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Old 02-05-18, 10:28 PM   #1 (permalink)
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New Cape House Snake, Early RI?

So I recently ordered a pair of young cape house snakes and due to an issue on Fedex's part they were delayed from arriving first thing in the morning to right before the shipping hub closed (it was very nearly going to be the next morning). My albino male is fine, but the het albino female is making an audible clicking sound. The male is also roaming around his enclosure more, while she is staying closer to her heat source. Temps are 75-78F on the cool side and about 92F on the hot spot (deliberately a little high for the species to try to help her out). They arrived Saturday night and the female otherwise seems to be in good health. Alert, active, and both of them have already eaten (I'd read about the food response on this species and it's certainly true!). No open mouthed breathing, no discharge, and still very fast when handled. Been keeping handling to a minimum, just to really check on her condition.

Currently the idea is to keep her temps high and see if she improves in a couple days, and bring her to a vet if she either doesn't improve by that time, or sooner if she worsens at all but is this the best route?

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Old 02-06-18, 02:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: New Cape House Snake, Early RI?

Yes, when there's no open mouth breathing and no excessive mucus build-up the best course of action is to keep him/her dry and on the warmer side (but still a thermal gradient should be there!) and see if she improves in some days.

Sometimes a clicking sound can also be caused by a shed cycle. So it's not necessarily an RI. But it's not unheard off that a snake develops a light RI during transport.

It should heal on its own, if it worsens or persists for a long period then you should go to a vet to have it checked out.
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Old 02-06-18, 03:58 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: New Cape House Snake, Early RI?

Unfortunately my experience has been when their are audible respiratory noise (except for defensive sounds from certain species) it has nearly always been a detectable respiratory infection. If it doesn't go away within 48 hours of your heating it up, off to the vets. A lot of vets will tell you that these flare up due to stress. However, it has been my experience that respiratory infections in reptiles are extremely contagious so something to keep in mind. The vet will give you a wide spectrum antibiotic that will *probably* work but is by no means a sure thing. If it were me, I'd get a culture while you're there. Otherwise if it doesn't work, you're animal will be at risk because it takes quite a long time to get the culture back. The good news is I've had extremely good luck treating these infections and only lost a couple of animals here and there over the years but the vast majority healed either with the shotgun therapy or with the specific therapy based on the culture.
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Old 02-06-18, 10:29 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: New Cape House Snake, Early RI?

She's definitely clicking less frequently than it was originally, but not entirely cleared up either. I'd read about a vicks treatment that seems appropriate for what seems like an early RI, unsure if anyone can personally vouch for it.

I'm kind of reassured by this being a hardy species, never had a snake develop an RI on me before.
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Old 02-07-18, 05:31 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: New Cape House Snake, Early RI?

There's anti-biotics and such with evidence to suggest they work -- and when they do not work specific treatments can be found based on a culture which is tested against different anti-biotics. Unfortunately, I don't think you'll find too many people knowledgeable of reptile medicine recommending vicks vapor rub. Most of the home treatments probably do more harm than good or at the very least they waste time and lessen the chances that a proper treatment will work. So now you have a sick snake not receiving proper treatment being stressed by witch doctor treatments. Personally, I bump the temps and then go to the vet if that does not work. Trying to save a few bucks on home remedies is borderline animal abuse imo.
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Old 02-07-18, 08:51 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: New Cape House Snake, Early RI?

Fortunately, the higher temps seems to have done the job though I'm going to keep an eye on her for the next several days to be 100% sure.
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Old 02-08-18, 01:49 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: New Cape House Snake, Early RI?

I have a Cape House snake that was doing a little bit of what you mentioned. And I'm a little late to this party but I also bumped up the temps. Haven't heard any odd noises since.
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