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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.

I Think I Bought a Sick Snake
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Old 03-24-2019, 08:49 PM   #1
Chelo
I Think I Bought a Sick Snake

So last week I picked up my first corn snake at Repticon on 3/16. He seemed fine when I initially checked him out at the convention, he's looks like he's a good weight, is curious and alert and he flicks his tongue with no problem. I took him home and left him alone in his terrarium for three days before I held him again. When I held and inspected him for the second time, I noticed I could hear him breathing - each breath he takes is wheezy sounding. Today it seems to have gotten worse, his breaths are a little more forceful, almost sneeze like. Could he have gotten sick this fast, or was it more likely that he was ill when I bought him? What do you do if you buy a sick snake from a breeder? I know he needs medical attention, but I was wondering if it's customary to return sick specimens to the person you purchase them from? He's eaten once, pooped, drank water and seems alert, but his breathing is so audible and I can feel him taking labored breaths when I hold him. I don't have any problem taking him to the vet but I just wanted to see if it was common practice to return sick snakes.
 
Old 03-24-2019, 09:23 PM   #2
Chelo
Other stuff that may be relevant - the person I bought the snake from did not produce him. They got him second hand from someone in another state. They said they only had him for two weeks. I’m told he is two years old. I have him in a 20 gallon long Zilla terrarium with aspen bedding, an 8x12 UTH heater, two hides, on on each side of the tank, a water bowl, ghostwood branch and a reptivine. The warm side of the tank is 86 degrees and the cold side is 71. His poop also seemed to have a large portion of liquid, which seemed weird.
 
Old 03-24-2019, 11:02 PM   #3
Twolunger
From what you described it does appear that he is suffering from a respiratory problem. A visit to the vet as soon as possible is definitely recommended. If you have the telephone number of the seller you can ask if they will take him back and return your money. Don't be surprised if they say no, since you inspected him at the show. The warm side is a bit too warm and the cool side a bit too cool. My corns would not rest on the warm side if it was 86 degrees, but if the cool side is 71 they wouldn't be comfortable there either. My warm side temps are usually 82 on top of the substrate and no less than 78 on the cool side.
 
Old 03-24-2019, 11:11 PM   #4
Chelo
Quote:
Originally Posted by Twolunger View Post
From what you described it does appear that he is suffering from a respiratory problem. A visit to the vet as soon as possible is definitely recommended. If you have the telephone number of the seller you can ask if they will take him back and return your money. Don't be surprised if they say no, since you inspected him at the show. The warm side is a bit too warm and the cool side a bit too cool. My corns would not rest on the warm side if it was 86 degrees, but if the cool side is 71 they wouldn't be comfortable there either. My warm side temps are usually 82 on top of the substrate and no less than 78 on the cool side.
Gotcha, I’ll schedule an appointment tomorrow. I’m thinking the seller probably won’t take him back, but I’d like to keep him anyway... he’s got such a sweet personality. It was so loud at repticon that I don’t think I would have been able to hear his respirations if he was actually ill at that time. Oh well. Thanks for the temperature info as well - I’ll turn down the thermostat a bit. As for the cool side, I’m not sure how to get it warmer. All I can think of is to add a heat lamp so there’s a better heat gradient that reaches the cool side. I can’t really make the room he’s in any warmer. Is there any other way to bring up the temp on the cool side?
 
Old 03-24-2019, 11:19 PM   #5
Chelo
I double checked and the cool side is actually between 73 and 74. Still too cool, though. The warm side was definitely too warm - what do you set the thermostat to to get 82 degrees on top of the substrate?
 
Old 03-28-2019, 10:19 PM   #6
Saml8
I've only had my corn snake for about a year, so very new at keeping snakes, but I put my probe for the warm side under her hide on top of the substrate as that's where she hangs out. I also set that spot for 82.
 
Old 03-28-2019, 10:25 PM   #7
Saml8
Also for the cool end I use a ceramic heat bulb (does not produce light just heat) to bring up the temperatures. We keep our house on the cooler end and at night the temperature on her cool end was dropping to below 70.
** I have the ceramic heat bulb also plugged into a thermostat so I can control when it comes on and off
 
Old 03-28-2019, 11:34 PM   #8
Twolunger
Quote:
Originally Posted by Saml8 View Post
Also for the cool end I use a ceramic heat bulb (does not produce light just heat) to bring up the temperatures. We keep our house on the cooler end and at night the temperature on her cool end was dropping to below 70.
** I have the ceramic heat bulb also plugged into a thermostat so I can control when it comes on and off
I've used the ceramic heat bulbs for lizards in the past. Since the bulbs can generate a lot of heat I used a ceramic socket with aluminum shield too.
 

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