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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hi everybody. I'm looking for some advice about my corn snake as I'm worried he is sick please. I could do with sharing these images so you know what I mean. I've already been to the vets, in case it was some sort of infection, or something that needed treatment. Ironically the swelling had gone down from the previous evening by the time we got there the following afternoon! The vet said he looked one of the healthiest snakes he'd seen. Told to keep an eye on it, and think along the lines of allergy to soaps I use, or things in the atmosphere in the house. So I made sure I threw away a few bathroom products and a cleaning polish, just to be sure.

I had a couple of good evenings where he seemed OK and behaved like his usual self when I got him out. Then last night it happened again. I really couldn't put it down to spraying polish, or using an unusual soap or shower gel this time. I understood the vets thinking about an allergy and looking out for a pattern, but I really couldn't pinpoint anything.

I was wondering if it's postural in some way. That he has his head on a lower level of his vines than his body. That's the coincidence I've noticed this week on both occasions when it had happened. That's the only pattern I can think of, is my snake's posture. Then again I'm sure he has had various postures in his viv and it had never happened before.

Whatever it is, it hadn't stopped him eating, so no concerns on that front. As for going to the toilet, he's gone into shedding, so will no doubt save it up for me as usual. I don't see how it's linked to shedding either, because I've had George for about five years and haven't seen this before eg as an early sign of shedding.

Please, has anybody had anything like this with their snake at all? Just to clarify, it is intermittent and I've only seen it on two evenings, and he doesn't look like this all the time. Clearly he finds the need to adjust his mouth and open it, rub his throat on something to soothe it. Then he rests up. I check him later, and the swelling seems to have gone down. This is very bizarre isn't it.

Does anybody have any similar experience or advice about this please? By any chance, do you know what is causing this swelling please? You know how it is, George is very precious to us, and I want to do the right thing to help him.







 

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When our local safari park had to stop doing snake handling sessions, I took on 3 of Mark's corns that were used for this purpose. Two of them were 15 at the time and one was about 12.

The 15 year old male had the same thing happening to him, and had been checked by the parks vet, who said it was nothing to worry about. I did notice that it would come up more after being handled for longer periods or when stressed (in shed etc). He only died a couple of months ago at around 20 years old..... never seemed to worry him in any way.... it never stopped him eating.

Hope yours turns out to be 'just one of those things' and he stays healthy and well otherwise..... J :2thumb:
 

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All I'll say Fiona is if your worried and concerned a vet appointment will do no harm at all and you can have him checked out, it may be something or it may be nothing, a vet will put your mind at ease and stop your worrying about him.
 

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Yes I've seen this before.
It needs to see a better vet now. Take the pictures with you and don't let him fob you off just cos it's not happening at the time.

It's usually fluid coming up from the lungs of the snake who has a serious RI or other injury to the lungs.

Not to scare you but the corn I had that did this died within 4 days, it was autopsied by the vet who found a tumour that was leaking fluid/blood into the lungs.
 

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My white lipped python had exactly this issue. It occurred intermittently for a few weeks but hasn't happened again for over 18 months.

I can't tell you anything about the cause, effect or cure as my vet had no idea and it went away without treatment.

At the same consultation she was diagnosed with congenital heart failure which will probably eventually kill her, but this is a separate and unrelated issue as far as I know, and she is still alive and kicking and not really showing any signs of distress (apart from a vastly swollen heart).

I realise this is of little use or comfort, but yes, I have had experience with it and it turned out to be nothing significant in my case (no proven causal link with the heart issue, just coincidence as far as we can tell). I hope this proves to be the case with yours, I would be interested to hear how it goes as I have never heard of it in another snake before or after mine.
 

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Is his neck floppy at all?

Have just had this in a beauty, but it was constantly like that, and the top foit of her neck was very limp. she's been on antibiotics and is ok now.
 

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My white lipped python had exactly this issue. It occurred intermittently for a few weeks but hasn't happened again for over 18 months.

I can't tell you anything about the cause, effect or cure as my vet had no idea and it went away without treatment.

At the same consultation she was diagnosed with congenital heart failure which will probably eventually kill her, but this is a separate and unrelated issue as far as I know, and she is still alive and kicking and not really showing any signs of distress (apart from a vastly swollen heart).

I realise this is of little use or comfort, but yes, I have had experience with it and it turned out to be nothing significant in my case (no proven causal link with the heart issue, just coincidence as far as we can tell). I hope this proves to be the case with yours, I would be interested to hear how it goes as I have never heard of it in another snake before or after mine.
I do believe that congenital heart failure can cause a build up of fluid in the lung area, so it could be connected.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for your prompt interest. At the vet, I took my camera and showed images from the tirst time it happened. So he saw some of these images anyway. I figured it is reputable place for reptiles... I can only say I hadn't been before, so nothing to compare the appointment to. I picked up the business card in the reptile pet shop where I got him from. Plus it has image of snake and lizard on business card. I made a special journey, rather than a local place that you'd figure are more used stiletto furry pets, rather than reptiles.

I'm starting to feel inclined to phone up in the morning to say it happened again. again I can email the images if they like as well. At the time, he didn't see a need to anesthetized put a camera down.

I am concerned. I see what somebody said about stress, but I cannot pinpoint anything unusual in how often I've got George out or whatever.

No his head and neck certainly aren't floppy. Seems to move about ok.

One way or another, I'm fearful about just monitoring because it's twice I've seen over the past seven days. That implies a coming and going problem, nit a one off. Whereas when we went to the vet, you could have admittedly put it into the category of a one off incident.

If it's some kind of infection from the lungs, would or should they treat on a basis like this, without any noisy breathing?
 

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Hi,

His mouth looks very clean in the one shot, no bubbles or mucus build up at all.

When handling him, do you notice any clicking or wheezing sounds?

lisa
x
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Hi. Thanks for that concern. I assume your questions were directed at possible respiratory infection. No funny breathing noises noises that way at all. His breathing has been as silent as ever. Yes George's mouth does look clean, no soreness apparent either.
 

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Does it only happen when you are handling him?

lisa
x
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Hi again. No. The opposite. Was fine the evenings after handling and getting him out. In fact only noticed noticed this swelling on evenings he'd sat on show up in his vines. I tend not to get him out when he is curled up in his vines, because he's always had the tendency to grip on with his tail. So it has has always been a routine that way, to pick him up from under his hides. The vines aren't a new feature either.

In case you're wondering, he is under his hide away from heat mat tonight. He is pre shedding but before his eyes go blue.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I wanted to bump this topic of mine. I've been on the phone to the vets. I wanted to email them the photos from Saturday and photos from today. George was hissy when I got him out, but I wanted to get a good look at him. As for is it hissy or a respiratory problem, he didn't show hissyness or noisy breathing throught when I got him out, so it must have been hiss.

As you'll see, not exactly swollen throat, but I'm concerned the throat scales may be lifted slightly. You can see this better on some photos more than others.

As you can see he is in the starts of shedding, but I really can't link the two together as I've had him for five years and not had the throat swelling problem before shedding.








This is an older image before I was concerned about the swollen throat, just for comparison purposes.

 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Bump....

We are away the week after next. I decided to arrange to board at the vets, rather than the reptile shop. I figured it wasn't the thing to do, to dump George on the shop, and risk having them need to take him across for some reason. Plus I thought they might have a policy on not taking in potentially sick snakes for boarding.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Hi Hannah.

I've noticed three curled up postures (in general)
Head flat downat substrate level
Head rested horizontally on stomach
Head tilted up 45 degree

I've just checked him and he is resting with his head pointing upwards. I see where you are coming from, if for comfort, he wants to prevent fluid draining towards his face and neck.

You know how random they are. So,is he sitting likethat more than usual? What I can say, as he is sitting like that now, there is no swelling.
 

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Yeah it drains the fluid down to the bottom of the lungs so they feel they can breathe. Would be better if they hung their heads and let it drain out the mouth mind but they don't seem to realise this.

Nake was the same, difficult to get a pic of cos he stopped doing it when handled as well.



 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thanks for taking the time to post those photos. I see where you are coming from. What test or treatment did Nake need at the time please?
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
I see what you mean. I'm sorry to hear that. It was sudden how it happened.

When we went to the vets, he actually said he didn't see a need for that...
 
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