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  1. #11
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Will my python ever recover?

    Quote Originally Posted by leosantare View Post
    Her enclosure is plenty large enough, 8ft x 4ft x 4ft. She and I get all my rats from Rodent Pro.

    I will talk to my vet about digestive enzymes. Although, I think I'm going to lose her. I am noticing the triangular body shape. I will feed her tomorrow and get her weight on Friday. This all started, (6 months ago) with a little bit of blood coming from the mouth, (suspected early mouth rot) and was put on injectable antibiotics. Since then, no more blood and her mouth looks okay. I managed to get a pic when she yawned 🥱

    My vet thinks I'm crazy and that nothing is wrong. Unfortunately, something is wrong...
    Bingo! I think that's "it"! Antibiotics destroy the GOOD bacteria along with the bad they're intended for- they don't discriminate. Digestion depends on good "gut bacteria", & since "this all started 6 months ago...& was put on injectable antibiotics" may I strongly suggest that you start adding reptile probiotics to her food immediately to help restore her essential gut bacteria (upon which her digestion depends). Either Nutribac or Bene-Bac-"FOR REPTILES" available OTC, without prescription- & by all means discuss this with your vet- hopefully they'll both agree & also add this to their suggestions for future patients. FYI- antibiotics are very hard on a snake's body- they're sometimes needed, but they have a downside. They're not harmless.

    And listen, you know your snake better than your vet when it comes to sensing something is wrong- snakes can be very subtle & a vet that only sees a snake now & then isn't going to have the same "feel" for subtle indications. The same thing has happened to me in the past- the vet couldn't find a thing but I knew my snake was ill...sadly I was right. Snakes aren't easy patients- they're so stoic.

    Anyway, my gut feeling was that this had something to do with your snake's gut- it wasn't until you mentioned the antibiotics, then the "light went on" & this explains the symptoms you've been seeing. With any luck, I hope this will fix things. (& allow some time- it won't work overnight, damage to the digestive tract can take some time to fully recover) The easy way to add probiotic powder to your snake's meal is to pack it into the oral cavity- be careful when you pry the mouth open- those rodent teeth are sharp- then push the mouth closed & feed. I'd give it every meal for a while. And please do keep us posted?
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  3. #12
    BPnet Senior Member jmcrook's Avatar
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    Rodent Pro is one of the only suppliers I won’t order from due to multiple gross looking shipments of rodents I’ve received in years past. I know not all have had problems but it was enough to implore me to look elsewhere. For what it’s worth, I agree with your vet that the snake’s body condition looks fine. Certainly doesn’t look underweight by any means. Simalia are pretty lean built animals, even including boeleni which are a bit heavier built than most of the other Simalia species but still a relatively lean snake.

    Also, better to weigh prior to a feed/after a bowel movement if you feel it necessary to get that accurate of a weight on your animal. Weighing 4days after feeding will give an inaccurate estimation of the animal’s true mass.
    Last edited by jmcrook; 03-21-2023 at 12:41 AM.

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  5. #13
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Will my python ever recover?

    Quote Originally Posted by jmcrook View Post
    Rodent Pro is one of the only suppliers I wonít order from due to multiple gross looking shipments of rodents Iíve received in years past. I know not all have had problems but it was enough to implore me to look elsewhere. For what itís worth, I agree with your vet that the snakeís body condition looks fine. Certainly doesnít look underweight by any means. Simalia are pretty lean built animals, even including boeleni which are a bit heavier built than most of the other Simalia species but still a relatively lean snake.

    Also, better to weigh prior to a feed/after a bowel movement if you feel it necessary to get that accurate of a weight on your animal. Weighing 4days after feeding will give an inaccurate estimation of the animalís true mass.
    I was pretty sure Rodent Pro is one of the suppliers I've seen various complaints about- I'm glad you brought that up.

    Also agree with you that the snake looks okay in the pics- but I don't discount the OP's observations either- not everything is obvious from photos.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  6. #14
    BPnet Veteran Caitlin's Avatar
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    You can put me on the list of people who will never buy from RodentPro again. I've tried most of the big suppliers and they are one of the few that earned a spot on my 'oh hell no' list. Layne Labs is my own go-to but there are other good suppliers out there as well.

    Re: your beautiful Boelen's: I believe you when you say something seems wrong. You know your snake. We have so little reliable info on the lifespans of various species under captive management, but the one thing that has been a constant across species is the ever-increasing evidence that snakes in general can live 20-30 years or more if provided with good living conditions. So I'd be really hesitant to categorize 11 years as an old snake.

    It's at least a relief that her bloodwork values are normal. I didn't see any mention of radiographs being taken to see if there are any masses that might indicate growths/tumors. I realize that's a crude way to assess the possibility, but given what you describe as well as normal bloodwork, I'd at least want a preliminary look at X-rays.
    Last edited by Caitlin; 03-21-2023 at 01:34 AM.
    1.0 Jungle Carpet Python 'Ziggy'
    1.0 Bredl's Python 'Calcifer'
    0.1 Brazilian Rainbow Boa 'Mara'
    1.1 Tarahumara Mountain Boas 'Paco' and 'Frida'
    2.0 Dumeril's Boas 'Gyre' and 'Titan'
    1.0 Stimson's Python 'Jake'
    1.1 Children's Pythons 'Miso' and 'Ozzy'
    1.0 Anthill Python 'Cricket'
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    1.1 Rough-scaled Sand Boas 'Rassi' and 'Kala'
    1.0 Ball Python (BEL) 'Sugar'
    1.0 Gray-banded Kingsnake 'Nacho'
    1.0 Green Tree Python (Aru) 'Jade'

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  8. #15
    rhac wrangler mlededee's Avatar
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    I agree with the solutions that have been presented here thus far: get her on probiotics ASAP, switch feeder suppliers (I like Cold Blooded Cafe), if you want to investigate further start with an x-ray as that is not invasive, does not require sedation, and you may be able to see an abnormality this way. Would not jump to a CT scan without an x-ray first.

    Also want to mention that I would not necessarily feed larger prey items or feed more frequently if she is having digestive trouble. That may add undue stress to her system. I would stick with normal size and normal spacing between feedings for now. Get her established on the probiotics and see if things improve. Once she can digest properly and is getting the normal amount of nutrition from her food again her weight and body tone may improve on its own. A stressed GI tract does not do better with added stress. Just something to keep in mind.
    - Emily


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  10. #16
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    Re: Will my python ever recover?

    Wow, okay. Thank you.

    I will start the probiotics tonight if I can. I never used this before, how much powder do I put in the rodents mouth? Is the dosage critical?

    Sure, I can weigh her at any point. Although, the last 3 times I got her weight was 3 days after she ate. If I get her weight right before she eats, I won't have anything to compare it to.

    I will feed one more rodent from Rodent Pro and then look into a new supplier. I had no idea. I have used rodent pro for my boelens entire life and never had a issue. I can even specify a certain weight. For example, 275-300g rats. I check the weight myself and just about every one is within spec.

    To be clear. I noticed a little bit of blood coming from her mouth 6 months ago. I was ontop of it immediately and took her to the vet. My vet suspected early mouth rot but wasn't certain. She then was put on antibiotics that day for an entire month. I would take her to my vet every 3 days for an injection. So, it's been about 5 months since the antibiotics. Also, the picture I posted of her mouth open was from about 3 weeks ago. The other pictures are more recent.

    I know she anit no spring chicken, but I also didn't think 11 was old for a python. So the antibiotics can cause weight loss?

    Thanks everyone, I will let my vet know and keep you posted.

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  12. #17
    BPnet Veteran Caitlin's Avatar
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    Depending on where you live, shipping costs for these suppliers may vary, but some good ones include Layne Labs, Cold-blooded Cafe, and Perfect Prey.
    1.0 Jungle Carpet Python 'Ziggy'
    1.0 Bredl's Python 'Calcifer'
    0.1 Brazilian Rainbow Boa 'Mara'
    1.1 Tarahumara Mountain Boas 'Paco' and 'Frida'
    2.0 Dumeril's Boas 'Gyre' and 'Titan'
    1.0 Stimson's Python 'Jake'
    1.1 Children's Pythons 'Miso' and 'Ozzy'
    1.0 Anthill Python 'Cricket'
    1.0 Plains Hognose 'Peanut'
    1.1 Rough-scaled Sand Boas 'Rassi' and 'Kala'
    1.0 Ball Python (BEL) 'Sugar'
    1.0 Gray-banded Kingsnake 'Nacho'
    1.0 Green Tree Python (Aru) 'Jade'

  13. #18
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Will my python ever recover?

    Quote Originally Posted by leosantare View Post
    ......I will start the probiotics tonight if I can. I never used this before, how much powder do I put in the rodents mouth? Is the dosage critical?

    .......To be clear. I noticed a little bit of blood coming from her mouth 6 months ago. I was on top of it immediately and took her to the vet. My vet suspected early mouth rot but wasn't certain. She then was put on antibiotics that day for an entire month. I would take her to my vet every 3 days for an injection. So, it's been about 5 months since the antibiotics. Also, the picture I posted of her mouth open was from about 3 weeks ago. The other pictures are more recent.

    I know she anit no spring chicken, but I also didn't think 11 was old for a python. So the antibiotics can cause weight loss? ...
    Dosage of probiotic powder is NOT critical at all- personally, I'd fit as much as I could into the rodents mouth prior to feeding. (A tiny funnel -even if you make one out of paper- will come in handy.) Your snake is large anyway, plus she was on antibiotic injections for a month! -that's A LOT & it's hard on a snake's body. (Dusting powder ON a rodent is less effective, since most falls off, plus some snakes may detect a different odor & could refuse to eat, which would be very counter-productive.)

    I wonder how often your vet sees & treats snakes? If I only "suspected" mouth rot, without seeing actual signs of it, I'd not want any snake of mine treated with antibiotics- not only because they kill off the snake's good bacteria, but because UNLESS some lab work is done to make SURE it's the right antibiotic to fight the snake's specific infection, it won't even help. Harm without helping is not a winner. And the thing is, a little blood in a snake's mouth could be from striking the glass or slipping & falling in their enclosure, from their own loose tooth jabbing into their mouth, etc.

    Antibiotics do not directly cause weight loss- but they screw up a snake's ability to digest food as well as they normally do, resulting in needed nutrition being excreted in stool rather than used by the snake's body. See? THAT is what causes a loss of muscle tone & weight. Antibiotics can also negatively impact a snakes other organs- notably the liver & kidneys (even in humans). Just like humans, snakes need those organs to function & be healthy. Keep in mind that while some drugs are empirically established to be safe for use in snakes, there aren't the extensive safety tests done for medications given to snakes as there are for humans. Also, in humans or any animals, some individuals tolerate medications much better than others.

    That you saw this change in your snake only AFTER she was treated with antibiotics for a month pretty much draws a straight line (of blame) to the injections she received.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 03-21-2023 at 03:32 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  15. #19
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    Re: Will my python ever recover?

    Okay, I understand how to use the Nutribac and will start tomorrow when I feed her. I will keep feeding her every 10 days but I'm going to go back to 250-275g rats instead of 275-300g.

    Actually, my vet did blood work at first and saw that her white blood cell count was elevated as if she was fighting an infection. After the antibiotics my vet did more bloodwork and saw the white blood cells were back to normal. I reached out to my vet today and this is what she said,

    We can certainly schedule that appointment for you, but so you are aware, Dr. Revay recommends the CT scan over the x-rays. Both will need sedation to complete accurately; due to her large size, we would have to take many views with as little movement as possible. Also, there is less detail on an x-ray for a reptile of her size. Imaging with sedation would have to be done on a procedure day to allow appropriate time to complete.*


    The antibiotic she was on (Ceftazidime) is widely used in reptiles. There are no reported side effects in snakes, in both research settings and clinical use. Because it is given injectable, it should not affect the GI tract bacteria. Probiotics are not harmful in most animals but typically do not provide much benefit on their own.*

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  17. #20
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    Re: Will my python ever recover?

    I decided on and told my vet the following,

    Since sedation is required for x-rays, I will do the CT scan instead. Before doing so, I will need some examples of where a CT scan showed something wrong that was fully treatable/curable. Basically, there is no point in having the CT scan if it's only going to show something that is untreatable/incurable.*


    At the minimum, I would also like to repeat the bloodwork and fecal. After this, I think we have done more than enough testing. Unless there are more simple tests that can be done without sedation. Meaning, I'm only going to have her sedated once, if ever. If everything comes back normal, I will just monitor her weight. If she drops below 7.5kg, (she may have already) I will have to assume it's something undetectable and untreatable, like cancer or just old age. I will then have her euthanized. I'm not going to sit here and watch her deteriorate,*she probably is in a lot of pain. Her body condition is now triangular in shape which is not good.

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