Hibernation/Brumation HELP NEEDED

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by drake84, Jul 3, 2016.

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  1. drake84

    drake84 Not so new Member

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    Hey guys,

    I have a 5 year old Woma python. The other week I noticed he hadn't been very active and wasn't due for a shed so I checked his temp and noticed that the heater wasn't on and the Thermostat plug had come loose. I plugged it back in to get him back up to temperature. It was working, but the next morning when I went to check on it, it was off again, and now wont work at all. I have left him as he is, but I need some help with how snake brumation works. I am a student and can't really afford a new thermostat right now, and he seemed to be going well until today (story below) so now I need to know, if I should continue him as he is until summer comes back, or just find the money somewhere and get him a cheap on/off thermostat and then how do I bring him back to temperature... slowly or all at once?

    Basically since his heater/thermostat died, he has been fine, I seem him out and about every so often, but today he was out and about and I moved and startled him and from there he became very aggressive and struck at the glass and was hissing at me. I have never seen him like this. Is this just a fear response from the brumation or is he unwell?

    TIA for your help

    Drake
     
  2. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    Brumation & hibernation are very different.
    IMO even during winter months snakes need access to heat for a few hours every day. Look at the natural habitat of your snake.
    You don't say where you are located, a very important factor. If you are in the NT or FNQ you might be fine. If you are in Vic, NSW or the southern parts of SA or WA you may soon find you animal suffering from RI.
    You could maybe find an alternative heating source but take a look on ebay if you are a bit short. Some thermostats are quite cheap though not the most reliable. Are you even 100% sure that the cause of your problems is the thermostat. What heat source are you using? Is running the heater on a timer an option for a few days? (Without leaving the heat on too long so as it cooks your snake)
    When cold snakes are a little more defensive than normal because they are not able to respond with the speed they would if they are warmed through.
     
  3. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Everything the PP has said, plus the fact that Womas can just suddenly decide to go ballistic when they feel like it. Puffing up, hissing, striking the glass (mostly bluff) are all part of Woma repertoire, and it can come on very suddenly when nothing has changed in their world. I agree that you'll probably need some access to moderate heat on a daily basis, or the animal risks RI.

    Jamie
     
  4. drake84

    drake84 Not so new Member

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    Thank you so much for your responses. I was going to see what temp it would get up to without the thermostat but didn't want to make it hot and then cold again cause I thought that would make him ill.

    Please excuse my ignornace? What is RI? Reptile influenza?
     
  5. Ekans

    Ekans Not so new Member

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    Respiratory infection, basically covers a lot of things that affect the upper and lower respiratory system
     
  6. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    As Ekans states RI is respiratory infection. Essentially the cold/flu virus for snakes but as they dont have the means to clear their respiratory tract it is potentially deadly for them unless treated early.
    This might make you feel a little more comfortable about temps. I live in south Vic & keep BHP's. My adults are only getting 7hrs of heat a day & are in a room which has no other heating source. Basically they are kept a few degrees above ambient at night but heated to good day time highs. They will bask for several hours during the day & retreat to their hides once the temp starts to drop. Important to have a good sized enclosure so that if the temps do get a bit much the animal can seek refuge. Too hot will kill a snake in a few hours. Too cold will take a few weeks.
     
  7. drake84

    drake84 Not so new Member

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    Ah damn! Just tried to plug in the heater directly to see how hot it got in there and it blew the heat lamp. Now I need both! I am sure I can rustle up some money and just get the cheapest available to get me by until I graduate and have a real job :)
     
  8. notechistiger

    notechistiger Subscriber Subscriber

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    If you are using globes, you can find 40-60w spotlight globes at your local supermarket or hardware store which are exactly the same as reptile brand globes (except without the brand stuck to the side) and are much, much cheaper. I mean $3-5 dollars cheap.

    As people have said, you still need to give a reptile heat over winter regardless to help stem off infection.

    Whilst I don't use thermostats with my heat sources, I do have quite a few globes spare just in case anything breaks. It might be worth looking into when you get some more funds.
     
  9. drake84

    drake84 Not so new Member

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    What are the signs and symptoms of RI that I should be on the lookout for? I have to replace the lamp fixture, it shorted which must've been what took the thermostat and lamp with it. It's top of the priority list tomorrow!
     
  10. Ekans

    Ekans Not so new Member

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    Open mouth breathing is a pretty common symptom, they can develop noisy breathing where you can hear them breathe in and out and mucous present in the mouth.
     
  11. drake84

    drake84 Not so new Member

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    And Tx is immediate vet referral?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I managed to replace the fitting, the lamp and the thermostat for less than $50 as a good place holder until I can afford better or get the receipt for my >$200 thermostat and get it covered by warranty.

    Question now is, do I need a higher wattage incandescent bulb than I would ceramic heat bulb? I normally use a 100W ceramic so I bought a 100W incandescent and it's not heating it nearly enough...
     
  12. alichamp

    alichamp Active Member

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    Yes, according to other posts on this forum, safest plan for treatment is vet visit ASAP once any symptoms are noticed, for likely antibiotics treatment (see this thread My Diamond has the Flu).
     
  13. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Don't start worrying about RI at this stage. It's important that you don't disturb the animal too much when it's cold, so don't handle it AT ALL, and make any disturbance as minor as possible. The more you disturb them when they should be dormant, the more likely is an occurrence of respiratory infection.

    Jamie
     
  14. drake84

    drake84 Not so new Member

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    OK, so his heat is close to ideal (when I put my space heater under the tank) but I am noticing occasionally he is opening his mouth, almost like he does after a meal. I'm really freaked out about RI, is this an early sign of the disease? When his mouth is open it doesn't appear more mucusy than normal (from what I have seen post feed or in a yawn). I have called an exotic vet in my area to get an appointment but I have to wait until tomorrow morning to book, are we talking change my plans emergency?
     
  15. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    It won't be RI (caused by the very recent temperature drop) you are seeing. Even if it is RI (which I doubt) the disease is NOT a critical emergency in its early stages. Snakes open their mouths for any number of reasons.

    Most of those commenting here are spouting stuff they have heard but never experienced themselves, and are causing you unnecessary concern. Many of them are panic-merchants with very little experience, but become disease experts as soon as they get their first snake. If the animal's enclosure is close to normal (28C-29C+), it will be fine until you get your heating sorted.

    Snakes are generally quite resilient - they have to adapt to circumstances that nature presents them with all the time - so as long as you sort it out in the next week or two you (& the snake) will be fine. A few days without heat WILL NOT lead to RI if you leave the animal alone to manage its own metabolism.

    Jamie
     
    Last edited: Jul 6, 2016
  16. Ekans

    Ekans Not so new Member

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    That's an ugly little snipe, nobody in the thread has given anything but helpful advice, nothing outrageous, it's been constructive without any drama.
     
  17. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    It's not a snipe and it's not ugly. I've lost count of the number of very new keepers seeking advice here who are told that if their snake gets a bit cold for a few days they'll need to rush off to the vets in case of "RI," and as consequence become greatly concerned (and maybe spend a lot of money and time on an unnecessary vet visit.) I noted your comment about symptoms Ekans, but you could have added that RI is unlikely to manifest itself in the brief period this animal has been without heat, given the sense of panic the OP was clearly developing.

    You offered your advice, I offered mine.

    Jamie
     
  18. Ekans

    Ekans Not so new Member

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    I just stated some of the symptoms as no one had responded to the question
     
  19. Waterrat

    Waterrat Almost Legendary

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    Oh, like the good old days on APS. :lol:
     
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