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  1. #1
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    Exclamation my ball python is wheezing?

    i just took my approx. 1yr 8mth old bp out of his 40 gallon tank to change the water and i noticed a sort of wheezing/whistling sound when it breathes. now, i don't know everything there is to know about snakes but i do know enough. the tank temp is 78F and the humidity is 60% does anyone have any idea what this could be?? HELP!

    this is the set-up i have going on......


  2. #2
    Raging Nate's Avatar
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    Re: my ball python is wheezing?

    You need to get rid of those analog gauges. they are complete crap.

    You should hit up wal-mart for an Acurite for around 12 bucks...much more accurate.

    Is the lamp your only heating source?

  3. #3
    Steel Magnolia rabernet's Avatar
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    Re: my ball python is wheezing?

    I would take it to the vet to rule out a respiratory infection. 78 degrees is much too cool for your snake and the likely culprit of a possible RI.

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    Spammer Sniper Deborah's Avatar
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    Re: my ball python is wheezing?

    You have more than likely have a false sense of security as dial thermometers are not accurate and can be off by 10 degrees.

    The combination of low temps + stress due to an oversized enclosure can have cause a RI

    You need to take your BP to an herp vet, here is how to find one http://www.arav.org/USMembers.htm

    Meanwhile while waiting for your appointment raise your temps and humidity.

    Remember RI do not heal on their own and can be fatal if left untreated.

    I would suggest you to downsize the enclosure and buy a digital thermometer/hygrometer such as this at Walmart (Your temps must be 80-84 on the cool side and 90-94 on the warm side with no night drop - Temps must be measured at the bottom of the enclosure), provide 2 tight identical hides with all sides touching your BP's body as well as belly heat, if you don't already do that.
    Last edited by Deborah; 09-13-2007 at 07:09 PM. Reason: Forgot stuff

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    Re: my ball python is wheezing?

    yes. i lost the heating pad in the process of moving a few months ago.. so for now all it had is the lamp

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    Steel Magnolia rabernet's Avatar
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    Re: my ball python is wheezing?

    When did you plan to replace the heat pad? They aren't very expensive to replace.


    Nevertheless, you now need to get your snake to the vet so that it can get put on a round of antibiotics to treat the respiratory infection that it sounds like it has.

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    Re: my ball python is wheezing?

    i took it to the pet store and the specialist said it doesn't sound like RI but inside his mouth was very white, not pink enough, he said. he also said i shouldn't need a heating pad the light is sufficent. so i'm going to boost the humidity and heat.

  8. #8
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    Re: my ball python is wheezing?

    no need to boost humidity, but heat for sure. Did it just shed recently? could have a peice of retained shed.
    1.1 Ball python
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  9. #9
    Cloacal Popping Engineer xdeus's Avatar
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    Re: my ball python is wheezing?

    Quote Originally Posted by nghtylilrubrduky
    i took it to the pet store and the specialist said it doesn't sound like RI but inside his mouth was very white, not pink enough, he said. he also said i shouldn't need a heating pad the light is sufficent. so i'm going to boost the humidity and heat.

    First off, welcome to the forum!

    I'm glad that you took the time to seek help for your snake. From what you described, it could be a URI, but it could also be a loose shed in its nostril. Sometimes they will make a wheezing sound if a flap of skin is loose when they didn't shed completely or if he is close to shedding.

    However, it's better to be cautious and assume it's a URI because the illness can come on very fast and will quite often be fatal to your snake. The only way to tell for certain is by taking your snake to a qualified vet.

    To cover what others have mentioned, that analog thermometer is not appropriate for that cage. Even if it was completely accurate, it would only tell you the temps surrounding it right by the glass which is probably quite a bit different from what your snake is experiencing. And your snake could come down with a URI if the temps were even a few degrees from what they should be.

    Finally, I wouldn't put much faith in pet store "specialists". If he gave you advice without checking out the cage or accurately measuring the temps, it's pretty clear that he was talking out of his... well, you know.

    There are many, many people on this site that have years of experience dealing with hundreds if not thousands of these snakes. I would much rather put my faith in their advice than a pet store specialist.

    Good luck, and I hope your snake gets better!

    -Lawrence

  10. #10
    Spammer Sniper Deborah's Avatar
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    Re: my ball python is wheezing?

    i took it to the pet store and the specialist said it doesn't sound like RI but inside his mouth was very white, not pink enough
    A self proclaim Pet Store Reptile Specialist is not a VET and cannot diagnose your BP.


    By the symptoms that were given as well as the description of your enclosure (low temps + oversized enclosure) this could be a RI and the way to diagnose it will be by taking your BP to a VET, it cannot be diagnosed by a store employee or online, however if you fail to have you BP diagnosed and it is indeed a RI and it is left un-treated your BP will die.
    he said. he also said i shouldn't need a heating pad the light is sufficent.
    Not it is not you need to provide belly heat for overall health and to help with digestion.


    You MUST provide proper temps and you MUST have an accurate reading, which I already explained in my previous post.

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