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 #888014


Taricha
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 Not sure if I need to go to the vet or not...

My Mexican Black Kingsnake has recently (within the past month or so) started to rub her nose against the glass side of her cage. I live in a ridiculously overheated appartment so hadnít been maintaining a temperature gradient for fear of frying her (it gets between 70 and 100 depending on the time of day, so glad Iím moving out in a few weeks), but the past few days have been alright so Iíve turned on her heating pad and sheís seemed to calm down and for the past three days has stayed mostly hidden. I also changed her substrate to aspen shavings, though she had lived on the old stuff (ground walnut shells) for several months without this problem.

However, her nose looks as though itís been through a cheese grater; thereís no sign of blood or scabbing, but she definately looks as though sheís chipped through a layer, if thatís possible.

Iím worried that itís not just a case of "damnit I want OUT" and might be mouthrot. Today sheís been yawning a bit, which is really unusual for her. However, sheís also starting to get nice and blue and ready for a shed, so Iím not certain if Iím reading into things too much. Maybe sheíll shed in a few days, calm down and not have any more problems.

Iím a college student, so I donít want to spend money going to the vet unless thereís a serious risk that sheís getting sick, so what I would like to know is what you guys think.

Other information that may or may not be relevant:
1) She fed last week on a thawed adult mouse, and showed no hesitation in doing so
2) I feed her about once a week
3) She lives in a 30"x12"x12" glass container with a screen on the top (and she only rubs her nose on one cornor of the glass
4) She is, I believe an adult, but I got her from a friend of a friend of a friend and sheís my first kingsnake so itís hard for me to say. Sheís about 2 feet long, probably 3/4" in diameter
5) She hasnít gone through brumination or been introduced to any other snakes in the 6 months Iíve had her
6) Since her last shed it also looks like sheís lost the top post-ocular scale. It was the main reason I changed substrate; a pice of the walnut shell had actually gotten lodged there, though it fell out on itís own.
7) She has no irregular bumps and feels fairly smooth and healthy when she runs through my hands, and while a few of her scales are a bit more indented or oddly shaped, she also has quite a few scars recieved before I owned her, so theyíre likely from that.
8) Sheís been shedding about once a month or so since I got her.

Sorry if this is WAY too much information, but Iím pretty worried. Thanks for any help you can give me!



07/16/06  10:18pm

 #890266


Taricha
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  Message To: Taricha   In reference to Message Id: 888014


 Not sure if I need to go to the vet or not...

Well, she ate a fuzzy with gusto today, so I feel a good bit better about her condition; snakes with mouthrot wonít usually eat, according to what Iíve read, and when she was yawning her mouth seemed ok (I finally got a good enough glance) so I think I was just playing overly frantic mama, and hopefully her nose will get better with this next shed.



07/18/06  01:33am

 #890717


Joeking
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  Message To: Taricha   In reference to Message Id: 890266


 Not sure if I need to go to the vet or not...

OK does it just look like heís been rubbing his nose off? Can he reach the top of his enclosure? Mineís been rubbing on the top of his every time he wants out. If it looks a little sore and is from glass what you can do is put polysporn on it. Can you take a picture of it? That would help. Look up pictures of mouth rot and nose rubbing and see if either of those looks similar. You should also line the outside bottom of the tank with something so he doesnít see through it so he doesnít try to slither through the glass.



07/18/06  11:15am

 #891012


Taricha
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  Message To: Joeking   In reference to Message Id: 890717


 Not sure if I need to go to the vet or not...

It looks like sheís peeled the top layer off; like the cuticle on a humanís nails, but thereís definately no sign of blood or pus. Iíve looked at pictures of mouthrot and from what Iíve seen she doesnít look like she has the swelling or the pus or general grossness. I donít have a camera, unfortunately, so I canít put up a picture. And I havenít been able to find a picture of a snakeís nose thatís been rubbed, so i canít really compare.

She can reach the top of her enclosure but rarely does go upwards, and has been rubbing against the glass. Iíve lined the cornor of her cage (the one that she seems to prefer rubbing against; she usually doesnít do it on the other half, oddly enough) with paper on the outside and cardboard on the inside, and now instead of rubbing against it sheís decided itís the nicest place to take a nap, right in between the cardboard and the glass.



07/18/06  01:38pm

 #891615


DuckMonster
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  Message To: Taricha   In reference to Message Id: 891012


 Not sure if I need to go to the vet or not...

Well, hopefully she will recover nicely. If you did need to take her to the vet, ALL of that information would be useful to him/her. Canít have too much info, almost like taking the car in with a problem, the more ísymptomsí the better chance it can be correctly diagnosed.

I do know how you feel. I have a ~3 year old Yellow Anaconda, Ducky. I used to keep him in a mostly aquatic tank and he began to get white spots. Bottom line, the waterwas getting íhardí with minerals due to evaporation. He is now in a dryer tank and doing great. Good luck to you.



07/18/06  07:10pm

 #905050


Taricha
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  Message To: Taricha   In reference to Message Id: 888014


 Problem Solved!

So, I had Beatrix out and about for a bit about a week ago and noticed that in addition to occasional yawns she was also making wheezing noises - sounded a good bit like a squeaky toy, actually. I looked really closely at her nose, and saw that there were two pieces of walnut shell (the substrate I had her in before) stuck in her nose. Fortunately, she shed about two days later and this freed the substrate from her nostrils as well as replacing the top layer of keratin, so she looks much better now. Since she ate an enormous mouse last night, no longer rubs her nose, and neither yawns nor wheezes anymore, Iíve come to the conclusion that the problem was an improper temperature gradient and that while she was rubbing her nose everywhere she ended up lodging the substrate in her nostrils.

So, my advice is to A) always keep your kingsnake in a gradient and B) do not use walnut shell substrate for a burrowing snake. It was really noce in that it dried their droppings out quickly, had absolutely no smell to it, and was easy to clean, but itís the right size for a nostril and since Beatrix loves to burrow that seems to be a fairly bad idea. It seems to be working out fine for my corn snake, but he mostly hides in his little magnetic rock rather than burrows, and tends to go upwards rather than downwards when heís trying to get out.



07/25/06  06:02pm

 #906623


Joeking
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  Message To: Taricha   In reference to Message Id: 905050


 Problem Solved!

Yeah A lot of snakes rub their face against glass because they think they can get out. Some people line the bottom half of the glass with something such as the posters you can get for the back of the tank or something as simple as brown paper bag. That usually stops the rubbing due to him thinking he can get out...If heís rubbing it against the top of the tank he might be hungry...Mine started to do that and I started feeding him more and heís stoped. Plus spring seemed to trigger it I donít know if it was the new smells or what. It also might be a sign that you need a bigger tank if the tank is to small...it can be a number of things. Clean his nose and put polysporn on it and he should be fine



07/26/06  02:00pm


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