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  1. #1
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    Can anyone explain what's happening to my BRB?

    Hello friends,,

    My BRB Zen has had a strange happening with her head for quite some time. Her DOB is July of 2017 and she has been in my care her whole life.

    In March of 2019 I took her to Como Park Animal Hospital to investigate a swelling above her right eye. The lump was firm but not hard. It didn't appear to cause her discomfort to touch. She had stopped eating for me and went about 6 months without food before I took her to Como. The vet didn't have any suspicions and gave some tips on encouraging her eating habits. In 4th quarter of 2019 I upgraded her from a Rubbermaid tub to an animal plastics enclosure with a radiant heat panel connected to a VE-300X2 and designed and 3d printed a diffuser valve for a fogger on a raspberry pi that detects the ambient humidity, temp and air flow, automatically adjusting to maintain 80% humidity and 85 freedom degrees. Her appetite soared and she has grown significantly over the course of the year. However in January of 2020 the lump on her head "popped" and deflated! It left behind a small cavernous hole you could look down into and observe pink soft tissue. Images supplied post-deflate are April 4 2020, after a few sheddings, showing a scab of sorts. Newest images are taken today, showing a significantly deformed scale instead of scab. Photos of bump are taken the day of her vet visit.

    Is there anyone out there that can explain what happened? Will her scale be warped forever?

    Thank you very much for looking.

    (I can't seem to get the first two links to format correctly to show the images, if anyone can tell me what I'm doing wrong I'd like that very much)

    [IMG]https://i.ibb.co/TPv055N/20190329-082003.jpg[/IMG]

    [IMG]https://i.ibb.co/cDLKZbL/20190329-082013.jpg[/IMG]




    Last edited by SarahLadd; 02-20-2021 at 05:59 PM. Reason: formatting

  2. #2
    BPnet Senior Member GoingPostal's Avatar
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    Did they xray the head? I would wonder if it wasn't a tooth abscess or infection type deal, I know some snakes have swelling in their head with blocked ducts and eye issues but yours doesn't have any eye problems correct?
    Last edited by GoingPostal; 02-20-2021 at 06:22 PM.

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  4. #3
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    I think your vet could have been more forthcoming? When something "pops & leaves a crater" that suggests it was a small infection of some kind, that happily ruptured outward & healed as best it could. Almost looks like the scale folded together & healed that way, & yes, I think you're stuck with that. But can't say what caused this in the first place. Very odd about the "upper lip swollen & edematous" too. Seems like she managed to dodge something pretty significant, & you may never know the whole story.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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    Re: Can anyone explain what's happening to my BRB?

    I agree with her, you're probably stuck with it. But I'd be careful and just make sure that you're as sterile as possible while handling to avoid any unnecessary infections in thay spot.. it seems like it still has a bit of a hole to it? Excuse me if I'm wrong.
    Last edited by BlueOrleans1290; 02-20-2021 at 09:53 PM.
    You are what you give

  6. #5
    bcr229's Avatar
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    Abscess/infection that eventually ruptured. Snake is lucky to be alive, that's too close to the brain for comfort.

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    ballpythonluvr (02-21-2021),Bogertophis (02-20-2021),dakski (02-20-2021),jmcrook (02-20-2021)

  8. #6
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    Re: Can anyone explain what's happening to my BRB?

    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
    Abscess/infection that eventually ruptured. Snake is lucky to be alive, that's too close to the brain for comfort.
    This was my first thought when I brought her to the veterinarian. At first I thought she managed to bump her head somehow and for the first month or so I took photos once a week to see if the swelling was going to recede. When it wasn't, I took her to the vet. He looked at my album and came to the conclusion that the swelling would likely go down. He opened her mouth and looked inside and saw nothing. Said her lips looked kinda big and her body condition needed attention. Gave me some liquid ointment to rub on her mouth once a day with a cotton swab. Nothing really changed with treatment. Her lump remained the same size until the day it suddenly deflated and left a hole behind on the top of her head. Unfortunately, selection for exotics veterinarians is limited so second opinions were difficult to obtain. Because her behavior was normal and she didn't seem bothered by it, I assumed that it was a feature she'd have forever and I just sorta shrugged it off. Every time she sheds the spot where it opened up changes a little bit. At first I was concerned that when she would shed, that the wound site would need assistance to properly evacuate the scab tissue but it seems that it rectified itself properly and as time has gone on, the hole became a scale and it's just really wrinkled in shape. If there's interest, I can grab the DSLR and take some pictures of it with the macro on.

    I agree that this was likely a close call. I wonder what the "right" thing to do for her was. How would a different vet expert have handled this if she were their patient? I suppose I'll never know. Ultimately, I'm happy she's seeming to do very well and eating healthily for me now. She's a very kind, easily handled snake, has never exhibited a temper and is a pleasure to watch in the evenings.

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  10. #7
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    Re: Can anyone explain what's happening to my BRB?

    Quote Originally Posted by SarahLadd View Post
    How would a different vet expert have handled this if she were their patient?
    BTDT with one of mine actually. Local anesthetic, shallow incision, clean it out, antibiotics for 30 days.

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    Bogertophis (02-21-2021),jmcrook (02-21-2021),nikkubus (02-21-2021)

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