SNAKE STRESSSSSSS !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


Last upload : 06-12-2002 at 0100

 ( NOTE : at the time of the first signs of illness, Morrison was 3.8 Kg, at 200 cm of length  All calculations for antibiotics are based on his weight and circumstances at that time... )


This morning, 11-11-2002 at aprox. 10:15 I entered the main room, and looked into the enclosure. What I saw was the worst thing, I've ever saw. Morrison, my male burm, was laying on the floor, twitching severely from about 1/3 from the tailend, upwards, and it looked like he was about to trough-up lunch. As I did not fed him, in 8 days, I wondered what was wrong... a bit of wood in the way ?? something in the lungs ?? WHAT??????? Twitching went on, like a perastaltic movement, from the middle part upward to the mouth, and he started breathing more heavely.. his mouth was opened, but in there it looked fine ; eg healthy color, no slime...

As I looked closer, as far as I could, alone near 6 meters of snakes..., I saw something whittish coming from the back of the troat, and as soon as it appeared, it looked like he swallowed it, and some parts remained on the sides of his mouth. It was somekinda wittish bubbly slime.. He relaxed a bit, and breathed ok, it seemed to be over... But at that time my pnumonia bells started alarming, and I gathered my thoughts... As I looked in the tank, I found out that he went to the bathroom, witch also looked OK, and that he spuwed some saliva outon the poles. I gathered it for further analysis. He seeks the hotspots of the terrarium, and I gave him a spot of 35 C to warm under. He did so almost instantly. That's also a sign of something.... But what... At that time I started 2 things :  I mailed a good friend, and trusted snakeowner NIGEL !! for some help.. and started the Quarantine tank up.. a bare 160 x 50 x 50 cm tank, full glass, that can easely be temp and humidity modified up to pretty low or high levels. If he continues to act up, he can be placed in there, with a 24/7 webcam on him...

As I explained the above to him, Nigel retured an answer in like 5 minutes, and told me :

Is Morrison on his own or does he share? I find that some of my snakes are loners and get very stressed in the presence of others which normally results in a respiratory problem. This normally clears when I remove them from the others. Sounds as if he is stressed it is just a matter of finding what is stressing him?! Easier said than done I know! This has happened to mine in the past and they go off their food at the same time.

I  then answered :

Morrison is in a shared tank with Melanie, all of his life ( both 19 months old and together forever.. ) BUT ::: I RECENTLY added Sunshine ( albino small, about 1 meter ) to the enclosure. That might be the case of stress. AS SOON as I prepped her old tank, Sunny will leave, to see what happens to Morrison. I'll try feeding him tonight, just 2 days prior to normal routine, so.. As that rat is down, I;'ll wait till after molding..
Although I could not see any signs of both Melanie and Morrison disliking the presence of Sunny, It is first to find out. If he stays this way, I'll QT him, and see what happens, but can snakes "go loner" after a youthful of friends nearby ??

He replaid :

No problem! Most commonly I find that the introduction of a larger snake is more likely to cause this reaction but with George (my adult male albino burmese), he doesn't even like a tiny snake in with him!

Ok, so I now went on, and implemented the above to my Morrison...

Since there are NO VISIBLE SIGNS OF AN ILLNESS, eg :

loss of appetite, white looking/ poor smelling mouth flesh, selivar buildup around nose or mouth, runny nose, bad looking poop, loss of figure, and or looking genererally bad..

I looked at my checklist :  first things that make a snake stressed : are the Lights OK ? temperature, humidity OK ? Is there a draft ? Are there changes being made into or onto the enclosure ?, is there dayly fresh water? No burns or broozes ? No attitudional cagemate ?

As soon as I start saying "yes" to some of these questions, I ALLWAYS make sure, I adjust the error. Since I am still measuring in the tank, I can say it's 100 % fine, this evening, but temp and hum. look OK so far.

Also I tend to look at the past few weeks regarding handling and so on.. Come to think of it he was a bit krancky the last few times... But appetite is OK, and he was generally active. Feces looks good so far ( smells like (*&% however :-(((), and he crawls in a nice round circle when resting... not in an ARCH !! or straighton... also signs of an illness, and not stress... but he didn't do those things, so it was bound to be ....

 YES !!! I added Sunshine to the enclosure, about a week ago... and that CAN be one reason that Morrison shows this behavioer. To think worst : a bacteria has transmitted... or she just stressed him out !!! So, I have to make a choice... EXIT SUNNY OR QT MORRISON ???? Well, that will be sunny, since she was last to come in.. I'll remove her, and see what Morrison does in the next couple of days... Also I raise the temperature and humidity of Morrisons tank, to ease breathing a bit. Since there's some slime coming out of him, he'll thank me for that :_) Keep ya all posted!@!@

Upload : 11-11 at 1530 : Morr in rest. position, seeks heat, and getting plenty of it.. looks like he's calming a bit. Also thinking that the sound of the main glass doors are annoying him, everytime I open, he looks like he is somekind of agitated.. Hmmm

Upload 13-11-2002 : Well, if I believe all the visitors that ( for now only will ) see him, he is in tiptop shape :-) I know better, and say that he is recovering from a weird, but after carefull observation, looking like stress, situation. THANKS to the help of the many ( online ) friends, for getting me info I did not have... He ate 2 awesome rats yesterday, and feeding will be halted until after molding.  If I state it all in balck and white :

Morrison was stressed that resulted in some slimedevelopment...


He was ( just ) clearing his troat a couple of days ago..!!

It are my snakes, and if there's somewhat other than the usual, I tend to overreact a bit... This could be the case, but I wanna BE SURE !!!! he is in a 100 % condition...

So for now... CASE CLOSED 13-11-2002

Reopened 18-11-2002 : SHIT !! He gave up the rat, and looks a bit off normal again...

Has a : hissed "forced" breathing,

No  slime in the troat area, mouth and nose also clean,

has a somewhat bloated looking body or something like that... ( just a feather thicker, but hey... )

Update 24-11-2002 :

After several phonecalls, and the expert's eye, perhaps it are flagellates that make him not OK. To find out if they have infested him, in the last few weeks, I'll take him to my vet ! keep ya posted !

Update : 01-12-2002 :

Flagellates test :

Melanie : --

Morrison : ++

Sunshine : --

So Morrison COULD !! be having some problems there...usually they are there also, but not so much as he had in em... That means finding out asap where they might come from, or what causes them to manifest ( eg stress, cold or something like that ) waterbowl is cleaned out daily now, in stead of 3 x a week... prey items are on another food cource, perhaps that's it... but prey is healthy when fed... Hmmm.... Suggestions ??? Mail us !!

UPDATE 05-12-2002 :

Well, I dunno what it is yet, but I took him into QT, to make sure he doesn't infect the others.

Qt specs : l x w x h : 160x50x50 cm ( sunnies old one )

2 spots, at 1/3 and halfway, a 120 W spot at 39 C and a 60 W spot at 36 C. ( snakes need the heat to "raise a fever" )

At the other end a water tank of 10 liters. Enough to get him completely submerged if he wants to...

Humidity = increasing to 85 - 95 % to ease breathing a bit...

For the rest it's a bare tank, with newspaper on the floor. Since he's not getting ready to molt, there will be no rocks or so present..

Take a look on campage 3 to see the QT live... I use it to see him, while I am at work or so..

So what makes him go in there... Well firstly he is longer than a few days "off normal" so thats a nr 1 reason to seperate him.. He also is still caughing somethimes, another reason to QT ( rest ) an raise the heat a bit ( pnumonic ? ) Also I can see if HE is the one, making these small slime plaques on the terrarium floor. He is also not eating, witch states that he really is off normal... Usually I cannot drag the ammount of rats he consumes... but since a few weeks ago, he gave up the last one, he hesitates to eat since... Truly not his usual way... And it's better to give em some peace and rest, just to get things in order... than to leave him with the others, with all possible risks.. Well, hopefully tomorrow I'll have a repvet tak a good look at him, and inform me on what could be wrong... IBD ( Inclusion body disease ) I severly doubt, it tends to go to a cold or so... anyway enough questions for a qt. Unfortunatly...

Upload : 06-12-2002 at 0400 :

Ok, day 1 in QT, and he has drunk a bit, and the part of the body right behind the nech is somewhat thicker.. There's no visible slime, nose and mouth are clean,( ventral ) scales are OK, and he rests in a good circle. The last part of the body, before the cloaca is somewhat flattened, dunno why, but first time I see it this bad.. In a few hours there will be some expert's eye on him... keep ya posted..