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  1. #1
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    Early signs of RI ? Help please.

    Hi all!
    Iím a little concerned for my male pastel.. heís a couple months old and I noticed after feeding him, when he had the rat pup in his mouth and was adjusting his position , the rat pup was covered in saliva .
    I donít know if this is normal or itís a start of an URI

    i havent heard him wheezing, and he does not have any mucus outside of his mouth.. he does not stargaze either. Heís active , and like I mentioned earlier , still eating, has not refused a meal . I see him readjust his jaw too but only after eating. Donít know if thatís normal or not.

    Im thinking of taking him to the vet in case it is an early sign...


    i also have an older female mojave I most recently adopted, and she just wheezes a bit. I havenít gotten her to eat for me yet, I feel the move to her new terrarium was a bit stressful .(itís been almost 3 weeks since I got her, she had eaten the week I bought her) But other than that she seems fine. No mucus around her mouth either...

    ahould i just take them both and have her checked anyway?

  2. #2
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    Re: Early signs of RI ? Help please.

    When you eat, is there saliva in your mouth?

    Not saying your snake doesn't have an RI, or isn't getting one, but that's not necessarily the tell tale sign. The fact that he/she is eating is a good sign. I recently got a carpet python, who are veracious eaters, especially compared to a BP, and there was a big delay in transit. Instead of getting here in about 16 hours, it was about 30 hours. He developed a severe RI within a couple of days. I am still, 40 days later, fighting it off. He hasn't eaten yet. When sick, snakes tend not to eat.

    You say your snake isn't wheezing. Okay, if you hold his/her head up to your ear, do you hear "popping sounds" when he/she breathes?

    Is he/she keeping their head up/elevated when resting? Nose to the tank top? Sometimes vertical and resting on the side of the tank, or a hide, etc? What substrate are you using and what type of tank? Can you see mucus on the substrate or smeared around the tank walls? Doe his/her nostrils look stuffed?

    Up to you, but if you are really concerned about the "saliva/mucus" in the mouth, you can hold you snake by the neck, behind the head, gently but firmly, and use the middle of a q-tip, or something else sterile and thin, to gently push his/her mouth open. If the throat and mouth are clear, you are probably fine, assuming no other symptoms. I would not do this if you have not done it before or are not comfortable doing this. Especially if he/she is showing no other symptoms.

    Finally, what is his/her (or both) enclosure(s) like? Size, type, substrate, hides, temps (hot side, ambient, cool side), humidity? How are you measuring temps and humidity?

    Have there been any sudden rises or drops in humidity or temps lately? A power outage, for example?

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  4. #3
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    Re: Early signs of RI ? Help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by dakski View Post
    When you eat, is there saliva in your mouth?

    Not saying your snake doesn't have an RI, or isn't getting one, but that's not necessarily the tell tale sign. The fact that he/she is eating is a good sign. I recently got a carpet python, who are veracious eaters, especially compared to a BP, and there was a big delay in transit. Instead of getting here in about 16 hours, it was about 30 hours. He developed a severe RI within a couple of days. I am still, 40 days later, fighting it off. He hasn't eaten yet. When sick, snakes tend not to eat.

    You say your snake isn't wheezing. Okay, if you hold his/her head up to your ear, do you hear "popping sounds" when he/she breathes?

    Is he/she keeping their head up/elevated when resting? Nose to the tank top? Sometimes vertical and resting on the side of the tank, or a hide, etc? What substrate are you using and what type of tank? Can you see mucus on the substrate or smeared around the tank walls? Doe his/her nostrils look stuffed?

    Up to you, but if you are really concerned about the "saliva/mucus" in the mouth, you can hold you snake by the neck, behind the head, gently but firmly, and use the middle of a q-tip, or something else sterile and thin, to gently push his/her mouth open. If the throat and mouth are clear, you are probably fine, assuming no other symptoms. I would not do this if you have not done it before or are not comfortable doing this. Especially if he/she is showing no other symptoms.

    Finally, what is his/her (or both) enclosure(s) like? Size, type, substrate, hides, temps (hot side, ambient, cool side), humidity? How are you measuring temps and humidity?

    Have there been any sudden rises or drops in humidity or temps lately? A power outage, for example?

    Hi there ,
    Iím sorry about your carpet python, hope everything turns out ok and they make a recovery.

    He ate a couple hours ago so I want to avoid handling him. But last I remember he doesnít make any sort of noise when I handle him. And no elevation either. Iíll catch him on top of his hides but just exploring , not leaning just his head. I will see him once in a while kinda rub his face into his substrate(reptibark/eco earth/ spagnum moss). Heís maybe done it once or twice on the glass but I havenít seen any smears yet. I donít see any mucus outside of his mouth either.

    Their enclosures are exo Terraís . Both 20 gl. I had them both on reptibark/eco earth/spagnum moss. He has normal hides (habba Hut. And one made of rocks) .
    His hot spot is at 96 f , and cooling down. Ambient is around 80 degrees , doesnít get too cold here in California . I just sprayed down his tank and humidity is in the 70s . I use thermostats so my females enclosure is about the same right now.

    Last night, before I noticed my male eating and got worried, I was handling him and since I had both cages open he wanted to go in and explore her cage , so I let him only a bit. Before this none of them had had contact whatsoever .. I even washed my hands after handling each and going in for the other .. or mostly just to clean her cage (I havenít been handling the female since she hasnít eaten for me just yet)
    so after I noticed I kinda panicked and went in and cleaned out her cage with bleach water, let it air out, and put in a box hide and laid it down with paper towels .


    as for recent changes , Iíve been using a thermostat for only about 2 weeks .. before that I would just do it manually. Disconnect the heat mat as it got too hot and connect it back when it needed to heat up. Although I did this, I canít say it didnít over heat.
    Also , when I first got the male (about 3 months ago) the shop told me I needed to keep him at 80% humidity, so I would spray down his tank to reach that. It went on for like 2 weeks before I read it should ideally be 60% .
    Now that I think about it, he kinda wheezed once when I first got him, but hasnít since .

    Thank you you for taking the time to reply btw!

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    As dakski said, saliva on a rodent being swallowed is normal, & with an appetite & no other symptoms of RI, I'd say that snake is likely just fine.

    I'd be concerned about the older one you recently adopted though, & allowing him into her cage was a terrible idea, since she has been wheezing according to you.
    They should have been quarantined from each other...so now you'll have to watch for signs of RI that may or may not develop in him, & yes, you should probably
    get the second one checked out IF there is no other explanation for her wheezing (like going into our just out of a shed).

    Be very careful about using bleach to clean cages: there must be NO smell remaining. It's much easier to use generic chlorhexidine
    (sold at feed stores etc) or F10, since either one is greatly diluted (a little bottle will last a long time with only a couple snakes) and
    it doesn't need to be rinsed off cages & equipment...only wiped dry.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 11-08-2018 at 12:48 PM.

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    Re: Early signs of RI ? Help please.

    Everything Bogertophis said above is dead on.

    Also.

    "96F and cooling down." What does that mean? That's getting dangerously hot.

    Hot spot should be no more than 90F - as checked with a proper temp gun.

    80 ambient is ok. I would shoot for 80-83F and a 78-80F cool spot.

    Also, BP's like humidity about 60%. 70% is ok for shedding, but not ideal long-term. Too high can be detrimental in a BP, as can too low.

    I would aim for 60%, give or take, with 70% or so when in shed.

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    Re: Early signs of RI ? Help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    As dakski said, saliva on a rodent being swallowed is normal, & with an appetite & no other symptoms of RI, I'd say that snake is likely just fine.

    I'd be concerned about the older one you recently adopted though, & allowing him into her cage was a terrible idea, since she has been wheezing according to you.
    They should have been quarantined from each other...so now you'll have to watch for signs of RI that may or may not develop in him, & yes, you should probably
    get the second one checked out IF there is no other explanation for her wheezing (like going into our just out of a shed).

    Be very careful about using bleach to clean cages: there must be NO smell remaining. It's much easier to use generic chlorhexidine
    (sold at feed stores etc) or F10, since either one is greatly diluted (a little bottle will last a long time with only a couple snakes) and
    it doesn't need to be rinsed off cages & equipment...only wiped dry.
    I had them separated and hadn’t introduced contact for 3 weeks, probably should’ve waited longer, and since I hadn’t handled her to let her adjust I didn’t really hear her whistling until I took her out to clean her cage last night. It continued as I kept handling her too. And when I put her back she kept moving in her enclosure and I could still hear it a bit, and then it was gone. Her last shed by her previous owner was not long before I picked her up.

    She also has has a tiny piece of stuck shed on top of her head, like a tiny flap. Idk if maybe she might have some stuck over her nostrils or around that might contribute to that?

    I dilute the bleach into a lot of water , and then spray down the tank with just water a couple time to let the smell be gone. But I’ll look into the other different items you said to be safer.
    Last edited by Alfaro; 11-08-2018 at 02:23 PM.

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    Re: Early signs of RI ? Help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by dakski View Post
    Everything Bogertophis said above is dead on.

    Also.

    "96F and cooling down." What does that mean? That's getting dangerously hot.

    Hot spot should be no more than 90F - as checked with a proper temp gun.

    80 ambient is ok. I would shoot for 80-83F and a 78-80F cool spot.

    Also, BP's like humidity about 60%. 70% is ok for shedding, but not ideal long-term. Too high can be detrimental in a BP, as can too low.

    I would aim for 60%, give or take, with 70% or so when in shed.
    its the temp that reads on the thermostat, and by cooling down I mean , thatís the limit and the thermostat has shut off the heat mat.
    It sounds a little high, but over the substrate when I read the temperature with a heat gun, it reads a couple degrees lower, since the probe is directly on the heat mat. And thereís about one inch and a half of substrate over it.
    I checked right now and humidity is about 60 %

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    Re: Early signs of RI ? Help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfaro View Post
    I had them separated and hadnít introduced contact for 3 weeks, probably shouldíve waited longer, and since I hadnít handled her to let her adjust I didnít really hear her whistling until I took her out to clean her cage last night. It continued as I kept handling her too. And when I put her back she kept moving in her enclosure and I could still hear it a bit, and then it was gone. Her last shed by her previous owner was not long before I picked her up.

    She also has has a tiny piece of stuck shed on top of her head, like a tiny flap. Idk if maybe she might have some stuck over her nostrils or around that might contribute to that?

    I dilute the bleach into a lot of water , and then spray down the tank with just water a couple time to let the smell be gone. But Iíll look into the other different items you said to be safer.
    Snakes shed the skin in their outer nostrils & sometimes that can get stuck, left behind...so yes, that can cause some noisy breathing.

    But here's another thing, now that I think about it: snakes have a better sense of smell that we do, and even diluted bleach is difficult to remove all the fumes after
    using it in a cage...especially if it's a plastic enclosure (it's a softer material than glass, & scratches can trap minute amounts of whatever). If you've cleaned her cage
    previously with bleach solution, THAT (the irritation to her lungs) could also cause her to have noisy breathing. Remember that the way most of you are keeping BPs is
    with limited airflow in their enclosures, so anything that leaves behind even a little bit of noxious odor can be harmful to a snake.

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    Re: Early signs of RI ? Help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Snakes shed the skin in their outer nostrils & sometimes that can get stuck, left behind...so yes, that can cause some noisy breathing.

    But here's another thing, now that I think about it: snakes have a better sense of smell that we do, and even diluted bleach is difficult to remove all the fumes after
    using it in a cage...especially if it's a plastic enclosure (it's a softer material than glass, & scratches can trap minute amounts of whatever). If you've cleaned her cage
    previously with bleach solution, THAT (the irritation to her lungs) could also cause her to have noisy breathing. Remember that the way most of you are keeping BPs is
    with limited airflow in their enclosures, so anything that leaves behind even a little bit of noxious odor can be harmful to a snake.
    Yes youíre right.. itís a glass cage but maybe that could contribute to a problem, if not now, possibly the future. I will make sure to buy some F10 and clean their cages with that .

    I just now checked my male , opened up his mouth gently with a contton swab and I actually didnít see anything . It might be my inexperience so I kinda wanna take them to the vet anyway and make sure everything is in tip top shape .

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    Re: Early signs of RI ? Help please.

    Quote Originally Posted by Alfaro View Post
    Yes you’re right.. it’s a glass cage but maybe that could contribute to a problem, if not now, possibly the future. I will make sure to buy some F10 and clean their cages with that .

    I just now checked my male , opened up his mouth gently with a contton swab and I actually didn’t see anything . It might be my inexperience so I kinda wanna take them to the vet anyway and make sure everything is in tip top shape .
    Well that's totally up to you. Vets have trouble diagnosing issues without real symptoms, plus the visit itself can be stressful & can even expose them to some new
    germs, not to mention temperature fluctuations going to & from. (-have you ever caught a cold or virus a few days after sitting in a doctor's office for a routine visit,
    when others there were sick?)

    Most here prefer tubs or plastic enclosures...not me, I'm a glass tank user. Either one can be modified to work well. (I have kept BPs in
    the past, but I mostly & currently keep colubrids, plus a spotted python & a rosy boa.)
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 11-09-2018 at 11:22 PM.

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