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Snakes/I have a snake that seems to have a broken spine?


QUESTION: A couple of years ago my dad caught either a brown or green racer (unsure exactly which) outside his work, later I gave her to my mom who had an aquarium setup complete with a heat rock, gravel, and water, as well as climbing setups, such as shells, sticks, so on... the snake attempted either an escape, or to get rid of mites, which I had no idea she had, for she showed no symptoms previous day, but what occurred was during the middle of the night, she tried to (climb?) the power cord for the heat rock, which my mother had taped the cord against the side of the aquarium since the snake tried to escape before, when we saw it, it was nearly bent in half, with a lump shortly before the anus, on its back, it seems to have no motion but does have feeling farther down the lump towards the tip of the tail, also it does not seem to have any problem digesting food, as it has eaten 6 earthworms (above average though they were smaller worms perhaps 1-3 inches long) and has not regurgitated after a day.

What could I do to help her spine become straight again? she's too small for most splints I could make (not quite as thick as my pinkie, aprox 1 CM, and perhaps 1-1.4 Ft long, which is supposedly full growth). Thanks a lot for your help and suggestion ahead of time, I have become rather attached to her and would rather not have to put her down, she's not that old, was just over an infant at time of capture.

ANSWER: There's really nothing that can be done for a broken bone in a snake.  However, they can be quite resilient so don't give up on her.  If she is eating that is the first hurtle.  The second will be digestion and defecation.  And the third will be shedding.  I'm not sure I'm reading your message correctly, Does the entire snake have "no motion" or just the lump?

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QUESTION: From the lump up to her head she moves perfectly.The snake has feeling at the lump and towards her tail, but not strong movement in that area. if you run a fingernail down her she moves a little but otherwise restrains from moving her tail.

I have been massaging the lump, and towards her tail, as well as having her swim in shallow water, which she swims perfectly well, but in her aquarium she doesn't like to move the lower part, after the lump towards the tip of her tail.

As stated she is eating and seems to have no problem in digestion though I haven't seen her defecate, but she did only eat within 48 hours. She is also supposedly at full growth so I am unsure if she will shed again or not, all I do know is she got stuck in the tape, holding the heat rock  power wire to the aquarium, trying to get mites off that she didn't have 24 hours before, and that's how she got bent, and got the lump.

The mites probably came from the cats which like to sleep on her aquarium, but I cannot be certain of that, The bathing, swimming and massaging seems to be getting those off of her fortunately. We bathed her in luke warm water, and mites fell off her, probably having drowned.

Next step after I try to get her back in shape is to put some Vaseline, by suggestion, on her to suffocate any remaining mites, unless you were to suggest otherwise.

Much clearer!  OK, ignore the lump, messing with it can only make things worse.  It will heal or it won't.  When handling her remember to support that area (don't let it dangle).  

As to the mites-olive oil works much more easily than Vaseline.  Place her in a plastic container, pour a generous amount of OO all over her including her head, let sit in the container for 10 minutes then rinse with warm soapy water.  Clean the cage with a 10% bleach solution (including ALL the cage furnishing).  And get an undertank heater.  Hot rock are notorious for causing problems (as you've already seen).


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