What should I do about my hurt snake?

Hello! My baby’s cornsnake recently got attacked by a cat, he has a fairly small wound on his tail and mid body. The one on his tail seems to hurt him the most, he gets very angry when you put anything near that wound. I put some Neosporin on his wounds, and have made sure to keep it fairly clean.

Does anyone have an idea how I could help him more?


You need a vet if he was attacked by a cat, especially if the wounds are from bites. Cat bites are notoriously known for getting infected and will likely require injectable antibiotics. Infections can kill. I’d also suggest x-rays for any broken bones if there’s that much pain response.

If you’re putting Neosporin on the wound, make sure it does not contain any pain relievers as those are toxic.


I agree with @noodlehaus. In the meantime, switch out the substrate to paper towels to help keep everything sterile.


Yeah, they’re right. ASAP to a vet for prescription antibiotics. Cat bites or scratches are indeed unbelievably infectious. The vet can also tell if there’s any other damage you might not know how to look for.


Some pics of the wounds would help everyone see how severe they are. (If you can get them without hurting the snake) Also can you tell if he is moving ok, if the spine is broke you can tell he is paralyzed ect. just from observation not trying to touch or hold him. Wish you luck, and your snake a speedy recovery!


Nothing is wrong with his moving, he is spiteful as ever really. It was a suffice wound from what I can see. I would of taken him to the vet the second I saw him but I’m a minor and my parents have no money to take him. I wanted to take pictures but he is just so upset at the moment that he doesn’t want me to touch him even in the slighted bit ,_,


If you can’t take him to the vet, the best you can do is to keep him on paper towel, keep the area clean, apply antibiotic ointment and hope it is just a surface wound. Maybe some dilute betadine soaks as well.

That said, as you are a minor, I highly suggest not getting any more snakes until you can contribute financially to their care. Since you rely on your parents, they have a responsibility to help you properly provide for your animals. If they can’t do that, then it’s irresponsible to allow you to keep getting pets. Even more so as you’ve previously mentioned wanting to breed in the future.


:point_up_2: :point_up_2:

I agree with this 100%. For every animal someone owns, they should be ready and able to take it to the vet.

And that vet visit includes being able to pay for basic diagnostics and treatment if needed- having only enough for an exam and nothing else does little good and will make your veterinarian feel terrible for not being able to care for them. Never ask a vet for freebies, it makes it harder and harder for us to make a livelihood, which results in raised prices for everyone.

“If you can’t afford the vet, you can’t afford the pet.”

edit: cat bites are known for causing abscesses, your snake needs treatment. Also keep your reptiles safe from your other pets, there is no situation in which a cat should be given unimpeded access to a corn snake.


This is what to do; and the betadine soaks should look like week tea when diluted. And you just want enough to go up his sides a bit not enough he needs to swim or hold his head up and out of the water. With a snake that size it is probably a case of the cat “playing” with it and caught it with a claw or two. If it bit that size snake or tried to eat it it wouldn’t be alive, cats are deadly predators. Of course without pics it is impossible to tell for sure. If it’s only a surface
Wound and you keep it clean the snake should heal in a shed cycle or two, if the vet is totally out of the question. Good luck! Pretty snake!


Not so very long ago I was a teen with my own tiny pets. And I DO remember how a lot of parents out there will try to go “Oh it’s Fine, it’s just a Pet, it doesn’t look bad, I ain’t going to spend money on it unless it’s in trouble,” and you can tell them ALL the helpful grownup snake people on the internet said it already is, and it will do everything it can to hide any problems.

Sometimes hearing it from other adults might convince them even when you told them the same thing, but the snake sounds distressed by contact so if at all possible, a vet would be best.


Make sure it is just standard triple antibiotic ointment. Ointment with pain relief is harmful for reptiles.


If it helps, assuming the wounds only need antibiotic care (based on your description and the fact that he’s still acting mostly normal, I assume that’ll be the case) you’ll probably be looking at less than $100 for his treatment if I had to guess, but I’m not an expert as I’ve never had to take an animal to the vet over open wounds. Talk to your parents about putting it on a credit card and getting a summer job to pay them back, if you’re old enough to work a proper job. If you aren’t, see if you can work as a gardener for people you trust. Some vets will also do payment plans from my understanding, but this is usually for more expensive treatments. I second the idea that you should show this information to your parents - it’s certainly helped me when I was in similarly tight spots. Also, make sure to keep the cat out of the same room as the snake from now on, just out of an abundance of caution. Unfortunately the fact that it’s a cat makes it go from “you should probably go to a vet just to make sure it’s okay, but if there’s no sign of infection it’s probably fine” to “you definitely need to go to a vet” because of the bacteria in cat claws. I knew someone who got attacked by a cat and their hand swelled up like a balloon even with hospital treatment - scary stuff! But because she got medical attention, she’s fine now. I will say that with antibiotics and based solely on your description, your snake should be mostly fine, but I do recommend keeping a close eye on potential stuck shed on his tail. I have a snake whose tail I accidentally injured and I’ve noticed it has a bad tendency to scab over and get stuck during his sheds. If this happens too many times, especially to a growing snake, his tail could become necrotic due to lack of blood flow and either fall off or need to be amputated. But with careful monitoring and gently soaking the tail in some water, the shed always comes off for me - I’m sure that’ll be the same for you, if it ends up being a problem at all.

Hope your little guy recovers well and that you can take him to the vet! I know how hard it is to work up the funds to take snakes to the vet as a kid from personal experience. Thankfully my parents were willing to temporarily help me out until I could pay them back - hopefully you can convince yours to do the same.


I’m sorry this happened to your little guy. You’ve already been given some great advice and I don’t really have much to add regarding wound/vet care.

But to keep this from happening again, I strongly suggest you shut your cat(s) in a separate room before handling your snake in the future. I have 4 very curious cats, and even though most of them don’t seem too interested in my snakes, I’m always sure to shut them in an upstairs bedroom before I take my snakes out, just to be safe.


I’m so sorry to hear about what you and your little snake are going through. I’m in total agreement with every bit of what you’ve already been told.

I can confirm from personal, painful experience that injuries caused by cats need medical attention. Even a healthy, well cared-for house cat harbors loads of bacteria which can cause very nasty infections. It’s happened to me more than one from my dearly loved cats. Your snake is going to “act normal” as long as/if it possibly can. In nature, being noticeably ill or injured is a great way to attract a predator. If you/your parents wait until the snake is obviously in trouble, it will be exponentially more difficult to treat and more expensive as well.

One other thing you can and should do now is to make certain that the cat isn’t anywhere near your snake. Not even in the same room as it’s enclosure, if that’s in any way practical. The cat is going to be extremely interested in the snake following this attack. Being stared at by its attacker will greatly stress the snake. Even if the snake is hidden, it will know the cat is there. This can impact its recovery. It’s also just plain awful to contemplate how the snake would feel in that situation.

Good luck to you and your snake I hope that you’re able to help it heal and that its return to good health is uneventful and quick.


I think everyone already covered any points I missed as far as care. I know you said your little one escaped and that’s how this incident happened. Even some of the biggest names have had similar problems, so don’t beat yourself up too much about it. Since I know a lot of doors have gaps underneath large enough for little ones to squeeze under, if you’re keeping your snakes in a room away from the cats, consider asking your parents to get and install a door sweep/weather strip. This means if your snake gets out again and a door gap was part of the issue, it no longer will be.


Cats are the devil! No, not really. If I didn’t have snakes (or anything that moved), I would have a cat. Nothing to input as far as solutions, everyone hit it on the head.

Only thing I would add is calling a vet nearby and asking, #1. If they even treat herps. And #2. If they would take a payment plan. A lot of vets are more flexible than people realize and it never hurts to ask. Hope he gets better anyway you can.


I can also verify that cats can cause devastating injuries with claws and teeth. My career was actually ended by a cat bite that developed into CRPS in both hands, and now I’m permanently disabled. That very rarely happens, but definitely always get medical treatments for wounds caused by cats.

Here is a post with guidelines about how to find a herp vet:


Vet Asap. He will need antibiotics. They almost alwats get infected. ( even in people) i just went through this after i got bit by my cat. It was an er visit, antibiotics then a plastic surgeon. Thankfully didnt need surgery.