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Respiratory Infection, or Not?
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Old 05-08-2016, 02:25 AM   #1
Respiratory Infection, or Not?

I have a 3 and a half year old corn snake, and he sounds like he is getting or has a respiratory infection. He is wheezing slightly, and I can hear him "sniffing," especially when he is active. There has been no drooling or open mouth breathing. He is not acting sluggish, lethargic, or irritable, and he ate his normal amount with normal enthusiasm just today. My other snake had a minor respiratory infection a couple of months ago, which was taken care of very quickly with antibiotics, but I fear it still may have spread to my younger snake. Should I schedule an appointment with the vet, or should I wait until he develops more concerning symptoms?
Old 05-08-2016, 10:19 AM   #2
That sounds like the start to a respiratory infection. You could try bumping the temp up a few degrees - but maybe ring your vet and get their advice on whether or not you need to bring your snake in. Best of luck!
Old 05-08-2016, 11:44 AM   #3
Has he recently shed or nearing a shed? What you are describing can be the onset of an URI and in that case, the sooner you can start treatment, the better.

However, just before shedding, sometimes the areas around the snake's mouth and nostrils will swell, sometimes a little, sometimes a lot and that can make them really sound like they've got an URI, especially when they are exerting themselves. If that is the case, it should clear up very soon after he sheds.
On the other hand, if he just shed, it is possible that he retained some shed on his face and that could be causing the issue too. You'll want to check both of those possibilities before you take him to the vet.
Old 05-08-2016, 05:45 PM   #4
I recently purchased an adult snake with a RI. When I first got her, I noticed a wet-popping noise when she breathed. I might have never heard it if I hadn't had her wrapped around my neck. Even after her culture came back as positive, the only time I could hear it was if I placed my ear to her lung area. The vet said she had never had anyone bring one in to see her that was in such an early stage, which made me feel better about my own uncertainty in the beginning.

Mine didn't have any drainage (until later, after I had already started antiboitics), nor did she exhibit open-mouth breathing. The best way I can describe the sound she was making, is by relating it to the noise the sinus-bulb made when my son as a new born and we had to use the bulb to clear his sinuses--it sounded kinda like that.

Best of Luck!
Old 05-09-2016, 04:42 PM   #5
Originally Posted by jagodzinski View Post
That sounds like the start to a respiratory infection. You could try bumping the temp up a few degrees - but maybe ring your vet and get their advice on whether or not you need to bring your snake in. Best of luck!
This. Don't mist it if you do mist the tanks. Too high of a humidity can cause RI. I'd recommend you stop misting both tanks if you do mist them, as that would be a contributing factor. Are the snakes cohabitants, or is there some way they could catch each other's sickness?

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