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  1. #1
    Registered User gLoBaL mInD's Avatar
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    Help! Ball Python sick.. ?

    Hi all.. I'm kinda in a rush to hit the road for an hour so I wanted to post this so when I get back I can try and treat my new ball python.
    I went to a reptile center near my house when and old friend walked in and she was giving away her 6 year old Ball Python.. she claims its a Butter Ball.. if so it would only have a slight part of the butter in him.
    She said she went away to school and she had her boyfriend care for him.. she was about to give him away to the man behind the counter but then she seen me and she said she'd rather me own it.. So I decided to take it.. long story short.. she said to the guy behind the counter that his eye looked real bad.. she was concerned about that.. he looked at it and so did I and it looked like there was an old thick cap left on his eye.. thats the best way I can describe it. The guy behind the counter said that he could fix that.. so she asked the guy before I take him home to please fix the eye. He took the snake in the back.. and he came out about 10mins later.. and the eye looked a lot better.. he said it wasnt uncommon.. he said it seemed like her boyfriend wasnt misting the habitat.. seemed if the snake was healthy though other wise..just a lack of humidity for a while. He did mention that the snake felt really cold.. the girl explained that she had no heat in the car.. Now I'm in NY.. so you figure in her car in a pillow case on her lap the tops it could have been was 60 degrees. So he told me get him home asap and get him warmed up.. he seems really healthy he said.. but look for any drool in the mouth.. that would mean he developed a cold. So I got him home.. set up the tank.. the girl only had a single round lamp that sat on the screen of this 55 gallon tank.. (Yes I took the tank from her too) SO when I set it up at home I added a night time lamp... and a UV lamp in the middle... last night I took the temp of the tank with a laser gun.. and got 85 hot side.. and 76 cool side. This morning when I took him out to check his eye.. it looked if his eye clouded a little more again.. and he did have a little drool on the side of his mouth! GREAT! and with the temps still the same.. he STILL felt ice cold.. I quickly brought him downstairs.. and hooked up my normal heating pad u use for humans.. tucked it under my shirt so I wouldnt burn him.. and just let him sit on my stomach for a while.. he seemed to really enjoy it.. just layed there.. got him to feel much warmer.. and I put him back.. misted his tank... and I went out and bought an under the tank heater.. just to give him some belly heat too.. so.. I did.. and that brought the tank to about 87-90 degrees on the hot side.. and about 77-80 on the cool side. He's been in his hide... I took him out just before.. and I mean this snake is sweet as pie.. she told me he's alway been VERY sweet.. u can touch his head.. he is very cooperative.. but when I took him out I thought he was hissing at me.. but then I realized it wasnt hisses! Sounds like he's bubbling now.. I dont know what to do.. I mean I'm gonna probably take him to the vet.. but I'm just low on funds right now.. and I need to do the right thing for the next few days till I get paid... has anyone ever treated a snake with this condition? Is it just a cold?.. what should I do in the mean time? Sorry if this post was a little crazy.. but I'm in a rush.. and I want to be able to have some better understanding when I get back and read your guys post! I really appreciate any help you can give me!
    Thanks a million!
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  2. #2
    Registered User Seru1's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Ball Python sick.. ?

    If he's bubbling it sounds like Resperitory infection. Which could be caused by low temps I think.


    Then again I am no expert someone here will know better.
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  3. #3
    BPnet Veteran mpkeelee's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Ball Python sick.. ?

    open his mouth and see if he has a lot of saliva/mucus in his mouth. if u see that then he has an RI and u need a vet to prescribe medication. when u get extra cash u need to go to the vet asap, but for now bump up the temps to 93-95 and keep him dry. without a vet he is going to get worse. and the RI couldnt set in over night that bad, he must have had it for a while
    A room full of empty racks and thermostats that have been unplugged.

    *Chris*

  4. #4
    BPnet Veteran bsash's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Ball Python sick.. ?

    The normal temperatures that I have always housed a ball python at was 90-95 hot side, and 80- 85 cool side, you would set the thermostat to keep those temperatures. You don't really need a UV lamp since ball pythons are nocturnal, but you can keep it if you want, but ceramic heat emitters or red heat lights are best.

    Drool coming out of the mouth is usually a upper respiratory infection, it can be caused by low temperatures, along with other things. You could bump the temperatures up a little with a hotter heat bulb, but don't bump the under the tank heat mat temperatures up, you would burn the poor snake.

    Try to keep humidity at 50- 60% to ensure good shedding, it will help with the eyes, to me it just sounds like stuck eye caps from not being able to shed properly due to poor humidity.

    If you need any other help just ask, and of course good luck.

  5. #5
    BPnet Senior Member Kaorte's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Ball Python sick.. ?

    Was the snake continuously drooling? You could have just caught him after he was taking a drink of water and some just fell out of his mouth, this is pretty common.

    Also, are you sure the noise you heard wasn't a hiss? The snake is probably a little scared from being moved around so much, new sights new smells...
    ~Steffe
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  6. #6
    Registered User gLoBaL mInD's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Ball Python sick.. ?

    Hi guys.. thanks for the responses! I rushed back just to get on here..
    I own quite a few snakes.. but I'll be honest I never had a sick snake.. cause I always did what I had to do to take proper care of them! but.. DEFINITELY wasn't hissing.. was definitely a bubble sound!.. I have to get to the vet.. I dont know what to do till I get money.. I'm so upset right now. Luckly I do have the snake in a different room then where I house my other snakes.. I have a corn snake who is very very young.. so I dont wanna get him infected.. I been washing my hands after handling all of them.. I always do.. and after I've handled the sick ball.. I been washing my hands and alcoholing them.. I have took ur guys advice thus far and pumped the heat up.. but the only way I can acheive those temps is keeping all the bulbs on and the underbelly heater on..
    Question:? Anyone ever have a snake that had an upper Resperitory infection? If so maybe someone can tell me what type of antibiotic they normally give for it and maybe even tell me how much it goes for.. what I can expect the bill to be? Also how do you give it to them? Threw a dropper orally?

    Thanks a bunch everyone!
    My gLoBaL mInD searches everywhere...
    across the mountains,
    across the oceans,
    across every man made line
    No boundary gonna keep it from you!


    Click Here To Understand!!

  7. #7
    Registered User gLoBaL mInD's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Ball Python sick.. ?

    Anyone ever hear of Ceftazidine?
    My gLoBaL mInD searches everywhere...
    across the mountains,
    across the oceans,
    across every man made line
    No boundary gonna keep it from you!


    Click Here To Understand!!

  8. #8
    BPnet Veteran bsash's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Ball Python sick.. ?

    Quote Originally Posted by gLoBaL mInD View Post
    Hi guys.. thanks for the responses! I rushed back just to get on here..
    I own quite a few snakes.. but I'll be honest I never had a sick snake.. cause I always did what I had to do to take proper care of them! but.. DEFINITELY wasn't hissing.. was definitely a bubble sound!.. I have to get to the vet.. I dont know what to do till I get money.. I'm so upset right now. Luckly I do have the snake in a different room then where I house my other snakes.. I have a corn snake who is very very young.. so I dont wanna get him infected.. I been washing my hands after handling all of them.. I always do.. and after I've handled the sick ball.. I been washing my hands and alcoholing them.. I have took ur guys advice thus far and pumped the heat up.. but the only way I can acheive those temps is keeping all the bulbs on and the underbelly heater on..
    Question:? Anyone ever have a snake that had an upper Resperitory infection? If so maybe someone can tell me what type of antibiotic they normally give for it and maybe even tell me how much it goes for.. what I can expect the bill to be? Also how do you give it to them? Threw a dropper orally?

    Thanks a bunch everyone!

    I have had plenty of snakes with upper respiratory infections come through here, as far as rescues or even buying them because I felt bad and knew they would die if I did not. Your under the tank heat mat should be on all the time any how, if you need to leave the heat lamps on that is fine, just try not to use white light as it could stress them out, like I said ceramic heat emitters, or red or black heat bulbs are best.

    Out of all of the snakes that I had treated for respiratory infections, the highest bill I had was $200, and the lowest bill I had was $90, so I would expect it to be any where in there. Usually you will be prescribed Baytril injections. How ever, my vet did tell me if it were a mild case and if I wanted to try and save money, you could buy Saline Nose Drops and a needless syringe that reads ml. and you would use 1 ml. and shoot it up their nose, 1ml. per nostril. Just make sure you shoot it in their nose and not their heat pits. Granted, I never did try it, I just went in to the vet's office, but I do trust my vet and she is very good, so I guess if money is tight that could be an option if it is mild case and not severe.

  9. #9
    Registered User baller29's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Ball Python sick.. ?

    Same thing happened to me when I bought my BP.She had a RI, Plus she was ready to shed when I got her. I noticed when i got her home that she would "yawn" constantly. We have a vet here who has a herp vet on call, just in case. I was instructed to give her Baytril for 20 days. I think with the medicine and the visit, it cost 50 bucks, After her medicine was finished, she was alot more active, and she shed a perfect shed when i raised the humidity in her enclosure.
    Last edited by baller29; 03-28-2010 at 06:14 PM.

  10. #10
    BPnet Veteran bsash's Avatar
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    Re: Help! Ball Python sick.. ?

    Quote Originally Posted by baller29 View Post
    Same thing happened to me when I bought my BP.She had a RI, Plus she was ready to shed when I got her. I noticed when i got her home that she would "yawn" constantly. We have a vet here who has a herp vet on call, just in case. I was instructed to give her Baytril for 20 days. I think with the medicine and the visit, it cost 50 bucks, After her medicine was finished, she was alot more active, and she shed a perfect shed when i raised the humidity in her enclosure.
    Respiratory infections are very common when buying snakes from pet stores, mostly because if one is sick, they can all catch it just from being housed together, as well, most pet stores do not meet husbandry requirements. Baytril is the most common thing given to treat them, for snakes, injections are the best because when given oral their metabolism is very slow compared to a monitor lizard or geckos, or anything else, therefor, oral takes a very long time to even see a small improvement.

    You can most likely spend less than I do for a vet visit, I chose my vet because she specializes in reptiles and other exotics. She is not the cheapest vet around, but knows her stuff and really cares,but also, she doesn't cost an arm and a leg either.

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