhaps? Help...

    Hello, all.

    I'm new here and hope that someone can help me out.

    I was out walking today in a wooded area where the town has residents dump their garden scraps. Saturdays (today) are a busy day. I was walking on the gravel heading through the woods when I nearly stepped on a dead snake at the side of the road. I looked again and realized that the snake, a Garter was very much alive, but not moving much. I figured out that its back end, perhaps half of its body seemed to be slightly squished and paralyzed. It was undulating its front end, trying to crawl away, but couldn't. It's tongue was flicking too. The very tip of its tail looked like it was dry and about to fall off. I guessed it might have been run over by a car, but no - it would have been totally squished. Perhaps someone stepped on it?

    I left it alone and went on my way, but my conscience got the best of me, and a couple of hours later I went back to look for it and make sure it was ok - what I mean is that I was hoping it would be gone, and that I was wrong about it's injuries. Well, when I returned, the snake was in the same place, still undulating now and then, but less than before, and no flicking tongue. It was much colder, so I figured it was just a bit slow because of that.

    I brought the snake home and put it in a plastic tub with a little bit of water and some wet leaves. It barely moved, and a few times I thought it might be dead.

    I just checked on it again, and it's paralyzed part is stiff, though the rest of it's body is supple. It's tongue isn't flicking any more, and it's mouth is a little off - like it's sucking on a big wad of dirt on one side.

    Oh, forgot to mention it's eyes are cloudy, and it looks like it's shedding skin around it's head. I researched enough to know that this can make a snake lethargic, but it's the paralyzed, stiff lower half of the body that has me concerned. That and the funny mouth.

    Any thoughts? Broken back? Squished insides and in the process of dying? I don't plan to keep this guy as a pet, I just want to see him through the weekend until animal rescue can or will take him in.
    Thanks in advance, and please let me know if there's any important information I've left out!

    ~ E

  2. #2
    Moderator adamanteus's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Cheshire. (Near Manchester).
    Posts
    10,633
    Country: United Kingdom

    Re: Found a Garter with a Broken Back, Perhaps? Help...

    Hi Eden, and welcome to the forum. It sounds to me as though this snake is dying. It might be better to put it out of it's misery.
    James.

  3. #3
    Sid
    Sid is offline
    Thamnophis Addict Sid's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Location
    South Carolina
    Posts
    2,292
    Country: United States

    Re: Found a Garter with a Broken Back, Perhaps? Help...

    Welcome to the forum, Eden. Sounds to me like the most humane thing would be to put this one out of it's misery. It is commendable of you to show the caring and hope to bring it back to health, but this one has to be really suffering.
    Sid
    9.14 T. s sirtalis, 2.2. T. ordinoides, 1.1 T. e vagrans, 1.1 T. s parietalis,
    1.0 T. s sackenii- Peninsular Ribbon

  4. #4
    Hi, I'm New Here!
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    1
    Country: United States

    Re: Found a Garter with a Broken Back, Perhaps? Help...

    Hi !
    If I was you I'd Give your snake a quick and mercy full death. Either use a knife to chop it's head off, or let it slowly cool down in a cold place, until the cold does the work for you. Reptiles will die of the cold, without any pain, since their systems slowly will shut down, and eventually they will slip painlessly into a state of hibernation, and then die. Keeping it alive over the week end will just prolong it's pain. In nature, a bird or other predator would eventually have done the job. It might seem cruel, but that is how nature is, and often what we humans believe to be mercy is in fact torture to wild animals.

  5. #5
    Forum Moderator Stefan-A's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Southern Finland
    Posts
    12,389
    Country: Finland

    Re: Found a Garter with a Broken Back, Perhaps? Help...

    Welcome aboard, Eden. I'm afraid I'm going to have to agree with James and Sid here.

  6. #6
    Hi, I'm New Here!
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4
    Country: United States

    Re: Found a Garter with a Broken Back, Perhaps? Help...

    Right, ok.

    Thank you very, very much for the suggestions, but I can't even squash a bug. How do I go about putting a snake out of its misery?

    I think I might not have to. He hasn't moved since last night. I'm going to wait until it warms up a bit and see if he perks up, but I think he might be gone.

    Thanks again, I'll let you know.

    ~ E

  7. #7
    thamnophis puniceus Lori P's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    Location
    VA
    Posts
    3,704
    Country: United States

    Re: Found a Garter with a Broken Back, Perhaps? Help...

    Aw Eden, I wish the news was better. You did the right thing by getting him off the road where more terrible things could have happened... now you might have to go one step further. So sorry!! :-(
    Lori, New Hope Rescue-- rescuing equines and others
    www.newhoperescueva.com

  8. #8
    Hi, I'm New Here!
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    4
    Country: United States

    Re: Found a Garter with a Broken Back, Perhaps? Help...

    Oh, my. How cold does a snake have to get before it's systems shut down? I might have done him in unintentionally (which is actually easier on me if it sounds like he was dying anyway).

  9. #9
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" Odie's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    1,147
    Country: United States

    Re: Found a Garter with a Broken Back, Perhaps? Help...

    Hi, from Oregon, Eden

  10. #10
    Forum Moderator aSnakeLovinBabe's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    4,162
    Country: United States

    Re: Found a Garter with a Broken Back, Perhaps? Help...

    Hey, I just wanted to let you know that I came across this EXACT, to the tee, thing last year. The back end of this pregnant mother snake was smashed. She was still trying to creawl away with her top half. It was heartbreaking to watch and it made me cry. The fact is, that without a functioning back end, the snake cannot live, there are many vital organs down there, kidneys, digestive tract, etc that are now ruined and I suggest you do as I did and put the snake out of it's misery. Either put it in the freezer or decapitate it. Sorry you had to come to us in this way, perhaps you will find garters to be intriguing and maybe get one as a pet in the future!
    Mother of many snakes and a beautiful baby girl! I am also a polymer clay artist!


Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 25
    Last Post: 11-05-2009, 12:14 PM
  2. Broken rib
    By guidofatherof5 in forum General Talk
    Replies: 28
    Last Post: 07-17-2009, 07:36 AM
  3. Guess Who I Just Found...? Climber has Come Back!!
    By Jack Neary in forum The Garter Snake Lounge
    Replies: 22
    Last Post: 08-25-2008, 04:49 AM
  4. injury back!!garter snake...
    By what7psp in forum Urgent Care
    Replies: 37
    Last Post: 08-14-2008, 09:17 AM
  5. picture of my garter awhile back
    By Lee in forum General Talk
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 12-22-2006, 06:43 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •