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Old 09-08-21, 04:03 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy Seriously Wondering if I am Cursed

TO NOTE: I am posting this thread here because it pertains to ALL the pet snakes I've had personally since I first started; not just one species or type.
(This is also kinda long. X'D Sorry in advance.)

...Now this is partially a sad snake-mommy rant, partially a plea for help, and partially a want for advice. So buckle up, folks. X'D
(This is also going to sound like classic "newb snake keeper complaining" but I swear I just want to try and understand this!)

To this point, 3 out of the 4 snakes I've personally had the beautiful luxury of getting to own and care for on my own have died in my care...During the night. Very suddenly.
I say it that way because, as an extremely Anxiety and PTSD-prone person, I did lots of research on each of them; combed the web, looked at as MANY care sheets as I could to scrutinize where info lapsed and where it matched up. Heck I even posted HERE asking for help and advice before on like, two different snake occasions.
-- Now my first was a Rosy Boa named Lingueeno. That adorable turd exposed me to the wonders of Rosy Boas by escaping TWICE. Then getting found healthy...And dying during the night nearly two months later.

Second one was a rescue ball python, lovingly named Mopani. He ALSO suddenly died during the night around 2 years after I got him.

And then my most recent one-- another Rosy Boa named Rosa.
SHE, after almost a year of having her, died suddenly during the night just like the other two.
Seeing a trend here?

Now here's the thing that stumps me about ALL OF THEM:
They were all YOUNG. (Mopani was the oldest at around 4-5 years old.) Rosa wasn't even two yet. Same for Lingueeno.
All of them were eating wonderfully, all of them were pooing wonderfully. They all had the required temps and humidity. (Again: I was meticulous. Overly so, honestly. All had around 90s for their hot spots, all had a good temp gradient of around 80-85 for hot, and the lower 80s to 70s for cool side.)

I checked all for the classic stuff; mites. Respiratory Infections, scale and mouth rot. They had none of any of that. From all accounts of my meticulous scouring, searching and watching, they were healthy!
Yet all three of my precious babs died, young, during the night. And I still can't quite figure out why. I just can't wrap my head around it!

The problem is, eventually when we move, and I have some good money saved up, I want to try again with a "dream snake" of mine that I really want, being a Palmetto Corn Snake.
...But I am TERRIFIED that I will simply loose them again to some ailment I don't understand.

Is there ANYTHING anyone can think of, and coach/suggest to me of what could have happened to my noodles?!
I really just think I'm cursed to never have them otherwise.
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Old 09-08-21, 05:35 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Seriously Wondering if I am Cursed

What water have you been using? What is your feeder source?

It's strange to lose so many in similar ways. I wouldn't focus on the ball python much as it's a rescue and no idea what it has lurking.

You could also have had extremely bad luck.
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Old 09-08-21, 05:54 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Seriously Wondering if I am Cursed

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What water have you been using? What is your feeder source?

It's strange to lose so many in similar ways. I wouldn't focus on the ball python much as it's a rescue and no idea what it has lurking.

You could also have had extremely bad luck.
I have been using filtered tap water and filtered spring water-- specifically for Rosa I was using gallons of clean, filtered spring water.
As for the food source, I was using a site called RodentPRO, whom had some good reviews when I was searching.
From all the stuff I did get from them, they didn't appear to have freezer burn, mold, rot or anything obvious I can think of right now.
I also made sure that I kept strict track of how long the mice thawed for. I know you can easily "cook" them if you keep them in lukewarm/hot water for too long. Especially the small ones I had to feed to Rosa.
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Old 09-08-21, 06:11 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Seriously Wondering if I am Cursed

What cleaning products do you use? How did you measure temps and humidity?
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Old 09-08-21, 06:24 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Seriously Wondering if I am Cursed

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What cleaning products do you use? How did you measure temps and humidity?
For temps I had a day heat lamp/basking lamp on a timer that would go off at night, and a heat pad on a thermostat that was on all the time.
I also used a heat gun alongside the thermostat to regularly check the temps of all parts of the cage.

For humidity I had a fancy little gauge-- not the normal analogue ones that stick to walls-- that I put smack in the middle of the cage against the small climbing logs/rocks I had in the cages for enrichment. It both read the ambient temps, AND gave humidity. I made sure I got it dialed in first to the normal temps in the room before putting it in there.

EDIT: Cleaning products cause I forgot that part. X'D I used "Kaytee Clean Cage Habitat Deodorizer Spray" because of the reviews and gentle ingredients for spot cleans and simple clean-ups. For full cage cleans I used my family's usual wipes, our watered down cleaning spray, and then rinsed it before letting it dry completely. (I was scared of the chemicals.)
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Old 09-08-21, 09:27 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Seriously Wondering if I am Cursed

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For temps I had a day heat lamp/basking lamp on a timer that would go off at night, and a heat pad on a thermostat that was on all the time.
I also used a heat gun alongside the thermostat to regularly check the temps of all parts of the cage.

For humidity I had a fancy little gauge-- not the normal analogue ones that stick to walls-- that I put smack in the middle of the cage against the small climbing logs/rocks I had in the cages for enrichment. It both read the ambient temps, AND gave humidity. I made sure I got it dialed in first to the normal temps in the room before putting it in there.

EDIT: Cleaning products cause I forgot that part. X'D I used "Kaytee Clean Cage Habitat Deodorizer Spray" because of the reviews and gentle ingredients for spot cleans and simple clean-ups. For full cage cleans I used my family's usual wipes, our watered down cleaning spray, and then rinsed it before letting it dry completely. (I was scared of the chemicals.)
If everything is fine then I am unsure. I would consider not using chemicals and just wiping everything out. Hmmm. Could be back luck with rosy boas?
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Old 09-09-21, 06:44 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Seriously Wondering if I am Cursed

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If everything is fine then I am unsure. I would consider not using chemicals and just wiping everything out. Hmmm. Could be back luck with rosy boas?
I really don't know. It seriously stumps me, but if the possibility that it was chemicals floats around, I may just try and find a solution that involves none. Like some kind of carefully practiced mixture of like, vinegar and water or something. I am terrified.

There is also the fact that my family as a whole has just had...Terrible luck with reptiles.
In the beginning though I do admit it was mostly due to us having WAY too much faith in the store we got the animals from, and the info they told us. (Shame on us. X'D We were newbs, but I can't not cringe thinking back on it now.)
Hence the insane amount of research I did prior to all my noodles.

The rosy boas could be a possibility? I bought both of them from breeders that didn't have any red flags, bad reviews, etc. But still. That is one reason I am going to try with a different species. But it being a dream snake of mine is just terrifying. It will crush me even more-so than the other deaths had if I loose that baby. X'3
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Old 09-09-21, 06:27 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Seriously Wondering if I am Cursed

Sounds like you've had some bad luck. Good on you for sticking with it and trying to get it right.

It is possible that your overhead light was dehydrating the snakes. You said the heat pad was on a thermostat but not the light. Maybe more so because I think they recommend only offering rosy boas a water dish once weekly or something like that?

Another similar possibility is that the cage was in direct sunlight and overheated that way?

Chemicals would be the next most logical, though I wouldn't suspect the bird cleanser you used to be the culprit. I use F10 or diluted chlorhexidine to clean my enclosures when more than spot cleaning is needed. Other household chemicals that may cause harm include smoke (tobacco, marijuana, incense, etc), essential oil diffuser, bleach or ammonia used in strong concentrations in the same room.
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Old 09-10-21, 12:35 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Seriously Wondering if I am Cursed

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Sounds like you've had some bad luck. Good on you for sticking with it and trying to get it right.

It is possible that your overhead light was dehydrating the snakes. You said the heat pad was on a thermostat but not the light. Maybe more so because I think they recommend only offering rosy boas a water dish once weekly or something like that?

Another similar possibility is that the cage was in direct sunlight and overheated that way?

Chemicals would be the next most logical, though I wouldn't suspect the bird cleanser you used to be the culprit. I use F10 or diluted chlorhexidine to clean my enclosures when more than spot cleaning is needed. Other household chemicals that may cause harm include smoke (tobacco, marijuana, incense, etc), essential oil diffuser, bleach or ammonia used in strong concentrations in the same room.
Yea. I really want to try again, I am just terrified. X'D

When it comes to the overhead light, I am not so sure on that. It's hard for me to say definitively due to hydrometers, temps and all that, but from my memory I do remember Rosa especially drank a lot from her water bowl. She never appeared to have those "creases/wrinkles" on her that showed she was dehydrated, though. It's so odd!
EDIT: Clarifying that I kept a small water dish in there constantly, after scrutinizing the research. (From what I read, you could keep a water bowl in there if you kept it small and made sure it didn't spill, or that you immediately cleaned up if it ever did.)

The cage itself was against a wall, but out of the way of the window-- I kept her cage on my desk since she was such a tiny bab and I had her in a 10 gallon. She was in the corner away from the window. I would have seen the temps in the cage overly high due to the temp gun I used, but it never appeared to be that way.

The incense/diffuser issue IS something I am more careful of, as I did use such a thing when I had them. It was kept on the far side of the room away from their cages though, and I wouldn't leave it on all day. I didn't use it every day either, only days when there was some horrid smell in the house, or when I needed to calm down a bit. Is it possible that still could have affected them?
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Old 09-10-21, 08:42 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Seriously Wondering if I am Cursed

The effects of a lot of various chemicals is poorly studied in snakes. I would avoid using any kind of incense in the same room as reptiles.
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Old 09-11-21, 07:09 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Seriously Wondering if I am Cursed

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The effects of a lot of various chemicals is poorly studied in snakes. I would avoid using any kind of incense in the same room as reptiles.
Noted, thank you! I'll avoid using it when that time comes.
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