Urgent burn care advice

Was going in to check on my boy tonight like usual when I noticed some very fresh wounds on him, to me they look like burns.

Currently under investigation as to how he got these wounds but I’m going to assume he’s damaged the heat bulb cage and gotten in.
What I’m looking for at this present moment is confirmation that these are burn wounds.

I need to know what I can do to ease his discomfort while shops are closed (it’s 1am) as I have no iodine or burn treatment at home. Would a water bath help at all?
Would changing his substrate help? He’s on orchid bark at the moment.

As a disclaimer: I have an understanding of how to treat his wounds, just unsure of what to do while I don’t have burn treatment and iodine.
Any advice is appreciated

An immediate update: I’ve moved him to a temporary RUB with a heat mat placed underneath, and a thermostat just over the mat (inside the viv)

The temperature is set to 82F for the warm side, is that OK? I’m reading a lot of mixed responses online.

The only thing you can do right now is keep it clean and on paper towel, soon as stores open you will need to get some povidone or betadine (to clean the wound/burn), you will also need Silver Sulfadiazine (prescription is required)

Depending on the extent it might look worse in a day or two injectable anti-biotic may be required.

NO peroxide and no prolonged used of any over the counter style triple anti-biotic cream which are oil based and loosen up scales.


I’ve found some bepanthen in my first aid kit, would that work at all? It’s an antiseptic cream commonly used for burns on humans.

If it has a pain relieving active ingredient I would definitely not use it.

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@thecrawdfather is right, anything with pain relievers may be toxic to your snake. Clean with betadine. You already removed the loose substrate; that is important as loose substrate may stick to the wounds. Make a vet appointment in the AM to obtain Silver Sulfadiazine and get the vet’s opinion as to whether or not injectable antibiotics are necessary. You could also get chlorhexidine for soaking from your vet, although it does not require a prescription and can be acquired online.

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This is why I only ever use UTH for my snakes, less likely for them to ever get burns. BPs don’t bask either so they don’t need em. If you don’t have money for an exotics vet (they are expensive bois) clean the wounds with betadine and get some chlorhexadine online. They don’t look bad enough to need antibiotics though, so long as they are kept clean. I have also heard vetericyn is a nice brand of burn spray for reptiles.


I would not use a cream used to treat diaper rash and some time used for sunburns to treat a snake with a BURN, silver Sulfadiazine is the standard treatment for BURNS…


Yep. 100%.

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You may also be able to find some silver sulfadiazine cream online, but you might need to do some digging to find it.

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If you have aloe, I’ve found this to be very useful. Used it for my one rescue alongside a combination of dry paper towels. Store bottled aloe has extra junk, so I just use the plant itself (break off a leaf, then wrap the broken ends in damp paper towel when not in use, pinch them closed).

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Alright so I’ve been to the vet and they’ve given me a few things to treat him, including an oral painkiller called Metacam. Does anyone have any idea of whether its necessary, and whether its safe?
I also have iodine but it contains some isopropyl alcohol, is that safe?

Noodle at vets for tax

Any vet experienced with reptiles knows that oral medication is the worse way to deliver medication in snakes.

Hopefully he did prescribed Silver Sulfadiazine.

Iodine solutions which go by various names are fine and are commonly used in veterinary and human medicine, generally the first ingredient will be 5% Iodine with the rest being water and a few inactive ingredients, I can’t say I have ever seen any with Alcohol to treat animals, it all depend on percentage and where it is on the list of ingredient.

Povidone and or Betadine (Iodine solutions) can be found at your local feed store, grocery store and pharmacy and do not require prescription.


Happy recovery to the little guy!

Also hope you have fixed your setup and get that bulb cage out of there or this will just happen again.

Yeah I thought it was odd for her to prescribe oral painkillers, although I don’t believe she specialised in reptiles.

Unfortunately iodine solutions aren’t sold in any of the major stores in the UK, I had to order some in from amazon.
She did prescribe silver sulfadiazine though, so I’ll be using that after bathing his wounds in the iodine solution I got from the vets. I’ll have to do some more looking into this iodine with isopropyl though…

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Yeah I’ll be resecuring the cage with better screws. It was entirely my fault tbh, with his weight on the cage (he leans on it a lot when explorinh/basking) they must have come loose and I hadn’t noticed in time.

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Would it be possible to give the oral medication via food item? Injecting the food item with the oral medication could be a way to administer? Though dunno if it would be the same. Sorta like wrapping a pill in a piece of cheese for a dog to eat.

Generally speaking it can be done also as mentioned above it is still a poor delivery system that give poor results with snakes which is why any type of oral prescription is usually not done except by vet will limited experience (a good way to gauge that experience) of course this would also imply that the snake will eat as well and in this case, care and healing will be the OP’s priority, feeding will only be secondary and chances are that snake may not eat and definitely does not need added stress trying to hard to do so, it will be stressful enough already to go through daily treatment.

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Another good thing to have on hand in the future would be chlorhexidine while generally used to clean cages and other surfaces it can also be used to clean wound in animals. It’s a good alternative to Betadine.


Do you happen to have a list/ photo of snake supply cupboard?
I can guarantee that I’m missing things that could one day make the difference and having it already at hand will only help the chances.