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Sick Snake

Discussion in 'Snakes - General' started by JJJ, Mar 9, 2016.

  1. JJJ

    JJJ New Member

    Hey all :) My name is Jessica, we've had a corn snake (she is about 4 years old) for about a year now. All has gone great, until recently. For the past few months she has developed what looks like "mouth rot" (brown stuff around her mouth, under her chin, her nostrils are dry and crusty). She is in a 20 gallon tank, aspen shavings, low humidity per the vet, heating pad under one side, lamp on top, eats 1 small mouse a week, sheds about monthly with no problem.

    We took her to the vet, she was prescribed oral antibiotics (boy was THAT fun). Didn't do anything to help it seems, on the vet re-check, she was then prescribed injected antibiotics, so I inject her every 5 days.

    One thing the vet noticed that seemed to concern her the most, was that her scales are becoming "feathered" looking. Almost like injuries to her scales, some missing, some are flaky looking. She is thinking it may be something we can't do much about, treatment wise. :(

    The symptoms have only become worse as the vet feared (she mentioned "maybe a metabolic disease"). Obviously we want to figure out what's going on, and will see the vet for a 4th time here soon. Do you have any thoughts or ideas? This seemingly happened out of nowhere. She is eating/eliminating fine, acting fine other than just the past few days seeming lethargic, but she's about to shed. She's also refused to eat this week, so I guess she is no longer acting fine as she had been.

    Any ideas at all?
  2. GitaBooks

    GitaBooks Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry to hear that. I certainly hope she gets better soon.

    Our Corn Snake got the same brown appearance on his scales but he shed out of it. It could be the infection is getting worse because of the environment. Your snake could be affected by something you don't even know. Clean the cage and put down a new substrate (something you know won't cause problems. Avoid cedar or pine chips just to be careful). Clean the water dish well, disinfect the whole cage, replace any branches and make sure they are free of chemicals. Rinse the entire cage, again, make sure there are no chemicals that could be causing the issue. Check to see you aren't spraying anything near the cage that could be affecting her. You could even try getting a different food source.

    Offer a clean, moist hide and leave the rest of the cage dry. The moist hide will help during shedding, which is how a snake gets rid of skin issues. When the shed comes off clean the cage again. Perhaps try soaking her in a bucket and then gently drying her and returning her to the cage.

    If your vet is not a reptile expert you could search for another. Get a sample taken from your snake and have it tested to see if it is fungal or bacterial. The more you know the more you rule out. That is why you change up the cage so much, make it simple, then you can rule out it being anything that your snake is rubbing up against, soaking in, eating, ect.

    Also, make sure the cage is properly warm under the basking spot (but also has a cool end) so that your snake can have a better immune system to fight off any problems.

    If she is nearing shedding that may be a cause for the lack of appetite. Spring is around the corner and this may also affect whether she eats or not.

    Again, I hope she gets better soon. Best of luck!
    JJJ likes this.
  3. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, can you put a few photos up of the snake`s mouth (if you take a larger pic crop it to zoom right in).
    Has the vet taken a swab from the mouth and can you tell me the antibiotic being administered (I`ll guess Baytril)?
    If she`s starting to shed the skin that might explain not eating this week?
  4. JJJ

    JJJ New Member

    Thank you! I will take pictures tonight and check out the medication label that we're injecting. Such great ideas, thank you!!

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