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Back from the Vet: Puffing Recap and Other Questions!

Discussion in 'Green Tree Pythons' started by Ralisk, Aug 11, 2012.

  1. Ralisk

    Ralisk Member

    Hey guys, so I took my snake to the vet. She wasn't incredibly knowledgeable about green tree pythons so we compared notes on what we knew. She said he didn't have any asymmetry around his mouth and face and his eyes looks alert (which are typical signs of an RI, this I didn't know.) and he didn't seem to be swelling at all, no bubbling or popping from him either so she didn't prescribe any antibiotics yet. She did say that his skin looked a little off and he had some missing scales which is a sign of incorrect humidity and or heat. She said that sometimes these guys actually do well with a lot less humidity....which I wasn't ready to agree with, but I think I will try lowering for a while and seeing how his skin changes.

    Before I got him he was kept in a very tiny cage so I think he was stressed out and getting sick in there and now that he is in a better environment he can stretch out at night and is drying out his cold.

    In other news I saw him poop for the first time! What an odd sight, stretching out his tail and pooping and then cleaning himself afterwards, and we weighed him at 540grams. Is this a good weight for a biak at 1 year old? anyone familiar with that?
    Also it took him 5 days to poop, is this normal? If I feed him in 2 days which is what I've been recommended that seems pretty close to power feeding to me.
    Thanks for reading my wall of text, lol.
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Thats a new one on me!
    As far as I know the only outward signs of a RI would be the wheezing and bubbling with excess mucus. I am not sure why she thinks it would effect the shape of the mouth. That would be more in line with mouthrot.
  3. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    Hey it's good to hear he's doing well.

    I think one of the mistakes made may not be with high humidity but keeping the enclosure wet and spraying the animal everyday. For it to be humid it really doesn't have to be wet. If you spray it should be done early enought that the enclosure can dry before all the heat is off for the night. At night the humidity should drop naturally and I believe maintaining a natural cycle in humidity and light works best for them. The real expert has not been around lately, but that would be my opinion on it. Maybe when she comes back she'll be able to give better info.

    As for the weight, he seems to be doing well, but not sure about one year. Biaks are the larger of Green trees and usually get much bigger. Are you sure you have a male, could be a female. Being sexed should wait till they're a year old so it must have been done recently or it may be older then what was said. 540 seems a large for 1 year on a male. Females around that age are around 200g. just what I've seen... As for feeding they tend to have a lower metabolism so watch how often you feed, it's not so healthy for them to feed too often. 10-14 days seems reasonable
  4. Ralisk

    Ralisk Member

    Yeah I've never heard of that either Merlin. He pooped again last night, like 4 big clumps. So he pooped 2 days ago and again today, I'm thinking him being in the little cage with the previous owners didn't allow him to move around enough and so he never got his bowels moving. The previous owners were feeding him 2 adult mice once a week, is this too much for a 1 year old?
  5. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    I've never heard of those things being symptoms of an RI.
    If you don't have it already, get a copy of "The More Complete Chondro" by Greg Maxwell -- it is the bible of GTP ownership.
    I guess I missed your original post about the symptoms of the chondro: missing scales can be caused by a number of things -- our males have a tendency to damage the scales on the top of their snouts... which grow back but usually grow back with yellow instead of green scales.
    540 grams seems like a decent weight for a 1 year old. Our babies are Sorongs and 1.5 years and I'm pretty sure only the two females have that kind of weight, the males a bit less.
    What is your humidity level? We try to keep ours at around 80% or above.
    How are you heating the enclosure?
    What sort of substrate/plants do you have in there?
    (If this info is in another thread, someone can maybe link me to that: I'm currently dog-sitting in California and don't have a whole lot of time online.)
    If you snake is not bubbling mucus out of it's nose or mouth -- it probably doesn't have a cold. Sometimes our snakes have been known to "whistle" just before a shed-- I think it's just the loosening skin that catches the air in a funny way. As soon as they shed, the sound disappears.
    Get Greg Maxwell's book, it may save you A LOT of money going to an incompetent vet!!! The only thing we use a vet for now, is for sending in stool samples -- or one time when my boa tore her side open on a wire lamp cage, she had to be stitched.
    Good luck.
    I wouldn't call myself an "expert" (Joey calls me one) but I do have some experience. We currently have 6 adult GTPs and 5 babies left out of a 12 baby clutch we bred and raised.
  6. Ralisk

    Ralisk Member

    Hey Blackjack, nice to meet you. I saw your reply to the other thread, thanks for your input.
    It's good to know his weight is about right, maybe a little high from over feeding from the previous owner. I am going to reduce him down to one mouse and see how he does. Our humidity falls to 40 over night and we bring it up to 80 or so during the day with a humidifier and watch it steadily go back down to 40 and then raise it again. You think I should keep it at 80 most of the time? If so I will switch to spraying him and his cage good and maybe run the humidifier less and see how his skin changes.
    How you described the hissing is what he does. He does it when we disturb him or when he's out climbing around, his body does the muscle contraction thing too. It's like a hiss but much shorter.
    For substrate we currently have AstroTurf which doesn't hold in moisture, which is why we got it so it won't build up any germs, we have to spray a lot more to hold in moisture but I like that better than the humidity hanging out high all the time.
    I'll be picking up Gregs book later this week!
    The previous owner told us that a breeder to hold what to look for to tell if it's a male or not. I'm not sure how she checked, maybe with his shedding or maybe she did prod him, but it could very well be a female for all I know.
    Thanks for your information again!
  7. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    You're welcome... at about this age, males will sometime shed "sperm plugs" (it looks like two long brown strings on either side of the vent on the shed skin.) If you see those, you definitely have a male. Here's a pic of what they look like:

    Other signs are activity. Our two females babies practically NEVER move from one spot! (only during shedding.) The males, on the other hand, climb all over the place at night!! Males defecate much more often too.
    When we put Gollum into a bigger terrarium it was difficult to keep the humidity up without live plants... but the plants I bought had a bunch of those little black flies, so I had to take them out and treat the soil. In the meantime, I just took a low tupaware dish without the lid and filled it with humus soil (you can also use sphagnum moss. I just kept the soil moist in that container and it will help keep the humidity up.
    If you have a fogger, those things can cool the temperature quite a lot... I don't like them because they also can breed bacteria.
    We spray our babies, and the perches/plants etc as needed to keep the humidity up around 75% or higher. It will drop to 50-60% at night, but it shouldn't go too far below that for extended periods of time.
    Good luck! Let me know if you have any questions.

    Attached Files:

  8. PMC

    PMC Well-Known Member

    Do you like the automatic misters? I am working on future plans for a GTP and figured an automatic mister set to mist out toward the center of the cage, covering a lot of the foliage and the snake every morning may fit with what I have read about their needs. I have read that the water should be warm as well, but I would worry about bacterial growth with warm water... whatcha think?

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