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Old 08-12-13, 02:36 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Second time I have tried posting...

I posted earlier about my sick ball python, it had to get precleared by a moderator or something, and still no sign of it getting posted... need some help.

Bought him/her from a pet store around 10 days ago, the other snakes there had RI. His tank humidity/temp is fine, but he is wheezing/popping and 'star gazing' a lot. I cant afford to take him to the vet so I need some ideas of what else I can do besides raising the temp in his tank a bit.


Nows not a time to be prescreening posts for me....
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Old 08-12-13, 07:26 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Second time I have tried posting...

we need all the details of your viv; screen top? what is the hot spot temp (and how are you measuring it?), what is the cool side temp, can you post any pictures of your viv? of the snake? what is humidity and how are you measuring it?

what is your heat source? how is it regulated?
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Old 08-12-13, 07:27 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Second time I have tried posting...

Answer all of those questions and we might be able to help.

Pictures of your viv would also help.
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Old 08-12-13, 07:51 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Second time I have tried posting...

It needs a vet probably at this time as antibiotics could be needed.

You need a culture done, by a vet, to see if it's viral or bacterial.

Can't take it to a vet? Find someone who can and give them the animal.
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Old 08-12-13, 08:04 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Second time I have tried posting...

All the snakes had ri's and you bought one? And you bought an animal that you cant afford to take care of?
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Old 08-13-13, 06:25 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Second time I have tried posting...

I went into great lengthy detail in a previous post but it was screened, so that's why I didn't bother going through it all again until I was sure something could be posted.

Snake has a 30H x 12W x 12W tank, he/she is an adult around 3-4 feet long from what I've read the tank is within specs. Using a newspaper as the substrate, as well as an infrared chicken lamp 250 watt (It's a hot lamp so I had to adjust the distance to avoid burning but keep the temperature still high enough to provide a decent environment.

Snake has a hide in his tank as well as the appropriate sized water dish to where he can't spill it. Temperature is being maintained around a steady 84-85 degree range, humidity I am trying to keep between 50-60.

There's a temp/humidity gauge I am using for him that I usually reserve for my plants (It's accurate because my plants are very very sensitive to incorrect heating/humidity. Also, he is ALWAYS within visual distance so I can keep part of the top of his tank open and help accommodate breathing


I saw a comment about buying a snake with RI. I wasn't aware of the snake actually having RI, and he didn't have the initial symptoms I'm now aware of, but it was admitted to me OTHER snakes in his same enclosure did, that's irresponsibility on the pet shops end, not mine. If I had been informed he would likely be sick, the situation would have been different.


Also, going to have to forgive me for NOT expecting to take what was prescribed as a healthy snake to a vet within days of purchasing him. So please can we avoid that for right now and focus on what can be done?

And to make things more clear.... I really haven't been sleeping or eating well just to completely maintain his environment and watch him during his most active hours.


Let me give some updates... for the last few days he's been pretty solitary sitting in his cage doing the stargazing thing for air, he's still wheezing but his condition hasen't seemed to deteriorate. Just this morning as of probably an hour ago, he decided he wanted out and be far more active.


Comments are appreciated
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Old 08-13-13, 06:43 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Second time I have tried posting...

Chase...I get that you are trying to be proactive now in terms of "what can I do to fix this?"....Honestly, your snake has a a pretty "iffy" chance of survival. Like Aaron said, you need a culture done of the respiratory secretions. If your snake has a virus (think "cold" bug), then supportive measures (proper temps/humidity, etc.) are about all you can do until your snake's immune system "fights it off", and hope for the best. However, if it is a bacteria (think Strep/Staph/E. coli, etc..) then you will need antibiotics. There really is no other way.

You may not have known at the time that it was sick (or exposed), but you do now. It is time for a vet.
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Old 08-13-13, 07:20 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Second time I have tried posting...

One thing i would do is call animal control and let them know the pet store is selling sick animals. I would see if someone could loan you the money to take it to a vet if you can afford it right now.

As for the snake you need a plastic tote or tub with a lid that will lock. Drill holes in it for ventilation. Get a heat pad and thermostat. A tote will hold heat and humidity much better. Can you get pictures of the star gazing or video would be even better?
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Old 08-13-13, 07:44 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Second time I have tried posting...

Your hot end temp should be 91-95f and your humidity should be 60+ and the snake needs a vet not advice from a forum
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Old 08-13-13, 08:36 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Second time I have tried posting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Lankyrob View Post
Your hot end temp should be 91-95f and your humidity should be 60+ and the snake needs a vet not advice from a forum
91-95f? I have read so many different guides on the subject, it's hard to tell which one is accurate, I've seen ones ranging from 68-73 at night when he's more active, to 78-83 w/ a 90F basking spot. With how it is now, I can change the change to 90-95 without much issue, but are you sure on this information? From everything I've read the temps are all over the place


Before I call animal control on the place, I want to go back in there to see if anything has changed. It seems like my snake just has a little bit of a cold now, instead of having me massively worried.


This whole ordeal has been beyond stressful, I've had to rearrange my entire sleep schedule just to keep constant vigilance on him to make sure it didn't get to the emergency stage. (He's still putting his head up a bit, but the wheezing/popping is almost completely gone now and he's very active again, I think he actually went to the bathroom too)


I've been a big pet owner for most of my life, and dealt with a lot of sick and injured animals and this has to be the one that worried me the most. I mean hell, if this had happened a few months down the road, taking him to the vet wouldn't be an issue, I'd actually just have the antibiotics on hand, but this came out of nowhere.
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Old 08-13-13, 09:05 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Second time I have tried posting...

You have no told what you are using to measure humidity/temps. What gauges exactly are you using?Also I am assuming you are using a screen top. This is not ideal for maintaining the correct conditions for a ball python.

I reccomend a lower wattage lamp(25-40 watt) to heat ambient temperatures and using an undertank heater to create a basking spot, since most ball pythons will spend time on the ground. Whatever you use, always hook it up to a thermostat(not to be mistaken for a thermometer).

Cover 3/4 of the screen top to reduce airflow.

Last edited by Mikoh4792; 08-13-13 at 09:10 AM..
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Old 08-13-13, 09:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Second time I have tried posting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chase556
91-95f? I have read so many different guides on the subject, it's hard to tell which one is accurate, I've seen ones ranging from 68-73 at night when he's more active, to 78-83 w/ a 90F basking spot. With how it is now, I can change the change to 90-95 without much issue, but are you sure on this information? From everything I've read the temps are all over the place
That is actually the recommended temperatures on most of the books and caresheets on ball pythons that I have read.

Give it those basking temps and a cool side of 80-84 during the day. At night you can but you don't have to, drop temperatures about 5 degrees. I give my snakes a night drop.



Quote:
This whole ordeal has been beyond stressful, I've had to rearrange my entire sleep schedule just to keep constant vigilance on him to make sure it didn't get to the emergency stage. (He's still putting his head up a bit, but the wheezing/popping is almost completely gone now and he's very active again, I think he actually went to the bathroom too)
Well now you know, don't buy a pet that is around other sick pets. Also you should be certain of husbandry before buying an animal. This way all the hassle comes before the snake is in your care.
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Old 08-13-13, 10:30 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Second time I have tried posting...

In some cases, just bumping up the humidity and temperatures temporarily will help a snake overcome a RI; however, if it had progressed to the popping/mucus coming out stage a vet visit is the most likely outcome.

I know that you had stated you had not expected to have to take a brand-new snake to your vet; however, whenever you buy a new animal, you should take potential vet bills into account. If you cannot afford both the purchase price of the animal, its supplies, and a vet visit right away, save up until you can. Purchasing an animal that you do not have the means to properly provide for is irresponsible. You can be mad if you want, but that's the way it is. Reptiles often require more frequent and expensive veterinary care than dogs/cats... because they are more sensitive to their environments and husbandry. Not many vets are skilled in snake medicine, so visits tend to be more expensive as well. I generally assume $100 above and beyond the purchase price of a snake.
In the future, avoiding pet stores is a good way to prevent a lot of heartache and expense with snakes. Pet stores are rarely set up to properly house snakes individually (housing a bunch together spreads disease and causes stress, which lowers the animals' immune systems). It was irresponsible for the pet store to sell you a snake they knew was in a cage with other sick snakes; you can try to get reimbursed for a vet visit from them, but they aren't going to reimburse your purchase price. Petco usually will pay for a single vet visit up to a certain amount ($50 or $75 I think) if it's within a week of purchase. However, they may have changed that.


Please keep us posted on your snake's development and recovery. We will all help as much as we can, but please try to understand that we all have the snake's best interest at heart, so if we feel we need to offer advice on budgeting/husbandry, try not to get upset. We're only trying to help you avoid this again in the future.
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Old 08-13-13, 11:18 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Second time I have tried posting...

Quote:
Originally Posted by chase556 View Post
This whole ordeal has been beyond stressful, I've had to rearrange my entire sleep schedule just to keep constant vigilance on him to make sure it didn't get to the emergency stage. (He's still putting his head up a bit, but the wheezing/popping is almost completely gone now and he's very active again, I think he actually went to the bathroom too)

When you have to adjust your airway to breathe (putting your head up/"stargazing" or whatever), It's at the emergency stage


I've been a big pet owner for most of my life, and dealt with a lot of sick and injured animals and this has to be the one that worried me the most. I mean hell, if this had happened a few months down the road, taking him to the vet wouldn't be an issue, I'd actually just have the antibiotics on hand, but this came out of nowhere.

What antibiotics would those be? A macrolide? A quinolone? A penicillin? What infection are you actually treating with those? What if it had a virus and didn't need antibiotics? How do you dose the meds based on the renal clearance of your snake? Has the renal function been impaired because of the infection? Or, are you just gonna "shotgun" it? Funny how illness just "comes out of nowhere"....
To quote from a reptile vet: "good medicine isn't cheap and cheap medicine isn't good"...
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Old 08-14-13, 07:37 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Second time I have tried posting...

I'm not sure whats with the hostility here. Someone in a bad situation due to forces outside of their own control comes asking for help, you make a bunch of assumptions and attack?


Sheesh, this is what I usually do in similar situations; when there was a nasty case of parvo going around (like what happened in my city a few years ago) I take preparatory steps, not go buy random stuff that may or may not help.


Steps like.... finding out what sickness they are at risk for, then going to a local vet and getting specific antibiotics, not the full spectrum, but the targeted ones. My dogs did end up getting a very nasty strain of it, but came out fine because of what I did. Precautionary measures and all.


After buying the animal, a new tank, hides, new lights I was short on cash. Pretty simple to understand, no? I do like to prepare for what I'm doing but you get blindsided at times and it can get costly. Know what? since I'm being attacked here so blatantly, let me state this:


One of my dogs, a jack-russel got off his line, and my neighbors dogs ended up getting lose (which is another story) and attacking the heck out of him, by the time I found him he was on the ground, dying. Know what I did? Took him to the vet and blew a grand on two surgeries. I'm no stranger to these situations, and admittedly this is the first one where I got caught with my pants down, so to speak.


I just wasn't expecting to buy a sick animal from a pet store And I didn't automatically assume I would HAVE to take him to the vet within a WEEK of owning him


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On the plus side of things, my ball python is doing much, much better. He's doing very little of the stargazing unless it gets overly stuffy in my house. He's not having the same breathing problems he was before (He still has a tiny bit of exhaling noise) so he's still congested up a little, but other than that seemingly healthy.


He's moving around a lot more, wanting to be very friendly with me since he's doing better I want to see if he will eat tonight, hopefully he does and another hurdle can be cleared.


One thing I am mildly concerned about (though he's shown zero symptoms) would be mouth rot, because of the length of him being sick, from what I have read puts him at a higher risk of it.


On another note... The tank 30L/20H/15W~ wide doesn't seem to make him very comfortable, so I'm either going to have to buy one, probably twice as big or convert a table I have into another tank.


Anyway I'm looking forward to this snake having a happy life in his new home, even if getting him through this has been relentlessly taxing. hopefully me (and him) can get back to normal.
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