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  1. #1
    Registered User Kingdomall's Avatar
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    Help ASAP, my ball python got attacked by cats

    Hello all.
    So I was setting up new shelves in my ball python enclosures and I had my snakes in little snap lid bins. for my bigger boy, he had a heavy container of sand on top to keep him out. But I didn't have much to weigh down the second one, my younger bp. I went out with my mom to do some grocery and general shopping and when I got back, axar (the younger one) was missing from his bin. It didn't take long to find him, he was about 4 feet away from the bin. I was thankful to find him so fast.
    Though when I grabbed him, he was covered in red spots. I knew instantly that my cats got to him. Thankfully he's NOT bleeding and I only see a couple possible punctures. not sure what cat nail punctures would look like tbh.
    anyway I set him up in a bigger bin with smooth hides, a water bowl, and paper towels. right after I noticed his little injuries, I stuck him in a warm bath (84 F ish degrees) with some first aid anticeptic providone iodine solution 10%. after that I took some cotton swabs and lightly dabbed his possible punctures with it.
    tomorrow I'm going to the vet with him and I wanna know what you guys think. there's no blood on him honestly and I keep hearing that it means that the bacteria from the cat claws didn't get into his system. I'm still very worried though, and I'm so worried that I'll wake up to him dead or something. it probably wouldn't happen but I'm just super paranoid.
    please please give me your feedback as soon as possible, I genuinely want to feel better about this.
    BTW, please don't rag on about how "irresponsible" I was for putting him in an unsecure bin. I totally understand what happened was MY FAULT, not the snakes or cats and I will learn from this in the future.
    Thanks in advance!

  2. #2
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    Vet trip. ďIfĒ the snake makes it 24 hours you still have to worry about infection. Cats an dogs are great at killing snakes. Itís what they do.

    Good luck!

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  4. #3
    Registered User wnateg's Avatar
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    Iím actually not sure if snakes are susceptible to toxoplasmosis, but I assume they are, so you did the right thing with the antiseptic.

    A vet appointment is definitely required, so itís good that you scheduled one. Theyíll be able to provide better feedback than us, considering we canít physically inspect the snake.

    Good luck!
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  6. #4
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    It's important to see a vet that's experienced with snakes on a regular basis- hopefully yours is, but if not, if you need to find another one, & this (link below) can help: Good luck-

    I suspect your snake will need to be on an antibiotic for a while to prevent infection that could kill him. Those initial "red spots" mean the cat's claws did break the skin, so even though the bleeding didn't continue, he's not "home free". Antibiotics are not a "sure thing"- to be effective, they have to correctly target the pathogens present. Personally, I'd ask your vet if you should bring the cat too, so they can do lab work to find out what's "on" his claws that may have been injected into your snake, in order to choose the antibiotic that's both safe for your snake and most effective.

    https://arav.site-ym.com/search/custom.asp?id=3661
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  8. #5
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    You did well with the fast intervention and treatment, but I will echo the advice about seeing a veterinarian, as cat claws are absolutely filthy with bacteria, and antibiotics would be a good idea. Only warm-blooded animals get toxoplasmosis, but infection from cat claw injuries is a serious risk for reptiles.

    Don't hear this next as criticism. It's not. It's a plea straight from my heart. I worked as a veterinary tech in exotics practices for years, and we saw SO many beautiful snakes that were severely injured or killed because their keepers used heavy weights on enclosure lids rather than securing them properly with clips. The snakes would attempt to escape and would get caught under the lid, with terrible results.

    Please ditch the heavy bag of sand and whatever else you are using to weigh down lids, and secure them in a way that is safe for your snakes. If you aren't sure how to go about that, ask here and we will be glad to help. Good luck with your snakes, and I hope they recover well.
    Last edited by Caitlin; 04-08-2021 at 12:18 PM.
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  10. #6
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    I have 3 cats. My lap is covered in scars and cuts because my cat likes to sleep on my lap until she gets spooked by some imaginary things and jumps off. They use their claws for jumping, so that alone left me those cuts lol. I also had 'dot' like bleeding from their claws. Upon further review, the claws went straight in, instead of slashing across. In my opinion, this does more damage than across. You have to deal with bleeding inside, with obvious signs of bruising.

    Due to my own error, I also lost a snake to my cats. It happened so quickly, and my cat Gizmo who is the hunter in the house, is quicker. The poor snake didn't survive after 24 hours.

    Cats don't just use their claws when hunting. They stab, pull, bite, and do that some more until they are sure the prey it's dead. So your snake may also had been bitten. Cat bites are a serious concern for people too.

    I never leave my snakes out for too long during cleaning and they are always placed in a spare lockable terrarium. You never know when you have to stop what you are doing, got distracted for a few hours and come back to no snake.

    In the end, I understand the guilt you feel. Do what you can, let's see if the vet can confirm the injuries. Whatever happens, learn from it, and move on.
    Last edited by Cheesenugget; 04-08-2021 at 03:58 PM.

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  12. #7
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    Re: Help ASAP, my ball python got attacked by cats

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesenugget View Post
    ... I also had 'dot' like bleeding from their claws. Upon further review, the claws went straight in, instead of slashing across. In my opinion, this does more damage than across. You have to deal with bleeding inside, with obvious signs of bruising...
    In addition to internal bleeding, with any dirty puncture-type wound you run the risk of anaerobic bacteria being left behind to cause deeper infections. Tetanus & gangrene are examples of infections caused by anaerobic* bacteria. (*that is, bacteria that thrives where no oxygen is present, as in injured tissue where no oxygen rich blood is flowing- the opposite of an "open wound" that bleeds & drains freely) In general, these type infections can usually be fought with the "right" antibiotics, but sometimes that's easier said than done, especially for our pet snakes.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 04-08-2021 at 06:05 PM.
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  13. #8
    Registered User Kingdomall's Avatar
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    Re: Help ASAP, my ball python got attacked by cats

    I just got some neosporin (with no pain killers) and I'll be applying it soon. I tried to take him to the vet yesterday, however no reptile vets were available. Soonest I can see one is on wednesday. I figured the best I can do so far is treat him.
    there was no swelling on any of his red spots except for the neck and the swelling on the neck went down in about 5 hours of treating him with antiseptic. I'm hoping for the best

  14. #9
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    If you have reptiles it's good to keep Vetericyn antiseptic on hand. It's a water-based gel so it dries dry, not goopy so substrate doesn't stick to it. Also long-term use of petroleum-based ointments can cause scale damage.

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  16. #10
    Registered User Kingdomall's Avatar
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    Re: Help ASAP, my ball python got attacked by cats

    see, there are no videos out there on how to apply neosporin on reptiles. especially none for cat scratches.
    I wish I knew more details about this. how often I should be treating him, how long he'll survive if he does get infected, what kinds of behavioral changes? etc. none of these can be answered without reaching out far.

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