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  1. #1
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    Iím scared my BPs might have early stage RIís

    I was checking some of my ball pythons mouths and some some bubbles in some of them. Some of them had bubbles in the back of their throats and some had visible bubbles when pulling their lip down. I would feel absolutely horrible if an RI had spread through my collection. None have bubbles coming from their noses. Is it normal for ball pythons to have some bubbles in their mouths? Here is a photo of my male who seemed to have it the worst. I couldnít really get photos of the others as they wouldnít stay still. I will be trying to make a vet appointment as soon as possible.




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    Re: Iím scared my BPs might have early stage RIís

    I had several snakes with visible bubbles when pulling their lip down. Is it possible that RI spread through a very large portion of my collection?


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    Are any of them open-mouth breathing?

    Are you hearing noises (whistling, gurgling or crackling sounds) when holding their face near your ear?

    Any bubbles or saliva coming OUT of their mouths or noses?

    Are they eating okay? What's their activity level like? (abnormal lethargy? - I know, rather hard to tell in a ball python, lol.)

    Yes, pathogens that cause RI's can be contagious- (worst is probably Nidovirus as it's both easily spread & fatal too)- but first, make sure of what you're observing- I'm not convinced.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 08-13-2022 at 11:56 PM.
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    Re: Iím scared my BPs might have early stage RIís

    Some of them wheezed a bit but I think itís because they were struggling with me trying to see into their mouths. None of them have been gaping their mouths. I havenít really seen any saliva around the enclosures either. But they have more saliva in their mouths than Iím used to seeing, and some of them have bubbles like pictured with the male. No bubbles coming out of their mouths, only inside.


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    Re: Iím scared my BPs might have early stage RIís

    All of them have been eating so far, im just worried I might be looking at early-ish stage RI.


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    Re: Iím scared my BPs might have early stage RIís

    If anyone has anything else to add it would be very greatly appreciated


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    Re: Iím scared my BPs might have early stage RIís

    Quote Originally Posted by BallBoa View Post
    I wouldn't take this ball python to the vet. I would check his temps, humidity and clean his enclosure. Only if he starts showing the symptoms like Boger described above would I take him to a vet.
    1.0 Normal Ball Python (2019 - 2021)
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  9. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by BallBoa View Post
    Some of them wheezed a bit but I think it’s because they were struggling with me trying to see into their mouths. None of them have been gaping their mouths. I haven’t really seen any saliva around the enclosures either. But they have more saliva in their mouths than I’m used to seeing, and some of them have bubbles like pictured with the male. No bubbles coming out of their mouths, only inside.


    Actually I think a few tiny bubbles IN the mouth is probably normal. And it sounds like when you handled them, you're mistaking a forced-exhale for "wheezing"- if they're not doing it when you're not holding them, I tend to think you're over-reacting to what you're hearing.

    What's the temps. (highest & lowest) in their enclosures? Might want (or need?) to bump up their warmth a tiny bit, depending on current high temps (Don't exceed safe temps.- ie. don't go over 90*-91* & be sure you're taking the temperatures accurately & in the right places- for their safety.)
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 08-14-2022 at 06:43 PM.
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    Re: Iím scared my BPs might have early stage RIís

    I've had two experiences with RI's. One, years ago with an older BP I adopted who was neglected. Secondly, with my CP Yafe, who I got at a year old and fed ex lost his package. He had a full blown RI within a day.

    Both were cured and Yafe is now over 6FT and 1,400G (he was 100G when I got him). He clicked, wheezed, had discharge from his mouth and nose, barely flicked his tongue, and would not eat.

    I think you are probably overreacting too. However, make sure husbandry is spot on. Keep in mind that humidity and temps being solid will prevent RI's 95%+ of the time. That means not too cold or too hot and not dry or too humid. These conditions would have to be off for an adult snake for a bit, not a day or two, in most cases, to cause an RI, IMO. Yafe was young, was stressed from traveling, and instead of being in a box without a heat pack for 12 hours, it was more than 2X that.

    Additionally, if your snake(s) do have an RI, the only effective way to treat is to get a tracheal flush and culture it. A) you need to determine if it's bacterial or fungal (usually bacterial). B) you need to determine what type of bacteria or fungus you are fighting. When they culture, they can also see what meds should be effective. If I hadn't taken that route with Yafe right away, I imagine we would have lost him. By immediately identifying it was bacterial and what type we were able to inject the proper antibiotics. That got him 85% of the way there and then we used nebulizer with him daily for a month with another antibiotic that was also effective.

    Again, I think you are being overcautious, which is good. However, for others reading and if it does escalate, the above information is imperative. Many vets, who don't know what they are doing, won't perform a tracheal flush. They are just guessing then and it could be costly - both financially and for the health of the animal.

    Between tracheal wash, nebulizer, antibiotics, etc. it cost about $2K to cure Yafe. He is an amazing snake and I am glad I did it and could afford to do it. Having said that, prevention is much cheaper.

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