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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So for the last 4 weeks my sons corn snake has had problems. It started when he was fed, he never finished feeding, regurgitate his weenier rat and thrashed around the viv as in pain, then was left hardly breathing. We gathered him up, cleared any substrate from his mouth but was really struggling to breath, so off to the vets for an emergency call. He was put in a heated viv with oxygen and the snake equivalent of a nebuliser. 40mins later he was striking like a good en. Vet said check the viv temps or it was possible he had a bit of aspen substrate gone down the air hole.
Week later he fed as normal, all ok, viv 29 degrees in the hot end, 20ish in the cold, ceramic bulb and stat set up, fresh water daily.
Week after, fed, did not finish and the same again but no substrate as it was moved before the feed, off to vets for emergency, thrashing and gasping for air at for a few mins then all floppy with big breaths but infrequent, vets had him for 24 hours, viv n nebuliser and striking away but this time a shot of antibiotics. X-rays were all ok, heart, liver, lungs fine, antibiotics as a precaution to a resperatory infection. Was fed the following Saturday with 2 large mouse, quite a lot smaller than a weenier rat, substrate was removed, took them via striking and all was ok for an hour and a half, then thrashing and limpness, actually went belly upwards and shallow breaths with long periods between. Off to the vets once again, took 24 hours to return to a lesser version of himself, not striking, quite lethargic, they took blood and all ok, there just doing cultures to check for sepsis and I’ve been injecting his antibiotics for the last four days so it will be 10 days solid on antibiotics in total this time when we’re done. He’s still not himself and looks as though he will soon start a shed, even the signs of that seem to be taking longer to progress. Lathargic, just hangs his head out of viv when the door is open where as before he’d be straight out. Not fed him since and to be honest not looking forward to it. Vets ain’t got a clue, hoping you guys might have an idea. Bitester (the corn snake) is my boys first pet and had from a babe, 6 years old so any pointers would be much appreciated
 

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So for the last 4 weeks my sons corn snake has had problems. It started when he was fed, he never finished feeding, regurgitate his weenier rat and thrashed around the viv as in pain, then was left hardly breathing. We gathered him up, cleared any substrate from his mouth but was really struggling to breath, so off to the vets for an emergency call. He was put in a heated viv with oxygen and the snake equivalent of a nebuliser. 40mins later he was striking like a good en. Vet said check the viv temps or it was possible he had a bit of aspen substrate gone down the air hole.
Week later he fed as normal, all ok, viv 29 degrees in the hot end, 20ish in the cold, ceramic bulb and stat set up, fresh water daily.
Week after, fed, did not finish and the same again but no substrate as it was moved before the feed, off to vets for emergency, thrashing and gasping for air at for a few mins then all floppy with big breaths but infrequent, vets had him for 24 hours, viv n nebuliser and striking away but this time a shot of antibiotics. X-rays were all ok, heart, liver, lungs fine, antibiotics as a precaution to a resperatory infection. Was fed the following Saturday with 2 large mouse, quite a lot smaller than a weenier rat, substrate was removed, took them via striking and all was ok for an hour and a half, then thrashing and limpness, actually went belly upwards and shallow breaths with long periods between. Off to the vets once again, took 24 hours to return to a lesser version of himself, not striking, quite lethargic, they took blood and all ok, there just doing cultures to check for sepsis and I’ve been injecting his antibiotics for the last four days so it will be 10 days solid on antibiotics in total this time when we’re done. He’s still not himself and looks as though he will soon start a shed, even the signs of that seem to be taking longer to progress. Lathargic, just hangs his head out of viv when the door is open where as before he’d be straight out. Not fed him since and to be honest not looking forward to it. Vets ain’t got a clue, hoping you guys might have an idea. Bitester (the corn snake) is my boys first pet and had from a babe, 6 years old so any pointers would be much appreciated
Are there other local reptile vets you could see for a 2nd opinion?
 

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I'm not medically trained, so take this with a pinch of salt.

I doubt that anything is stuck in the snakes respiratory track. The glottis tends to remain closed until the snake takes a breath. Whilst feeding the glottis is extended so that the snake can breath whilst ingesting its meal. The fact that nothing has shown up on x-rays would suggest that no substrate has got lodged in there whilst extended. Substrate stuck to food often gets ingested into the gut.

Given the fact that the vets have run blood tests, x-rays etc and so far can't find anything wrong, and the snake has previously responded to antibiotics it would suggest that either the issue is with your husbandry, or the snake has some underlying neurological issue that has developed. Given that you have had the snake six years without issue would suggest that your husbandry would be of a decent level, unless you have changed something recently or used something in the house that might be toxic to reptiles?

You could always seek an second opinion from a different vet, but given that each time the snake has an episode like you describe it becomes more lethargic I wouldn't hold out too much hope that a satisfactory resolution can be had if it is indeed neurological
 

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If you can't get a second opinion from a reptile specialist vet, personally I would simply stop feeding for a good while, and then when you do feed again, go for much smaller meals.

Not many corns are on weaner rats to be honest and it sounds like it all started following a big meal.

I might be inclined to not offer any food for a month or 6 weeks and then offer 1 small or medium mouse. Give it 2 weeks and then offer another. If it doesn't react unusually to these meals and keeps both down, you could then start to scale back up to large mice.

That is what I would probably do in your situation but I am not a vet and this is not advice.
 

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I’m using Ambivets so there whole team including 2 reptile specialists have had a look, still scratching there heads
In that case then my guess would be that the issue is neurological, or if it is an infection / obstruction in the airway it's randomly triggered in some way which is why the vets can't find anything.

Again, not a vet so take my comments with a pinch of salt !
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
He’s a big lad and over 4ft Long, eats a weenier in about 4 mins with no problem and he’s been on them for over a year again with no problem. His shead is coming now so there’s no way I’ll be feeding during that, makes jabbing his antibiotics a little less pleasant for him, but needs must. Tried 2 large mice for his last feed, he destroyed each one in a few minutes
 
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