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  1. #1
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    Sepsis in Ivory Ball Python

    About ten days ago, I noticed that my 2.5 year old ivory python had red splotchiness on his body after a shed. I was extremely confused as he had just shed and usually his pink tone goes away after a shed. I assumed it was a type of scale rot so I began to give him iodine baths (not fully concentrated). He appeared to be getting better, so I stopped the baths and hoped the infection would clear on his own. I quarantined him with just paper towels, a hide and his water bowl and he only got worse. I went to the vet today and they diagnosed him with sepsis. They gave him fluids and force fed him, and I'm going to be giving him general antibiotics every other day until he's hydrated enough for blood work to put him on a more specific antibiotic to target the bacteria. The vet said its a 50/50 chance of survival rate for him. I'm wondering if anyone else has had an experience like this before, the stages of the disease and if their bp recovered. I've only seen a couple more forums on here about this and I'm worried he won't make it.

    Thanks,
    Lili

  2. #2
    BPnet Senior Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    Is this vet experienced with reptiles? Was the snake not eating for a long period of time?
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  4. #3
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    Re: Sepsis in Ivory Ball Python

    Hi there, yes she has 10+ years of experience with reptiles and is an exotic vet. The whole practice has amazing reviews. Itís been a very long time since heís been off feed, since February. I think he made it through the night and heís not lethargic. He still is sticking his tongue out and he moves around still. Heís definitely very weak, but heís not as skinny as he could be.

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  6. #4
    BPnet Veteran Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: Sepsis in Ivory Ball Python

    I've never had that happen.

    Now I'm curious what your original substrate was?
    *.* TNTC

  7. #5
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    Re: Sepsis in Ivory Ball Python

    My original substrate was reptibark. I think I went too long without cleaning his cage (2 months) and because of the humidity where I live he got an infection somehow. It didnít start through a respiratory infection like sepsis usually does. Heís still alive, so Iím holding out hope that the antibiotics can save him. Heís been infected without treatment for at least ten days now. The symptoms showed up by some small red blisters on his back, only two or three tiny ones so I again assumed scale rot. Waiting a week to rehydrate him and then get him blood tests makes me nervous he wonít make it in that amount of time.

  8. #6
    Registered User Namea's Avatar
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    Sepsis without respiratory prefix is fairly rare but it usually occurs when a snake has ingested its own waste, usually via an enclosure that has not been properly cleaned. Please remember the following rules for tank cleaning to protect your snakes:
    -Refill their water every day.
    -Remove and thoroughly clean their water dish at least once per week, twice per week is best.
    -Remove any feces as soon as you notice them, if you feed once a week that means you should be scooping poop once a week at least.

    -Once per month remove your snake to a secondary location and completely discard all substrate. Thoroughly clean every item that goes into the habitat including hides, dishes, and decor. Scrub the enclosure down with diluted dawn dish soap, wipe out, one of the vet approved organic soaps, or even diluted baby shampoo. Oftentimes urine will go through the substrate and settle on the bottom of your snake's home. Dry the enclosure thoroughly with a soft non-shed towel or an old shirt or something along those lines OR air dry it. I use old shirts. Depending on the type of snake re-fill the enclosure. For ball pythons I often use paper towels UNDER the substrate to help lock in moisture and absorb smells. For substrate for my balls I use a custom mix of aspen bedding and coconut husk. I vary the proportions based on the time of year and ambient humidity. Since I live in Tennessee it's quite humid in the warmer months so I use more aspen in summer. In winter it gets drier and also colder so I use more coconut. Once your have your enclosure re-built with all of the hides, decor, etc reintroduce your snake.

    Yes, it is necessary to do this every single month. Snakes are pretty vulnerable to infections caused by dirty enclosures. It can be a PITA but if you have multiple snakes I recommend setting aside one day to just get them all out of the way. I do mine all at once and depending on how many rehabs I have in my snake room it can take a very long time but it's very worth it.


    Right now, while your baby is recovering I recommend putting her on newspaper with no substrate. Substrate might irritate her and cause pain at the moment. It's also easier to see on newspaper or paper towels if your snake has been bleeding, shedding scales, etc. Continue with the betadine baths at a 1/10th dilution and use an antibiotic spray or even something like neosporin on the worst areas. Continue with the baths until at least a week after the visible signs of infection are gone. You can't hurt her by being TOO thorough with those but often an infection is still present even when it looks better and by stopping the treatment you're allowing the infection to come back.

    Also note that Ivories are slightly more susceptible to burns so keep track of her temps very well and make sure she can't get too close to any heat source.

    I hope for the best for your baby!
    Last edited by Namea; 08-05-2020 at 12:25 PM.
    Some girls were horse girls growing up. I was a snake girl.

    Daughter of a herpetologist, student of the "Snake Man" Al Robbins, lover of all animals.
    Almost done with my DVM! Finally!

    I specialize in rehabilitation and work with local fish and wildlife for rehab/release of native species. For exotics I work with reptile sanctuaries to rehabilitate and rehome to either qualified private owners or humane licensed facilities. I do not believe in fatal population control.
    Please feel free to message me with any questions. I don't know everything but I can point you towards resources.
    Do not message me with images of a snake you killed to identify it. I will ignore you.

  9. #7
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    Re: Sepsis in Ivory Ball Python

    Thank you for the extensive advice I really appreciate it. He has been shedding scales. Any idea what this means? His belly is a light brown and theyíre raised. Iím not sure if this is due to dehydration and once heís rehydrates and sheds his belly scales will be better?

  10. #8
    Registered User Namea's Avatar
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    Re: Sepsis in Ivory Ball Python

    Quote Originally Posted by lmeleshkewich View Post
    Thank you for the extensive advice I really appreciate it. He has been shedding scales. Any idea what this means? His belly is a light brown and theyíre raised. Iím not sure if this is due to dehydration and once heís rehydrates and sheds his belly scales will be better?
    Could you possibly get some images of him? You don't have to handle him if it'll stress him too much but some of him in his enclosure or in the beta bath would be fine.
    Some girls were horse girls growing up. I was a snake girl.

    Daughter of a herpetologist, student of the "Snake Man" Al Robbins, lover of all animals.
    Almost done with my DVM! Finally!

    I specialize in rehabilitation and work with local fish and wildlife for rehab/release of native species. For exotics I work with reptile sanctuaries to rehabilitate and rehome to either qualified private owners or humane licensed facilities. I do not believe in fatal population control.
    Please feel free to message me with any questions. I don't know everything but I can point you towards resources.
    Do not message me with images of a snake you killed to identify it. I will ignore you.

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  12. #9
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    Re: Sepsis in Ivory Ball Python

    I have a lot but honestly I canít figure out how to upload them on here. Is there another option besides attaching a link to a picture?

  13. #10
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    Re: Sepsis in Ivory Ball Python

    Download Tapatalk. Upload pictures from there


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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