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Worried About Shiiva, Please Help?

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by TitoAndKatt, Oct 6, 2013.

  1. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    So I posted a few weeks ago that Shiiva has a nose rub. It was almost fully healed and then she shed again and it got worse. She has a raw spot and a scab on her nose. :( I was giving her daily soaks 20 min to an hour, and using silver sulfadiazine and it was improving but then she started whistling (on and off) so I made a vet appt. Earliest I can see the vet is Wed. Now I am really concerned though. Through all this she was acting totally normal and I figured it was just a nose rub from a bad shed bc it is so dry. Maybe a URI developing or perhaps a loose scale with the whistle. Now I don't know. Tonight she is acting very strangely. She is just staring at the back of her tank, and putting her nose up against the glass. She does this for a few seconds to minutes, and then moves and seems normal, then she does it again. Sometimes it is on the glass sometimes the floor. She did this for maybe 20-30 min then went back in her hide. I have never seen her do this before. I mean sometimes she would stop and look at something, but never in this weird stop and go pattern. She was kind of kinking her neck too. I took pics to show the vet, I will try to upload them later. Is this normal? My gut tells me something is wrong. Can snakes get ear infections?

    Nothing has changed in her cage (40 breeder, cage carpet, huge water dish, etc) for a very long time. She has had essentially the same set up for the last 3-4 years. Humidity wise my hygrometer died so I don't know what it WAS. We moved into my SO's parents' house this summer to save $ for school and will be here until next summer when we go to Seattle (yay for humidity in Seattle! Lol). This summer wasn't too bad but we were gone off and on all summer and had my SO's siblings watching the snakes. Well it just started to get cold so the house heat got turned on and humidity plummeted. I think this is why her last 2 sheds were so bad. I finally got a new battery for the hygrometer and found a relatively good solution for the humidity issue on the suggestion of a FB friend. Her humidity for the last week or two has been right around 60-70, higher at night when I mist. I missed 2 days but otherwise she has been getting soaks daily. Her light burnt out and I replaced it but the new bulb wasn't putting out enough heat so for the last 2 days her cage was colder than normal even with an extra lamp hood (I think it got colder in the house too), but today she got a new bulb so heat should be good. I have everything hooked up to a Zilla thermostat so in the day it shouldn't drop below 95 on her basking spot, and it usually doesn't go below 80ish at night. Other than the dead bulb issue, I have bumped her temps up a bit on the thermostat to try and give her a boost.

    Oh and RE the humidity, a wet towel over her screen wasn't enough. At my friend's suggestion I put a second wet towel in the cage under her heat lamp and that has finally brought humidity up to where it should be. I resoak the towels at night before bed and mist the cage for an extra boost. (I'll wash them weekly when I do laundry so they don't get mildewy). t has been staying nice and humid during the day, never below 56%.

    Oh, and food. She is up to XL Rats (though they don't seem any bigger than Large to be honest). I have tried to feed her more often but she will not eat more frequently than every 4 weeks. Every time I TRY to feed sooner than that (which I do frequently), she refuses. She ate about...2 weeks ago, maybe 2.5; ate the rat no problem and had a nice, healthy poop with her last shed.

    As I said I have a vet appointment on Wed. In the meanwhile, I am hoping you guys can offer some input. I am really worried about my baby. :(
  2. Zerp3D

    Zerp3D Elite Member

    Hello TitoAndKatt,

    Not sure if it's Tito or Katt, but hello to you both! Your comment about Shiiva's recent actions sparks a memory of a ball python I once knew. When you said,
    it makes me think of a bp I've met before. He was a ten or twelve year old, captive bred, and his situation/ actions were much like Shiiva's. Shiiva's tendency to put her face up against the glass could possibly be to take the condensation off of the walls of her tank, and/or she could be using the glass as a cool, smooth, surface to place her sore scales against. In my personal opinion, based off of past experience with a situation seemingly similar to this, Shiiva has a set of raw scales that didn't heal properly before shed. Check her shed and look at the condition of those specific scales: Report back. I wouldn't suggest daily soaks (Too much soaking will result in prolonged healing times: hence, what you are experiencing), but maybe a soak every 4 or 5 days would be hygienic.

    She seems to be healthy otherwise, and I believe with time and a new cleaning regimen she will heal up just fine. As far as I could tell from the pictures in your "Red Nose?" post, her heat pits and nostrils look fine (No wheezing, bubbling, popping, drooling: right?). I really don't think it is a serious problem, like URI, just some raw scales.

    I hope your visit to the vet goes well on Wednesday!

  3. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi Kitt-Katt, I think it`s usually advisable to keep wounds relatively dry (at least until they start to heal), so maybe the soaking wasn`t a great idea as far as the nose rub`s concerned?
    I also think you need to fit a solid lid to better control the conditions inside (a thin piece of plywood/similar just placed over the screen).
    It`s a good idea to keep the temps raised slightly for the time being so well done for that, at least! ;)
  4. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Zerp, I didn't think of that! That does make me feel a lot better, thank you! My brain was racing with visions of some horrible neurological problem last night! *-_-

    Stefan, the soaks aren't for healing but for hydration. After her last 2 sheds her eyes appear (still) to have retained eye caps or something. Her eyes are wrinkled and the pillowcase trick didn't do it not did the next shed. I was reading around and came across something saying they can have wrinkled eyes without retained eye caps if they are dehydrated. I figured whether it is dehydration or stuck eye caps, the soaks should help. And I actually have the humidity under control now. This house is WAY more dry than any of the apartments I have lived in, and that's bad bc it is already ridiculously dry here all the time, esp in the winter. With the two towels though her humidity is right where it should be for once! :) Just checked in a min ago and her monitor reads 98 F and 57% humidity and that is without misting the cage or re-wetting the towel since last night. All I have to do to bump it up is drizzle a little water over the top towel. I'm actually really pleased with this new method. :)

    Her nose is actually healing beautifully. It is the breathing, eyes, and her strange behavior last night that has me concerned. Her breathing issue is on and off - she makes a whistling sound when she breathes sometimes. I definitely feel a lot better about the behavior after Zerp's comment. I'll still bring it up at the vet though.
  5. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

  6. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

  7. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    For some reason the pictures all loaded sideways, which makes them look rather alarming. lol The right hand side is bottom.
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I like the red tint Kitty, very artistic (as are the pics pointing sideways)! ;)
    It`s so hard to look at a few small photos and make a judgement, I don`t really see anything too unusual? Is it possible she has some unshed skin in/around the nostrils that`s making her "whistle"?
    I`m pleased the nose is healing, and thanks for explaining the bathing was to help her shed, it`s just unfortunate that she was injured at the same time as having the shedding problems.
    Hopefully the vet won`t find anything seriously wrong, and I still think it would be better to have a solid top, Blondie..... :-"
  9. Zerp3D

    Zerp3D Elite Member

    I think we all go into "super protective, worry mode" when our pets, basically family members, act weird because of clear physical trauma. Totally understandable, we all do it. The whistling could be because of the poor shed, which would attribute more evidence towards the nose problems. If her nose is healing, then I think a normal "poor shed" process will work fine. Still bring everything up to your vet of course, because I am absolutely no professional. Just another trying to help, as best as I can, until you see the doc.

    (If I'm incorrect with my evaluations, please smack me and let me know.)
  10. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Just left the vets.
    The Vet said Shiiva is beautiful and looks good. Overall she is very healthy. <3 Yay! :) She said her nose is healing really well and we don't have to worry-worry about her eyes for 2-3 more sheds. We got an eye lubricant to help get the scales off, once a day until she is getting ready to shed and then 2-3 times a day, should help moisturize the eye caps so she can get them off. We will be getting an antibiotic for her wheezing and weird head tilt from the other night. They were out though so we will be picking them up in a few days when they get in. Going to have to inject her every 3 days. Weee! ... -_- LOL That will be an adventure. :p Poor Shiiva thought me putting SS on her nose was bad...she isn't going to like being poked! Haha
  11. Zerp3D

    Zerp3D Elite Member

    I'm very happy to hear that she is healthy over all! Woot! :D
  12. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Thanks. :)

    The antibiotics took a bit longer to get here than expected. :/ She isn't bubbling or anything though so the vet wasn't urgently concerned. I gave her her first injection of antibiotics (1 down 4 to go) tonight, it went surprisingly well. I was worried she would freak out when I stabbed her lol but she barely seemed to notice. She was more concerned with the fact that we were restraining her and thus preventing her from exploring. :p She is such a good girl. <3

    Her nose is healing beautifully too.

    And because who doesn't love pictures... ;)


  13. Zerp3D

    Zerp3D Elite Member

    She looks great! Nice and healthy. How old is she? When you get these antibiotics, are you instructed on where to stab your baby? (Does it matter, as long as its not in the head?) She was probably like, *Needle poke* "Hey! I thought you were just going to keep me from slithering away. I'm cool with that. But, noooo, you have to stab me... Love you, too!" Again, I'm glad to see that her nose is doing better, and that you're no longer stressin' over "neurological problems". :p
  14. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Oh of course they told me where to poke her, and walked me through how to do it. lol The injection is given in the upper third of her body between the spinal ridge and the muscle bulge. Needle goes between 2 scales about half the needle deep. ;) The vet did think the head tilting that one night was unusual. Shiiva isn't bubbling and has no discharge so the vet wasn't too terribly concerned about a URI but the unusual head tilt behavior plus the frequent whistling when she breathes was abnormal enough that she felt it would be worth doing a course of antibiotics.
  15. Zerp3D

    Zerp3D Elite Member

    LOL! See, I'd still be too worried to stick my little girl. The heart, lungs, glands and liver are all in that "top third zone"! :O How terrible would that be if you happened to poke into their heart or lungs! Ah! Scary thoughts. Anywho, good thing you're an amazing "parent", and caught the URI signs SUPER early!
    Last edited by a moderator: Oct 16, 2013
  16. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Just wanted to pop in with an update. Shiiva is doing great. The antibiotics went very smoothly and her whistle is back to normal (she has always had an occasional whistle which the vet said is common). She is fat and happy - ate a big fat rat a few days ago. She's also all blued up to shed, so fingers crossed that those eye caps come off! I've been giving her daily soaks and the eyes drops and I have been really trying to keep her tank extra humid until she sheds. :)
  17. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    Congrats on the recovery!! I believe post shed pics are mandatory;-) hope all goes well!
  18. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi Kitty, good to hear everything`s going well with Shiiva! I don`t ever remember you mentioning in the long distant past she whistles when breathing, is it a recognisable tune, or does she make it up as she goes along? :confused: ;)
  19. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    LOL I never mentioned it because it has always been there and has never been concerning. It's just something she has always done. It's just a super quiet little whistle every now and then, like if she exhales strongly. She seems to do it more if she is grumpy about something (it's not a hiss, she does that every rare now and then too), and when she is really investigating something. As a baby she used to whistle in my ear a lot. She'd come up and sniff around my ear and make little whistles. She was checked by a vet when she was originally owned by my roommate and had a perfect bill of health and was informally seen by a vet when I was working at the vet clinic and he said she was one of the best looking BP's he had seen in a long time. :)

    I'll definitely get some post-shed pics. She should be shedding any day now. Fingers crossed those pesky eye caps come off!

    Sorry for typos and duplicates, my phone is super glitchy.
  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Katt the duplicate posts aren't you. Its a glitch in the system that Rich is looking into.

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