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Thread: Pushing BAD!

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    Pushing BAD!

    I have had my retic for a little over a year. He is in his 3rd enclosure, and will be in his 4th when it comes in (company I use is slow, Iím sure yíall know who!) but his current enclosure seems to be big enough. Problem is he is pushing against the glass hard and often. So much that he is hurting himself. His mouth looks like itís starting to swell. I am feeding what I think is more than enough (large rat weekly) but 2 days after eating he starts pushing again! His cage is kept clean, and he always has fresh water. Temps (90 hotspot and ambient temps in mid to upper 70ís) and humidity (about 60-70%) are good. I have started to just let him out when it starts, and when I have him out I apply some antibiotic ointment to his mouth, and let him crawl around and explore for 30 minutes or so. I get that sometimes retics are just like this, but I donít want him injured. Any ideas on stopping it, or anything different to treat his mouth?


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    BPnet Senior Member jmcrook's Avatar
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    Re: Pushing BAD!

    Honestly sometimes thereís just no fixing it. Some retics just push incessantly and you canít really do anything to stop them.

    I spent close to $2k between vet appointments, surgeries, antibiotics, and enclosures with one of my retics on pushing related issues a couple years ago and it changed absolutely nothing.

    Best of luck.


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    Registered User WrongPython's Avatar
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    Re: Pushing BAD!

    Vetericyn makes a reptile skin and wound care spray that's great for dressing rub wounds. The nose rub my Sonoran boa gave herself healed up quite nicely when I started using it. The spray is only ~$15, so it's definitely worth the money!

    If your retic's face looks like it's starting to swell, though, there may be some significant deep damage that you'll need a reptile vet to assess and treat. Treating a simple rub is one thing, dealing with trauma is another.
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    Re: Pushing BAD!

    Quote Originally Posted by WrongPython View Post
    ...If your retic's face looks like it's starting to swell, though, there may be some significant deep damage that you'll need a reptile vet to assess and treat. Treating a simple rub is one thing, dealing with trauma is another.
    Agree! Prevention is ideal, but some snakes just don't cooperate, & they end up with an abscess that needs surgical intervention to remove, as they don't drain naturally. I hope yours (bhsurf4) doesn't get to that point.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 05-01-2021 at 11:23 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    BPnet Senior Member AbsoluteApril's Avatar
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    There's not a lot you can do in some cases, some are just pushers and bad ones. Males seem to be more likely to do it, esp around breeding season, but both males and females may do it.

    If there's any air flow or give, the pushers will go at it almost nonstop. Some cages with doors that wiggle (esp glass doors that have a little give), you can stuff towels and such in there to try to take away the wiggle/give but once they perceive an area as 'weak', they will just keep going at it regardless.

    You could try more out time, more than 30 min, like a few hours. but it may not help
    You could try adding more cage stuff or try removing all cage stuff except the water bowl and see if either helps, but it may not.
    Along those lines, you could try giving them something to push in the cage instead of the cage itself (like a 2 liter filled with water), but it may not help.
    You could try moving to another type of cage, as in a smaller cage or different cage stype, but it may not help.
    One of the pushers that was here, she does it bad, we would move her from the AP to a boaphile or proline back and forth every few months and it seemed to help, we treated her bad rub with silvadene from the vet.

    With some it's just a constant struggle.

    best of luck!
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    For the Horde!

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    You could also try covering the spot that he's pushing with a towel, cardboard, paper, etc. You could also think about covering it with one-sided glass. If you let him out is there any certain spot he is going towards? If so then it's likely the smell that is bothering him but it's probably just because he wants out.

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    My male has had facial abscess due to pushing drained twice by the vet. At one point I had a pipe insulation over the edge of the litter dam so he couldn't wedge his face between the door and damn.

    Both my male and female seem to like higher amounts of ventilation. The female will just rest her head in front of the screen vent. When my male was pushing his worst he was happy just to have the door open and rest his head on the litter dam or climb the stack and prech. His current cage is an AP but I added a 3" screen vent and a small computer fan on the outside. Now he just sits with his face inches from the fan instead of pushing.
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    Re: Pushing BAD!

    Quote Originally Posted by 67temp View Post
    My male has had facial abscess due to pushing drained twice by the vet. At one point I had a pipe insulation over the edge of the litter dam so he couldn't wedge his face between the door and damn.

    Both my male and female seem to like higher amounts of ventilation. The female will just rest her head in front of the screen vent. When my male was pushing his worst he was happy just to have the door open and rest his head on the litter dam or climb the stack and prech. His current cage is an AP but I added a 3" screen vent and a small computer fan on the outside. Now he just sits with his face inches from the fan instead of pushing.
    What a great idea!!!
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Honestly I would start doing regular target training with this snake as a means of helping him focus on other activities and getting him into a routine with more stimulation and variety. Also, does he have hides that he likes and uses at the coolest end of the enclosure heat gradient?

    A friend of mine with a young retic that was pushing incessantly said that she got some good suggestions from the video below (by Garrett Hartle of Reach Out Reptiles; you can certainly trust his information). Her best results came from providing the snake with increased time out of the enclosure; exploration and climbing activities, and target training, but the solutions Garrett suggested apparently helped to break the cycle.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5b16...achOutReptiles
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    That's an excellent video! ^ ^ ^ Not that long either, it's right to the point.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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