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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Questions about a soaking BP

    I'm worried about my little girl. In the past two weeks she has started soaking in her water bowl almost nightly. Here is everything I've done to try to help.

    Humidity: sits around 70-85%, I tried spraying her cage down and that seemed to calm her down. Humidity is staying around 90ish now, but she is still soaking.

    Temps: With a temp gun her warm side sits at 88-91 depending on if the heat panel kicks on. So I don't think it's that.

    She has three hides, one on the warm side, cool side and in the middle. So I don't think she feels insecure.

    Took her to a vet, no RI or anything like that. They did have to treat for parasites, that was 4 days ago. I asked about the soaking and constant water drinking, but he couldn't find anything wrong with her at all. I told him she was drinking a lot of water as well. He said she wasn't dehydrated or underweight. After I told him my temps and humidity, he checked her thoroughly for mites. There were none.

    I told him she was having some mild diarrhea too, but only after every other meal. He ran some rest after he took her to the back (I don't remember what) and wanted to treat her for gastritis. He told me other than that she was perfectly healthy.

    Fast forward to two nights ago and she is stressed and pushing at the glass doors to her enclosure, but she didn't soak. She did the same thing last night. Tonight I fed her and again, she is soaking. Now, I haven't given her the gastritis medicine yet(long story, don't ask). I need to wait until at least tomorrow to give her that medicine since she just ate.

    Anyone have any ideas as to why she is so stressed and soaking? She is in a dark, quiet room. Nothing in there to bother her. I'm just worries about the constant soaking. 😣

  2. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Her humidity is really too high- you want 50-60% normally, unless in shed, & even then only about 70%, though I can see why you'd assume it might help. Even mild diarrhea can cause some dehydration, as I'm sure you're aware. And rather than feeding her, you probably should have given her the medication- her digestion might need a rest for best results.

    What is the temp. on the "cool side"? A snake pushing to get out might be too warm- at least that's one possibility. Internal discomfort can make a snake restless too, so again, her medication would likely help that.

    How long have you had her? How old is she? Did she come from a private party, a breeder or a pet store?

    I assume your vet is well-experienced with snakes? What parasites did they treat for? Internal ones, I assume? (they can cause both diarrhea & dehydration)

    Your questions are better addressed to your vet- at least he or she has seen her- not much to go on here.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  4. #3
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    Re: Questions about a soaking BP

    I've tried keeping her humidity at the level people on this forum recommend and she gets an RI every time and starts pushing and being uncomfortable. She was getting an RI every 2 months for a while until I found someone who also had a BP that seemed to do the same thing. They keep her humidity higher than the rest and it seemed to work. I tried it and shee has been RI free for 6 months so far. I can try lowering it again, but her nostrils usually turn bright red and she starts getting a ton of mucus in her mouth.

    Temp on the cool side is between 78 to 81f

    Had her about 3 years, I bought her at pet smart(yes, I know I did bad). Yes, he treated for internal parasites. He is very experienced with snakes. I drive over 2 hours to see him for that reason.

    I asked him all of the questions already, I posted here to get other keepers opinions in case someone had gone through something similar to me.

    Also, I just found a green urate in her enclosure and with all the water she has been drinking this has me super concerned. I'm probably going back to the vet Monday if I can...

  5. #4
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Questions about a soaking BP

    I am sorry you are so stressed about your BP.

    A few things to think about.

    1. RI's are caused by too little humidity and too much humidity.

    2. Snakes can have green urate. Not necessarily a big deal.

    3. How did you treat her RI's? What parasite did you the vet treat for? How were both diagnosed?

    It sounds to me like your snake may never have fully recovered from the RI. Additionally, are you sure there are a) no mites and b) temps are correct? on the latter, how are testing them? Also, how often is your tank fully cleaned and sanitized?

    Snakes often soak when they are too hot or are having issues with their skin. This can be anything from an imminent shed to mites, or a skin infection. How often is she shedding?

    I think you are correct that she doesn't feel insecure with the hide situation and soaking in the open.

    How much does she weigh and what is she eating and how often?

    The fact that she is eating is a good sign.

    I unfortunately have experience with RI's. I treated a BP for one a long time ago who had one when I adopted him. Additionally, a few years ago, a got a Carpet Python (Yafe) who was lost in shipment and had an RI within a day of getting him. It was severe and took a lot of intervention to cure him. We did and he hasn't shown any symptoms in years. Having said that, consistent RI's can cause damage and really need to be fully treated. In order to do that, a tracheal wash has to be done to determine what is causing the RI. First, it has to be determined whether it is a bacterial cause (most likely) or a fungal cause. Then it must be determined what kind of bacteria or fungus and therefore how to treat effectively.

    We determined immediately with Yafe that it was bacterial and what type it was. When they test the type, they are also able to see what antibiotics (if bacterial) work best. Yafe needed 1 month of injections with the an appropriate antibiotic and also nebulizer treatments for another month.

    Same with parasites. The feces must be tested to determine what type and therefore how to treat effectively.

    IF your vet didn't do a tracheal and "poop" sample, they will not be able to treat your BP effectively.

    Finally, high humidity can lead to issues with fungus and/or bacteria in the tank. You would need to be cleaning the tank monthly (completely removing all substate, sanitizing, putting in fresh substrate, etc.) with appropriate substrate that can handle high humidity. That assumes a tank with appropriate airflow. More often if there airflow isn't excellent.

    Skin issues are also easier to diagnose with a simple substrate.

    I would have your BP on paper towels or printless newspaper (paper substrate) until you are sure there isn't a skin issue that is causing her to soak. I would also continually check the water for mites and have a white water bowl just for this purpose.

    Please let us know about testing for the RI, parasites, how temps are being taken, how clean the tank is, food type and how often, etc.

    That will help us help you.

    Good luck and keep us posted.

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  7. #5
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    Re: Questions about a soaking BP

    After she came in the second time with an RI, he told me we would have to do the wash if she didn't clear up. Thankfully she did. No he did not test for parasites because I was unable to get a sample for him. Temps are being taken by via digital thermometer and I check surface temps with a temp gun. I spot clean daily and deep clean once a month on both my snakes cages. I believe she is eating rat smalls from rodent pro, but I'd have to go back and look at my order to be sure. She was underweight when I took her in a few months ago, and I was feeding every 2 weeks. He was concerned and asked if she was taking food well and she is. He wanted me to start feeding her weekly. Since then she started peeking up a lot. Everytime I try to hold food back longer than a week she will start to hunt and push at her doors until I feed her.

    I check her every week for signs of an RI(Open her mouth/listening for anything abnormal.) I worry about her a lot because she is my problem snake. The vet and I both have put her on paper towels and checked for mites. I'd she has them, they are too small for either of us to see.

    I would have to call my vet to get her weight as I don't have a scale. The only other option I have at this point is driving I think four hours to another reptile vet that I have never seen before.

  8. #6
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    Re: Questions about a soaking BP

    Quote Originally Posted by Shyanna View Post
    ...
    I would have to call my vet to get her weight as I don't have a scale. The only other option I have at this point is driving I think four hours to another reptile vet that I have never seen before.
    Accurate digital scales for home use are fairly reasonable these days, thanks to large office suppliers like Staples. It might be helpful for you to pick one up, since your snake has long-term health issues- you want to know if they're losing weight, without the stress & travel to the vet. And it will help them correctly advise you about when or if you need to bring the snake in.

    To weigh a snake is easy: they need to be in a small container (plastic with ventilated top, cardboard box, or small cloth snake-bag) that sits on the scale. You get the weight of the contained snake, then weigh the container by itself & subtract that weight from the combined weight to get the weight of the snake.

    Have you considered keeping her on paper towels as substrate & just giving her a high-humidity "hide" (in addition to the warm & cool hides)?
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 04-17-2021 at 12:09 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  9. #7
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    Re: Questions about a soaking BP

    Yeah, I need to get a scale. My vet suggested I do a humid hide as well so I'm gonna make one today. I have to do a full clean next week so I will try putting her on paper towels.

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  11. #8
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    Again, what is the temp. on the cool side of enclosure? Snakes must be able to thermoregulate (ie have choices) at all times, & her restlessness could also be a sign of excessive heat. Snakes that soak may also be telling you that they're too warm- water being the coolest option they have available.

    Some of my snakes enjoy humid hides too: I find that a large rectangular plastic food container (new & clean) with the snap on/off top makes an excellent one, once you cut a doorway into the top, & fill it half-way with very damp sphagnum moss or similar substrate. You'll have to re-hydrate it about once a week, btw, & the humid hide should be the "one in the middle".

    You said she was just treated for parasites 4 days ago, so that was likely causing some of her symptoms, including soaking. And I agree that a green urate doesn't necessarily mean anything to worry about- it's rather common.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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    Re: Questions about a soaking BP

    Her cool side temps range from 78-81f depending on my room temp at the time.

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  14. #10
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    Re: Questions about a soaking BP

    Quote Originally Posted by Shyanna View Post
    Her cool side temps range from 78-81f depending on my room temp at the time.
    Quote Originally Posted by Shyanna View Post
    ...Temps: With a temp gun her warm side sits at 88-91 depending on if the heat panel kicks on. So I don't think it's that...
    So how warm does her home get when both the heat panel kicks on AND your room is on the "warm side"? You might aim for 2* lower in her home, both warm & cool sides, & see if her behavior changes regarding soaking? (in case your temp. readings are a little off & she's a little too warm?)
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 04-20-2021 at 10:39 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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