I injured an adult Eastern Hognose snake (about 26" in length) while mowing yesterday. He's missing a patch of skin about 2" long and 1/2" wide on his back, about 6" above the vent and has a few other minor injuries, including missing part of his tail (I say 'he' but have no idea of it's sex, nor do I think it makes a difference). Perhaps the worst injury seems to be to just above the left eye.

It's a very small injury but may mean a brain injury, because he tilts his head to the right and seems to have little direction or purpose when crawling. At least all of the wounds have stopped bleeding. I have him in the house now and while I have little hope of his long term survival, I will do what I can for him.
I cleaned the wound and put some antiseptic cream on it and now have him in a large tub on some towels. I offered him water today but he refused it. He shows no sign of biting and only hissed when I was removing the grass clippings from the wound. Otherwise, he's very lethargic, which I would expect from an injured snake. I am not sure but I don't think I ran over him bodily with the tires of the mower, just passed over him with the blades. At least his back doesn't seem to be broken. He's not the first critter I've chunked up in the mower, unfortunately, but the first to actually survive.

What I don't know is what temp should I keep him at that will offer the best chance of surviving his injuries. The cool basement (low 70's) or in the house, usually around 78 or so. Any suggestions on that, cool or warmer?

I've no intention of keeping this animal as a pet, I'm well beyond that stage, but I would like to save him if possible. I don't kill offhand any of the critters around here, but I do have neighbors (and I use that term very loosely) that do, most especially snakes. These days, without dogs around, I don't even relocate the venomous ones as I did in years past.

I'll try and catch a small toad for him (there are quite a few of them around under normal circumstances but I suspect they'll be scarce when I'm actually trying to find one) but I've no idea if he will take it. I will assume that he was out and about because he was hungry, since their breeding season is over by now. I've had a few notable successes with injured wild animals over the years (a hummingbird chick with a broken foot once and 3 Eastern Phoebe chicks that were infested with some kind of mites) but most have been failures. TIA,
jc
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I cleaned the wound and put some antiseptic cream on it and now have him in a large tub on some towels. I offered him water today but he refused it.

I'd leave the water in with him, he's not likely to drink unless he's feeling unthreatened.
What I don't know is what temp should I keep him at that will offer the best chance of surviving his injuries. The cool basement (low 70's) or in the house, usually around 78 or so. Any suggestions on that, cool or warmer?

I will give you advice similar to what I received from a reptile vet for treating a western hognose with multiple large abscesses that needed to be cut open, drained and debrided, leaving several very large gaping holes, including ones deep enough to show bone.

I'd keep him in the house. You want him warm enough that his immune system and metabolism remain active, I suspect that if you cool him off he'll settle down and just stay sick until he dies.

I would buy some betadine,and give him some soaks. Warm water, put enough betadine in it to give it a weak tea colour. Soak him for 10-15 minutes at least once a day. This will keep the wounds clean and help speed the healing process. Having the wounds scab over is not as important as having them heal in the deep bits, snakes are very prone to abscess formation following impairment of skin integrity.

You can dress the wounds with antibiotic ointment after the baths if you wish.
Keep him on clean paper towels, not in substrate that can get in the wounds.
If he ends up with abscesses, cleaning them isn't all that hard, although it's a bit gross. Snake pus is solid, at least as hard as toothpaste that's been left out a couple of hours, but it isn't terrible to clean.
I'll try and catch a small toad for him (there are quite a few of them around under normal circumstances but I suspect they'll be scarce when I'm actually trying to find one) but I've no idea if he will take it.

Hopefully he will, if he doesn't, kill the toad and put it in the freezer (if they are scarce). You can offer the snake pinky or fuzzy mice rubbed with toad scent as an alternative to hunting down multiple amphibians.
Best of luck with your rescue project, I hope he lives to run away from your lawn mower another day.
nj"and more luck"m

Welcome, stranger, to the humble neighbourhoods.
Thanks, it sounds like good advice and I'll follow it. I was leaning towards the warmer side and I've had him in the house, in a tall trash bin that lets enough sun in. I know they prefer to be on the moist side but he's not moving around much at all when left alone. In fact, he doesn't even sample the air unless he's disturbed and I've had to touch him nearly every time I've checked just to make sure he's still alive. I took him out today for a bit of sun but it's difficult to tell if a snake is happy.
Really, I'm most worried about the head wound and his tilting his head to the side. It doesn't bode well. The back injury is mostly just skin missing and looks ok, considering it's only 24 hours old. He's still quite lethargic, although he did go around in circles when I had him outside. He's definitely not well enough to be left on his own. I'm sure the local foxes (a family group of two females and one male, who live close by) would make a quick meal of him, as he doesn't seem to have enough direction in his movements to even hide himself, much less feed.
As I expected, there wasn't a toad to be found outside tonight. They're usually attracted to the outside lights, where the bugs congregate, but I think it might be a little chilly for them. I'll have to make a trip down to the creek and maybe snag a leopard frog for him. They're relatively easy to spot and catch, although I'll have to picky about size - some of them are rather large. If he feeds, I don't think it will for quite a while yet. If the head tilting doesn't go away, he may never feed. I'm not sure how much they depend on vision but I can see blood in his left eye, which is never good.

But he's hanging in there, which is a good sign, so I'm at least a little hopeful that I can return him to where he belongs. Thanks for the info,
Cheers,
jc
Thanks, it sounds like good advice and I'll follow it. I was leaning towards the warmer side and I've had ... I took him out today for a bit of sun but it's difficult to tell if a snake is happy.

When my hoggie was sick that was the sort of behaviour he had for several weeks. He would eventually come out and drink, but it was unusual.
Really, I'm most worried about the head wound and his tilting his head to the side. It doesn't bode well.

No, it doesn't. On the other hand, if he doesn't die of the head injury fairly soon I'd guess there's a reasonable chance of recovery. Traumatic brain injuries will repair themselves to a great extent given time, and considering how little brain he has to start with, if he doesn't bleed out then he might square up. I wouldn't worry too much about the bloody eye, that could be a relatively minor injury or something serious, but I suspect it will take a very long time to go away.
If he starts eating, then he's away to the races. He needs the food to keep his immune system working and heal up, but they tend to go off their feed when they are really sick, so there's not much you can do other than to keep him warm and hydrated until he recovers enough to decide to live.
Please keep us posted.

Welcome, stranger, to the humble neighbourhoods.
Please keep us posted.

That I wil.
I did the bath thing today and wonder of wonders, I found the most unlucky toad in the world this afternoon, who is just the perfect size for him. So far he's shown little interest in the toad, but it's only been a couple of hours since his 'bath' so I'll give it more time.
I'm beginning to think he may have been blinded by the hit on the head. I looked closely at it today, and while it's stopped bleeding (as have all of his wounds) I can't tell how deep it is. It's a slice that went across the occipital scale and while only 1/8th inch long, it could be deep.

As you said, only time will tell. I'll keep an eye on him and check for infection once in a while but mostly I intend to leave him alone and hope for the best.
Cheers,
jc
The hognose has been quiet the last few days but today, when I offered, he drank a huge amount of water - nearly 3/4 of an ounce. This is the first time he's shown any interest in anything like that.
He still seems to be somewhat aimless in his movements. I believe he at least bit the last toad I put in with him but did not eat it. He has another today and perhaps he'll show some interest. This toad is even less lucky than the last one, in that he's missing a rear foot. If things go well, he'll end up as a meal for a snake.
The snakes back seems to be drying out nicely and there's no sign of any infection. I'm not at all sure he'll ever grow skin there, however. Perhaps when he sheds again, it will cover the scar but I honestly don't know.

At any rate, he's still with me for now and I'm actually beginning to think he may survive this.
cheers,
jc
The hognose has been quiet the last few days but today, when I offered,he drank a huge amount of water ... don't know. At any rate, he's still with me for now and I'm actually beginning to thinkhe may survive this.

Appreciate the update. Best of luck to you and Mr/Ms snake.

Pat in Plymouth MI
"So, it was all a dream."
"No dear, this is the dream, you're still in the cell."

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The snakes back seems to be drying out nicely and there's no sign of any infection. I'm not at all sure he'll ever grow skin there, however. Perhaps when he sheds again, it will cover the scar but I honestly don't know.

This is all such good news. My hoggie's scars get smaller every time he sheds, but I suspect that it will take several years before they are gone - or at least, as gone as they are going to get.

If he has started drinking, then I think he'll eat sooner or later. thank you so much for posting!
nj"yippee"m

Welcome, stranger, to the humble neighbourhoods.
I turned the Hognose loose yesterday. After a good long drink and a few minutes getting used to the idea (and warming up a little), he crawled off into the woods, hopefully to continue his life. His back was scabbed over nicely and, since he wasn't eating, I figured he had at least some chance on his own, rather than a zero chance of living in a bucket in my house. With any luck at all, the next time I run across him it won't be on the lawn mower! It's been a heck of a ride and I think that he has a decent chance of survival. At least, that's my story and I'm sticking to it!
Thanks for the help and advice!
Cheers,
jc
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