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Dr. Bob
Dr. Bob, Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 7940
Experience:  35 years in practice
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Hi I am a vet nurse that has been approached by a neighbour

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Hi I am a vet nurse that has been approached by a neighbour whose son has a 5ft python that has a burn from a heat pad can you advise the best course of action.unfortunately the young man has limited funds so can't afford to take to a vet specialist.
Hello, I'm Dr. Bob. I apologize for the length of time this answer has taken to get back to you. There aren't many reptile-knowledgeable veterinarians online, and I've just returned from a trip to find your question, sorry.
Thank you for caring enough to ask this question for the neighbor boy and his snake. Burns in reptiles are very common and extremely hard to properly treat. Everything happens in "slow motion" in these creatures, so a burn that happens one day may not look all that serious for several days afterward, but slowly worsens until the full extent of the injury is gradually revealed. The tissue is actually "cooked" and only shows how deeply and severly over time.
I'm not sure of it's status in the U.K. as far as requiring a prescription, but a topical medication called "Silvadene" is probably the only effective hope for the poor snake. You can learn more about it online by googling the name. It is probably available online, but may require a prescription, and will take too long to be delivered unless ordered via expedited delivery. If you're still working with a veterinarian, in the interest of time, perhaps you can explain the boy's predicament and they would either write a prescription, if needed, or even offer to sell a tube of the creme. The burned area should be kept covered with the creme, reapplying as necessary, until the burn is healed (even determining this can be difficult!)
Please be forewarned, though, the prognosis for all but very superficial burns is guarded to poor. I hope you can help the poor young fellow to save his snake, and if you should have any further questions, please let me know.
Kind regards, XXXXX
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