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Thread: Mucus poop

  1. #1
    Registered User TofuTofuTofu's Avatar
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    Mucus poop

    Well... It begins lol

    I picked up my Trans-Pecos rat snake, Chico, earlier today. He is about 6 years old. He is currently in a quarantine enclosure, a storage bin of about 3 feet by 2 feet by 1 foot. Small UTH set to 85, which takes up like 1/5 of the enclosure in one of the corners. He has a regular hide and a hide with some very slightly damp sphagnum moss, as well as a water bowl. Water bowl is on the cool side next to the regular hide. Mossy hide is next to the UTH but doesn't overlap it much. Input is welcome but because he has only been in here like 8 hours, I don't think this caused it.

    So, I put him in here after I got him and have left him alone. However, I got back from the store to find that he had both shed and pooped, so I opened it up to clean it. The poop, which I unfortunately didn't get a photo of, was a medium brown and the consistency of egg whites. It did not appear to have a separate section that was "mucus"-y, but there was a wet area on the paper towel around it. There were regular urates there. The poop literally stretched when I took the swab sample.

    I will send the sample to RAL tomorrow. Do you think I should have it tested for any specific parasites? I was going to just do their crypto panel by default, no matter what the poo looked like, but is there anything else I should check for because it was a weird texture?

    He is currently in the "humid" hide with the moss. He sat in his water bowl for about 5 minutes after I cleaned out his enclosure and replaced the paper towels, but earlier today didn't seem to be paying any attention to the water and didn't go in the humid hide. Otherwise, he has just been exploring, seemingly spending equal time in the different microclimates in the tub for a little while at a time.

    Oh, and he struck at me when my husband was holding him. I didn't see it because I was replacing his paper towels and facing away from him (and, the snake missed, lol). So, understandably, my new snake is stressed. Poor guy.

    In summary:
    - Should I get him tested for any specific parasites because of the weird poo? Here is a link to the RAL form I have; those are my options.
    - What could have caused the weird poo? Stress from shipping? The shed? Do snakes just have a weird poo when they shed sometimes? I haven't seen this happen in our other snake.

    Input is appreciated. I will send out the poo sample in the mail tomorrow morning.
    ----------
    Animals in my house:

    1.0 Green Iguana
    1.0 New Zealand Rabbit
    1.0 Blonde Trans-Pecos Rat Snake
    1.0 Japanese Rat Snake
    ? Panda King Isopod Colony
    6 Blue Death-Feigning Beetles
    4 Hellburnt Diabolical Ironclad Beetles

  2. #2
    Registered User TofuTofuTofu's Avatar
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    I did a search for "poop" on this site and wanted to mention it does NOT look like this one:

    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...904-Runny-poop

    The poo substance didn't have any clear parts. Just a poo goop, all same texture and color. Also I do want to mention it smelled bad... I have a good sense of smell but our little Japanese rat snake's poop doesn't usually smell much, if at all. The amount of poo was like, 2-3 square inches or so.

    Because each specific RAL test is $20, I think I will just do the crypto panel at this time, since I was planning on this anyway. Because there are so many other factors like him being shipped, stressed, and the fact that I don't know what he used to be eating, I'm going to monitor it for now.

    Unfortunately, my exotic vet insists on any poop sample being less than 1 hour old in order to do any sort of testing whatsoever. I might take it in to another vet if I get another weird poop (might do this anyway, since I can't really guarantee I'll see him make the poo and then be able to go to the vet at that moment).

    Any other opinions on the poo are welcome, though! I will post a photo if it happens again.
    ----------
    Animals in my house:

    1.0 Green Iguana
    1.0 New Zealand Rabbit
    1.0 Blonde Trans-Pecos Rat Snake
    1.0 Japanese Rat Snake
    ? Panda King Isopod Colony
    6 Blue Death-Feigning Beetles
    4 Hellburnt Diabolical Ironclad Beetles

  3. #3
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    A small amount of mucus can be "normal", though I never see any with my TP's stool, nor does their stool smell bad. So unfortunately, it does sound like a stool check is in order.

    https://azeah.com/recognizing-abnormal-feces

    Could be amebiasis* (infection cause by the protazoan parasite, Entmoeba invadens)? if so, easily treated with Flagyl (metronidazole). *or something else?

    Did this snake come from a business, a private breeder, or just a pet-keeper that changed their mind?
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  4. #4
    Registered User TofuTofuTofu's Avatar
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    Re: Mucus poop

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    A small amount of mucus can be "normal", though I never see any with my TP's stool, nor does their stool smell bad. So unfortunately, it does sound like a stool check is in order.

    https://azeah.com/recognizing-abnormal-feces

    Could be amebiasis* (infection cause by the protazoan parasite, Entmoeba invadens)? if so, easily treated with Flagyl (metronidazole). *or something else?

    Did this snake come from a business, a private breeder, or just a pet-keeper that changed their mind?

    He is from a private breeder. Listing was on FaunaClassifieds, but I found their MM page, which had all positive reviews (but was only selling geckos). Had two other baby TPRSes on FC though.

    I called my other vet (who I use as a backup and bring my rabbit fosters to) to see if they would do one. They said they could do a float but the actual vet is going to call me back. I don't think they require I bring it in within one hour like my main vet. I mean, it is still in the trash, probably hasn't dried out yet, but I would not call that a very fresh sample lol. Less than 24 hours old, though. I will likely just have to wait till his next poo at any rate. I am mailing the RAL sample today though.
    ----------
    Animals in my house:

    1.0 Green Iguana
    1.0 New Zealand Rabbit
    1.0 Blonde Trans-Pecos Rat Snake
    1.0 Japanese Rat Snake
    ? Panda King Isopod Colony
    6 Blue Death-Feigning Beetles
    4 Hellburnt Diabolical Ironclad Beetles

  5. #5
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Well, for you for getting it checked. You didn't say how it compared to the photo in the link I posted. (more or less mucus?) That it was malodorous also makes it suspect- also if you notice him "going" frequently.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  6. #6
    Registered User TofuTofuTofu's Avatar
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    Re: Mucus poop

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Well, for you for getting it checked. You didn't say how it compared to the photo in the link I posted. (more or less mucus?) That it was malodorous also makes it suspect- also if you notice him "going" frequently.
    Oh, I didn't know you sent that link for me to compare the appearance. No, it didn't look anything like that. I did describe it in the initial post. I think I'm mostly concerned about the fact that it was stinky rather than the texture, but yeah the color and consistency was the same throughout, and was all just this stretchy (not like sticky or tacky, but like I said, like an egg white). There was a separate urate portion, I think (honestly I was just distracted so much by the weird poo but I'm 80% sure there was a urate) He has been in his "humid" hide all day so far. I raised the thermostat just a tad so the surface temp of the paper towels stay around 85 over the heated part. If he makes another poo before I feed him next week, I'll be sure to bring it in. My other vet said they could do a float for me and it could be a few hours old if I refrigerate it.

    The suboc book by Dusty Rhoads said to check for nematodes, but at least this vet said they didn't know how to test for that (said they could maybe send it in, but I haven't heard back from them). I am not sure how much of a concern those are, or if you or anyone else here has any experience with nematodes.
    Last edited by TofuTofuTofu; 09-15-2021 at 03:50 PM.
    ----------
    Animals in my house:

    1.0 Green Iguana
    1.0 New Zealand Rabbit
    1.0 Blonde Trans-Pecos Rat Snake
    1.0 Japanese Rat Snake
    ? Panda King Isopod Colony
    6 Blue Death-Feigning Beetles
    4 Hellburnt Diabolical Ironclad Beetles

  7. #7
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Mucus poop

    Quote Originally Posted by TofuTofuTofu View Post
    ...
    The suboc book by Dusty Rhoads said to check for nematodes, but at least this vet said they didn't know how to test for that (said they could maybe send it in, but I haven't heard back from them). I am not sure how much of a concern those are, or if you or anyone else here has any experience with nematodes.
    Nor do I, off-hand- I've never dealt with them that I can recall. (I'm thinking nematodes are way more likely in W/C snakes though?)

    This article has a chart that offers treatment suggestions, including good 'ol Panacur. (see the far right column): https://www.vetfolio.com/learn/artic...es-of-reptiles
    (I would avoid using Ivermectin on a snake- it's far more risky.)

    Here's a few articles that might help? https://www.reptilesmagazine.com/rep...nt-levamisole/

    https://www.merckvetmanual.com/exoti...es-of-reptiles

    BTW, somewhere I read that nematodes are very common in lizards- hmm? That rings a bell, your source breeds geckos, right?
    https://wagwalking.com/reptile/condi...des-in-lizards

    Since Panacur is quite often used for snakes (& is used safely) I wouldn't worry about testing for nematodes if you can't find them in the RAL list- I'd just treat for them, personally.

    (BTW, did you happen to ask the seller if he's ever treated this suboc with meds for anything? Especially anything recent?)

    And I'd consider using Flagyl as well: https://www.reptilesmagazine.com/pro...dazole-flagyl/
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 09-15-2021 at 04:29 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  8. #8
    Registered User TofuTofuTofu's Avatar
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    Re: Mucus poop

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Nor do I, off-hand- I've never dealt with them that I can recall. (I'm thinking nematodes are way more likely in W/C snakes though?)

    ---

    Since Panacur is quite often used for snakes (& is used safely) I wouldn't worry about testing for nematodes if you can't find them in the RAL list- I'd just treat for them, personally.

    (BTW, did you happen to ask the seller if he's ever treated this suboc with meds for anything? Especially anything recent?)

    And I'd consider using Flagyl as well: https://www.reptilesmagazine.com/pro...dazole-flagyl/

    Thanks for the resources. I'll be doing some more research on the nematodes; the gecko thing makes a lot of sense, though. The book wasn't clear on whether nematodes were seen more in wc specimens or not. He did say that he had subocs who were treated, then tested negative for nematodes, then were later positive for them even though they hadn't been in contact with any other snakes, and recommends "regular deworming." Hmm.

    I just texted the rabbit rescue owner and she says she has a ton of Panacur that I can use. The dosing and frequency for Panacur is even in the suboc book, so I'm comfortable administering it. I was planning to just wait till mid-to-late next week to give him the medication though (and weigh him to determine how much). Is it better to give him a week to settle in first? I would think that is best, because whatever he has is probably not super new (if it was anything more than a weird poo) and he hasn't visibly deteriorated from it?

    I also just texted the seller and will see if he's had any recent treatments. I also asked if he was on mice because I think I read somewhere that rats can cause a sort of "fatty" poop, but maybe I misremembered that.
    ----------
    Animals in my house:

    1.0 Green Iguana
    1.0 New Zealand Rabbit
    1.0 Blonde Trans-Pecos Rat Snake
    1.0 Japanese Rat Snake
    ? Panda King Isopod Colony
    6 Blue Death-Feigning Beetles
    4 Hellburnt Diabolical Ironclad Beetles

  9. #9
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Mucus poop

    Quote Originally Posted by TofuTofuTofu View Post
    Thanks for the resources. I'll be doing some more research on the nematodes; the gecko thing makes a lot of sense, though. The book wasn't clear on whether nematodes were seen more in wc specimens or not. He did say that he had subocs who were treated, then tested negative for nematodes, then were later positive for them even though they hadn't been in contact with any other snakes, and recommends "regular deworming." Hmm.

    I just texted the rabbit rescue owner and she says she has a ton of Panacur that I can use. The dosing and frequency for Panacur is even in the suboc book, so I'm comfortable administering it. I was planning to just wait till mid-to-late next week to give him the medication though (and weigh him to determine how much). Is it better to give him a week to settle in first? I would think that is best, because whatever he has is probably not super new (if it was anything more than a weird poo) and he hasn't visibly deteriorated from it?

    I also just texted the seller and will see if he's had any recent treatments. I also asked if he was on mice because I think I read somewhere that rats can cause a sort of "fatty" poop, but maybe I misremembered that.
    BTW, I didn't check what the D. Rhoad's "Suboc" book said about nematodes (esp. since you did anyway ) but I suspect he's collected "his share" of W/C subocs. And in the wild, they eat lizards!

    I suspect some of his snakes tested negative but still managed to re-infect themselves after some time elapsed. Tests aren't perfect. And no one manages to clean up all fecal material immediately, no matter how complete an effort is made. Honestly, I don't do "regular deworming", but I don't think it's necessarily a bad idea- it's up to you. Clearly your new snake shows good reason to be treated. Panacur is easy to come by- all feed-stores carry it, even if pet stores don't. It's not even expensive.

    Yes, I'd let him settle in first- it's not an emergency. I would stick with feeding mice- otherwise you'd be feeding "mouse-sized" rat pups that WOULD be too fatty, & they'd also be too low on minerals (due to having smaller, less-developed bones). You always want to feed the "most mature" rodents of the appropriate size to snakes. And remember that ALL our domestic rodents have more "fat" than wild rodents, because they're raised on a more grain-based diet with abundant food.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    TofuTofuTofu (09-15-2021)

  11. #10
    Registered User TofuTofuTofu's Avatar
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    [[Poo picture below; don't look if that's gross to you]]

    Chico made another poo today. It has no smell at all, and looks a little more normal when compared to the previous one. The one isolated blob on the left side looks like what the entire poo was previously--it's the same color and consistency (I think; I haven't removed the poo yet. I am waiting for him to go in his hide so I don't stress him out). There is no separate mucusy area in this poo, but part of it is a different texture like before. Overall, this one doesn't raise as many alarm bells, especially because it is totally unscented. Like, I put my face up to it lol. No smell! Yay! The other one, I could smell it from about a foot away.

    There are like, bubbles, but he had literally made this poo less than five minutes before I took this picture. They aren't mucusy bubbles but look thin and are probably just from the other liquid?

    Does anyone recommend I also test this one? I'm glad I sent in the weirder one for testing. I should get the results on Monday.

    Poo picture follows:

    ----------
    Animals in my house:

    1.0 Green Iguana
    1.0 New Zealand Rabbit
    1.0 Blonde Trans-Pecos Rat Snake
    1.0 Japanese Rat Snake
    ? Panda King Isopod Colony
    6 Blue Death-Feigning Beetles
    4 Hellburnt Diabolical Ironclad Beetles

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