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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran redshepherd's Avatar
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    Question Internal issue, some stinky stuff oozing from vent?

    I thought I would ask here, in case anyone with knowledge about this is still active... I noticed just now that one of my ball pythons (Drizzle) has what I'm guessing is some kind of bacterial infection inside the vent/cloaca. The vent easily opens a little when I pull her tail back, and inside the vent is brown colored instead of clean like my other ball pythons. Some brown stuff oozes out every once in awhile. It stinks and smells like a bacterial infection. (The consistency of the stuff and the smell is like when my dog gets an ear infection)

    Does anyone have experience with this and know what it is called? Would antibiotics be able to treat it? My local exotic vets don't seem to really know what they are doing, the last time I went, so I thought I would ask first. Especially since this seems to be something uncommon... Ugh I'm not looking forward to paying someone $200 for something that doesn't work.
    Last edited by redshepherd; 06-25-2019 at 03:11 AM.

    https://www.instagram.com/illusnakes/
    0.1 Tanimbar Scrub Python "Pixie", 0.1 Northern Pine Snake "Genesis"
    0.1 Dumeril's Boa "Vigil",
    0.1 2007 Aru Green Tree Python "Gem"
    1.0 Eastern Indigo "Drogon", 1.0 Blood Python "Magma"
    Ball Pythons
    0.1 Sterling "Drizzle", 1.0 Lesser Butter "Yukon", 0.1 Lesser Mojave "Snowdrift"
    past: 0.4 Ball pythons, 1.0 Russian Rat Snake



  2. #2
    Registered User RedRabbit's Avatar
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    Re: Internal issue, some stinky stuff oozing from vent?

    Quote Originally Posted by redshepherd View Post
    I thought I would ask here, in case anyone with knowledge about this is still active... I noticed just now that one of my ball pythons (Drizzle) has what I'm guessing is some kind of bacterial infection inside the vent/cloaca. The vent easily opens a little when I pull her tail back, and inside the vent is brown colored instead of clean like my other ball pythons. Some brown stuff oozes out every once in awhile. It stinks and smells like a bacterial infection. (The consistency of the stuff and the smell is like when my dog gets an ear infection)

    Does anyone have experience with this and know what it is called? Would antibiotics be able to treat it? My local exotic vets don't seem to really know what they are doing, the last time I went, so I thought I would ask first. Especially since this seems to be something uncommon... Ugh I'm not looking forward to paying someone $200 for something that doesn't work.
    I can't say I recall reading about any recent cases of this here on this forum, so I'm only speculating on this from the perspective of a "human" MD, not a vet or reptile specialist - but if I had to guess, I think this may be a case of infectious cloacitis. A cursory search seems to indicate that dietary deficiencies or internal parasites are potential cause for this, but I know you take pretty thorough care of your snakes. Hypothetically, any scenario that involves an injury to the tissue of the cloacal area (like the minor tears when a shed pulls off, or from excessive straining from a large urate or bowel movement), that then gets exposed to a bacteria source (outgoing feces, or something in the environment) could potentially turn into an infection. The oozing you mentioned points to an inflammatory/infectious process as well, though unlikely to be pus since reptile pus is typically caseous, i.e. solid, and prone to abscess formation.

    As far as treatment goes, it will likely depend on how big the area of infection is. If it is localized to just the vent area, then cleaning it thoroughly and applying a topical antibiotic for a set course of time may be sufficient to resolve it. If there is concern that the infection is spreading upwards into other tissues or organ systems, then oral or injected antibiotics may be a safer bet. Also, since you mentioned the membranes inside the vent appear brown, it's possible that some of that may be dead tissue, and that dead tissue would need to be surgically debrided in order to optimize healing, and make sure the tissue integrity is not weakened to the point where your snake is at higher risk of prolapse (which then would bump up the risk of re-infection all over again).

    I am not sure if it is standard practice for vets to start by just recommending a broad-spectrum antibiotic that covers the most likely bacteria, or if they prefer to first obtain blood and/or fecal samples to determine the specific bacteria, and then choose the antibiotic that targets it. A fecal sample would, at the very least, have the added benefit of ruling out internal parasites, which would require a different treatment compared to a bacterial infection.

    I'll continue to report back if I find more info that may be helpful.
    Ball Pythons:
    2018 Cinnamon Enchi Ghost - Ignis ("Iggy")
    2018 Butter Mojave BEL - Ravus ("Rae")

    Boa Imperator:
    2018 Hypo Blood - Genesis ("Gen")
    2019 IMG Motley - Requiem ("Q")

    Iggy&Rae on Instagram:
    https://www.instagram.com/iggy_and_rae

  3. The Following 4 Users Say Thank You to RedRabbit For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (06-26-2019),Godzilla78 (06-26-2019),redshepherd (06-30-2019),sur3fir3 (06-26-2019)

  4. #3
    Registered User RedRabbit's Avatar
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    Nngh, reminder to myself to not make slapdash posts in the middle of the night. A correction/clarification to my previous post - a fecal sample or a urine sample can be cultured, i.e. tested to identify specific bacteria. A blood sample CAN be cultured, but that is unlikely to be necessary; nothing will show up if the infection is confined to one area in your snake's body, and if there WERE significant levels of bacteria in your snake's blood, that would be an entire systemic infection (bacteremia or sepsis) and your snake would be appearing MUCH sicker than what you're describing. A blood sample would mainly be useful to confirm that an infectious process is happening, by looking at whether the white blood cell levels are increased - a sign that your snake's immune system has kicked into gear to fight an infection somewhere. A more high-yield test for a localized infection would be a tissue sample from the problem area, which can be cultured just like a fecal or urine sample (and is probably going to be easier to obtain, since our snakes poop and pee at such infrequent intervals compared to humans).
    Ball Pythons:
    2018 Cinnamon Enchi Ghost - Ignis ("Iggy")
    2018 Butter Mojave BEL - Ravus ("Rae")

    Boa Imperator:
    2018 Hypo Blood - Genesis ("Gen")
    2019 IMG Motley - Requiem ("Q")

    Iggy&Rae on Instagram:
    https://www.instagram.com/iggy_and_rae

  5. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to RedRabbit For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (06-26-2019),redshepherd (06-30-2019)

  6. #4
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Internal issue, some stinky stuff oozing from vent?

    Quote Originally Posted by redshepherd View Post
    I thought I would ask here, in case anyone with knowledge about this is still active... I noticed just now that one of my ball pythons (Drizzle) has what I'm guessing is some kind of bacterial infection inside the vent/cloaca. The vent easily opens a little when I pull her tail back, and inside the vent is brown colored instead of clean like my other ball pythons. Some brown stuff oozes out every once in awhile. It stinks and smells like a bacterial infection. (The consistency of the stuff and the smell is like when my dog gets an ear infection)

    Does anyone have experience with this and know what it is called? Would antibiotics be able to treat it? My local exotic vets don't seem to really know what they are doing, the last time I went, so I thought I would ask first. Especially since this seems to be something uncommon... Ugh I'm not looking forward to paying someone $200 for something that doesn't work.
    I hope you don't delay treatment...antibiotics may be able to treat it (especially if they test first to pick the right one), but waiting could be fatal. I've never had a snake
    with anything like this, but I do recall 2 snakes in a museum (sharing a cage) that came down with something like this (stinky discharge)...the staff was in no hurry to
    get medical help, & by the time they did, both snakes died. I wish I could remember what it was called, but the infection was so bad that it actually caused bumps in
    their spines also, making them sort of "zig-zag". I hope your snake doesn't have the same exact thing...but please do take it seriously.

    https://www.merckvetmanual.com/exoti...es-of-reptiles
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 06-26-2019 at 05:30 PM.
    Many friends in low places...

  7. #5
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    How is Drizzle doing? Any update?
    Many friends in low places...

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