Mites, shedding, blisters and lifting scales

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by LilithLeChat, Sep 10, 2018.

  1. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Not so new Member

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    First of all, I fully intend to take my snake to the vet, but can’t do it today.

    Loki and Gamora (3.5 year old Bredlis) were bought with a bunch of mites thrown in for free. We noticed them about a week after we got them, and went straight to a reptile vet. We’ve been following the treatment the vet recommended, but the mites keep on coming back.

    Last Wednesday we noticed that Loki has gone milky-eyed, and he’s been hiding since. He was supposed to be treated for mites yesterday, but because he’s about to shed, it was recommend not to treat until shed is completed.
    Today he came out from his hide and I noticed blisters all over his body, as well as some scales looking like they’re falling off. While it is not clear in the picture, it seems there’s a mite in every blister.

    I don’t know whether I should disturb and stress him by taking him to the vet until he sheds? Is there anything I can do for him until I take him to the vet?

    [​IMG]
     
  2. Mick666

    Mick666 Active Member

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    I used mortein odorless surface spray for mites (active ingredient is permethrin). take the snakes out, spray the enclosure, put them back in after ten minutes. repeat weekly until the mites breeding cycle is broken. Others here might have a more effective method, I'm fairly new to this.
     
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  3. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Not so new Member

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    Thank you, we’re already doing that plus spraying the snakes with a solution of flea killing insecticide that the vet recommended once a week (then rinsed thoroughly). We’re supposed to take them both in for check-up this week, but I’m not sure whether Loki should be put through the stress of being bagged, driven for an hour there and back and examined at this point in time, as he’s about to shed in the next few days (his eyes have cleared today).
     
  4. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    TOD is the most commonly used product to eliminate mites.
    Have been lucky that I have never had an infestation but my understanding is that it really shouldn't be too difficult to fix so long as you repeat the cleaning process in order to kill of the eggs.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Sep 10, 2018, Original Post Date: Sep 10, 2018 ---
    Sorry, TOD is Top of Descent. The name of the product.
     
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  5. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    Mites are a pain in th *** to get rid of

    You have to take them out and spray EVERYTHING and leave it for a few days, not putting the snakes back in

    Then clean (vaccuum?) and get rid of the dead mites

    At this point you can put the snakes back in once it’s aired out, and use butchers paper as substrate so you. Can see any more mites that may (most likely will be) still live

    And it’s sort of rinse and repeat it’s also worthwhile spraying the ground around the enclosure
     
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  6. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Not so new Member

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    Does anyone know how serious blistering and scale loss is? Still waiting fot the vet to get back to me
     
  7. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

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    Pretty sure it’s a common symptom of mites, if there was blood in blisters it might be bad
     
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  8. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Not so new Member

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    No blood, just how it looks in the pictures.
     
  9. GBWhite

    GBWhite Well-Known Member

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    It looks to me to be a form of dermatitis that is probably a result of a bacteria caused by a severe mite infection. Naturally you're going to have to treat the mite and more than likely may have to treat the snake with a course of antibiotics. In addition to the antibiotics a daily application of a providone iodine such as Betadine for about a month usually gives good results for a bacterial infection of the skin. You can just wipe the whole snake down with the Betadine, leave it for 30 - 60 minutes and then wipe it off. You could probably start application prior to shedding By using a lite mist spray to try and prevent further spread of the infection but I wouldn't try wiping it off. You'll get the best results after it sheds. As Paul mentioned Top Of Descent is the best way to treat mite (this way you can usually just remove the water and spray the snake and the enclosure while leaving the snake in there). In this case you probably won't get really good results until after it sheds and then it might be better to remove the snake and place it in a ventilated plastic tub with a paper substrate during the period of treatment (initially for the mite but ongoing to treat the bacterial infection). This way you can make sure the snake is in a sterile environment without the worry of damaging the "blisters" and spreading the bacteria further. Just remember that whatever method you decide to use to treat the mite you'll still have to make sure you treat the snake(s), enclosure and any furnishings about every 3 days to disrupt the life cycle and eliminate all the mites.

    If you've got more than one snake you're going to need to treat them all along with each enclosure to completely eliminate the mite.

    In addition make sure you destroy the shed as soon as it comes off (best way is to burn it) because you can guarantee that it will still contain mites that haven't died or eggs that will hatch and reinfect your entire collection.

    Hope this helps,

    George.
     
  10. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Not so new Member

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    Thanks, that’s the great advice. Two Bredlis are infested, but Diamond is mite-free. I treat her enclosure as well to ensure mites don’t go in there and practice washing hands and changing clothes between handling infested snakes and her to make sure she stays mite-free.
     
  11. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    If the Diamond is in the same room as the bredli, there is a good chance it will get mites too. You need to treat the snakes with a safe insecticide wash, and you need to fumigate the whole room/rooms where the enclosures are, as well as all cage furniture.

    Remove the snakes and treat them individually, especially around the chin and labial pits and eyes (mites get under the eye scales in large numbers because there is very thin skin there), but making sure you don't get insecticide in the mouth. I would use a cotton bud and carefully rub around the eyes and the groove in the chin, making sure you get good soaking penetration. Place the treated snakes in clean individual pillowcases, preferably plain light coloured ones so you can see any mites on the cloth, and proceed to treat the room and enclosures.

    Remove water bowls by placing them in a bucket of water with a bit of detergent (this will drown any mites on the bowls). Open all enclosures as wide as possible. DON'T remove cage furnishings or substrate - if you do you will simply be spreading mites around outside the enclosures. Mites don't lay eggs on the snakes - they lay their eggs in cracks and crevices in cage furniture or in the substrate or carpet and furniture outside the enclosure. Get a flea/cockroach bomb from the supermarket (or two, depending on the room size) and place in the middle of the room, set it off and close the door for a few hours. When you go back in, you may want to replace substrate, branches and other cage furniture by putting them in a plastic garbage bag and removing them - you can do this safely now because any mites will very likely be dead, so you won't be spreading them to other parts of the house. Don't wash or otherwise rinse the enclosures or you will remove the residual hormone which will stop any mites that hatch reaching adulthood.

    The room and enclosures should now be free of live mites, and your snakes should also be free of them if you treated them thoroughly. The flea/cockroach bombs will kill adults and nymphs immediately, and any eggs that hatch will not be able to grow to maturity because the bombs contain an insect growth retardant which stops them from moulting into adulthood - it's a residual hormone, not a poison, so won't harm your snakes.

    I have used this method on the couple of occasions I have encountered mites, and never had a reinfestation.

    But there is one lesson here at least... QUARANTINE NEW ARRIVALS!

    Jamie
     
    Last edited: Sep 10, 2018
  12. Ian69

    Ian69 Not so new Member

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    A word of warning from a professional Firefighter concerning flea and bug bombs. Make sure ALL ignition sources such as fridges, pilot lights etc are turned off or extinguished prior to releasing the contents of the bomb. I have seen more than one dwelling severely damaged by vapour explosion in my 30 years of service. Good luck getting rid of the mites.
     
  13. Mick666

    Mick666 Active Member

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    Firefighters are awesome.
     
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  14. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Yes indeed. It says to do this on the cans, but very worthwhile to mention it here. And also yes, firies are awesome!

    Jamie
     
  15. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    I've had limited first hand experience with mites (one outbreak in the 1990s and two other cases which didn't escape quarantine - both times quarantine saved me complete and utter nightmares), but have seen plenty of mite ridden collections and haven't seen them to cause blisters. I've usually seen blisters to be associated with damp conditions, especially if they are dirty and/or cold. When returned to dry, clean, warm enclosures, all of the few cases I've observed quickly cleared up within a slough or two.

    Good luck :)
     
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  16. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Not so new Member

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    The humidity in the enclosure is usually 20%, but I’ve tried to rise it slightly when I noticed he’s gone milky-eyed. Now it sits just under 40%. The substrate is newspapers changed daily, and they feel very dry.

    The earliest I could get for vet appointment is next Wednesday, I hope he’ll finish shedding by then.

    He also hasn’t defecated since we got him in early August, I hope he’ll do that after the shed.

    He’s a lovely tempered boy and seems to like my nephew the most of all people. I really hope we can get him to full health and mite-free soon.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Sep 14, 2018, Original Post Date: Sep 11, 2018 ---
    Update on Loki: today he has shed, defecated and urinated all at the same time. His new skin is blister-free and as far as I can tell, no scales missing - although he was way too frisky to stay still for thorough examination. However, a few of his scales looked a bit weird, as if concave instead of convex, so the edges are slightly curved up instead of laying flat against the skin. Will bring it to the vet’s attention on Wednesday, however I could see nothing like it on google images.
     
  17. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    That sounds pretty good. It's common for any sort of injury to not 100% disappear with a single slough. As long as there is a dramatic improvement it means it's now getting better rather than worse, presumably the cause is gone, so it will continue to heal. Generally anything superficial like this will be 99-100% gone after the second slough. If you're still playing around with potentially troublesome mite treatments (there are other options, but whatever suits you suits you) it may not be completely gone until a slough or two after the mites and treatment behind you. If you only have a small number of snakes it's possible to get rid of mites pretty quickly.
     
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  18. LilithLeChat

    LilithLeChat Not so new Member

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    I only have three, and I have managed to keep the juvenile Diamond mite-free. I couldn’t see any on male Bredli tonight, but it doesn’t mean they’re gone, the little bastards seem to survive the treatment by hiding behind their eyeballs. We’ll see what the vet says.

    I managed to snap a couple of pics of affected scales

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Sep 15, 2018, Original Post Date: Sep 15, 2018 ---
    Video of Loki shedding



    Although the old skin split, he managed to get it all off by himself. The log has been thrown away and the other “furniture” scrubbed thoroughly with hot water and dishwashing detergent.

    I also cleaned the enclosure with F10 (because OMG! So much pee!!!) followed by spraying with mite-killing solution.
     
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  19. Sdaji

    Sdaji Almost Legendary

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    Looks like one more slough should fix those scales. I'd be pretty ruthless if I was trying to wipe out mites. The enclosures would be bare other than paper substrate and a water bowl, if I only had three snakes I'd either be treating all three or quarantining them with a full shower and change of clothes (old clothes directly into the washing machine) after going anywhere near snakes without the all clear, and if I wasn't using a long lasting area of effect treatment I'd be treating them daily or at least every 2-3 days.

    Other than being sucked in by effective marketing and herd mentality, I'm not sure why F10 is so popular. I've never bought it. There are more effective things which are cheaper.

    If you want to be sure something like cage furniture doesn't have mites you can either freeze it or bake it. No chemicals, elbow grease or wasted hours of work required.
     
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  20. Pauls_Pythons

    Pauls_Pythons Power Seller Power Seller

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    That statement is music to my ears.
     

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