Having a snake was always my dream, I don’t know why I find them so fascinating, when I got Christina she was so tame and curious that I loved to handled her and I think that because of this she didn’t eat for over a month, then I learned that she’s a shy eater and now I just throw the thawed mouse near her and the next day I check it’s gone.
I had the temperature and the humidity on point but in the enclosure I had her was too big so I bought a piece of glass and put it in the middle to make it smaller, the only problem with that was that there was a small gap between this glass and the glass doors of the enclosure, I thought she’d never fit in there because it was about 1 cm. and she’s bigger than that but I was wrong, I don’t know how she fit in there but every day I came home from work I looked for her and she was on the other side of the enclosure, I tried to fix that but before I could do that she cut herself with the glass. I went to pick her up as I usually do (not every day to not stress her out) and I saw a big hole on her side.
I didn’t freaked out as much because she wasn’t lethargic or acting weird, she was at her usual “I wanna explore this whole enclosure” behavior, so I didn’t rush her to the vet and also it was 10 p.m. and I didn’t know any herp vet that worked that late.
I took everything out of her terrarium, the bedding, the water dish, and all the decoration, and still she was acting normal.
The next day I talked to a vet I knew and he told me to put some cream on the wound every day, but I did some research, with my best friend google, and everywhere I read they closed the wound with stitches so I when to the vet two days after and asked the vet if he could do that, he said he could but he didn’t have the tools to put her to sleep while stitching, so his recommendation was to go to other vet he knew had the equipment (that was very, very, very professional of him) so I rushed her there and she was so mad, hissing like crazy the whole trip to the first vet and now to the second she was freaking out, I’ve never seen her like this, she has hiss at me before and she did strike me twice (my fault) but this was 50 times worst I felt so bad for taking her out of her enclosure but I couldn’t not take her to this other vet.
At the vet, they cleaned the wound and took samples to check for parasites and said they couldn’t close the wound without knowing if it was infected or not and to put some sugar or honey on the wound, instead of the cream the other vet recommended, and to wait a week for the results and come back there. I was a little skeptical about this honey thing but –
again, thanks google – I read online it was really good at healing and keeping wounds bacteria free so I gave it a go. The next day I woke up earlier than usual to treat her with honey, she was on her hide I opened the enclosure and as soon as she saw my hand she bite me, so I took that as a sign and leave her alone and went to work. That night I tried to picked her up again – with gloves this time – and she was so tense, I could feel she didn’t wanted to be bother but I had to put some honey on her. As the days went by she wasn’t as tense as the first day but still a little “I wanna bite you” mood, I had to put her head away from me with the help of the glass door and as soon as she saw a paper towel she wanted to bite it.
The treatment I followed was to wash the wound with warmed boiled water with a little betadine, very, very little betadine, the vet told me not to use betadine but I read it wasn’t harmful if I used it in a 1:13 ratio or less. Next I dried off the wound (this is where she freaked out about the paper towel) and put honey on it and then I let her go hide. I tried to do this as quick as possible and two times a day.
This happened on the 24th of July, I took her to the vet on the 26th and the wound looked like this on the 28th:
Much less scary already. The next photos are from the 31st and August 1st:
The last time she ate was June 26th. Her feeding schedule has always been all over the place, I offer her food every 7 to 10 days but she eats when she wants to, at first I thought she was scared at the mouse because she ran away from it instead of bite it, then I learned I had to just left the thawed mouse near her, no zombie dance or anything, just drop it and she’ll eat it. At this point I handled her every day to do the honey treatment and I was worried because she was getting skinnier, I offered food 2 times during the healing process and she just didn’t want to eat so I texted the vet and ask her if I could stop the treatment and put her enclosure the way it was before for a few days and she said yes. This was on August 3rd, so I put fresh coconut fiber, her water bowl and decoration back, then I covered the whole enclosure with a black sheet to give her privacy and I checked on her every day. Three day later she was out of her hide and up her branch as she used to, I took this as a sign that she was happy everything was back to normal. On the 9th she ate and I was relieved, a happy reptile is the one that eats!, the wound wasn’t raw anymore and it had a crust on it, it was time to just wait for her to shed her skin to see the improvement.
The test the vet ordered came back and said she had a bacteria so I had to put an anti-bacterial cream on the wound for 15 days. She said this was the reason she got this big hole, a bacteria that ate her skin but I don’t believe this as I spot clean her cage every other day and a full change of bedding every month, but whatever, Christina shed perfectly on the 21st and the big hole is just a tiny scab.
Over the scab you can see scales with a little discoloration which I read happens when a snake hurt itself and it reveals after shedding, so this backs up my theory that she got this when she got stuck between the glasses and not a eating flesh bacteria, so it was totally my fault for not closing that gap before but lesson more than learned.
She’s been eating normal now, I don’t have to cover the enclosure anymore and she goes out her hide every night to say hello when I came home from work and when I handle her isn’t tense anymore, she’s back at her usual loving and gentle self and now it’s time to change her enclosure and hopefully she’ll like it.