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Old 03-10-04, 08:45 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Snake needs help

I rescued a little ribbon snake from my cat this Sat. It has a Kink in its neck and I'm not sure what to do. I applied a penicillian cream to the other wounds and seams to be doing good as far as that goes. I read that it eats frogs, toads, and tadpoles. I don't see any of that around here at the time. Does any one have any suggestions?
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Old 03-10-04, 08:49 PM   #2 (permalink)
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perhaps take it to a vet? i would have let it go, but if you think it can't be released try feeding it a pinkie mouse in about 1 week and make sure its temps are right
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Old 03-10-04, 08:57 PM   #3 (permalink)
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You can also go to a pet store and buy feeder fish. Mine ate those readily. Then, if you are planning on keeping it, after a while, scent pinkies with fish
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Old 03-10-04, 08:58 PM   #4 (permalink)
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His head is only a cm long and the kink or dislocation is about 2.5cm down.
If I would have let it go I doubt it would have survived.
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Old 03-10-04, 09:01 PM   #5 (permalink)
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there are very tiny fish, also, i know baby garter snakes love cut up earth worms, could try that.
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Old 03-10-04, 09:01 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Looks like someone just beat me with the fish idea. Rosy Reds or small minnows from a bait shop or pet store often work. I've had them eat them out of a shallow water dish or from tongs. Good luck, hope the snake survives. The kink in the neck may effect it's mobility.
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Old 03-10-04, 09:05 PM   #7 (permalink)
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I thought about feeder fish too. I guess I'm worried about it passing that dislocation. Is there some type of powder that I can mix with water meanwhile?
It moves around a bit, but not much, so I don't think its paralyzed.
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Old 03-10-04, 09:13 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I don't think supplementing the water will really help. Plain fresh water if it will drink is plenty. Give it a few days and see if it will survive, I know that's not really what you want to hear but cats can really do a number on little creatures. A quiet, excape proof, warm cage with a place to hide to reduce stress (avoid handling unless treating the injuries) may help it to recover. If it seems to be able to move around on it's own in a week or so, then start thinking about feeding it. Most snakes can go a while without food so don't worry about that for now. If it's really small, feeder guppies might work. I've used those for newborn water snakes.
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Old 03-10-04, 09:24 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I have it sheltered and next to a reptile light during the day. I also read that it eats insects rarely. I caught a cricket and removed the jumping legs but the snake showed no interest. Could he not want to eat because he is in pain? Maybe its just not hungry. I will try an earthworm and Rosy red tomorrow.
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Old 03-11-04, 10:27 AM   #10 (permalink)
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If its only been a few days, I wouldn't stress him further by trying to feed. Give him a couple of weeks in an enclosure covered by a towel. If he is a ribbon snake, they are arboreal, so he will be most comfortable if he can climb up and "hide". I have plastic/silk "vines" for my ribbon snake, in a tall aquarium, with a basking light. He spends the vast majority of his time as high as he can get, under the light. In addition, he needs a shallow water bowl. For the first two weeks, I wouldn't do any more than that. That will give him time to heal, if he is able to heal, and to get over the stress of his experience. I would NOT try to feed at this point.

My ribbon snake really goes for feeder fish. They are unable to stretch their jaws quite as wide as some fish, and even though he has quite a girth on him, he struggled with a relatively small goldfish one time. Rosy red minnows are a good choice. Just add some to his water bowl after a couple of weeks and let him decide if he's ready for them. Mine goes for them immediately I put them in there - often he's grabbed the first before I've even finished pouring them in! If he's not ready to eat, the fish will survive in the water bowl for several days, even without being fed, and he can feed when he's ready - which may be at night when no-one's looking.
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Old 03-11-04, 12:42 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Thanks Auskan, I'll get something for him to climb along with the other stuff. Hopefully he will be able to make use of it. When I checked in on him earlier, I saw a wave of muscle movement but he didn't get anywhere. I know he moves around though. As for the fish, they will not go to waste. I have a checkered garter snake who will not mind leftovers.
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Old 03-12-04, 01:55 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Well, I went out and bought the little guy some stuff. I could not find a shallow water dish so he is using a glass lid that sits snug in his substate. He has a branch to climb on but prefers laying on the substrate. There are two of the tiniest feeder fish I could find, now swimming in his water. He went into the water a bit but only to drink. Later, he re-visited the water but did not get in. He just looked at the fish but no attempt to eat was made.
Thank you all for your wonderful suggestions!!!! It has been almost a week now. Hopefully it will be a lot longer.
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Old 03-12-04, 02:24 PM   #13 (permalink)
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As for the fish, they will not go to waste. I have a checkered garter snake who will not mind leftovers.
I cannot stress the importance of avoiding feeding your garter what this ribbon snake doesn't eat. WC snakes are full of undesirable bacteria, parasites, and possible disease. The last thing you want is to be sharing anything between the two animals. Strict qurantine measures need to be adhered to for the duration of this snakes stay. Even feeding unfinished items between two healthy, captive animals isn't the best practice. Good luck rehabilitating the little ribbon
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Old 03-12-04, 02:49 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Excellent point. I was not thinking about the possiblities of cross contamination. Thank you sooooooo much for reminding me of that.
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