I started a new thread since it doesn't seem to be a skeletal issue. Does anyone else on these boards have any experience with White Muscle Disease in snakes? Mercutio is getting worse it seems. The deforming muscles are progressing. But he is still quite active and alert, so the vet doesn't think it's a nervous system problem. But he can't really be certain. Alright, so initially presenting as abnormal and fairly severe kinks in the tail, and an apparent sensitivity to the area, I took him to the vet 3-4 weeks ago to find out what was wrong. I had taken him to the local reptile shop first and the owner pointed out some abnormalities in his spine and ribs on the lower half of his body, leading him to believe this wasn't a simple break, but a bigger issue. The first vet I talked to diagnosed it, tentatively as White Muscle Disease with the possible explanation that he'd been fed pinkies without enough nutritional substance in their guts, leading to a Vitamin E deficiency, which causes White Muscle Disease. This didn't make a whole lot of sense to me since corn snakes are fed pinky mice that are just days old and can't have that much nutrients in them either. Plus, he was eating mostly mouse hoppers, which had definitely had time to eat, with a few rat pinkies. So my thinking was more along the lines of a genetic issue, wherein he in particular cannot absorb all the nutrients he needs properly. We started a 2 week course of Baytril to rule out bacterial infections (encephalitis, etc.) and then she wanted me to pump the mouse hoppers and/or rat pinkies when I fed him with science diet a/d dog food. It went well enough and he ate the first two pumped rodents in the weeks that followed. The third week came and he had started doing this strange twitching thing. The best way I can think to describe it is as a sort of full-body hiccup. Anyway, that week (which was last week, incidentally), he didn't eat. Not eating normally wouldn't concern me since he's a snake and that's what they do, but with everything going on, I was worried. Besides, he's never not eaten for me before. I was worried that he was constipated or something since he hadn't had any solid waste in at least 3 weeks. So I scheduled another vet appointment for him. It was with a different vet this time (same practice though), and this one is one of the better options for snakes in my understanding. He agreed with the White Muscle Diagnosis, but he said it was bizarre because the history is just not consistent with the disease. He said White Muscle is most commonly seen in people who breed their own rodents and overfeed them, so the snakes are then being fed obese rodents on a regular basis. This is an issue because Vitamin E is used to breakdown fats and constantly consuming obese rodents causes the snakes to deplete their Vitamin E supply and develop this condition, which typically starts from the tail and works its way up. But since Mercutio is little and has been eating mouse hoppers and rat pinkies, both of which are likely too young to be obese since all their nutrients go into growing at that stage, it just didn't make sense how he developed the condition. He talked about some other possibilities-- protozoic parasitic infections and such,-- and so we gave him some Panacur, which is basically a broad-spectrum dewormer for snakes and I should see improvement in 7-10 days IF a parasite is the issue. Otherwise, we're going to try pure Vitamin E doses to help him absorb it better. If neither of these work, a biopsy of the affected muscle tissue might need to be done, but even then, he's not sure if it would tell us much. Basically, his diagnosis was that it was very strange and he called it weird enough that it might even be worth writing a paper about. Why oh why couldn't he just have gotten a respiratory infection or something like most snakes get? Not that those are good, obviously, but at least we'd know how to go about treating it. For now he's just got the temps in his tank raised and will attempt to feed again tomorrow. Wish me luck!