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Old 09-19-18, 12:49 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Advice on Respiratory Infection

My yellow anaconda came down with a respiratory infection a while ago and I took him to the vet. I got a 3 week course of antibiotic injections and have been dutifully giving them every 3 days. I just gave the last one today.

But now I'm unsure how to know if it's really gone. The thing that made me take him to the vet in the first place was blowing snot bubbles out of his nose while he was eating. He also sounded kind of congested/whistle-y when we would get defensive and start hissing. I fed him a few days ago and watched closely. No more snot bubbles. But when I gave him his injection today, he still sounds a little whistle-y and possibly congested. I'm not really sure what is normal and what's not, because I never paid too close attention to what it sounded like when he was hissing before.

I'm not sure if I should go get more antibiotics from the vet... The problem is that I am leaving on a long-planned trip in less than two weeks. I have family taking care of him (and all my other reptiles, dogs, cats) but I don't know if I can ask them to give him injections. Neither are experienced handling snakes and he is hard to give injections to. He gets defensive quickly and needs to be held still or there is a risk of breaking the needle off inside of him. So I need to grab hold of his head and keep it while holding still the first 1/3 of his body. His head is very hard to keep hold of because he is an anaconda and has a very slender head. Nothing to hold against like on many other boa and python species. Then it is 13 pounds of muscle struggling to get his head back. Heck, just getting him out of his enclosure is hard. They help me with the injections because it is easier with two people (I have done a few by myself, but it is a pain), but I always was the one to get him out of his enclosure and get his head and body secured. Then one of them just gave him the injection and I would put him back. I'm afraid that they will not be able to control him and will get bitten or even lose him.
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Old 10-24-18, 08:27 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Advice on Respiratory Infection

Have you ever tried using f10 bacteria cleaner? It cleared up an impossible RI that my blood python had. It’s a cleaner used at vet offices that is safe for all animals. What you do is purchase a reptile fogger, and mix the f10 solution with the water u put in fogger. I took a plastic storage bin and put holes in lid so some of the fog can escape and let the fog fill the bin with your conda in it, the cleaner will kill the bacteria in their lungs, it does work. You can find articles on it on the web
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Old 10-24-18, 08:33 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Advice on Respiratory Infection

I forgot to add that this was after antibiotics didn’t clear the infection, they helped but he was so sick when I rescued him he probably only had a day or 2 to live, and hadn’t ate in months. I bought him from the dumb *** for $200 because I have a very soft spot for snakes, and I just had to try and save him. And save him I did! You can buy the f10 on Amazon
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Old 10-24-18, 10:22 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Advice on Respiratory Infection

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Have you ever tried using f10 bacteria cleaner? It cleared up an impossible RI that my blood python had. Itís a cleaner used at vet offices that is safe for all animals. What you do is purchase a reptile fogger, and mix the f10 solution with the water u put in fogger. I took a plastic storage bin and put holes in lid so some of the fog can escape and let the fog fill the bin with your conda in it, the cleaner will kill the bacteria in their lungs, it does work. You can find articles on it on the web
The above would do nothing if the infection were viral in nature.
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Old 10-24-18, 01:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Advice on Respiratory Infection

Well it turned out okay. =) I went on my trip, came back, and pretty much sat there with the enclosure doors open just watching, listening, poking him to get him to move/hiss and I really think he is okay. Perhaps the leftover congestion was just residual inflammation and the infection was actually under control. Like when you get a cold and even though you are feeling much better after a few days, you still produce more mucous and have a stuffy nose. I probably spent a few hours over a couple of days just watching and listening and I didn't hear any of the congested breathing or whistling. He is eating well, very active, and seems good now.

Unfortunately, I think whatever it is may have been transmitted to my rosy boa. I'm kicking myself for not being more careful. I'm observing right now, but I heard her exhale a couple times yesterday which is unusual. I've never been able to hear her breathe before.
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Old 10-24-18, 02:40 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Advice on Respiratory Infection

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The above would do nothing if the infection were viral in nature.
Exactly...

Correlation does not imply causation.
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Old 10-24-18, 03:00 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Advice on Respiratory Infection

I do believe the infection was bacterial. But IMO, systemic antiobiotics are going to be better than any aersolized disinfectant. I'm not sure I would be comfortable doing that anyways unless my vet said it was okay and effective.

I would have just taken him back to the vet if he wasn't better. =) I'm keeping a very close eye on him for any return of symptoms.
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Old 10-24-18, 08:20 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Advice on Respiratory Infection

Well no wonder on the rosy boa. I don't think it came from my conda after all.

I really underestimated how these Animal Plastics enclosures hold moisture. There is not even a water bowl in my rosy's cage and humidity is still managin to be 60%. That's probably why she has an RI. Back to the vet, and then need to modify the cage to have more ventilation. =(
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Old 10-24-18, 09:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Advice on Respiratory Infection

Wow, I never realized that could happen! Best wishes, Aurora.
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Old 10-24-18, 09:51 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Wow, I never realized that could happen! Best wishes, Aurora.

Never realized what could happen?
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Old 10-25-18, 04:58 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Advice on Respiratory Infection

Humidity does not cause RI. A pathogenic organism is the cause. Viral, bacterial, or fungal. None of which you can discern the cause simply by observation. Cultures are necessary if you are to treat the snake appropriately. Otherwise, it's a W.A.G. at best, and bad husbandry practices at worst.
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Old 10-25-18, 07:57 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Advice on Respiratory Infection

Well, a lot of people say that it does, especially for rosy boas. There are plenty of opportunistic pathogens already present in the respiratory system that could cause an infection given the right conditions.

I've never had a vet want to do a culture on a basic respiratory infection in any species, reptiles or mammal. The first thing they always try is a round of broad-spectrum antibiotics. If that does not clear it up, a culture could be a good idea. You can claim bad practices if you like, but I'm following the advice of my veterinarian. =)
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Old 10-25-18, 10:29 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Advice on Respiratory Infection

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Well, a lot of people say that it does, especially for rosy boas. There are plenty of opportunistic pathogens already present in the respiratory system that could cause an infection given the right conditions.

I've never had a vet want to do a culture on a basic respiratory infection in any species, reptiles or mammal. The first thing they always try is a round of broad-spectrum antibiotics. If that does not clear it up, a culture could be a good idea. You can claim bad practices if you like, but I'm following the advice of my veterinarian. =)

A lot of people are wrong. I've heard that misting causes respiratory infections quite often as well...I can only imagine all the sick snakes in the wild after a rainfall.

A culture should always come before treatment unless circumstances are dire and emergency intervention is required while waiting for a result. Doing otherwise is like putting your pants on before your underwear. Using broad spectrum antibiotics incorrectly can create resistance. MDT is pretty experienced in the medical field, I would trust him over most vets any time, especially if you've only encountered ones that don't want to do a culture before treatment, but I can respect where you're coming from.

Last edited by Andy_G; 10-25-18 at 10:39 AM..
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Old 10-25-18, 10:46 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Advice on Respiratory Infection

I'm not closed off to new ideas. I can admit to being wrong. So you think keeping a desert species at 60% humidity is not going to cause health problems?

I guess the reason I question the need for a culture is because I don't even do a culture on myself when a bacterial RI is suspected. I had pneumonia and got broad spectrum antibiotics, no culture. The only time a vet wanted to do a culture was on a friend's cat who had an infection that just would not clear.

I can request a culture, if that is really the standard. I just thought it was pretty standard to do antibiotics when RI was suspected. That is what I have heard most of the time, what vets have told me, and what I did for my conda who is healthy now.

Taking her to the vet later today.
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Old 10-25-18, 01:12 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Advice on Respiratory Infection

Andy, you know I get my info from Google and Dr. Oz
(thanks for the kind words)

Neon, glad you're taking her to vet. Hopefully, they'll be clinically investigative and try to diagnose the illness. Keep us updated. We wish your animal all the best.
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