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RE: Help!

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Posted by: DMong at Thu Mar 22 20:29:55 2012  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by DMong ]  

"We are back from the vet who thinks that although he is underweight his general condition is as good as any snake he has seen. He has a very clean mouth, good shiny scales and no tumours or other blockages that the vet could feel. He has prescribed critical condition liquid supplement which we will need to get tomorrow and hopefully he will pull through but we may need face the fact that it could also be age related too"

Well, it's a great move that you took it to a vet and it's body weight seems okay as well. But the part where you mention that "it's mouth is clean" is okay too, but the MOST important thing the vet should have done right off the bat was to swab the mouth and throat for microbial pathogens and/or worms as well as the fecal floatation to examine for any parasitic/microbial activity. Like I mentioned before, this is usually what the problem is 8 times out of ten with regurgitations. This can be brought on by several things, or a combination of several things.

1) too cool temperature (won't allow the snake to properly digest meals)

2) temps too warm (and snake cannot get away from the heat)

3) fouled water source or ingested fouled substrate.

It's extremely important to know that ONCE regurgitation starts, the snake loses all of the stomach acids and enzymes and electrolytes, along with good gut flora (bacteria) needed to properly digest in conjunction with temps in the low to mid 80's on belly surface to facilitate proper digestion. Once this goes out of whack, the gut needs to replenish what it lost FIRST as well as treat any pathogenic activity so it can even begin to go on and digest a meal successfully. Offering food only makes things far WORSE until the problem source is addressed. See what I mean??. This is extremely important to understand, because all the food in the world only worsens things and causes more regurges in the process of doing so if it cannot properly digest it!

If the snake has a fairly decent body weight, I would skip the liguid diet BS. The vet should be finding out what CAUSED the regurges. As stated, it is VERY likely intestinal microbial activity, or even worms of some kind along with the bad bacteria. This is what needs to be taken care of if it doesn't have any blockages as was said. It could possibly be age-related, but you have to exlude any of the other easy to deal with possibilities first and foremost.

A good move would be to print this out like you did before (which was a great move on your part), and show this to the vet.

I am betting money that it could easily be taken care of with a simple regimen of Flagyl(Metronidazole) with NO FOOD in during this time at all. I have done this several times myself when it was needed, as well as saved the lives of many other people's snakes before that were literally at death's door from regurging time and time again when they followed my instructions to the exact letter.

Here are the basic things to follow that I have posted before to others in the past:

First,….DO NOT attempt to feed it more meals until it has been looked at, I strongly suspect it has some nasty intestinal bacteria from the putrid previous meals. I would imagine a two-dose regimen of Flagyl(metronidazole) could EASILY be all that is needed here. This will kill the bad protozoa/pathogens as WELL as the GOOD bacteria that is needed for proper digestion, so STOP offering it any food until the snake has been looked at and helped. Feeding at this point will only lead to more regurges and a DEFINITE downward spiral that could easily end up killing it. Offering food at this point is the WORST thing you could do right now until you takle the intestinal problem.

Hopefully the vet will know the proper course of action, but MANY vets don't know diddly squat about reptile medicine whatsoever. The snake should get a dose of of Flagyl (Metronidazole) at the rate of 50 mg./per kg. of body weight given orally, and another follow-up dose 10 to 14 days later. NO FOOD should be offered until at LEAST a good week or so AFTER the last dose so the snake can replenish it's vital acids, electrolytes, enzymes and gut flora before being fed again. And when it IS fed again, they should be very small meals for a while to make certain they stay down and are digested properly, you cannot afford for this to happen any more whatsoever.

After several VERY small meals, you could GRADUALLY increase the size back to the size prey it was normally eating, just make sure you never offer these gigantic meals again, that is of no benefit at all, and usually only makes it tough on the snake's system as you have already found out.

Sometimes snakes develop this from fouled water too, so who knows, but I would bet a dollar to a donut some Flagyl at the proper dosing will take care of this. Flagyl is very reptile friendly too!

If the simple fecal floatation turns up intestinal worm parasites, it needs a dose of Panacur (Fenbendazole) at the rate of 100mg./kg. of body weight. Repeat in 12-14 days. Feeding it a stomach full of liquid food will only dilute any medication and make it work that much less anyway, or worse yet it will cause THAT to also be regurged because the root CAUSE was never addressed first!

Anyway, I really hope the poor snake gets better,...I really do. Best of luck, and please make sure the vet is fully aware of what I am saying here.

regards, ~Doug
"a snake in the grass is a GOOD thing"

"some are just born to troll and roll"


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