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Old 07-19-03, 12:32 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Please help!!

Two days ago I fed my young garter snake a tadpole and she ate it fine. When I took her out of her cage to get some sun, I noticed a round bump about an inch below her head, the shape of a tadpole. I figured it was the tadpole trying to swim back up.. now i'm not so sure. I ran my fingers over it and applied a bit of pressure trying to massage it down her body, and she didn't seem to mind so I figured she wasn't in pain. I wasn't sure what to do, so I put her back in her cage. The next day it was gone, so I figured she must have swallowed it. Today I fed her a small fish, she usually swallows them easily, but she caught and started to swallow it, only to have it stop at the same place. She kind of acted wierd... I wasn't sure if she was in pain or what, but then she threw up the fish. She tried 3 times to swallow it, and threw it up each time. Now I think she might have thrown up the tadpole too, without me knowing it. I don't know whats wrong!! I suspect either a piece of substrate got caught in her throat(she's kept on sterilized dirt), or if mabye a fish's fin cut her throat or something and now she has an infection. Please help me! What should I do? Have you ever heard of snakes not being able to get food past a certain point because of any problem? Is there anything you can do to determine whats wrong, or anything you can do to help either impaction or an infection? Please hurry, I don't know how serious it is!
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Old 07-19-03, 10:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Your best course of action would be to get her to a vet, a.s.a.p. Good-luck & let us know how it goes. Dar.
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Old 07-19-03, 12:56 PM   #3 (permalink)
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She seems to be getting it down ok now after a few tries... I think it must be an infection or a cut in her throat that makes it hurt to swallow. She's acting normal and is otherwise healthy now, so i'm gonna chop up her food and mix it with a bit of water to help it go down easier, until she's better. I would take her to a vet, but we have no good reptile vets down here. There might be one in Penticton or Kelowna (a couple of towns over).. so if she gets any worse i'll see if I can find one. She seems to be improving, though, so I think she'll be fine. Thanks.
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Old 07-20-03, 02:44 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Hope she is fine
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Old 07-25-03, 04:07 AM   #5 (permalink)
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go to the vet. good luck
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Old 07-25-03, 01:48 PM   #6 (permalink)
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:S My bad. It seems she was just very full. I fed her once, and then two of my fish and one of my tadpoles died within three days, so she got those too. She's fine now, I just fed her too much. I have her on a schedule but if any fish or tadpoles die she gets to eat them. I'll be more careful in the future. Thanks all.
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Old 07-25-03, 02:50 PM   #7 (permalink)
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One Word: Veterinarian.
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Old 08-03-03, 02:56 PM   #8 (permalink)
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... Shes fine. As I said, we don't have any good herp vets in my area that I know of. Thanks for the suggestions though. ~TR~
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Old 08-03-03, 03:30 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Maybe you should be careful feeding her dead fish :| sometimes you never really know what they die OF, it could negatively affect the snake.....IMO, anyway, I don't have fish-eating anything, so I don't really know :|

Please correct me if I'm wrong though
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Old 08-03-03, 09:18 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Most diseases are host-specific, thats why its fine to feed your snakes rodents that have been killed off due to health reasons. Its a good idea to freeze fish prior to feeding. Though most parasites are host-specific, you can never be too careful, and fish are -loaded- full of parasites.
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Old 08-03-03, 10:57 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Good luck hope she gets better........
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Old 08-03-03, 11:36 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Oliverian, where are you getting the tadpoles?

Its probably a stupid question on my part, but there's a type of fish in your area that will be schooling around this time of year. They look just like taddies at first glance, but they're some sort of catfish I believe. At any rate, the first time I saw them I took it for a mass of tadpoles until I reached for one and got the pectoral spines.

Like I said, probably a stupid Q.

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Old 08-05-03, 04:03 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Good luck
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Old 08-06-03, 01:44 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Lol, thats ok wuntu. Actually I hatched them this year and they are pets, I just feed the ones who look sick, or are significantly smaller. The snake's fine. As I mentioned, I had just over fed her, and she couldn't eat anymore. I'm more careful now, and hopefully it wont happen again.
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Its a good idea to freeze fish prior to feeding
I don't really know if thats true or not. Some fish have thiaminase (sp?) which gets rid of thiamin. If you freeze them, I hear it increases the concentration of thiaminase, and your snake could get thiamin deficiency. But, I don't know for sure. I warm the frozen fish up before feeding though, which destroyes the thiaminase. Thanks for all the concern, she's doing great now. ~TR~
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