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  1. #1
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    Anyone know how to care for a lined snake? Tropidoclonion lineatum?

    Hello
    Unfortunately a very unlucky little lined snake wandered into my house and my cat was quick to catch it up. I got him away, but Hes just a little thing, so I dont have much hope. But I figured I owed him to at least try.
    I am having a problem finding any general care on this species. I assume they dont do well in captivity. If he makes it through this, he will be released back outside, but until then I want to meet his requirements.
    I believe these guys are burrower-ers, their main diet consists of worms?
    Right now he is on moist paper towel in my quarantine rack. Hes the only snake currently in there. The hot spot is set to 90.
    He also has a hide and a very small water dish.

    Does anyone have experience with this species? Any help is appreciated! Any suggestion of temps, humidity or diet would be great!

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I have no experience with these, but if you can obtain earthworms to feed him & give him some stuff to burrow in with rest & all, he might make it. I'd assume that
    the diet is the deterrent for keeping this species...many don't have a good source of earthworms year round, or maybe they don't want to bother for such an "ordinary"
    little snake? Your hot spot might be a little too high, especially if he has wounds that need to heal...I'd keep it no higher than 86* on the warm side for now & let him
    rest.

    An easy way to give him "cover" and simulate the leaf litter he'd normally inhabit is to layer some paper towels and tear them into narrow strips, then fluff them like a
    "tossed salad" for a nice lightweight tangle that little snakes love to hide in. Good luck, I hope he makes it. If he has wounds, use Vetericyn (preferably) as it's made
    for reptile use (water-based, NOT petroleum based like Neosporin, which you can use a tiny dab of IF you must, as long as it's not the "pain relief" kind). Or dab just a
    little povidone-iodine (Betadine) on his wounds with a Q-tip...cat bites & scratches are VERY germy, infection is a serious risk here.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  4. #3
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    Re: Anyone know how to care for a lined snake? Tropidoclonion lineatum?

    Thanks so much for the suggestions. I have turned down the rack tempature. I had not even thought about tearing up paper towel to make a buried substrate. He seems to have appreciated that.
    I am going to pick up some of that antibiotic now. The little guy is still alive so I feel a bit better about this.

    They are pretty cool snakes though. I love their little heads. It's kind of a shame that the pet trade doesn't work with them. But as funny as it is, it actually is easier to get frozen rats then it is getting worms lol
    Thanks again for the response. Makes me feel a lot better about what I'm doing for sure

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  6. #4
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I think most all snakes are cute, & lined snakes are no 'exception'. I've raised lots of neonate & hatchling snakes, they love "shredded & tossed" paper towels, it's easy for them to move thru yet feel hidden, & with a wounded snake, you'll be better able to see what's going on (blood or drainage will show up, as will feces) without it sticking or contaminating his wounds.

    Have you tried places that sell bait? (other than pet stores) Depends what's around where you are, there's lots of fishing where I live- near huge lakes & rivers- so bait is a pretty big seller around here. My garden is full of worms too, pity we aren't neighbors. (are we?) I don't exactly know how severely he's injured...he might not eat anything for a while, as he recovers.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 07-06-2020 at 03:04 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  8. #5
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    Re: Anyone know how to care for a lined snake? Tropidoclonion lineatum?

    Luckily I do have a supply of worms on hand lol. It's just not as easy to get to as the rodents in the freezer.
    I dislike this sites requirements to post photos. I had to take a second and learn it.

    This is the little guy





    As you can see, he got pretty crunched, but no real open wounds. I worry about spinal damage. He seems to be able to move his head and his tail, but that little damaged part in the middle has my concern. He doesnt seem to move it like the rest of it. It's almost like he has to pull it along.
    I do worried that he is paralyzed in that small section

    It's only day 1, I just found him this morning so I'm giving him time. I keep many different kinds of snakes, but none of them are invertebrate eaters.

    Do you also happen to know when I should expect to feed him? He is just a baby, but I worry about feeding him too soon with all the damage. I also worry about him starving.
    A worm can't be as hard to process as a mouse, do they have to eat more often send a standard colubrid?

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  10. #6
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    I agree with you...it's his mid-section that concerns me the most, especially for infection. Don't try to make him move yet (to test for paralysis), that has to hurt.

    He's so tiny & yes, so cute! Is he moving around voluntarily at all? If not, I'd offer him drinks of water from a spoon or jar lid, to make sure he's not hurting too much
    to go & drink on his own. I wouldn't offer food for several days at least to give time to heal, based on what I see so far...obviously I don't know his activity level yet.

    How he responds will be telling. Let him rest, not too warm, gently treat topically any wounds w/ antiseptic (as previously posted) & cross your fingers. Handle as little
    as possible.

    I'm not sure how often these eat, but I agree, probably at least once a week. When you do feed him, I'd feed on the small side first, see how he tolerates it, or IF he
    even eats at all? You'll get an idea if he's willing to eat by the way he flicks his tongue, also. Being "interested" is the sign to look for.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 07-06-2020 at 04:50 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  12. #7
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    Re: Anyone know how to care for a lined snake? Tropidoclonion lineatum?

    I haven't touched him since I set him up. I'm so worried about hurting him, hes just so broken.
    He does move, but it doesnt look easy for him.
    He is alert and flicking his tongue, he is looking around or trying to hide. He now has a pile of paper towel to hide under and he seems to like that.
    I had little hope about him making it the first hour when I found him, but now were 13 hours in and hes still going. I have the vetericyn now and have got that on him.
    I would feel a little more confident if this was something like a bull snake. I've rescued tons of those.
    I just know so little about lined snakes and I cant find any information on them :/

    But with your advice, he seems to be doing ok. Nothing much I can do for any internal damage, so I'm just making sure hes comfortable at least

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  14. #8
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    That's about all you can do for him right now...he's so tiny & fragile to start with, & I wish there was a way to relieve his pain but there really isn't. Rest & hope...
    I'm happy to hear he's flicking his tongue. If he survives, he might need to stay in "assisted living". I hope you're up for that?

    Nice to hear you've befriended bull snakes...I used to keep & breed some, & gopher snakes too... they're awesome snakes.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 07-06-2020 at 05:40 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  16. #9
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    Re: Anyone know how to care for a lined snake? Tropidoclonion lineatum?

    Lol yeah I was trying to avoid keeping him. I'm really an advocate for wildlife being Wild, but I cant put something broken outside. No point in saving him if I'm just going to throw him out and kill him
    If he truly does have permanent damage, then I guess I'll be setting him up with the others haha
    My whole house is full of rescued reptiles. For snakes I had starved and battered bull snakes, mite covered, skinny and severely dehydrated ball pythons. My retic had an RI and was covered in actual open wounds, including actual cigarette burns down his body. The man who had him before used to put out his Smokes on the snake. He was an expensive vet bill but dang if he isnt my favorite snake now.
    So I'm no stranger to being a reptile hospital. I have no problem with keeping him if he stays broken lol
    Last edited by damein; 07-06-2020 at 06:07 PM.

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  18. #10
    BPnet Veteran Bogertophis's Avatar
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    You sound like me...gotta help these creatures when we can. I know there are many gorgeous snakes around but I like snakes mostly for their personality, & I too have
    a big "soft spot" for any snakes needing help and they often turn out to be the most interesting. That's horrific, what happened to the retic you now have...but I knew a
    gal on another forum that had a large burmese that had been similarly abused in the past too. There's no words (that I can say here) for what I feel towards any slime
    that would do such things...I'm so glad you were there to help this one...doesn't it seem like they somehow "know" you saved them? I know many ppl think snakes are
    dumb, but I don't...they just have no means to express things the same way we do....they're very subtle, but you can read them if you pay close attention. As far as
    helping a wild snake, I agree that if they recover enough they can & should return to freedom, but sometimes I leave it up to them, if they want to stay in or go.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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