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  1. #1
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    Help, suspected respiratory infection

    Hello everyone, im back again for an unexpected and worrisome reason. I hope I'm not annoying with all my worries but i genuinely am scared for my BP now. Yesterday was feeding day, and i got 2 hopper mice ready for him (for those who don't know he's still a baby). Everything was alright until the second mouse, cause when i peeked into his mouth i saw something from the side that looked like sticky excess of saliva, and i saw it about 3 times. I didn't pay attention much on the first 2 times cause it was night and pretty dark, the only light source was a lamp that wasn't close enough to light over each side of the container, so i thought it was just my imagination or something else but saliva. The third time i got a better look and i really started to suspect something, but i really can't say 100% if i truly saw something strange or not. I was tired that moment, i fed him in the middle of the night, so i don't know if i just saw things wrong. All i can say is that i couldn't continue to clearly peek in my BP's mouth, it was dirty with substrate he was trying to get rid of as always, but his color inside looked normal, i just couldn't check for saliva well enough in the end. He also made "poppy" noises swallowing down his prey, and what i can say for sure is that his behaviour didn't change. He's hungry as normal, always alert with any of my movement hoping for food, no bubbles anywhere, always hiding and occasionally changing hides and sipping water. Now cause of my suspicion i can't calm down, especially knowing that snakes hide from being ill well. I added 1 deegree (C) on each side (from 26 to 27 on the cool side and from 30 to 31 on the other, i use 2 heat mats w thermostats) just in case, but i'll lower the temps back if needed. I don't think it's a good idea to open his mouth before 2 days after feeding, i don't even know if im able to do it cause he's not 100% trusting of me yet to let me do that,so i really want to hear your opinions on this. What should i do? Should i worry even if his behaviour is still the same? I always tried to keep a good temp on both sides and i keep humidity at 60-70% always now, i would leave it between 50 and 60 long ago until i found out it's too dry for him. He also sheds in 1 piece each month.

  2. #2
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    Um, if you see saliva during feeding that would be normal. Snakes aren't gonna swallow dry without difficulty.

    How is the breathing? Labored? If you think your snake has an RI, see your Vet.

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  4. #3
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    Re: Help, suspected respiratory infection

    Quote Originally Posted by 303_enfield View Post
    Um, if you see saliva during feeding that would be normal. Snakes aren't gonna swallow dry without difficulty.

    How is the breathing? Labored? If you think your snake has an RI, see your Vet.
    Didn't know snakes salivate during feedings, but i have never seen him do that. I mean, i don't expect him to have a dry mouth, i just meant it looked like it was in an excessive amount. Though i repeat, i unfortunately can't say for sure if i saw everything right, i'll have to check him out better first but not before 2 days after feeding to not risk regurgitation, i can be wrong though, so correct me if anything. He breathes heavily only when I'm near and when i hold him, when he attacks his food too. His fave hide is a long log with not too big of an entrance, and he rests on the left side (cool side) of it. On the left side there's a small hole and i often see him right in that corner, and when i get near i can see his breathing going from invisible to heavy, then after a bit it stops, don't know if he can actually feel me close.. What's for sure is that he breathes heavily when i take him, and at first the breathing starts off kinda fast and then gradually slows down, but he still breathes pretty heavily. I rode that could be a sign of stress, he doesn't show any other signs except when i try to take him, he flinches a bit. I take him out about 1 time a week and for a short amount of time, max 20 minutes. He likes to explore around but when i touch him he just keeps breathing more heavily. That's why i think it's cause of stress, but you can tell me if im wrong
    Last edited by Nephil; 10-10-2021 at 10:32 AM.

  5. #4
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    Re: Help, suspected respiratory infection

    Quote Originally Posted by Nephil View Post
    Didn't know snakes salivate during feedings, but i have never seen him do that. I mean, i don't expect him to have a dry mouth, i just meant it looked like it was in an excessive amount. Though i repeat, i unfortunately can't say for sure if i saw everything right, i'll have to check him out better first but not before 2 days after feeding to not risk regurgitation, i can be wrong though, so correct me if anything. He breathes heavily only when I'm near and when i hold him, when he attacks his food too. His fave hide is a long log with not too big of an entrance, and he rests on the left side (cool side) of it. On the left side there's a small hole and i often see him right in that corner, and when i get near i can see his breathing going from invisible to heavy, then after a bit it stops, don't know if he can actually feel me close.. What's for sure is that he breathes heavily when i take him, and at first the breathing starts off kinda fast and then gradually slows down, but he still breathes pretty heavily. I rode that could be a sign of stress, he doesn't show any other signs except when i try to take him, he flinches a bit. I take him out about 1 time a week and for a short amount of time, max 20 minutes. He likes to explore around but when i touch him he just keeps breathing more heavily. That's why i think it's cause of stress, but you can tell me if im wrong
    Every creature salivates when swallowing food- otherwise they'd choke. Snakes that are still afraid of us also breathe harder when we approach them because their instincts say "Yikes! Is that a big hungry predator that's about to grab me?" And remember that snakes do NOT identify us visually- they generally need more to go on, like our scent & touch. He's still afraid of you.

    IF he had an RI, you'd likely be seeing him breathing with his mouth open, & you'd likely be seeing bubbles forming in his mouth or excessive saliva- & I don't mean at mealtime. He'd have trouble breathing so he may also be holding his head up for an extended amount of time.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Help, suspected respiratory infection

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Every creature salivates when swallowing food- otherwise they'd choke. Snakes that are still afraid of us also breathe harder when we approach them because their instincts say "Yikes! Is that a big hungry predator that's about to grab me?" And remember that snakes do NOT identify us visually- they generally need more to go on, like our scent & touch. He's still afraid of you.

    IF he had an RI, you'd likely be seeing him breathing with his mouth open, & you'd likely be seeing bubbles forming in his mouth or excessive saliva- & I don't mean at mealtime. He'd have trouble breathing so he may also be holding his head up for an extended amount of time.
    Thank you for the answer, it surely helped me calm down a bit! I did read that all the bubbles, excess saliva and all that stuff happens when things get serious.. So i felt really worried thinking that my BP had a mild RI that soon or later is going to be life threatening, and i am still kinda nervous but it's my problem, i just can't chill out over things till the slow-fast time passes and shows the results haha. I never kept a reptile before and everyday i just seem to find out more and more info bout BP's, i wouldn't stay near my boy and stare at him as he eats so that might be why i started to worry over salivation this time, i kept hearing always about respiratory infections in snakes to the point i feel suspicion over any detail now ^^". Luckily he seems like an active lil guy at night, he's hungry even after 2 hopper mice but im worried to over feed him if i give more, and the only time he's interested to come up close to me is only when he expects food, he's an aggressive eater so he looks like he rather eat my hand instead of waiting a second so i can put a piece of cardboard as a serving plate for his food lol. What i mean is that he looks perfectly in strength, while an ill snake wouldn't be so jumpy, i think?

  7. #6
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    Re: Help, suspected respiratory infection

    Quote Originally Posted by Nephil View Post
    Thank you for the answer, it surely helped me calm down a bit! I did read that all the bubbles, excess saliva and all that stuff happens when things get serious.. So i felt really worried thinking that my BP had a mild RI that soon or later is going to be life threatening, and i am still kinda nervous but it's my problem, i just can't chill out over things till the slow-fast time passes and shows the results haha. I never kept a reptile before and everyday i just seem to find out more and more info bout BP's, i wouldn't stay near my boy and stare at him as he eats so that might be why i started to worry over salivation this time, i kept hearing always about respiratory infections in snakes to the point i feel suspicion over any detail now ^^". Luckily he seems like an active lil guy at night, he's hungry even after 2 hopper mice but im worried to over feed him if i give more, and the only time he's interested to come up close to me is only when he expects food, he's an aggressive eater so he looks like he rather eat my hand instead of waiting a second so i can put a piece of cardboard as a serving plate for his food lol. What i mean is that he looks perfectly in strength, while an ill snake wouldn't be so jumpy, i think?

    He sounds perfectly normal to me, so do try to relax a bit. I know it's because you care a lot and because you're new at snake-keeping, & you're not yet sure what you're seeing.

    We all were new at this "once upon a time". When you get more practice you'll understand his actions & moods much better. Like his "interest" in you when he's hungry- that's because to him, motion translates to "hey, maybe it's dinner?" LOL Like I said, they see & follow motion & heat signatures, but snakes don't always make good guesses as to what they see. They're not at all logical about what they can realistically swallow, so you have to do his thinking for him.

    Watch out for over-feeding! Not sure how big your snake is but normally young BPs are only fed ONE hopper mouse per meal, not 2 & certainly not more, just because they still "act hungry".
    Don't fall for that- snakes stay pumped up for food for hours & sometimes a day or more after they eat- it doesn't mean they should be fed more. Best to feed only ONE item of appropriate size/meal.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Help, suspected respiratory infection

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    He sounds perfectly normal to me, so do try to relax a bit. I know it's because you care a lot and because you're new at snake-keeping, & you're not yet sure what you're seeing.

    We all were new at this "once upon a time". When you get more practice you'll understand his actions & moods much better. Like his "interest" in you when he's hungry- that's because to him, motion translates to "hey, maybe it's dinner?" LOL Like I said, they see & follow motion & heat signatures, but snakes don't always make good guesses as to what they see. They're not at all logical about what they can realistically swallow, so you have to do his thinking for him.

    Watch out for over-feeding! Not sure how big your snake is but normally young BPs are only fed ONE hopper mouse per meal, not 2 & certainly not more, just because they still "act hungry".
    Don't fall for that- snakes stay pumped up for food for hours & sometimes a day or more after they eat- it doesn't mean they should be fed more. Best to feed only ONE item of appropriate size/meal.
    I had many people telling me that i should be feeding 2 hopper mice instead of 1, and it seems that they were right after i researched some more. I kept getting results as "feed hopper mice the first 3-4 meals" and my BP is much older. I got him when he was about 4/5 months old, and tbh i just realised almost 3 months have passed and a 7-8 months BP isn't really a baby anymore haha. Judging by his last shed (a month ago) he was 52 cm long, probably bigger now. I know it's better to give 1 mouse, it's just i ordered the wrong size of mice thinking they were big enough, but judging from what others say it's not. Oopsie "

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    One of the better feeding guides:

    Ball Python Feeding Guidelines (ball-pythons.net)

    Skipping or missing a meal won't hurt your snake. Feeding back to back (30 min to hour) small prey if your snake takes them is fine. Don't feed one today an one tomorrow.

    Good luck!

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    Bogertophis (10-10-2021),Nephil (10-11-2021)

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