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Great Timing for Eye Infection!

Discussion in 'Kingsnakes' started by Dragoness, Feb 25, 2011.

  1. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    My milk snake's last few sheds were a bit tattered,, so when he went opaque a week ago, I ramped up his humidity a little more than normal.

    This morning when I checked on him, he appears to have a subspectacular abscess (panophthalmitis) in a very bad way. I called all the local vets, and so far, the soonest available appointment is Tuesday. I'm waiting to hear back from one that said they may be able to get me in on Monday. Keeping my fingers crossed. Apparently enucleation (eye removal) is the most common procedure.... Not looking forward to this, oh, and my moving truck is arriving on Wednesday. I may end up having to board the snake here in FL (either with the clinic, or with someone I trust) and have him shipped once he is better. I'm going to have to wait and see what the vet recommends. If his eye can be saved, I'd prefer to keep it, even if he can survive without it.

    He hasn't shed yet - still opaque. Sometimes, infections like this occurring during a shed can look worse than they are because the spectacle is loosened, and excess fluid can accumulate between the layers just prior to shedding. I'm hoping that this is a bunch of panic over something much simpler. Call me paranoid.

    Everything I have read about it in the meantime leads me to believe that the excessive moisture provided a breeding ground for bacteria or fungus, and led to an infection (it can get to the eye via the lacrimal ducts. I have already checked his mouth for signs of stomatitis, which thankfully, are absent so far. The vet advised a betadine rinse daily for his mouth to keep the infection from spreading that far.) His cage is normally pretty clean - he lives in a plastic bin, with a carpet substrate. Everything gets cleaned with bleach weekly, or when it is soiled, whichever is soonest. There have been days his bin was cleaned twice because he seems to prefer to defecate on a fresh carpet. I'm really thorough with cleaning because I have a very acute sense of smell, and cannot stand any odor in my cages, or my house. Even if the carpet/cage isn't soiled, if it sits for too long, it gets a musty/mildewy smell that I can't stand from the humidity in the cage, despite the ventilation (which is about to get increased.)

    Getting his mouth open is fun - none of my current tricks work - not the spatula or credit card. Anyone have any other ideas? I can open my large boas mouth, but this little guy is shut up tighter than a clams ***. It's gonna be hard to flush him with anything if I can't get his mouth open.
  2. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Well, I hope it's nothing to serious Jen! Good Luck getting his mouth to open for you. Wish it was as easy as just saying aahhh!
  3. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    It looks pretty gruesome (pics coming) but there is a slight chance it's just water that has accumulated between the eye cap that is about to shed, and the actual eye. The vet did manage to squeeze me in first thing Monday Morning.
  4. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member


    The 'balloon' itself is clear, but the flash from the camera makes it look funny. refraction I think, since it is full of fluid.

    He is about to shed - I'm not sure what to expect (you can see a patch just behind his head starting to loosen up.)

    Gruesome. I hope we can save his eye.

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  5. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    At least it doesn't look thick and oozy, look pretty clear! Glad you were able to get in a little sooner!
  6. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    Aww yuck! :( I've seen that in hatchlings before, but it usually means something else when they are born with the problem! I'm sure that is uncomfortable!! I hope he gets better soon
  7. gapeachkatie

    gapeachkatie Elite Member

    Sending well wishes your way. I hope it is just because of the shed and nothing too serious. He is such a pretty fella to have to deal with that.
  8. bucher70

    bucher70 Elite Member

    There is also a procedure where a wedge inscision is made in the spectacle.It is left open do drain for a certain amount of time. How effective it is , i dont know, the procedure is explained in one of my tech books. Maybe run it past your vet to try first, then enucleate if it dosent respond well. Although cost is a consideration too.

    Hope things go well, beautiful snake.
  9. teach920

    teach920 Subscribed User Premium Member

    Oh goodness....So sorry this happened to your snake...I''m certainly praying that the eye can be saved....(I'm hoping once the shed is complete, it will indeed be a lot "less" than what it could be.)
    I'm glad to know that you could get into the vet on Monday, and hopefully this weekend will go well for both of you.
  10. blueginger

    blueginger Elite Member

    It has always been clear from your posts that you take premium care of your pets. I'm so sorry that this has happened. I hope that it clears well & monday goes as smoothly as possible. Oh, and good luck with your move.
  11. Lucysfriend

    Lucysfriend Elite Member

    Good luck Jen I hope the snakes eye will be okay.
  12. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    As of this morning, no shed yet, and the eye looks the same (no improvement, but no worsening either.) The snake is still as active and inquisitive as he always has been.

    Thanks for the suggestion - my vet is amazing, and I'm pretty sure he would at least consider it. It's a common procedure with other infections - by allowing them to drain, (Usually followed by flushing with an antiseptic or antibiotic, before allowing it to heal closed so it doesn't just re-infect. Makes perfect sense to me.
  13. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Good Luck on Monday, Sending well wishes your way and a little prayer for him also.
    Glad that he doesn't seem to be bothered by it!
  14. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    More research - a possibility is a blocked lacrimal duct - which would fill up that space with clear fluid (as it is doing).

    In some reptiles, lacrimal problems are a result of vitamin deficiency.

    Still just gotta wait and see what the vet says.
  15. LovetheBaruu

    LovetheBaruu Subscribed User Premium Member

    I think you are catching whatever Frognut has with her reptiles- if it is unusual and will drive you crazy with questions about what is wrong- one of your guys will "catch it." Good luck, I really hope it is an easy fix!!
  16. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    GOOD NEWS! (I Think!) the skin came off, and the eye looks totally normal. I'm still taking him in just in case. If I did not know it was his left eye, I would not know which eye by looking at him now. The eye is not discolored, wrinkled, swollen, or sunken at all. There is nothing at all wrong or alarming about it's appearance. And Puff appears to be hungry.

    The skin he cast off was all there, and looked normal, and had both eye caps.

    I bet he is laughing at me!

    I still want to see the vet, just in case. Still going in tomorrow. I'll sleep better once he has had a once over, and the vet can confirm it.
  17. teach920

    teach920 Subscribed User Premium Member

    VERY good to hear!!!!
  18. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Great new! Never hurts to go to the vet anyway:)
  19. Lucysfriend

    Lucysfriend Elite Member

    That is great news, let us know what the vet says. :)
  20. bucher70

    bucher70 Elite Member

    What did the vet have to say about the amazing inflating/deflating eye?

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