PNEUMONIA ! or atjoe, bless you !!!

 ( NOTE : at the time of the first signs of illness, Morrison was 1.040 Kg, at 144 cm of length and halfway a mold... All calculations for antibiotics are based on his weight and circumstances at that time... ) To make things ( hopefully ) a bit easier, I colored the text a bit :

RED TEXT IS : SYMPTOMS OF THE DISEASE

BLUE TEXT IS : ACTIONS TAKEN ON MEDICATION

GREEN TEXT IS : THINGS TO DO FOR THE SNAKE

06-01-2002 ( day 1 ) : At around 1900 the main lights turned off, and after a couple of minutes the snakes appeared, to bask on the warmed rocks. At that time I saw an abnormality in my male snake... As I got him out in the lights, on the table, I saw that the mouth area was getting filled a bit with a clear slimy/bubbly substance. Also the snake breathed quit heavily and there were bubbles ( tiny ) starting to come out of his nostrils. Initially I panicked, but since it was evening, I could only do 1 thing, call the local snake hotline. that's an only Dutch line, with reptile doctors on a 24hrs call service... As I talked with them, we decided to do the following... :

07-02-2002 : As I woke up, I started to make a quarantine tank, so I had the male on a place, away from my other one !! Since I still was vaguely aware of what was wrong, I suspected pneumonia, but wasn't taking any risk of contaminating my other one... I went to the vet with the sick one, and he took a swab of the slimy stuff, to test for flagellates eded. that was OK, The inside of the mouth was white, witch could !! indicate a vitamin deficient, but since the snake was gaping with an open mouth, and more bubbly, clear slime came out of his mouth and nose, with him scraping his mouth to the rocks, to get rid of it... , the vet was almost sure it was pneumonia.

We decided to give him 5 injections ( sc ) of 0.5ml Marbocil ( C ). in the following 5 days. This in careful calculation with the weight. He gave the first one, I did the other 4 !! Meanwhile, at home, there was a 120*50*40 cm glass tank waiting, with the following specs... :

avrg temp day - night : 38 - 30C ( spot on 43C )

avrg humidity 24/7 : > 80 % ( at night > 85 % )

light cycle on - off : 12-12

bottom : newspaper, and a couple of rocks to mold on

The temperature needs to be high, so the snake get's warmer, speeds up metabolism, and he even went under the spot, at 43 !!! degrees, to invoke a fever !!! to get the bad germs out. The humidity needs to be as high as you can get it WITHOUT making the tank wet... that sounds hard, but if the tank is warm, wet and soaky, chances are that the pneumonia will trigger mouth rot !!!!! Sick snakes can trigger all kinds of second symptoms, because there guard is already down.. So I sprayed " hot " water directly under the spot, whenever I could... that evaporates quickly, and keeps the main tank floor dry, and the hum. high ! I had made the tank in my living room, sleeping beside it, with the alarm at every 3 hours to spray !!!!!!!that I did for the next 11 days !!

08-01-2002 : molding will happen soon... snake looks awful, but is a little bit more alive than yesterday... I sure hope that's the medication kicking in... If I tap the lungs carefully, ( at 1/3 of the head they start ) it kinda pops hollow, in stead of the ( usual ) thomp !!

09-01-2002 : Gave him a bath of 1,5 hours in medium warm water ( NO DRAFT !!!!!!!!! ) in a warm aired surrounding, to help the coming mold, and to let him poop, witch he did :-) the mouth and nose look a little bit better... breathing is still a bit heavy. At 23:28 or so, I saw him crawl up, open wide, and shoot a slimy dot headlong against the glass... WOOOW !!

That's a good sign, coughing up the slime, and swallow it or eject it, neither is bad, both are a sign of getting better... you might catch your snake do it, but I saw it only 2 times ! He's just clearing the lung ( s ).breathing is still a bit heavy. Improvement is also obvious.

10-01-2002 : 3 days into the Marbocil treatment, and it's looking up.. The snake molded his full body, except the neck and head. the nose holes are filthy, but as the old skin will come off, it will improve a lot... The hollow sound is getting less, As the day progressed I decided to help molding, and 30 minutes later, you could not tell he was sick... That was I think the turning point of his illness. As the head molded, the nostrils came out dry and looking better than ever.. Also the slime around the mouth was almost gone.

11-01-2002 : day 4, and I am getting tired of the way I sleep, every 3 hours an alarm, wake up, spray water in his tank, and fall back to sleep... But Morrison looks very good today. nose is clean,  respertory sounds great and he was crawling a bit, He seeks temperatures between 35 and 40 ! degrees celcius, to invoke a fever ( so I am told ) I keep the humidity sky high,. and it looks like he knows what he's doing. He also drunk a lot today... 

12-01-2002  : last injection of Marbocil at 1600... it is up to him now... but just by looking at him, and knowing the way he usually is, it looks ok. Respitory sounds better, nose and mouth are dry, his inside of the mouth is pink again so.....

13-01-2002 UNTIL 19-01-2002 Looks better every day. I fed him a huge mouse, and thank him, he ate it... After 9 days of sleeping not longer than 3 hours on a sofa at a time, to nurture my snake, I finally can get a FULL nights sleep, in a BED !!!! In the late evening of 22-01 I returned Morrison, well fed, to the tank where I got him out... Finally I can say :

HE IS 100% OK NOW !!!

With regards to : 

Patrick, 

Stichting Serpo,

m'n Dierenarts

Iedereen die me ge-support heeft !!!!!!