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Talyn torn up

Discussion in 'Rainbow Boas' started by BlackJack, Dec 26, 2004.

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  1. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Disclaimer: DO NOT look at these pics if you have a weak stomach!!!

    OMG!!! I went to take Talyn out for a bit of cuddling and I couldn't believe what I saw! She is torn to shreds in two places and has smaller cuts in a third and fourth. If I didn't know better I would have thought that some animal had ripped her up.
    The major gash is about 1.5 inches by 4 inches and goes all the way to the muscle. The other one is about as wide but did not tear open. I'm still not sure what could have caused this... obviously something in her terrarium, but ???!!!!!
    My first priority was, of course, my girl. I called Baxter in San Diego: she said to get her into a bath and try to clean the substrate out of the wound, put some Neosporin on it and put her in a quarantine box with just paper towel and a water dish. This all sounds so obvious, but I was in such a state of shock, I couldn't think.
    My husband (a people doctor) cut the extra hanging skin off (gag!) and we cleaned out the wound as best as we could. She bled a bit so we didn't do too much more. Besides the cutting, it didn't seem to cause her too much pain; but who can really tell?!
    Do I need to take her to a vet? I'm not sure what more a vet could do at this point unless it gets infected. This had to have happened some time last night cuz I had her out yesterday evening and she was fine.
    ANY ADVICE WELCOME!!! I'm freaked!!!! (not to mention sick to my stomach!)
    PS -- Of course I'm going to go over her terrarium completely to find the cause... I'll let you know.

    Attached Files:

  2. Microscope Jockey

    Microscope Jockey Elite Member

    Do take her to the vet because they will probably want to give her antibiotics as prophalaxis, this being one of the few situations in which that is appropriate.Turning up her heat a bit will also stimulate her immune system in the mean time. Poor Talyn :( Do you have any idea what piece of cage furniture caused it?
  3. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    I'll call the vet tomorrow morning, thanks. At the moment, I'm really not sure what could have caused wounds like this. Her hide boxes are made of construction foam. I don't think any part of her climbing branch is sharp, but I'll check it again of course! It could be the bridle hooks that I attached the fake plants on with, but they are also made of plastic. I WILL find the cause, but at the moment it's hard to believe that anything in there could have done this much damage!
    I'm just sick with guilt that I neglected something dangerous.
  4. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    The Lamp-Cage!

    I have a chicken wire cage around the heat lamp to PROTECT her from getting burnt. It is up on the ceiling of her terrarium far away from her branch and I never thought she'd go anywhere near it. The lamp is hardly ever on because the heating mat on the floor of the terrarium does such a good job. The edges of the cage are smooth and I had bent the top edge inwards so that there was nothing projecting out or up.
    As I've searched the terrarium for sharp edges I noticed that the cage seemed "bent out of shape" and just took it down. Sure enough ! blood spots along that top inner edge! Somehow she got herself up there and wrapped around that top part, squeezed and bent it and got hooked on a barbed piece of the wire!
    God what a horror!! I feel so miserable!! My poor girl! I never thought she climbed much at all let alone explored the ceiling!! The top of the terrarium is 4 ft up!!

    If you think your animals won't get somewhere in their cage, think again!! If you use any kind of wire or wire mesh in your terrariums, check all the edges, even those NOWHERE NEAR your animal -- file them down or cover them with tape or both...

    It's OK if you want to tell me I'm an irresponsible owner... I won't stop beating myself up over this for a while!
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Andrea! You are not an irresponsible owner. You found a problem and are fixing it. You can never foresee everything that will go wrong. I agree that a trip to the vet is in order. All you can do is learn from this and share the problem with other keepers who may have used the same technique.
  6. Microscope Jockey

    Microscope Jockey Elite Member

    Nonsense, you had Talyn's best interests in mind and now may she have a speedy recovery!
  7. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Pic of lamp cage

    Thank you Merlin and Microscope Jockey!
    I just feel so sick and so sorry for my poor girl.

    Here is a picture of the lamp cage I'm refering to. It will keep your snake from getting burnt, but watch out for any tiny barbs! File them down or tape them up or both!

    Attached Files:

  8. venus

    venus Founding Member

    I am so sorry blackjack. I hope she is doing better and u are not irresponsible. U have corrected to problem and I am sure she is thankful for that. Please keep us posted.
  9. DarkMagician207

    DarkMagician207 Elite Member

    aww poor girl! but its wonderful that you went thru everything and found the cause of the injury. its not at all yur fault. man i wouldn't have even thought about something like that happening! hope she's doing better and keep us posted.
  10. steel rip

    steel rip Elite Member

    I'm so sorry BJ, hope Talyn is feeling better soon, there was nothing you could of done to prevent this, you wasnt to know she would go exploring like that, and now you are working on correcting the problem,

    Just before Xmas the local petshop near me was told they had to put lamp guards over their bulbs in the snake cages, and one of the BPs managed somehow to climb inside it and couldnt get back out, and literally burned to death, it was horrible, staff didnt no this until they opened up the next morning to find the burned BP, my guess is the guy didn't fit it too well, but it was an unfortunate freak accident, I was so upset, as i visit that petshop everyday, I am good friends with the owner, so now they have a viv out of use and a dead BP all because of them bulb guards, anyway just glad Talyn is ok and suffered only minor injuries, and pray for her speedy recovery.
  11. Jem_Scout

    Jem_Scout Elite Member

    (((((((((((((Hugs BlackJack)))))))))))
    Let us know what the vet says!
    And thanks for the 'heads up' on those light guards!
    I hope your baby girl heals fast!
  12. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Thanks to all for your comforting words. Talyn is pretty sluggish today. I've cleaned out her whole terrarium and put down newsprint and paper towel... took out the branch, the fake plants and anything she could climb on or rub against. Since this could take weeks to heal, I decided this would be better than the quarantine box.
    The vet had nothing much to say. I'm doing everything I can: watch for infection and wait. Didn't think antibiotic injections would bring much at this point.

    Donna: that story doesn't surprise me now: It is VERY difficult to get those cages to fit completely flush with the ceiling and even if you do, a snake with Talyn's weight can (obviously) twist and bend that thing down enough to squeeze between the top of the cage and the ceiling. I've got to find a better solution -- for Monty's terrarium too! He has the same lamp cage and he IS small enough (and goofy enough) to squeeze in there and get fried! -- you just never think they'll go exploring up there... the cages should be wired closed all the way along the top, so there's no way to fall in and every edge soldered or filed ABSOLUTELY smooth!!

    I still feel sick about the whole thing. I'll keep you posted. Thanks for your thoughts.
  13. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member


    Talyn ate a good sized rat yesterday. She didn't snap it up like she usually does, but she finally made her way over to it and got it down.
    I'm hoping that's a good sign. She was due for a feeding and I read that injured snakes can go through several sheds in rapid succession and I wanted to make sure she had enough reserves, in case she fasts before those sheds.
    The wounds look "good" (no sign of infection) and they don't seem to bother her. I guess it's really just watch and wait now.
    AND try to find a solution to the lamp cage problem... there HAS to be a way to fix it flush with the ceiling... Talyn's ceiling is acrylic so I can screw into it -- I just need some kind of fastening. Monty's ceiling is glass -- more problematic, but I think if I slide a piece of plexiglass in there, it should do the trick.
    Thanks to all for your continued "get well thoughts" to Talyn!!! :)
  14. steel rip

    steel rip Elite Member

    Awww, so glad Talyn ate for you, and that her wounds don't seem to be bothering her too much, poor little baby, keep us posted on her recovery, would love to know how she does, :)
  15. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Hospital room

    Here's my poor girl checking out her "safely empty!" hospital room. She managed to smear the antibiotic ointment all over herself so she looks nice and pretty.
    The other picture is in Monty' s terrarium. I've safely covered the top of the lamp cage with electrical tape and sealed it along the ceiling. There's no way he can squeeze in between there now or accidentally get inside.
    I am looking for a way to fix Talyn's next cage absolutely flush with the ceiling and stable enough to hold her weight! and then I'll tape that off too.

    Attached Files:

  16. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The fact that she fed is a good sign. Apparently the wound was much more traumatic for you than her. ;)

    With the lampguard. If you have access to anyone that works with sheetmetal or welds, have them weld a circle of metal around the sides at the bottom, a donut type shape on the bottom, and weld them together to cover up the seam.
  17. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    I'm beginning to think you're right about that, Merlin! This has really shook me to the core. She seems to be taking it a lot better than I am!!!

    Thanks for the tip about the lamp guard. I think I know someone who can do that. :)
  18. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Of course it did! Your baby got injured. :eek:
    If it hadn't we would have been worried about YOU! ;)
  19. Locklynn

    Locklynn Elite Member

    Sorry to hear about Talyn. I hope she's well now. I also just looked at your site.....amazing work!!! Keep us updated in her recovery.

    Take care,
    Andy aka Locklynn
  20. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Thank you Andy. It will take quite some time before Talyn is better, but at least she doesn't seem to be worse and there is no sign of infection, so that's good.
    Thanks too about the compliments on my website. As soon as I get some time, I'm going to do a "herp series" and get some much needed reptile pictures up there!! :)
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