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Kind of Graphic... and I'm Very Upset :(

Discussion in 'Burmese Pythons' started by AjaMichelle, Feb 17, 2012.

  1. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    I have had the flu for almost two weeks and am finally feeling better. I was doing the bare minimum with respect to herp maintenance while I was ill, and spent part of today catching up. I started with Monty's enclosure and was horrified by what I found.

    Monty is covered in wounds!

    I checked him over on Feb 7 just before I fed him the Flemish giant and he was a little "dirty" but fine otherwise. He pooped last on Jan 27 when I posted my thread about soapy snakes. I did wipe him down but was unable to clean him up completely because the poo was really caked on. I thought that this was a fluke poo incident, and that shedding would take care of it.

    Well he pooped in his water box at some point in the last week, and passed some urates on the tile. When I cleaned them up today, I found larvae. :( His urates were moldy and moving! I found scales caked on the walls and blood on some of the tiles.

    There was a puddle on the floor of the enclosure, and you can imagine how everything smelled. A snake buddy who was over hanging out took care of his water box for me because I couldn't deal with it.

    After cleaning, I took Monty out of his holding box to give him a bath and realized the extent of the damage. My camera died so I was only able to take a few pics on a phone, but he superficially skinned many of his scales. And he's worn down his spurs considerably. I have seen him sort of "walking" his back end around using his spurs and I believe this to be the cause of the degeneration.

    Can someone tell me if they'll come back as he sheds? :( They're just nubs right now.

    This is the first bath I have given him and he got so excited I had to use my snake hook to control him at first. I wiped him down gently with a sponge but didn't use any soap. He wouldn't let me or the friend who was helping me touch his vent. He was reacting like it was possibly painful. My friend was able to get a look inside though and said that it looked fine, and he didn't see any inflammation or wounds. I am hypothesizing that he might have some muscle strain and this could be the cause of the pain. Some of the scales around his vent are scabby but it's just dirty for the most part.

    IMAG0088.jpg


    IMAG0087.jpg


    His Vent:
    IMAG0086.jpg


    Monty's enclosure has very little ventilation and very high humidity (upwards of 80% throughout). It's typically vented when I feed, clean, and handle, which I do throughout each week. His enclosure has essentially been sealed for the last ten days.
    I think these wounds were caused by a combination of factors. I think Monty made a mess leaving his water box, resulting in a puddle. He was probably lying in the puddle and in the dirty water in his box and I would guess his scales were soaked and didn't dry due to the high humidity. Then he scraped himself while moving along the walls.

    I am so upset because this happened in a matter of days. I am scared that all of the work I have put into caring for Monty will be undone. He came to me with scale rot and it took multiple sheds and lots of cleaning and attention to finally alleviate it. :(

    My possible solution includes several components. I am going to vent his enclosure several times a day until I am able to add another hole for air circulation. He's getting a new water box on Sunday. He'll be without one until then, but he should be fine because he's well-hydrated. Removal of his box should drop the humidity to about 60%. After he recovers (*fingers crossed*) I will add some pine substrate, to make it easier for him to move around. I also scrubbed most of the enclosure with a snake safe detergent, and sprayed all the walls, the floor, and the door with chlorhexidine (Nolvasan). I think the bath today was helpful too because the water was an obvious yellow afterwards.

    I am also considering an antiseptic soak.

    My vet will be in tomorrow, and I'm going to call her to cover all my bases.

    Does anyone halve any other suggestions?

    My thermometer is set to 85*F and when I check the surface temps under the heat panel, my temp gun reads 90*F.
     

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  2. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Sorry to hear about Monty! :(
    Wish I could help, best of luck with the vet!
     
  3. Evozakira

    Evozakira Elite Member

    Oh my :( poor Monty! Hope he gets better Aja!
     
  4. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    Thank you! Hopefully we won't have to go in. :(
     
  5. BarelyBreathing

    BarelyBreathing Elite Member

    Good luck, Monty!
     
  6. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    the worst 'rescue' I ever took in seems to relapse from time to time. She frequently has complications stemming from previous problems, even if I have not seen them in months or years. Granted, she is a CWD, but perhaps pythons are prone to similar issues.
     
  7. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    I would definitely do an antibiotic soak, at least once a week to help with the scale rot.
     
  8. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    You could also use paper towel or newspaper temporarily if you don't want loose substrate getting in his wounds. The spurs will probably not grow back, but I doubt he really needs them, unless you plan to breed him. My BP "Monty" tore one of his out during a shed; he seems fine without it.
    Keep the temps up: that will boost his immune system.
    It sounds like you have a good plan of action! Keep us posted on his recovery!
    PS-- glad you are feeling better, at least!! :)
     
  9. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    I was wondering if there's anything you could do to add a little air flow? Is it possible to drill even a few holes somewhere to add air flow? Even my GTPs drop humidity a bit at night. It allows things to dry off a little and it's more of a natural cycle for them. It may help to keep things a bit more dry while he recovers. Good luck Aja and keeps us posted on what happens.
     
  10. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    I agree with what everyone else has said. I think your plan of action and I think he will be fine. One thing I definitely NEED to tell you...right now you are feeling like ****, because you were feeling like **** from the flu and one of your snakes suffered for it. What happened, happened and can not be changed. It SUCKS the big one and if you were not feeling like **** right now I would be the very first one to say Monty was in the wrong home. However, I feel you are doing an AWESOME job with him and his life is much improved because of YOU!!!! PLEASE, stop beating yourself up, you were SUCK with the flu for such a long time. You are better now and you can now focus on improving his life again. Believe me--he is aware you care for him. Give him a pat and a kiss from me! STOP FEELING GUILTY, PLEASE! ;)
     
  11. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    I noticed my words were *'d out... I promise I was very family friendly in what I typed. I apologize for the confusion, I typed (C*R*A*P), nothing more. :)
     
  12. Kernel

    Kernel Elite Member

    I typed that too and it censored it. I edited my post cause I didn't want someone to think I was cussing lol.
     
  13. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Poop happens!
     
  14. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    Yes I can definitely drill some holes, I just have to get the bit that will allow me to drill through concrete. I'm expecting to pick it up tomorrow.

    I had some holes drilled before this happened but apparently not enough to dry the enclosure while I wasn't opening it.

    Thank you so much! I decided to post this because I learned a really important lesson from it. I thought it took long periods of time (weeks or months) for this type of scale damage to occur. That is not the case, as this happened in less than a week.

    I have recovered, and am working on helping Monty recover too.

    I feel the worst about his spurs. They were intact just before this. :(
    I definitely don't plan to breed him.
    Thanks! :)
     
  15. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    No one that knows you would blame you for anything. If anything time and time again you've shown amazing care for your animals and have brought them back from bad conditions. As David said don't blame yourself and now that you're feeling better you can help Monty out like we all know you can. Glad to hear you're doing better!
     
  16. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    Thanks!
    His humidity has dropped and his scales look a lot better. I'm going to take him out later and clean him up with some Chlorhexidine soap. I'll post some pics illustrating the extent of the damage. Luckily this all looks really superficial.
     
  17. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    It's great that you can show everyone here how quickly something like that can develop! It shows that although snakes IMO are among the most low-maintenance pets, stuff can happen if they are left unattended for even a week!

    Don't worry about the spurs. I was horrified when I saw the blood and noticed that my Monty had caught and ripped his spur completely out. The tear healed up and he doesn't seem to miss it. Here's my post with the pic. He has/had VERY long curved spurs, that can easily get caught on something...
    http://www.herpcenter.com/ball-pythons/34918-bloody-shed.html

    I wish you and your Monty both a speedy and complete recovery!! :)
     
  18. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    Good to know it may not be as bad!
     
  19. AjaMichelle

    AjaMichelle Elite Member

    Monty's wounds look much better, especially his cloaca. I wasn't able to get another photo of it, but I did get one of his underside.
    These are some photos from his bath. I cleaned the abrasions with a Chlorhexidine soap, and disinfected his enclosure again.

    He's getting ready to shed! :)
    P2190621.jpg

    P2190622.jpg

    P2190623.jpg

    Soaking his eyes
    P2190624.jpg

    His underside, you can see his scales are torn.
    P2190625.jpg
     

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  20. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Hope Monty's shed goes well and he continues to improve! You're such a good mom:)
     

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