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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im not 100% sure but I think my 4 month old Bairds Rat Snake may have Mites.
Ive had her about 6 weeks and she shed on new years eve. I saw her in her water bowl before the shed ( when blue eyed ) but other than that I have never seen her in the bowl.
Last Friday morning however she was in there and when I came home from work.
Same thing Saturday morning and yesterday morning.
On the Friday I got her out and checked her over. Although i couldn't find any mites on her there was a tiny flat black thing that crawled across my hand.
I checked her water bowl and there were two tiny black dots in there but they were too small to see if they were mites or just bits of dirt from the Grape vine thats in her tank.
I have checked her every day since Friday and still cant find anything on her body, around eyes etc and have only seen the same tiny dots in her bowl on one other occasion on Saturday.
When I take her out of the water bowl to check her over she stays out for the rest of the day so it seems that she is only going in there during the night / early morning.
Does this sound like she may have the early stages of mites ?
If so what is the recommended treatment and how do I apply it ?
I know frontline spray is an option but is there anything else ?
Do I have to be carefull not to get the treatment in her eyes or mouth ?
Any help and guidence appreciated as this is my first snake.

Regards.
 

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http://www.reptileforums.co.uk/view...ht=mites&sid=47b237b7a0e49861cbf5cb670fde1992

http://www.reptileforums.co.uk/view...ht=mites&sid=47b237b7a0e49861cbf5cb670fde1992

http://www.reptileforums.co.uk/view...rontline&sid=47b237b7a0e49861cbf5cb670fde1992



there are a couple of options. Some opt for Frontline, which can be bought from your local vet usually, as it is primarily for cats and dogs. On a cautionary note, use it diluted. one person on here lost snakes due to them being treated with undiluted frontline.

F10 is another option and u will find a link for purchasing it on the last thread i have looked up for you

Oil is another possibility, and it works by suffocating the little buggers. Apply with cotton wool. Similar for ticks, apply vaseline to choke them out (i am so glad there is an easy cure for tick, i get them all the time when out walking the dog in this sheep infested land!)

I have not experienced mites with my snakes yet, so i did a search of the threads to help both you and I learn. hope u get on alright. :wink:

EDIT: the above links will also help you identify whether or not your snake is infested.
 

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Hi bully

It sounds to me like you may have mites - what substrate are you using? By adding white paper towel for a while you may be able to see any mites more clearly.
Frontline can be used, it is best to apply this to a cloth and rub it over the snake avoiding the head. This treatment does have side effects in some cases however, so its not for everyone. When using frontline you should also remove the waterbowl for 24 hours to prevent the snake washing off the frontline then ingesting it.

You can also use olive oil, this can be smeared over the whole snake (again avoid the eyes) - this acts as a barrier between the mite and the air, starving them of oxygen.

You also have the option of predatory mites... depends how you feel about adding a different mite to the viv! These take longer to work but are completely natural and stress free for the snake. Results will also vary.. you arent guaranteed to get rid of them quickly.

Remember you will also need to treat the whole viv - you can frontline it or just use a bleach solution or disinfectant. Make sure you rinse and air everything thoroughly before puttig the snake back in! Anything that you cannot easily disinfect such as corkbark is best discarded.
 

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The absolute best treatment you can use for mites is a veterinary drug called Dectomax.

Its intented use is as in intramuscular injection and/or bath for sheep and cattle to kill ticks and lice etc, but it is also fantastically efficient at killing snake mites. Only problem is it is not licenced for use in reptiles, so you will have to ask your vet how s/he feels about 'off the label' use. Most vets are quite accomodating (Using Frontline for reptiles is also Off-Label but most vets don't mind) and will do the injections for you provided you sign an agreeement saying that you know that this is an off-label treatment and you cannot sue the vet if anything goes wrong.

I know this sounds a bit dodgy but believe me - provided the dosages are done right the results are amazing and there is no risk to the reptile. We had a rescue burm brought to use with a critical infection - it was absolutely crawling (critical level for an ectoparasite infection is 85% of the animals' body surface area covered in mites). It took 2 injections a few days appart, daily spraying of the viv (which was also crawling) with a Dectomax solution, and a week later the snake was completely mite-free and ready for rehoming. The total cost of treatment was no more than 25 quid.

For an average sized snake or lizard (royal python, beardie, bosc etc), one injection plus a 10 ml syringe to dilute with 1 ltr of water for spraying the viv with for a week is all thats needed, and will probably cost £10 - £17 depending on your vet. Seriously, why waste money on products that don't work when a simple injection will do the job?

Hannah
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you for the advice so far.
PendleHog asked what substrate I am using. Well I am using paper towel. Again I have checked the paper towel and cant see anything big enough to identify as a mite. There is always a few tiny bits of dirt etc on the towel due to the grape vine bark thats in there. I suppose I could take this out for a while and monitor, but my snake uses it alot for climbing / resting on and I dont want to discourage that ( although im sure a few days isn't going to hurt ).
Think I will do just that. Take the bark out and change the substrate so that I know everything is free from specs of dirt that could be mistaken for mites and monitor for a few days.
 

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You may not have many, but you definitely have mites. And it only takes a while for them to multiply. Make sure everything in the viv is put in a bleach solution including that vine (they love to lay their eggs in the likes of wood) THOROUGHLY disinfect the viv, and ensure to so it again in about 3 weeks to catch any eggs that may hatch.

I found mine to have a few last week. I bathed the snake in warm water with fairy (head above) to suffocate. Then the next day in a good bit of warm water and a capful of savlon (head above). Has worked an absolute treat so far, haven't seen any since. The cheapest option esp. if you only seem to have a few like I had.

Just be very careful if you're using frontline.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Forgive me if this is a stupid question but how / where does a snake in captivity on its own contract mites from ?
Asked the same question in my local rep shop because I thought maybe our cat passed them on or something silly but did not get a propper answer other than the snake was probably infected from when you first picked it up ( from them ! ) and that the cat would not be the cause.

I can understand a breeder or someone with a large turn around of snakes having a problem but would like to know where my little baby could have picked them up from ?

Will definately provide some treatment either way just to be on the safe side.

Thanks.
 

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Only problem is it is not licenced for use in reptiles, so you will have to ask your vet how s/he feels about 'off the label' use.
To be honest using it off license shouldnt be a problem for ANY vet as there is no equivalent product licensed for reptiles (unless something came out in the last 2 months since my new compendium was sent out :lol:) so under CASCADE there isnt a problem with using frontline etc. Unless youre unfortunate enough to have a particularly sh*tty vet :lol:
 

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bully74uk said:
Forgive me if this is a stupid question but how / where does a snake in captivity on its own contract mites from ?
Asked the same question in my local rep shop because I thought maybe our cat passed them on or something silly but did not get a propper answer other than the snake was probably infected from when you first picked it up ( from them ! ) and that the cat would not be the cause.

I can understand a breeder or someone with a large turn around of snakes having a problem but would like to know where my little baby could have picked them up from ?

Will definately provide some treatment either way just to be on the safe side.

Thanks.
Most definitely had it when you got it, you just didn't realise at the time.

Although some believe it can come in on decor, but I reckon that decor would have had to have been near infected snakes...
 

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bully74uk said:
Forgive me if this is a stupid question but how / where does a snake in captivity on its own contract mites from ?
Asked the same question in my local rep shop because I thought maybe our cat passed them on or something silly but did not get a propper answer other than the snake was probably infected from when you first picked it up ( from them ! ) and that the cat would not be the cause.
Not a stupid question at all! Mites are normally picked up in shops / collections with C/F or W/C animals. While a snake mite doesn't generally feed on humans (although I swear one bit me!) we do make a handy mode of transport. Most likely if the snake didn't have mites when you first got it, after a quick trip to a store with a mite problem you've carried a few "hitchhikers" home in your clothing, hair or worse large bag of snake substrate you've just bought.
 
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