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  1. #1
    Registered User Smaug's Avatar
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    worried about RI

    My ball python Mars has had an RI for at least a month and a half now. I took him to the vet in early August and she prescribed a course of Baytril injections. He seemed to be getting better but was still wheezing, plus I messed up one of the doses. So I picked up a second round, which he finished this week. Last week on feeding day he had finally managed to eat with out wheezing or gaping and breathing hard afterward. However, when I gave him the last shot, he drooled and bubbled a lot.
    Then, what really scared me was last night at feeding time. He constricted eagerly, as always, but once the head was down is throat he started wheezing very loudly. I could hear him from across the room. Then Mars began thrashing and trying to wipe the rodent out of his moth. I grabbed the feeding tongs to help him and tugged on a hind leg. He hid his head under a coil and while I was deciding whether to pick him up or not he started swallowing it. He finished eating and went under a hide and seems fine for now. What would you do? Should he just have a third round of Baytril? Or should I get him cultured? Also, how worried about the rest of my snakes should I be? I have been very careful about hand washing and sanitizer between him and the others and not sharing feeding tongs and such. But they are still in the same room and there is not much i can do about that.
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    Baytril has been the go-to antibiotic for RI's for so long that many strains of bacteria are resistant to it. It's a bit late now for a culture so all you can really have the vet do is try another antibiotic such as fortaz, which hasn't been in use as long and targets a different spectrum of bacteria, in the hope that it does the trick.

    Also my vet suggests not feeding while antibiotics are being administered, as they are very hard on the snake's liver and kidney function, so it's easier on the snake's system if it doesn't have to digest meals while receiving the meds.

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    Telling it like it is! Stewart_Reptiles's Avatar
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    Re: worried about RI

    The vet should have got a culture to start with before prescribing any type of antibiotics.

    So yes that is where I would start at this point, it is possible that during all that time you just were using the wrong antibiotic if you did not get a culture to start with.
    Deborah Stewart

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    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I'd want a culture done for sure...and NOT another round of "more of the same". Totally agree on not feeding during treatment, or feed very lightly if you feel
    you must give something. Heavy meals should be avoided...many snakes won't even eat, they don't feel that well. Yours might regurge this, don't be shocked.

    No way we can tell you what the risk to your other snakes is at this point...but a culture should help with that. Good luck! One sick snake is bad enough.
    BTW, how long have you had Mars?
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 09-12-2019 at 05:51 PM.
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  7. #5
    Registered User Smaug's Avatar
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    Re: worried about RI

    I called the vet and have an appointment on Wednesday. I'm not sure if they will culture him or not, but if they only want to give him more Baytril Ill probably take somewhere else. I had no idea about not feeding on antibiotics I'll definitely stop doing that.
    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    BTW, how long have you had Mars?
    I bought him in May so about 4 months and he's a year old. I'm quite curious to know if I bought him sick or if it's because he constricted one of his mice upside down in the water bowl and possibly inhaled water.
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    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    If that was my snake, I'd call the vet's office now, ahead of the appointment, and ASK if they can & will do a culture this time. If you wait until you're there for the
    appointment, you'll owe them for it regardless of whether or not it's helpful.

    I doubt the issue is "inhaled water"...I've had various snakes grab (f/t) prey & tumble into their water bowls to finish eating...never had a problem. It's far more likely that he came with the infection from previous exposure & it just took a while before it was obvious to you. The immune system of a snake is affected by stress (just like ours, presumably) so being in a new home didn't help...it just took time for the infection to be more visible.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 09-16-2019 at 01:18 PM.
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    Re: worried about RI

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    If that was my snake, I'd call the vet's office now, ahead of the appointment, and ASK if they can & will do a culture this time. If you wait until you're there for the
    appointment, you'll owe them for it regardless of whether or not it's helpful.
    I would also ask what other antibiotics they have available for RI's. Most vets don't stock fortaz as it's expensive and has a short shelf life once reconstituted - it has to be drawn into syringes and frozen. My snakes have also been prescribed pip-taz but it's stupid expensive so again, most vets don't stock it.

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