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  1. #1
    Registered User B.P.'s 4me's Avatar
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    Hatchling with R. I.

    In mid September I purchased a hatchling at a reptile expo. She was in good condition, and I've had previous dealings with the breeder.... all positive.
    The snake arrived at 122 grams and took two feedings (a week apart) with enthusiasm.
    I was surprised when she refused her 3rd feeding, but she had shed the day before so I simply waited a few days and tried again. When she refused again, I took her out of her hide, and had a really good look at her.... and noticed tell tale bubbles along her jaw line.
    This was Friday night, so I was on the phone first thing Saturday morning trying to make an appointment. There are 3 vets in the area advertising that they do reptiles but thus far, I've had no cause to use any of them. In phoning around, one clinic informed me that their reptile vet was on maternity leave, another never answered the phone, and the third referred me to a clinic that was an hours' drive distance, ...and closing in 20 minutes.
    She deteriorated badly over the weekend, even though I increased her temps. and humidity as recommended online. She's still in her quarantine tub, which is a "stand alone" plastic bin with heat tape at one end. (current temps. are 91 - 92 F. at warm end, and 80 at cool end, humidity is 60 - 65 % and higher of course when I nebulize). By Monday, she was VERY mucousy, it was pooling under her chin and she was supporting her head in an upward position on her coils.
    I was able to get her to the clinic that had been closed on Saturday and he put her on a course of Baytril injections. She's had 6 injections to date, one every 2nd day. It's a frustratingly slow process, but there does seem to be a reduction in mucous production. It's no longer pooling underneath her and although she still is doing a bit of mouth breathing, it's not nearly as noticeable. She's blowing small bubbles from her nostrils occasionally, but initially they were plugged solid, so bubbles are an improvement.
    I'm nebulizing her for about 20 minutes 2 x daily , but with plain water. (F-10 which is highly recommended online seems to be unavailable in Canada) A few days ago, she seemed a bit wrinkled and as I haven't SEEN her drink, I gave her a warm soak....(on a wash cloth in water, there was really no depth to the water) She immediately had a drink, and when I took her out of the water, I realized her body (and head) were covered in mucous. It wasn't noticeable at all when she was dry, but when wet, she was slimy with mucous. I gently wiped her with the squeezed out cloth and her skin brightened considerably.
    My concern is that she's not eaten since Sept. 23rd. I didn't weigh her between her arrival time and the time she got sick but she had two rat pups weighing 32 and 36 grams respectively. I weighed her today and she's 128 g. She is VERY thin but not interested in eating.... understandably. I do understand that R.I.' s can take awhile to respond to treatment, and wouldn't be nearly as concerned if this was one of my adult snakes, but am concerned she'll starve to death before she recovers?
    On the plus side, she IS more alert than she was, and is more resistant for her injections, but I worry!!! Has anyone else dealt with a respiratory infection in a hatchling, can you offer any suggestions, encouragment etc.

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    Bogertophis (10-22-2019)

  3. #2
    bcr229's Avatar
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    I think all you can do is stay the course with the antibiotics. I wouldn't worry too much about her not eating, as antibiotics are very hard on a snake's liver and kidneys so it's not necessarily a problem if they don't eat.

    The weight loss may also be due to dehydration rather than not eating.

  4. #3
    Registered User B.P.'s 4me's Avatar
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    Re: Hatchling with R. I.

    Thank you for that bcr229. Hadn't thought of dehydration as a source of weight loss. :-)

  5. #4
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    At least she had some meals before the RI- I'd encourage her to drink & stay hydrated, btw...hope she makes a good recovery & soon. This stuff just happens
    sometimes, as dakski can tell you (re Yafe).
    Many friends in low places...

  6. #5
    Registered User B.P.'s 4me's Avatar
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    Unhappy Re: Hatchling with R. I.

    Thank you Bogertophis.
    I suspect that between the expo, transitioning to a new home, and a shed all within a short time frame, she just had more stress than she could handle, and perhaps was exposed to the R.I. at the expo as well. In any event, I'm just hoping and praying she recovers. Have never dealt with this before, and sincerely hope never to deal with it again.

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  8. #6
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Hatchling with R. I.

    Quote Originally Posted by B.P.'s 4me View Post
    Thank you Bogertophis.
    I suspect that between the expo, transitioning to a new home, and a shed all within a short time frame, she just had more stress than she could handle, and perhaps was exposed to the R.I. at the expo as well. In any event, I'm just hoping and praying she recovers. Have never dealt with this before, and sincerely hope never to deal with it again.
    Yeah, I firmly believe that stress lowers the function of the immune system, whether it's a human or a pet snake. Expos are very stressful for snakes, & a great place
    for sharing stuff: knowledge and money among people, and sadly, mites and germs among snakes. Shedding shouldn't have anything to do with it, but the uneven
    temperatures also may have. It's very frustrating & challenging for you to start off with a new snake that's ill. Poor little snake...
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 10-22-2019 at 12:41 AM.
    Many friends in low places...

  9. #7
    Registered User B.P.'s 4me's Avatar
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    Re: Hatchling with R. I.

    Thank you Bogertophis. I just mentioned the shed as another stressor. You're right, I'm frustrated with the slow recovery time, guess I'm used to mammals who have a faster metabolism and either get better.... or worse. "Fluffy" seems to be slightly better than she was, but still a long ways from "normal", and that's after 7 injections of Baytril, guess I'll have to return to the vets and get more as it looks like this is going to take longer than I'd hoped. .... and patience never has been my strong point. I just wish there was something more I could do for her.

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