It's incredibly important to remember that it's always best to consult and visit a licensed veterinarian for the appropriate care measures for your animal. We are not licensed and thus are unable to provide you with complete guidance for medical care, however, the following document can help you in the meantime as you wait to see a licensed professional. Do not substitute professional help with the following care.
The following are vital things you should keep on hand at all times in case of emergency:
Soak the snake in a small deli cup, in lukewarm water mixed with povidone-iodine until it is the color of weak tea, for approximately 5-10 minutes. Clean enclosure, change substrate to paper towels and keep clean until the snake sheds. Repeat soaks once every three or four days as needed. Most burns, minor injuries and scale rot clear up within a single shed. For more severe cases, contact your veterinarian.
Regurgitation is the act where the snake has vomited up its prey after completely swallowing it. Many times this is caused by either a fear response (being moved too soon after eating), or by the prey item being too big, or by their temperatures being inadequate. Wait two weeks before offering prey again, making sure to size down the prey item (and address temperatures, if needed). Sprinkling the prey item with Benebac can help rebuild gut flora as well.
Mix clear, unflavored pedialyte with lukewarm water at a 50/50 ratio. Soak the snake for 10-15 minutes, repeating every other day for a week. Do not feed a dehydrated snake; wait for the snake to rehydrate before feeding, and offer smaller-than-usual prey items, less frequently, for the first three meals (so if you feed every 5 days, wait 7). This gives the snake a chance to recover. You can also add Benebac sprinkles to their water to help rebuild their gut flora.
In the event that your snake prolapses (characterized by their rectum protruding out the vent), you should mix granulated sugar with lukewarm water and soak the snake. Most of the time this fixes prolapses, but if it fails to rectify within an hour, make an emergency vet appointment; you will need to keep the prolapse moist, as it drying out is the biggest danger. Prolapse is caused by dehydration most of the time, so once it is treated, consider the steps for dehydration.
Overheating can be extremely detrimental to any reptile. It often characterizes by neurological problems and often-times, those neurological problems are irreversible. Your best bet, if your snake has overheated, is to try and cool them off slowly by placing them in lukewarm water; make sure they have ready access to the water to drink, as they slowly cool down and rehydrate. Observe carefully afterwards. Permanent neurological damage is *extremely common* when a snake has overheated; this is why thermostats are absolutely essential in caring for your snake correctly. For severe overheating, take the animal to your vet.
For Poisoning (Exposure to Toxins, etc)
Hognoses are particularly sensitive to toxins, even among snakes, so it is advisable to avoid using any kind of chemicals around them. Should your snake become exposed to some kind of toxin, it will likely display neurological symptoms, and this can be permanent or fatal. The only thing you can do if this happens is to keep them hydrated and observe while withholding feeding - just in case of emergency. A vet trip might help to keep them hydrated, but oftentimes there is little veterinarians can do in these instances.
Because hognoses can be very sensitive to toxins, it’s ill-advised to use any kind of major pesticide on their enclosure for treating mites. Sprays containing permethrin can be especially deleterious in causing severe neurological damage. Predatory mites are often-recommended for treating them, as is Natural Chemistry Reptile Relief. Others have had success with different mixes of pesticides - but because there is an element of risk, we recommend treating the enclosure with Reptile Relief instead. Soak the snake in lukewarm water, clean the enclosure, vacuum, repeat every week for a month until all mites are gone.
For Respiratory Infection
Respiratory infection is a serious and risky condition for any snake and should be handled by a qualified exotics veterinarian. Ask for a culture to be performed in order to determine the bacteria causing the infection and follow their recommendations.
1/26/2023 02:09:09 pm
My uncle wants to get his eldest son a snake for his birthday the first week of April. He wants to get him something that is easy to care for and has been thinking about buying a Hognose because it is pretty. I'll be sure to send him this article so that he will know not to use chemicals or pesticides around them since they are sensitive to toxins.
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As the owner and primary customer service associate for Ectotherm Empire I frequently handle questions about Hognose care. People want to learn and generally want to do what is best for their animals. I don't profess to know everything. There is no way to do so. What I've done is taken my experience working with these animals, my research and understanding into their lives in the natural world, and combined it with help from fellow breeders to construct a relatively comprehensive set of documents. Yes, some things may be missing, or may not fit your situation, but I've done my best to aid in what ways I can. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. Comparing products by their features, customer reviews, and prices is easy, however, Amazon was chosen almost entirely for uniformity. Nearly everything we use can be found on Amazon. If it can't be, then substitutes are almost always available. All product links in these guides will be found in this color. Thank you for taking the time to look through my wordy ramblings and I wish you happy reading!