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Help Please. Who Knows About Snakes?

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posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 08:16 PM
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I have an adult, male (probably) snow corn snake. He is almost 12 years old. I've had him since he was a baby. I feel that he is well cared for, with appropriate substrate, water, heat source, humidity, hidey holes and food and a large (huge really) cage. I clean and disinfect the cage regularly and I've never seen mites on him. I've put things in there for him to climb but he just doesn't give a crap so I took them out after a few years. He is a monster, well over six feet.

Until the last month or so there has never been an issue, but he started having seizures. I mean roiling, smacking his head against the sides of the cage seizures. He is also stargazing. He is off his feed, listless and clearly losing ground. He is normally a good natured snake, and while I never handled him a lot he was always easy going with no signs of aggression. Now he is one grumpy snake though, striking and rattling his tail. I have tried to find an exotic animal vet and there just aren't any in the area. I'm at a loss. This sounds almost like IBD but I thought that colubrid snakes weren't susceptible to that, only boids (which I don't have, he is my only snake).

I would have to travel four hours to the nearest vet who has any experience with exotics and he is kind of iffy about what is going on anyway. Does anyone have any ideas? I'm just baffled and it's getting worse.




posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 08:29 PM
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Could it be that s/he's just getting old? IDK how long snakes live but 12 years seems a lot. You've done a helluva job.



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 08:39 PM
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originally posted by: intrepid
Could it be that s/he's just getting old? IDK how long snakes live but 12 years seems a lot. You've done a helluva job.


Honestly that's what my husband thinks too, but corns can usually live a bit longer although reproductively they are usually done by this age. I was hopeful he would last longer because he was always such a good eater and in good health. You might be right, but these seizures are pretty darned dramatic and it started out of the blue. It's hard to watch though.
And thanks for the kind words.
edit on 24-6-2016 by redhorse because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 08:44 PM
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Hopefully we have a herpetologist around. I'm not, I just like them. Hell, could be needing a new diet for all I know.



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 08:44 PM
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I don't know where you are or if you have a branch of a Herpetological Society near you, but they would probably be the best people to ask for advice.

Here is a link to the New Mexico branch in case it's any good to you:

www.nmherpsociety.org...

Just a thought - has your snake had any trouble shedding his skin? Is it possible you didn't notice when his eyes went blue/milky and now the 'moment' for shedding has passed?

You could try getting him out in the sunshine for a good while - that's always good for snakes.



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 08:51 PM
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originally posted by: berenike
I don't know where you are or if you have a branch of a Herpetological Society near you, but they would probably be the best people to ask for advice.

Here is a link to the New Mexico branch in case it's any good to you:

www.nmherpsociety.org...

Just a thought - has your snake had any trouble shedding his skin? Is it possible you didn't notice when his eyes went blue/milky and now the 'moment' for shedding has passed?

You could try getting him out in the sunshine for a good while - that's always good for snakes.


Thanks for the link and I will take a look. He did have trouble with a shed (which was a little weird for him) maybe a week before the seizure, but I just figured it was dry (because it was) and made sure the habitat was extra moist and it seemed to work. I checked for mites but didn't see anything. Cleaned out the cage anyway and he seemed okay so, kinda forgot about it until you said something honestly.

I'll try getting him some sunshine. Could help.



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 08:53 PM
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originally posted by: berenike
Just a thought - has your snake had any trouble shedding his skin? Is it possible you didn't notice when his eyes went blue/milky and now the 'moment' for shedding has passed?

You could try getting him out in the sunshine for a good while - that's always good for snakes.


I hear that a kiddies pool helps them to shed. Just on FB this week. I trust the source. She has, damn near everything.



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 09:05 PM
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I doubt it's age, a 20 year lifespan is far from unheard of. Have you moved or otherwise changed his water source lately? Maybe tried a pet shop medication? Honestly my guess would be some form of toxicity but only you'd know if you've changed anything recently. Other than that I'd have to guess parasitic infection.

Have you tried looking for breeders near you? If you find a knowledgeable one they would probably be of more help than an inexperienced vet.


ETA: I've actually never heard of seizures lasting as long as you say it's been happening so it sounds like there's some hope that he'll be ok there.
edit on 6/24/16 by Magnivea because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 09:18 PM
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originally posted by: Magnivea
I doubt it's age, a 20 year lifespan is far from unheard of. Have you moved or otherwise changed his water source lately? Maybe tried a pet shop medication? Honestly my guess would be some form of toxicity but only you'd know if you've changed anything recently. Other than that I'd have to guess parasitic infection.

Have you tried looking for breeders near you? If you find a knowledgeable one they would probably be of more help than an inexperienced vet.


ETA: I've actually never heard of seizures lasting as long as you say it's been happening so it sounds like there's some hope that he'll be ok there.


The only thing different is that I got his mice a few days before the first seizure from a new place because my usual place was out of white mice (he will only eat white mice, true story). There is one guy at a pet shop who might be able to suggest some meds and I can always hit the vet up again to see what he suggests (but he wants me to drive the snake up to him before he'll really tell me anything).

As an aside, I offered mice and he did actually eat today. I had kind of given up hope but thought I'd give it a try. Since he ate I thought I would inquire of folks here. See if someone might know if something can be done.
edit on 24-6-2016 by redhorse because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 09:37 PM
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Hey I grew up with boas and pythons (among other animals)

I found this link helpful.

www.angelfire.com...


Discusses many reasons snakes get seizures, and convulsions from water toxicity, food source viruses physical trauma and more. How to tell them apart.

Corn snakes are usually great snakes for pets. I grew up with various types of red tailed boas, ball pythons, garter snakes, rosy boas (my favorite-she was a sweetheart.) And a eastern hognose (very cool little guy, can expand his ribs and make a cobras hood when scared, rear fanged and slightly venomous too, but amazingly gentle disposition. )
edit on 24-6-2016 by BASSPLYR because: (no reason given)

edit on 24-6-2016 by BASSPLYR because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 09:39 PM
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a reply to: redhorse

You poor sweetheart, your friend might be in trouble.

You need to make the effort to get to a vet.

Godspeed.



Maybe contact a vet from remote. They do that these days. right?

?

www.ruralareavet.org...

I dunno. Just want to help.
edit on 24-6-2016 by Bybyots because:




posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 09:42 PM
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The new mice may have had an unpleasant fur texture and the noodle could have been trying to get it to settle (caught in his throat and would heave and rub and be generally a grump). Had a ball python who was that picky, we needed to breed our own rats to feed him.
The thrashing could be your noodle having difficulty swallowing and he's trying to correct the issue by "seizing".

That would be the simplest ideas, the next thing I would try is to let him soak in a couple inches of room temp water for a while, he may be dehydrated. A small amount of pedialyte in his water would help if his electrolytes are low. Last thing I would add would be a possible vitamin deficiency.



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 09:44 PM
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a reply to: BASSPLYR

That brought up one of the first things that popped into my head. A lot of times things like ivermectin or other parasite treatments will cause toxicity that leads to seizing and whatnot. Good link.



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 09:45 PM
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originally posted by: Thalestris
The new mice may have had an unpleasant fur texture and the noodle could have been trying to get it to settle (caught in his throat and would heave and rub and be generally a grump). Had a ball python who was that picky, we needed to breed our own rats to feed him.
The thrashing could be your noodle having difficulty swallowing and he's trying to correct the issue by "seizing".

That would be the simplest ideas, the next thing I would try is to let him soak in a couple inches of room temp water for a while, he may be dehydrated. A small amount of pedialyte in his water would help if his electrolytes are low. Last thing I would add would be a possible vitamin deficiency.



Gotcha. Will definitely try a soak and then some pedialyte. I fed him mice from the usual place and he fed just fine, no seizures and curled up in his warm spot like normal.



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 09:46 PM
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a reply to: Thalestris

Star gazing is usually a symptom of a viral infection in reptiles.



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 09:46 PM
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a reply to: redhorse

He is lonely



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 09:49 PM
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originally posted by: BASSPLYR
Hey I grew up with boas and pythons (among other animals)

I found this link helpful.

www.angelfire.com...


Discusses many reasons snakes get seizures, and convulsions from water toxicity, food source viruses physical trauma and more. How to tell them apart.

Corn snakes are usually great snakes for pets. I grew up with various types of red tailed boas, ball pythons, garter snakes, rosy boas (my favorite-she was a sweetheart.) And a eastern hognose (very cool little guy, can expand his ribs and make a cobras hood when scared, rear fanged and slightly venomous too, but amazingly gentle disposition. )


Really helpful link. Perusing as we speak. Thank you so much.


On a quick look through, I think that Mr. Kale the Pale snake is only going to get the bottled water from now on. I've been giving him the tap water which is very hard water. Maybe something in the water?
edit on 24-6-2016 by redhorse because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 09:56 PM
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originally posted by: InTheLight
a reply to: redhorse

He is lonely


I will admit that I am skeptical that snakes get lonely but who knows?



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 09:57 PM
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originally posted by: redhorse

originally posted by: InTheLight
a reply to: redhorse

He is lonely


I will admit that I am skeptical that snakes get lonely but who knows?


Not you nor I, only he



posted on Jun, 24 2016 @ 10:35 PM
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Signing off for the night guys. Thank you everyone for the advice and I will keep you posted. If he keeps his mice from this feeding down (and so far he has) then I am at least more hopeful.

I've switched out his water and will pick up pedialyte and phone the pet shop herp dude in the morning and give him a soak and some sun. Fingers crossed.



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