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The bf of "Countessnaamah", more details

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Posted by: Deathstalker at Tue Apr 13 01:19:49 2010  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by Deathstalker ]  

Yes, hello. My name is Timothy, the boyfriend of "Countessnaamah" whom made this initial post, and I just wanted to add/adjust a detail or two of her post.

First, yes, it was a 2-hour ride home heading south then west towards a sun soon to set, and it was shining through the windshield (= greenhouse effect) most of that ride and onto the little '09 Desert King sitting in its container on my girlfriend's lap with not enough shavings to escape under from a possible overwhelming heat.

The movement didn't actually stop when We got home; rather, it stopped only an hour tops from when We left - he was quite active for the first half hour, and looking back, almost like he was trying to escape possible excessive heat to which I am frustrated at myself for my 18 years of experience being completely oblivious to this! Anyway, his head was drooped over his body the latter half of the ride, being totally motionless, and I was becoming more & more concerned and of wonder the nearer to home We came to be.

When We got home, "Speckles" We called him, was alive and seemingly okay though not moving enough to me, and as my girlfriend stated, she filled the bathroom sink up with some water and held him up to it, in which he drank heavily for a good 20-30 seconds. We put him in an enclosure which a previous '09 baby We purchased in November was inhabiting, but placing new bark & spraying with Provent-a-Mite, and cleaning the cage furniture in simple tap water (no soap or anything) with a sponge and fingernail brush. We put him in, and he was good for the rest of the night.

Yesterday (Monday) morning--approximately a half hour after the light would've turned on--and at night after the lights had gone off, the quirky movements addressed by my girlfriend were taking place. He was making "thrashing"/jerky/snappy head movements, often towards his neck, the mouth occasionally (snapping) agape...almost as though something was on him, like an 'itch.' The tail also twitched and curled, especially when (even softly) touched. It kind of looked like a baby copperhead or southern hognose snake using its tail as a lure for anurans, but I'm pretty certain Desert Kings don't have that in their nature, especially since their tails aren't discoloured. And the tail issue...

...could lead to a second possibility of this concerning behavior: an improper probing. The gentleman at the reptile show We bought Speckles from wasn't comfortable with popping, but the probing wasn't proving easy neither. NOTE: We know of at least one person (a child a half-hour earlier or so) who held the snake although he was very gentle, but at a reptile show--and being the specimen at top--who knows how many people held him, and...perhaps this caused stress/trauma? I know I'm mixing two topics/theories into one paragraph here, but I suppose I'm suggesting the possibility of the probing adding to possible stress/trauma (though I don't see how the above-mentioned quirky movements would come from that) or, if done improperly, could be causing this behaviour in Our little, new addition...?

NOTE: When I hold Speckles for a bit--a few mintes perhaps--he calms down, kind of like after his half-hour of 'racing around' in his container on the way home...almost as though he's chilly, thus these quirky movements (= 'reverse reaction' from possibly being too warm, and now sensitive to either temperature extreme), and though he drinks every time he's put near a bowl or crawls to it himself, he will--even after holding him for a few minutes to where he calms down--starts to act up again, like he needs the water, but it chills him down at the same time...? During the heat of the day yesterday--ALL day--he was completely normal, under the inch or so of Repti-Bark substrate, occasionally changing positions slightly which is natural and normal (= good). And NOTE that it was after the lights went out, that he became 'wacky.'

What do You think???

The only other theory of slight possibility for this quirky behaviour is possibly spraying too much Provent-a-Mite (which I have been using for years, DO note, and with babies, too, such as the one that was inhabiting Speckles' enclosure before him) and/or not letting it sit long enough. (Of course, I spray with the inhabitant(s) NOT in the enclosure!) It is a 5 1/2-gallon aquarium, in which even a few jets of this stuff can make for thickly toxic air, thus needs to be aired out thoroughly which I am always conscious of doing, but I suppose anyone can slip... :/

Still, I am quite confident this is NOT the issue; however, I will be thoroughly cleaning his enclosure again today after I get up from sleep--currently, it is after 2 AM I am writing this, heh--using new bark sprayed with Provent-a-Mite a little more lightly, and NOT in the little enclosure - I will spray within a bigger container, more "open." I will also use a 'fresh' sponge for wiping the glass sides.

Please - ANYbody and EVERYbody, ANY and ALL input is welcomed. I have kept snakes for 18 years (since 11/21/91), but even the most experienced keepers keep learning, and they make mistakes and even suffer losses. SO...yeah, I've humbled myself and can use help right about now. We may have only had this snake for a day, but every life matters to Us, and THIS one is in OUR hands! We have already become attached, and I/We will take every measure feasible to ensure its comfortable survival.


>>I bought an '09 Desert Kingsnake yesterday at a reptile expo. I have only been keeping snakes since November, so I don't know everything there is to know about them obviously. But this is my third snake, and third kingsnake.
>>Anyway...the car ride home was about two hours. It was from about 4PM to 6PM. The sun was shining in the car most of the time. The snake was in a round plastic container, and I was holding it in my lap. I think he may have gotten too warm. He was very active in the plastic container. I should have paid more attention, and I feel very stupid. When we got home, his movement stopped. I thought since he had gotten too warm he may have been thirsty, so I filled the bathroom sink with a bit of water, and held him up to it so he could drink since I hadn't set up his tank yet. He drank the water for about 30 seconds.
>>He seemed fine the rest of the day. But today when I woke up I noticed he was acting weird. Thrashing around uncontrollably with his mouth open. My boyfriend took him out and held him for a few minutes, then he calmed down and acted perfectly normal so he put him back. That was around 9 AM. I left for work around 10:30. When I got home around 8 PM, I saw that he was thrashing around again with his mouth open. I tried holding him, as that had calmed him down earlier, but he won't stop moving.
>>Does this sound like heat stroke, or could it be something else? Anyone have any experiences with behavior like this?
T.J. Gould


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