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Old 10-09-17, 03:58 PM   #1 (permalink)
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wild hurt garden snake wont eat?

So couple days ago Friday night my dad noticed there was a snake in front of our house on the street and we went closer and we thought it was dead cause it had deep cuts on it pretty sure from a cat...

But we touch it and it was alive so we put it in a fish tank 5gal and it was pretty active moving around and his tongue was coming out.

So we put plastic trees in with him and a water bowl big enough so he can go in also and a plastic rock. And he seems too like it because he will go in the trees.

we also put a normal light above his tank. The room hes in is pretty warm no air.

So after that we tried too give him chop up night crawlers which still was moving and he just goes too them and look at them... check next day and they was dead and dry out so we clean them off...

Than last night we tried a live little worm and he was looking at it like he was going at it. But just stared at it... And let it roam around the tank and also even on him till he took off from it..

So we left it in there overnight and turn out he didn't eat it.. the worm was dead....


Now hes still very active and his wounds look like they healing but yea the skin in places are still off the outer skin but hes not bleeding anymore than quit the day after we took him in.

I was thinking of letting him go sense he wont eat but how he is i don't think he be any good outside cause of his wounds and there is tons of cats around here...

Now i did see him drinking today.

Doing some research on snakes i saw they need like 90s in heat too even eat? Would that be why hes not even trying too eat anything?

Also herd they might like pinkys or even pinky parts but im not even sure if hes big enough for that yet. hes long i say over 10inchs but not that fat and small head.


Im just afraid he be dead soon if he don't eat... sense im not even sure how long they can live with out food. Now im not sure if he ate anything before he got hurt and came in maybe that's why hes not eating but i cant be really sure..

I tried too post pics but it wont let me says denied..
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Old 10-09-17, 07:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: wild hurt garden snake wont eat?

Gordesky,
I commend your efforts to take care of your hurt Garter Snake; I once did the same for a Blue Racer that had been run over. Usually, snakes can go for awhile without eating, but too long for a baby can be detrimental. It's NOT true that you need 90 degree temps to feed him (although warmer temps around high 70s or 80s can help), but I would strongly recommend getting a pinky mouse to try, or a cricket at least. Although tiny, it's very likely that he will be able to get a pinky down. Keep in mind that captivity can be extremely stressful to a wild-caught snake and sometimes getting one to eat is next to impossible. If he doesn't eat in a few days, I would let him take his chances outside.
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Old 10-09-17, 07:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: wild hurt garden snake wont eat?

I will more or less echo what was already mentioned. I also commend you on your efforts, but recommend letting the little one go. They are much more resiliant than you might think and captivity could very well quite literally stress a snake in that state to death. Just my opinion, and thanks once again for caring.
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Old 10-09-17, 09:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: wild hurt garden snake wont eat?

What about the open wounds? wouldn't stuff from outside get into them and cause infection??

Hes pretty calm now that he was inside for couple days after and goes on his trees so he doeisnt seem like hes stress out. And i did see him drink water. Just seems like it might be a light issue well heat issue. Cause all i got is a normal light bulb hanging over him. The room is in the 80s tho.

which i was going too go too a pet shop and get a uvb heat bulb for him tomorrow .

I would post pics but it seems like i cant right now on this site.


If he just had minor cuts i would've release him the next day but i very doubt he would last much the way he is. The wounds are better looking now but yea skin lost and no scales on the parts were he was torn at.
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Old 10-10-17, 12:22 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: wild hurt garden snake wont eat?

Temperature depends on species. Some will die at 90F and refuse to eat in the 80s F while others would refuse to eat at lower temperatures. Not all snakes are the same. Most species people keep eat rodents but some eat amphibians, toads, worms, slugs, snails, fish, other snakes.... and they might be exclusive in their diet. It also has to be humid or dry enough (the moisture in the air) and conditions like overhead lights can dry things out. That's very basics to get started. There are lots of details before you could even start to know what might help, if anything. Stressed snakes simply don't eat. Poorly setup cages can stress captive bred snakes into not eating and wild snakes may be 100 times worse depending on species. If you don't know what it is and what it's requirements are before even considering the fact it's wild instead of raised in an enclosure around people it's better to put it back unless it looks like it's already infected or ready to die without immediate treatment. In that case it would be better in the hands of someone experienced like a wildlife rehabber, college herpetologist, or someone from a local herp club/association.
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Old 10-10-17, 05:00 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: wild hurt garden snake wont eat?

From the sound of it, you found a common Garter snake. These are not tropical snakes and thrive in Northern areas where they hibernate underground in the winter. These snakes, while docile, do not thrive in captivity. I would definitely release it back to the wild.
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Old 10-10-17, 07:40 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: wild hurt garden snake wont eat?

If it weren't stressed, it would probably be eating for you...and if it doesn't eat it will not live. I stick by what I mentioned earlier.
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Old 10-10-17, 09:37 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: wild hurt garden snake wont eat?

Congrats on rescuing the little guy (garter snake). As with any animal with injuries or illness they most likely won't eat. So, depending on the extent of the injuries it may be a death sentence in any case. It's a good sign that you saw him drinking water but he probably needs a exotic vet or animal rescue/ rehabilitation office to determine the injury severity. Most injuries that wild animals sustain affects their ability to hunt and find food and untreated, may develop into infectious processes. The healing process has to take priority over all else. Unless you are ready to have a vet see the animal and determine what really needs to be done, or a animal rehab organization to take over responsibility, it's risky to keep him at home and also to release him.
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