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Post-vet visit - swollen boa jaw? PIC

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Posted by: AnnaCB at Thu Jan 13 21:11:13 2011  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by AnnaCB ]  

I am cross posting the following from the boa forum as I feel I might get more timely advice here, and I am honestly scared.
Below are the two messages so far, starting with the one from two/three days ago:

I have a BCI of approximately 5-6 years of age, currently about five feet, rescued from somebody's driveway close to five years ago. She has been healthy as a horse the entire time and has received a few vet checks since being picked up.

I got home from work yesterday, and her lower jaw was HUGELY swollen. It was sticking out from beyond the top jaw line by about half an inch all around, the flesh inside the mouth could be seen, and I was unsure of how the hell she could still be breathing. She could move, she was breathing, and she could still flick her tongue out somewhat although she couldn't come close to closing her mouth. No discharge, no breaks in the skin, no redness in the mouth flesh, just huge swelling around and below the jaw.

I freaked a bit (understandably, I think) and took her to a local vet. The odd thing is, by the time I got her to the vet, her lower jaw/chin/jowl area looked slightly less swollen than when I first got home. I spent a decent amount of cash, got x-rays taken, and the vet said her lower jaw seemed a little too 'mobile' even for a snake, and decided the most likely cause was a jaw fracture. All the time I was there, it seemed like the swelling was going down slightly as she moved around a bit.

No abcesses presented, no growths, no nothing under the jaw.

Anyway, to try and cut a long story short, I was sent home with some anti-inflammatory medicine (Metacam) to provide each day, and a hilarious-looking jaw splint on my snake. I woke up today, and she had unsurprisingly rubbed off all splinting materials and had knocked over her water dish doing so.

Her mouth looks almost normal today, but I'm not sure if it was the medicine, or if there's something else that was going on. I'll be going back to the vet to see about other ridiculous splint options today until I hear if there might be something else going on here.

Info about her keeping:
Currently in a glass terrarium (soon to be in a boaphile type cage), it and water dish cleaned often.
NEVER eats live, so a bite is not the cause.
Temps are kept standard for a BCI, might drop slightly below ideal at night due to poor insulation in our house and the crappy heat-retaining properties of glass.

I DID change my food source recently, getting my frozen rats from a new person. Not sure if that could affect anything.

Here's the post from today containing an update and a pic:

I'm still really not liking this.
His facial swelling went down, but when I gave him his anti-inflammatory meds this evening via a needleless syringe as I have been each night, his face began swelling after he'd been handled. I also noticed that the flesh inside his mouth is much lighter than normal- though there is still no discharge or breaks; nothing even remotely suggesting mouthrot.

COULD this be a fracture that's only presenting swelling when it is physically manipulated? I'm worried that giving him the meds is harming his face worse.

What the hell else could this be?
If it IS a fracture, what can I do? I'm waiting for the vet to get some more input from others, but in the meantime I'm nervous that I'll wake up to a dead snake.

Here's a quick pic of the swelling that's coming up, not even remotely as massive as the first night but you can likely see what I mean; the underjaw is swelling and the mouth doesn't close all the way.

---------I could REALLY use some input.


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