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Old 01-12-18, 10:54 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Possible disease?

Hi,
Iíve recently had two abnormal snake deaths that were weird in that they seemingly displayed the same symptoms and took place at different times in the same enclosure. About a year ago I had a snake in one of my exoterra enclosures that had a crooked jaw( on arrival I think) and eventually stopped eating, didnít respond to force feeding, seemed to have trouble carrying itself around and unfortunately died. I put the enclosure in my basement and forgot about it until I took it out a few months ago to move a ribbon snake that I wanted to put in a larger enclosure. I had this snake in the terrarium for around 4 months before it developed a crooked jaw, stopped eating, lost mobility and died in about a week. I did clean the enclosure before putting in the new snake but not to the point where some sort of disease could not have survived. Are these symptoms indicative of a disease of just a coincidence?
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Old 01-12-18, 11:03 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Possible disease?

It seems to me it's probably just a coincidence. I would highly recommend checking with a qualified herp veterinarian (if you still have the dead snake), and do a complete cleaning of the enclosure with a 10% bleach solution, just in case. If you have any other pets, make sure to keep them away for now.
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Old 01-12-18, 11:54 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Possible disease?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Terrapin View Post
that had a crooked jaw
why you didn't bring him to a veterinarian?
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Old 01-12-18, 01:39 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Possible disease?

^^ I talked to the seller and he said he didn’t think it was an issue and the snake in question was a rear fanged snake so a lot of vets in the area couldn’t help.
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Old 01-12-18, 02:51 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Possible disease?

Ditch the terrarium, if only for peace of mind...they aren't that expensive (well, most aren't) and you will breathe easier knowing that any snake you put in there dies.

There are some bacteria strains that can survive through quite a bit so it's hard to tell unless you want to spend the money to have someone swab the enclosure, build bacteria cultures, and deliver the results. That would be expensive I think.
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Old 01-12-18, 04:53 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Possible disease?

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Originally Posted by Scubadiver59 View Post
Ditch the terrarium, if only for peace of mind...they aren't that expensive (well, most aren't) and you will breathe easier knowing that any snake you put in there dies.

There are some bacteria strains that can survive through quite a bit so it's hard to tell unless you want to spend the money to have someone swab the enclosure, build bacteria cultures, and deliver the results. That would be expensive I think.
I highly doubt we are dealing with a bleach resistant bacteria, and like I said I bet it's just a coincidence. There is no reason to give up on the terrarium, money is money regardless.
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Old 01-12-18, 05:38 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Possible disease?

I was thinking along the lines of ditching the terrarium at least for snakes, most bacteria in my experience do not survive bleach but it is really hard to bleach each part. It also has a foam backboard that would not be able to be bleached. This may be a stupid question but instead of totally scrapping the tank would it still be usable for frogs and such. I don’t think it’s possible for any sort of disease to transfer like that but just making sure...
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Old 01-12-18, 05:49 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Possible disease?

Without knowing the illness (if there is any), it is impossible to know whether or not it could infect other species. If you are really worried about it, it is better not to use it.
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Old 01-13-18, 07:46 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Possible disease?

Biopsy done?

Also I can't imagine a reptile vet NOT willing to take on a ribbon snake, that sounds a bit silly to me. If they don't wish to handle something that could actually kill/maim them, all fine, but a ribbon snake?

Crooked jaw can have multiple reasons from physical damage (broken jaw) to various infections.
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Old 01-15-18, 06:19 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Possible disease?

I wasn’t talking about the ribbon snake. The question was about the first snake which was rear fanged. The ribbon snake seemed like it only had a minor jaw issue until death....
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Old 01-15-18, 06:38 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Possible disease?

Quote:
Originally Posted by HMS Terrapin View Post
I wasn’t talking about the ribbon snake. The question was about the first snake which was rear fanged. The ribbon snake seemed like it only had a minor jaw issue until death....
Yes, but Thamnophis sp. are rear fanged as well, hence the confusion.

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