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Health Issues/Feeding Problems Anything related to general or specific health problems. Issues having to do with feeding problems or tips.

Reluctance/refusal to eat?
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Old 10-01-2018, 12:06 AM   #11

Old 10-14-2018, 02:31 AM   #12
Unfortunate news regarding Peppermint...

The next week after she successfully ate, she refused again and so we decided it was time for a trip to the vet. She also wasn't drinking and seemed weaker than usual, and she was just getting too skinny, so it was time to go. At the vet's, they massaged a very strange looking poo out of her - with some blood to boot - and it was clear then that something was far more seriously wrong than I had initially thought. The doctor suspected crypto, so after the test for regular parasites came back negative, we decided to send the sample off for crypto testing. We took her home and she was fine that evening, and even drank a little, which was a good sign.

We haven't gotten the results back for crypto yet, but we're in no rush to know as sadly, the day after our trip to the vet, I found Peppermint dead in her cage. If it was crypto, it likely came from her previous home (I bought her from a pet store, but god knows what kind of bugs are running around those places, especially since she was housed with a bunch of other corns at the time) and she was able to fight it off until it restricted her appetite and she just declined from there.

She meant the world to me and it hurts so much knowing that she's gone, but if it was crypto, then there wasn't anything I could've done for her that I didn't do... I just hope that she had as comfortable of a life with me as possible. I'm so sad I can't spend the next decade with her like I'd always planned, but my enthusiasm for reptiles has not dwindled - it's just a matter of waiting until I'm at a point in my life where I have the time and money to house them again (I'm going off to college next year and the dorms don't allow pets, so it seems cruel to get another one right now anyways, especially since I want to give the entire house time to disinfect itself from crypto before getting a new reptile). Next time I'm going to be very, very careful what kind of breeders I get my reptiles from, because I now know how scary and common crypto is and I never want to go through this again. And maybe that means I have to pay a bit more for my reptiles, but I'll gladly do it. And maybe I can rescue some snakes too, granted the rescue is reputable and that snake in particular has recently been tested for crypto (and, of course, I know how to care for that particular species).

I'll actually be getting a cuddle clone of her - which is ironic, because now I CAN take her to college with me - since she meant so much to me and I just want her to live on in one way or another. I don't know how much of her docile nature was due to her declining health and how much was natural, but even when she was young and unusually active in her cage, she never bit and was never aggressive. Loosing such a good snake so young is really hard and, as silly as it may sound, I feel like the world lost an amazing creature when she passed. But she taught me a lot, helped me through a lot, and even though my life would be better with her still in it, my life wouldn't be better if she hadn't been in it at all.

I'd like to thank everyone on these forums for trying to help me out, even if she sadly didn't make it in the end. I'll try to remember to update this on whether or not it was crypto but otherwise I probably won't be back here for a few years. But I do hope to be back, but hopefully just as an observer and reader rather than asking about feeding strikes once again. These forums aren't too active it seems but I hope they're still up when I get my next corn snake.

Any specific advice on how to cope with and/or avoid crypto in the future would be appreciated if you have it, but I kind of hope nobody reading this has ever had the misfortune of experiencing crypto. I got so unlucky with my first experience, but I refuse to be deterred - if I'm able to care for a reptile again, I'll be happy to in the future. It's hard right now to even enjoy reptiles despite always being an interest of mine, since everything reminds me of Peppermint, but I know some day I'll be better and some day I'll use what I learned from Peppermint to give a good home to more reptiles.
Old 10-14-2018, 10:36 AM   #13
So sorry to hear of your loss. If it was indeed cryptosporidium serpentis there was nothing you could do. She was already infected, maybe months before you acquired her. There is a newer test that is DNA based, and offers early detection, however, there is no cure for the protozoan infection. Some vets administer Paromomycin as a way to prolong the life of the snake, but it is not a cure. I often hear well meaning snake keepers say that you should quarantine new snakes, or even have a fecal sample done, but the oocysts expelled in the feces may not be found every time the snake defecates.
It is always a good idea to quarantine new snakes, but crypto may not be identified during the quarantine. The disease may linger in a snake for months or even years. Thankfully, snakes are usually maintained separately, thus limiting the exposure to the oocysts, but the snake can re-infest itself eating them.

While the typical vivarium or container cleaning process usually includes anti-bacterial soap and bleach, they have no affect on crypto oocysts. The only disinfection method recommended by vets is using full strength ammonia.
Old 10-15-2018, 02:05 AM   #14
Thank you, and yeah, that's what the vet told me. It likely could've been from all the way back when I bought her from the pet store - given how I don't own any reptiles and I haven't let her outside or let any outdoor reptiles in, I don't know how else she could've gotten it.

And I'm having the exact same worries planning for my future reptiles. I'll have to either verify the health history of any hatchlings I buy or take them in for an expensive test. I'm not sure if the test that the vet is doing on Peppermint's fecal sample is the DNA test or the oocyst test - if its not the DNA test then I'll be even more lost because I just can't handle the possibility of having another reptile with crypto and I'll do everything to ensure that they don't. Plus I'd like to own multiple reptiles in the future, and this would be a lot harder on me if I had two infected snakes than if I had the hamster and now-deceased snake that I have now. (The only good thing about crypto is that mammals can't catch reptilian-based crypto, and vice-versa) I don't know how many of the same species I'll keep and I'm not sure how well the respective types of crypto affect the other species (like, a gecko's crypto vs a snake's crypto) but I don't want to take any chances. I'm not planning on cohabitation unless it's something well-documented and I have the resources to ensure that there's as little risk as possible (like garter snake cohabitation, for example - excluding the cannibalistic ones anyways) but because I'm just a pet owner I don't have the most professional setups. I share tools, I forget to wash my hands before touching, I let them crawl around my house, ect - obviously if an animal is clearly sick, I'd take more care, but because crypto is such a silent killer I'd never know if I was spreading it. I'll probably quarantine until I get my new reptiles into the vets to take as many tests as they can (within reason and without hurting the animal, of course) and if/when everything comes back negative I'll start treating them like a pet, but it's still just really scary. Considering how long Peppermint fought off the crypto (she was perfectly fine for the first year and a half of her life, she only started having problems in like spring of this year) it takes a long, long time to wear down an otherwise healthy and strong animal. Which makes me sad, because likely, had the pet store and/or her breeder taken proper care of their animals, she would have had a long, happy, and fulfilling life.

That's good to know because we were planning to use bleach and I had no idea it didn't work, so thank you! I don't know how easy to acquire ammonia is so im not sure if we'll be able to use that, but I'll ask and also make sure we use something more thorough than bleach.
Old 10-15-2018, 11:18 AM   #15
Ammonia is a common cleaning product available at most large grocery stores and some hardware stores. I use mine in a spray bottle, but you must be careful when you use it. It will clean out your sinus passages quickly if you smell it. I wear safety glasses and disposable gloves when I use it. I can almost guarantee that pet shops don't use full strength ammonia to clean out their tanks or containers. Most use diluted bleach or a vet recommended product that's good for most cleanings, but not for destroying crypto.
Some don't even clean out a tank after a snake is sold, if it appears clean, they just put another reptile in the same tank. The exception would be snake keepers who work in a pet shop and use their knowledge to maintain healthy snakes.

Anyway, you have a lot of time now to sterilize all your snake items and prepare for a new corn, hopefully from one of the reputable breeders on this forum.
Old 10-15-2018, 03:00 PM   #16
I'm sorry for your loss.
Old 10-18-2018, 08:36 PM   #17
The vet informed us that the cause of death ended up not being crypto (to both her and our surprise), which is good for sterilization but not good for anything else. We don't know what caused her death now, but we're assuming she had some sort of virus that was also contracted during her time at the pet store. Thank you for the advice and condolences everyone.
Old 10-18-2018, 10:10 PM   #18
It would have been nice to know the actual cause. The vet did a fecal sample and so that would have indicated coccidiosis if present. Viral infections are really hard to diagnose.
Good luck getting another corn in the future.

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