Common Diseases And Treatments
Garter snakes are the most common snakes that are taken in as pets and therefore live in captivity. Since they are housed and fed by humans, they usually don’t have much health problems. On the other hand however, most of their health problems also arise from the household and dietary factors such as:
- Nutritional deficiencies
When these species are fed inadequately, in excessive amounts of fatty food, or lack certain vitamins because they are not given ample vitamin supplements they will either be overweight or underweight.
Even snakes have to follow a certain diet so giving them too much frozen fish for example, without vitamin B1, calcium or vitamin E supplements; they can either have a Vitamin B or E deficiency. If they lack calcium, they can have rickets which is due to an imbalance of the calcium-potassium ratio.
Too much food can also either get them constipated and excessive weight, just like in human beings, can cause excessive weight.
So the obvious remedy for this is, give them a well balanced diet to avoid this problem.
Garter snakes are usually kept in an enclosure. If sharp objects or the heating equipment are overlooked, they can get cut, burnt and scraped.
The obvious remedy for this is you should make sure that the heating system is set up in a way that there won’t be an instance that the garter snake would come into contact with it and make sure you don’t have sharp objects lying around in the enclosure.
Do not house several garter snakes together to avoid the occurrence of bites
In the event that the garter snake injures itself, make sure you immediately treat the affected area with topical applications such as Betadine (povidone-iodine) or any triple antibiotic ointment and constantly monitor the site affected for any signs of swelling.
However, if severe cuts were incurred by trying to escape from a small gap in the enclosure, you should immediately take the garter snake to the vet to avoid further internal injuries.
When one or more of the environmental factors is neglected (unbalanced diet, lack of fresh water to soak into, inadequate heat), this can lead to illness and incomplete shedding.
In case this happens, you can help with the garter snakes’ shedding process by soaking the snake in tepid water before placing it in a damp pillowcase or towel with a so-called sphagnum moss. After this is done, you can put the garter snake back in the enclosure for half an hour. If this still doesn’t work, just repeat the first procedure of soaking in tepid water but this time, you have to assist in the shedding by cautiously rubbing the garter snakes’ skin off yourself from the head to the tail. It is imperative that you make sure that the eye caps have shed off properly.
A garter snake can be just like any other pet. The secret of prolonging its life is to make sure that you good care of it and take it to a vet regularly.