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Old 03-11-17, 07:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
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He's still going strong with the wheezing

Hello all, it's me again. If anyone remembers, almost a year ago exactly my Baird's Rat Snake came down with a nasty respiratory infection. He's been doing great health wise, and is really a robust individual, but he has this habit where every time he goes into shed, he starts wheezing and whistling. He's done this without fail every. single. time. It really does sound like a respiratory infection too, but the second the skin comes off everything goes away.

I noticed yesterday that he was about to go into shed. He hasn't gone blue yet, but his scales get darker a few days before that. Still no blue eye caps, but he's whistling terribly already. No mucus, no open mouth breathing, no changes in behavior. His warm side stays around 92-94* F 24 hours a day while his ambient temperatures are normally around 80-82* during the day and experience a small drop at night to 76-78*. I spot clean his cage when I can but do a full clean every two weeks. He just gets it dirty in absolutely no time. The only thing that has me concerned this time is he likes to soak quite a bit. Not enough for it to be alarming but it's a part of his regular routine. I actually just got him a little bit of a bigger water bowl for him to soak completely. Anyways, I noticed Thursday morning that he was sitting in his water bowl and probably inhaled a bit of water. I watched it happen. He dipped his nostrils under and then started sneezing and blowing bubbles. I thought to watch him in case he got an RI because of this and he was completely fine thirty minutes later. Even just yesterday. Now, he's whistling and I'd just like your thoughts on this. I can't afford to take him to the vet every time he sheds but I don't want to misinterpret the one time he has a respiratory infection. It has me a little concerned.

Thanks.
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Old 03-11-17, 07:33 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: He's still going strong with the wheezing

If you don't see any bubbles or mucous, and he's done this before, I'd just keep an eye on him and see what happens after his shed. If it seems worse than normal I'd take him in for a check up.
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Old 03-12-17, 03:44 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: He's still going strong with the wheezing

Some snakes just wheeze/whistle in shed. It might be because of a very slight difference in shape of their nares/nostrils.
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Old 03-21-17, 06:05 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: He's still going strong with the wheezing

Thank you both for answering. He does it every time, but the popping and whistling is just so loud that it makes me worry. He just shed not even ten minutes ago (I went to clean his water bowl and when I took it there was no skin, but when I came back there it was). I checked now and there's no whistling. Again, thank you so much. It's reassuring to have an understanding of what's going on, but I'm sorry that I troubled you people for a false alarm. If it's any condolences, I included a picture of the shed. He's a little over four foot now and while it was complete when I found it, I ended up tearing it trying to unravel it.

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Old 03-21-17, 06:39 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: He's still going strong with the wheezing

I suppose he could be wheezing because his skin is too tight right before his shed... Not to mention the effort to shed... He's bound to be breathing heavier... My Moe sounds like a steam engine coming into the station when I hold him so ya! They can make all kinds of breathing sounds...
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Old 03-22-17, 08:38 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: He's still going strong with the wheezing

My male retic whistles every time he's close to a shed. I know it's not an RI because, aside from the whistle, there are no obvious signs. It kinda sounds like your guy has a built-in indicator for when he's going to shed; a whistle.

My retic will also sneeze around this time, which freaks me out.
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