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RE: The bf of "Countessnaamah", more details

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Posted by: deathstalker at Thu Apr 15 23:15:25 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by deathstalker ]  


Thank You very, VERY much for Your input and the time it took to do so - it is much appreciated! And sorry it has taken me a couple of days to get back - have been busy with not just the Desert King, but also a new Banded Elephant Trunk Snake (Acrochordus, or perhaps still Chersydrus by some, granulatus) I purchased at the show as well (they require a LOT more maintainence than most other snakes sold in the herpetocultural industry -

Typically, it is my style to reply to each-and-every little thing of a message, email, et cetera, however, I will start this off with...SPECKLES IS DOING MUCH BETTER!!!! Yeah, the latter half of Tuesday, and all day yesterday, he has been coming out of his previous condition!! And...(!!)...HE ATE TWO (2) PINKIES, AND OUT OF OUR HANDS!!!! He was active this morning (Thursday) and after the light went off tonight, crawling all around, tongue flickering, being normal.

Heh, sorry there, but We're of course over-joyed he has gotten better. Still, to address Your hypotheses on what could have caused his unhealthy condition, I would agree it was all of the above, each to their own degree. But the more and more I think about it, I have had snakes experience quite the heat (!)--usually able to get away from it enough, though, such as getting under the nicely dense substrate I typically provide or their hideout, and doing so on the cooler side of the enclosure of course--but they don't suffer any (neurological) symptoms such as Speckles did.

This leads me to believe it may have been more of the Provent-a-Mite (PAM). I only sprayed the substate, and I let it air out for a few minutes, but I'm thinking with such the activity of a baby snake--and he was fine the first night--his little body picking up perhaps more (un-dried/un-settled?) particles of PAM than I should have left, inhaling any possible excessive residue, and very likely crawling through his water at some point in the evening and very drinking some from his possible heat stroke...yeeeaahhh, I'd say there was a good chance he ingested some toxicity. I also find it too coincidental that he'd do better when outside of his enclosure where the air wasn't so thick (with toxicity).

Nonetheless, the PAM has definitely all dried by now, We've cleaned his water bowl every day/refilled, he's eaten, and only 24 hours later after eating, crawling around/flickering his tongue/moving his eyes like normal. (Yeah, it seemed his pupils wouldn't move (much) Monday and earlier half of Tuesday.)

We have decided to use a substrate that I use for my 1.1 Heterodon nasicus: Eco Earth (by Zoo Med? I forget, heh) which works really well and is naturally a more dry/arid substrate = suitable for a Desert King, I believe, and thus mite-free. (Of course, it can be damped nicely, too, and used for nesting boxes such as I currently have for my 0.1 H. nasicus.) We will perform this change tomorrow, and We also got some nice flat rocks (and light!) by CC Pet Products, in which my girlfriend constructed a nice, naturalistic-appealing rock cave for Speckles with. ...also, a cactus, ha!

Anyway, my solution to 'curing' Speckles' condition was--whether considered risky or not by some--to let Nature take Its course. As I have read about "white spot fungus" on A. granulatus--not that mine has it thankfully --and the medication being NONE, and rather to just keep aquarium conditions optimum...well, I suppose We can say We just kept Speckles' terrarium conditions optimum, monitoring temperature/humidity constantly, kept a close eye on him, held him daily, and successfully fed him (that took patience, I tell You (!), as he showed MUCH interest but took 10-15 minutes each pinkie before opening his mouth to consume, ha! ...and remember, this was in the hands...gods, were We sore...wish We video-taped that for You all, especially since it was cute...ah well).

Well, I believe that's it for now (though I respond to everyone, and it looks as though I have another response or two to do), but thanks again, "Joeysgreen," for Your time and help - I still learned new stuff from You, such as the DIC.


P.S. I didn't proof-read this, so, sorry if there are typos, something doesn't make sense, or 'fancy fonts' didn't work, haha.

>>Unfortunately it sounds like this could be "all of the above"; heat stroke, toxicity, and trauma, or any combination. In such a small animal, and such a complicated history, it would be very difficult to find out what exactly caused this. I think the best course of action right now is to address the symptoms, with or without the help of a vet (personal decision on your part). I"ll try to further the discussion a bit to give you a little background information to work with.
>>From your history, I would place overheating at the top of my list of possible causes. Overheating an animal can definately cause neurological signs that may or may not be perminant. Although serious, usually a more pertinent matter is "DIC" or desciminated intravascular coagulation. This is the clotting of blood throughout the circulatory system, essentially cutting off supply to the tissues. Brick red, mottled, or other discolouration to the mucous membranes (gums, cloaca) in the first day or two will strongly support the presence of DIC.
>>Support your snake by allowing free access to water (perhaps add a small concentration of electrolytes), proper husbandry temperatures, and rest in a stress free environment. Warm water to 80F to avoid cooling the snake. Veterinary help will likely include parental fluids of a more appropriate type and supportive medications.
>>The toxicity of potential concern is a permethryn if I'm not mistaken (and I probably spelled it wrong). This type of chemical definately can cause neurological symptoms but has been treated successfully. Hatchlings and small reptiles are most likely to be "overdosed" and I don't recommend use for these animals unless absolutely necessary. Treatment requires the absolute removal of the toxin. At this point overall health is a priority to mite protection. If quarantine is a concern for your current collection (as it should be with any new addition), keep the enclosure in a different room on the opposite side of the house if possible. Treatment is supportive in allowing the animal to metabolise and/or excrete the toxin. To do this the animal must be optimally, or even slightly hyper-hydrated. See the treatment advice for overheating.
>>Trauma to the head might explain the behavior. This of course could be caused by handling or being caught in the lid of the container during the many possible handlings at a reptile show. While probing can definately cause problems, I wouldn't expect anything above the tail region to be affected (unless the restrainer caused damage elsewhere). While the tail may have been damaged, the tail behavior may also be explained by whatever neurological problem is present.
>>The problem with such small animals is that diagnostics and sampling are very difficult. Still, X-rays or other imaging if available would be a good idea and might prove revealing. I doubt enough blood could be taken to test for a toxicity, but important values (especially in regards to heat stroke) like the PCV, and total protein, and cell count and integrity can be measured. If such a concern as intracranial pressure is present, then drugs like Mannitol are available to treat the problem. Heparin might be needed to battle DIC if suspected. These are just examples of what a vet might be considering for your snake's condition. As always, having a vet experienced with reptiles is an asset.
>>For you, you face the decision of facing this yourself, or getting the help of your veterinarian. Either way, at some point, you need to address the quality of life of the snake. Is it improving? Does it look like it will have a good quality of life? Is euthanasia a good idea at this time?
>>I hope this helps a bit, good luck!

T.J. Gould


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