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The5thorseman   Cphill58  

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 Possible RI? HELP!

So, I went to pick up my corn snake a few hours ago, and noticed that he seemed to still need time to digest the fuzzy i’d fed him a couple days before, so I set him back in his cage. Though, when I picked him up I noticed he made a little squeaking noise, almost like a little tiny sneeze. I googled it and heard it could either be him shedding, which doesn’t seem right since he isn’t getting dull, or that it could be a RI. Basically, whenever he exhales there’s a squeaking noise along with it. He doesn’t seem to be upset by it, because he still will let me pet him (once I realized this was happening I’ve checked on him once or twice; still squeaking) and doesn’t seem aggressive or anything. He acts completely normal, except for the squeaking. I haven’t gotten to check in his mouth for bubbles since I only just realized this was happening, and he still has a fuzzy digesting in his stomach so I don’t want to encourage him to regurgitate from me having to restrain him.

Some more information:

General Description: My snake is an amelanistic Corn snake. He’s about 2 and a half feet long, doesn’t look to be obese, and is very active during most nights. He has only had one bad shed, and I helped him get that off completely with no lasting effects.

Cage: It’s a glass 40 gallon tank. Go to petsmart’s website and look for the 40 gallon Bearded Dragon kit, that’s the exact one I use. He’s got 3 hides, one in the warm section, one in the middle, and one on the cooler side.

Handling: I generally handle him daily for anywhere from 15 to 30 minutes.

Feeding: He’s fed a frozen fuzzy mouse every friday

Supplements: none

Watering: I leave 2 water dishes in the tank, and they’re washed and refilled at least once every couple days. I occasionally see him take a drink after a long handling session or after a meal.

Fecal Description: Seems normal. Brown, with liquid around it and little bits of white. It’s always been like this, and he’s normally nice and active, so I never had any reason to think something was wrong.

History: I got him when he was around 4 or 5 months old, and that was back in October. Since then, he’s gotten very used to me, has never bit anyone, always ate fine, shed fine (except that one time mentioned above) and has been very active in his cage, exploring around it.

Lighting: I just use a 25w UVB light during the day so I can see him better when he’s out, and to provide a bit of light for him as well. But for actual heating, he has a under tank heater hooked up to a thermostat to regulate the temperature. It’s always pretty warm in my room, so it stays off most of the time, but if the room were to ever dip below 85 it’d kick in and keep him nice and warm.

Temperature: I have a thermometer in his cage that says he’s right at 80 degrees, but the thermostat I use suggests it’s closer to 85-87

Humidity: Looks to be around 45? I don’t mist him, so the humidity in there is more or less just what it is out here, and I’m comfortable. I never heard that they needed misting, so I haven’t ever.

Plants: Just some fake ones from Petsmart so he can climb on them. I also have a dead stick from outside for him to climb on, but he’s always had it and has never caused any problems.

Placement: I have a closet in my room with a table in there, and that serves as my "reptile room". I have Thor (the Corn Snake) in a 40 gallon right next to Nidhoggr (A Leopard gecko) in his 10 gallon, and right next to him I keep a 5 gallon full of crickets for Nid. They’re probably...2 or 3 feet off the ground. During the night, I keep the closet door closed so the cats don’t get in, and this gives them some quiet time along with some darkness.

Location: I live in NY, right next to lake Ontario

Substrate: Aspen wood chips. He’s had these his entire life, and I’m pretty sure they used the same stuff in the pet store.

Any suggestions will be greatly appreciated. When I can, I’ll check his mouth and let you know what happens then. Could it be because he still hasn’t completely digested his fuzzy or something? When he was swallowing it, it got stuck around his throat for a bit longer than it normally does, but he eventually got it down. It didn’t seem much larger than any of the other mice I’ve fed him, but the lump in his belly did look a bit larger than usual. Could that also be the issue? If so, are there any steps I can take to correct it or would the problem fix itself?

04/20/15  05:34am


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  Message To: The5thorseman   In reference to Message Id: 2313275

 Possible RI? HELP!

I read the entire information packed thread...thanks for all the details.

I can say this much...the last meal is not causing the issue. Squeaking ...popping is definitely a sign of RI. a typical bacteria infection that may be caused by drinking contaminated water or living in a feces laden enclosure. Not saying you are doing anything deliberately But it can happen. I have an 8 year old female breeder that produces wonderful clutches...and she was diagnosed with an RI years ago.

I went to the vet and she was given a prescription of baytril... oral dosage for 10 days, the symptoms persisted and another round was prescribed. Today she is an open mouth breather 60% of the time I catch her gaping. I dont think it ever went away completely. But she is doing fine.
She never blew bubbles as far as I remember??

The best way to tell is go to a vet and get a swab done for a bacteria culture of her oral cavity. They can test for specific bacteria and treat properly with oral medication.

Sometimes it may just be a piece of substrate stuck somewhere in the esophagus??

I was taught to use a rubber spatula to open a snakes mouth ... quite a challenge the first time but with practice starting at the jaw hinge and working towards the front of the mouth you can get it open and then flip the spatula vertical to open the mouth safely/ gently. Popsicles sticks tongue depressors work as well but are not as soft on the snake.

Good luck with it.

04/24/15  08:44pm

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