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Help! Weird Odd Unusual

Discussion in 'Pituophis (Pines, Bulls, Gophers)' started by Murder Serpent, Jan 9, 2009.

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  1. Murder Serpent

    Murder Serpent Elite Member

    Ok I have a wild caught pacific gopher snake male that I've had since it was a hatchling, he's about 3 ft now and has never refused a meal.

    I Keep him in a cage with another wild caught female that has never refused a meal and I've had her for over a year. She's still eating like a champ btw.

    Here's the problem he has stopped eating for the last couple weeks and I saw him throw up a water-luggie type ooze.

    Is he sick??? He has proper under cage heating on the right end of his cage so I don't think its a temp issue. I used nature zone worm guard a few months ago on all my snakes just as a precaution. So I'm at a loss.

    Water regurge?!?! I've seen him drink water since, even water treated with exo terra eletrod3ize.

    He still wont eat. This is driving me nuts and I'm broke so a vet visit is out of the question.
  2. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    well, if he is sick (which from the sounds of it he is) you need to separate him from the female, so she doesn't get whatever he has (she may already).

    Maybe someone here has had a similar experience, and can share some advice. Cross your fingers.

    An under tank heater will head the substrate, but if ambient air temp is inadequate, you have set your snake up to get respiratory infections. If he has one of those, it is unlikely he will survive without the assistance of a vet.
  3. Murder Serpent

    Murder Serpent Elite Member

    Thank you for the help! I hope you're wrong about the grave diagnosis!
  4. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    It may or may not be respiratory at all - I have null experience with that. I hope I'm wrong too, but those infections are not something to gamble with, as many of them are resistant - they can mutate and become immune to the antibiotics used against them.

    Hopefully, someone can give you a better answer, but I'd still advise finding a way to get your snake to a vet. Beg, borrow or do excessive amounts of chores. whatever you have to do.
  5. Murder Serpent

    Murder Serpent Elite Member


    I'm 24 with 4 kids of my own so moneys tight to say the least.

    I am going to quarantine some snakes now.
  6. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    get them onto newspaper or paper towels, get temps up, watch for discharge from nose or mouth, listen for wheezing, gurgling or popping sounds.

    If you have to, you can wrap tanks with towels or blankets to help insulate them.

    I know the tight money feeling - but I keep an emergency fund for my animals. Started doing that after my first $300 vet trip. Wasn't going to leave myself unprepared for a repeat episode.
  7. Murder Serpent

    Murder Serpent Elite Member

    Oh I've been looking out for those symptoms, none thankfully.

    I'm wondering if he for some reason ate a piece of aspen or drank it from his water bowl (they love to thrash the cage up).

    I hope he's not impacted.
  8. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    well, a paper towel substrate (or something similarly simple) will help you monitor his defecation. Last I knew, odd regurgitation were not a symptom of impaction. Watch your snakes for several weeks to several months. Cold-blooded things often take longer to show serious signs of disease.

    (Standard quarantine at the zoo where I work is 90 days for herps)
  9. Murder Serpent

    Murder Serpent Elite Member

    The problem is if I put him in quarantine he wont have much heat but maybe a reptile light bulb above one side of a smaller plastic breeder box. He'd probably shut down on eating at that point and I'll be even more worried. I didn't really plan on wintering him this year...
  10. Murder Serpent

    Murder Serpent Elite Member

    Can illness like that spread to other cages even if they are separated by about a foot? Airborne snake sars yikes!
  11. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I'd be wary of keeping the cages that close - Be very careful to wash everything thoroughly so you don't inadvertently spread anything between the cages. I hope this turns out to be just some odd fluke of nature.
  12. Murder Serpent

    Murder Serpent Elite Member

    Still not eating but doesn't seem "ill", the female is still eating well..

    I think it has something to do with the temps. If he dies, he dies. I can find a dozen pac. gophers on any day of the summer.

    Sucks to pay money to feed one for so long and then this.
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I would bump up the heat a few degrees and see if that helps.
    So let me understand this, because you didn't have to pay anything for it, its life is worthless?
    Except for that money YOU had to put out to feed it?
    Thats an interesting philosophy since the snake didn't ask for you to take it into captivity.
    Nothing like the old "Who cares if it dies. I can get another one" attitude!
  14. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    Snakes cannot digest properly with low temps. The process of eating a mouse or rat is really a race against time, as it starts to turn rancid immediately inside the snake. Higher temps will speed digestion. If a snake eats and then is exposed to cool temps, he will probably regurgitate or vomit.
    Or the insecticide might have got into his system when he drank and caused him to vomit.
    I'd keep him separate from your female for now, just to be able to monitor who has defecated, regurged or whatever.
    Good luck.
  15. Murder Serpent

    Murder Serpent Elite Member

    I don't believe in disposable snakes period. I often take in snakes that people want to kill, release or simply are too lazy to take care of. In fact yesterday I was given a 20 yr old cal-king that's been blind for about 5 yrs. I didn't take this gopher snake out of the wild, someone else did and then didn't want it anymore.

    I simply can't afford a vet visit.

    To be honest I would only pay those kind of fees to treat my pair of green rat snakes or my T+ SD gopher snakes.

    P.S. when he stopped eating, they had the hottest heating pad I own, I just checked it and it's cold and broken. I also replaced the day light bulb with a cold energy saving bulb. This might all be cleared up very soon.
  16. briana1399

    briana1399 Elite Member

    You shouldn't pick favorites, it's hard but still. All I can say im move up the temperature keep the male and female seperate.
  17. Murder Serpent

    Murder Serpent Elite Member

    Everyone has favorites. I'm not some hippie saint trying to save every animal instead of paying the rent. I do the best I can.
  18. Og_

    Og_ Elite Member

    Live within your means. I don't know what else to say. No one person can save every animal.
  19. nicole

    nicole Elite Member

    Find a rescue who is willing to put in the time and money to rehab that snake.
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