Coastal carpet with stiff upper body section HELP

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by Sharnie, Feb 27, 2016.

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  1. Sharnie

    Sharnie New Member

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    Hi we recently acquired a 8ft coastal carpet 2 months ago. He was a previous education animal at a wildlife zoo, there was no feeding history or any details given. Looked like a very healthy snake. Has shed once badly and still has some on chin required help water spray and herpa shed. Has only eaten a small quail refused everything else large, small, left overnight, with herp boost added etc. no regurgitation of food ate this 2 weeks ago hasn't pooed since. Did poo on grass before the quail. The main problem we have now noticed which wasn't the case before is a rigid section of body from about 15 cm behind head, area is rigid when moves and is a total of 1ft length rigid section. Can't seem to bend it anymore. Difficulty getting off lounge to floor. Is in a ground enclosure no climbing branches yet as need a taller enclosure I the process of sorting this. So there was no trauma, no fall, no rough handling etc since in our care. Just suddenly stiff. Has some small lumpy bits on underside in stiff section. Have tried gentle massage just now and seems to have improved slightly. Don't want to over do it so resting now after massage and see if their is a reaction to this. Any ideas, anyone had his before? Going to vet next week.not open till Monday.
     
  2. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    Make sure the vet is a reptile vet, and knows what they are talking about.
    Try not to handle the snake anymore than is absolutely necessary, until you know exactly what it is. Please keep us posted on its progress.
     
  3. PythonLegs

    PythonLegs Very Well-Known Member

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    Arthritis? How old did they say it is?
     
  4. Sharnie

    Sharnie New Member

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    Yep decided not to handle today just observed he stay pretty still most of the day. Going to reptile vet specialist tomorrow, would have gone today but reptile specialists only work Monday to Friday. Not sure how old no details came with snake which six despite me trying to find out. Thanks will let u both know how it goes.
     
  5. cement

    cement Subscriber Subscriber APS Veteran

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    It is critically important to have extremely good quarantine with that animal. It sounds to me like you have the first signs of neuro which is a clinical sign of the deadly viruses going around. I hope I am wrong, but this is what you may have to prepare for. You can test for sunshine virus, so any decent reptile vet can do that but the other ones won't be identified until necropsy.
    Quarantine .....
     
  6. Wokka

    Wokka Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    Without wishing to be alarmist the history of the animals gives heaps of opportunity to contact diseases from everywhere, so quarantine is certainly warranted!
     
  7. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes, I've seen this in a couple of Diamond Pythons at Perth Zoo some years ago - at the time Sunshine Virus wasn't known, but the snakes seemed to initially suffer from a stiff, inflexible neck, and eventually had to be euthanased as their lack of coordination progressed until they could no longer function properly. Be very careful with this animal.

    Jamie
     
  8. Sharnie

    Sharnie New Member

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    Bad news I'm afraid - we Went to the reptile specialist David Vella. It's spinal osteodystrophy he has never seen a case of it before. It's congenital and won't get better. Can try pain meds and anti inflammatorys injected twice weekly for the rest of his life, may not improve at all, or euthanasia :(
    we are going to think about it for a few days and see how the meds go, we have only had him for 2.5 months. So sad. He is a beautiful snake.
     
  9. Snapped

    Snapped Subscriber Subscriber

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    That is bad news, I'm really sorry to hear that Sharnie. Did David give you any idea if the treatment had worked before?

    It will be a tough decision to make either way, is it possible the snake had this before he was sold/given to you?
     
  10. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    Sorry to hear the news. Makes me wonder why the wildlife zoo gave it up. As Snapped has said, it is not an easy decision.
     
  11. Sharnie

    Sharnie New Member

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    I work at the aquarium next door so I don't think they were aware of the issue strangely, I can't see why they would give an employee of the same overall company a snake with known problems. He is worse now than when we got him. I have little experience with really big snakes and just thought he was all muscle so not that flexible. He has had it for a long time. He just doesn't coil up like other snakes and now has the fully stiff section for about 30cm.

    - - - Updated - - -

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinal_osteoarthropathy

    - - - Updated - - -

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spinal_osteoarthropathy
     
  12. cement

    cement Subscriber Subscriber APS Veteran

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    Thats tough news on many levels, sorry to hear that.
    It's hard with snakes because they can't transmit to us easily their pain levels.
    At the end of the day, if your descision is based on what is best for the snake, and with the vets opinion too, then it will be the right one.
     
  13. Herpo

    Herpo Well-Known Member

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    So sorry to hear that! Good luck, at least the snake is with someone who will put it's interest before money.

    I'm so depressed now, second snake to die or who might die in two days... :(
     
  14. Snapped

    Snapped Subscriber Subscriber

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    Did you ask the (wildlife zoos) opinion on what was wrong with the snake when it first started showing symptoms? If they are only next door kind of thing?

    They should also know the approx age of the snake if it was an education snake, and that's poor form of them not to give you feeding records either....you don't just hand over an 8 ft snake to someone and not advise them what it's been feeding on etc, I find that strange.....they are educators in a zoo and would keep records I'd of thought.
     
    Last edited: Mar 1, 2016
  15. littlemay

    littlemay Well-Known Member

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    I'm really sorry to hear that, Sharnie. Good on you for taking the right steps to do the best by your animal.
     
  16. Sharnie

    Sharnie New Member

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    They were downsizing their collection so I didn't get much time to assess snakes before we got them. Got 2 a coastal carpet and a diamond. I was really shocked there was no feeding / shedding record and no real info about them except temperament was great for both which was true. As I said I had t had much experience with really big snakes and being 8 foot long just thought this beast was really muscular and so not coiling like smaller snakes. More a loose coil than a tight one. We realised when a section suddenly stayed straight and we saw difficulties with movement and difficulty getting down off the couch to the floor. This happened relatively quickly. We only had him for 2.5 months before we realised. The first month we just let him settle in not much handling. Then he went into shed so agai we respected that and gave him space. After that we got him out more and then we noticed the issues. We will object with painkillers and antiinflammatories and give vitamins particularly B12 and see if that helps but the condition means bony deposits will form on spine and eventually he will be completely locked up. So at some point we will have to make the call to euthanise. Not sure if that will be sooner or later I guess it's up to him and his quality of life. We were about to build a bigger tall climbing type enclosure but may now need to make a really big floor one instead. To make his surroundings interesting without taxing his body to try to climb. :( we still love our beautiful new family member and will give him the best life possible for as long as that will be
     
  17. ronhalling

    ronhalling Subscriber Subscriber

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    @Sharnie, This particular disease goes by another name as well...."Septic Arthritis" Ref Gavin Rippon BVSc Camden Haven Veterinary Services. Our 7 year old 7 ft Intergrade unfortunately got it and ended up the top 1/3 of her body could hardly move until she had been out in the sun for at least 1 hr and even then you could see how much pain she was in, there is no cure and it only gets worse. According to Gavin it occurs from a previous infection the animal had (in some cases up to 5-6 years previous) even though the infection is cured the germ that causes this malady goes dormant for up to 7 years, and for no known reason reactivates and becomes Spinal Osteodystrophy/Septic Arthritis. Gavins only suggestion as the treatments for this disease is anecdotal at best is as you have already noted are Pain Relief and not too much handling, we tried giving her Glucosamine in her Rats at 1/10th the human dosage after consulting with 1 of the Herp Vets at Sugarloaf Animal Hospital in Newcastle with little to no success as well as some of the other Osteo Arthritis meds that are given to dogs with Arthritis with about the same effect, about the best we could do for her that made at least some difference was to put a heat mat under her hide and boost the temp up to 36-38 deg C, but even this is stop gap at best, and the disease will just keep getting worse, in the end we decided that it was in her best interest to have her Euthanized, so it was with a very heavy heart we took her to the Vet (Gavin Rippon) and put her out of her misery, it was about the worse thing i have ever had to do but in our opinion the best for her.
    So i wish you the very best and after reading how you feel about your new friend i am sure you will do what is best for it when the time comes. :( .....................Ron

    Just a pic of what was our beautiful girl before the affliction.
     

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