Strange contorting behavior in python

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by Mitch3ll, Sep 14, 2020.

  1. Mitch3ll

    Mitch3ll New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2020
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Occasional lurker, first time poster.

    For about 2 weeks now my Central Australian Carpet Python (5 years old, 1.5m long) has been showing strange behavior.
    It started with insistent face/chin rubbing along the walls, but not to the point where there was visible damage to the snake. Then it started climbing up the corners until it fell, occasionally smacking it's head in the process. I saw most of these falls, the impacts didn't seem hard, but I'm not sure. These behaviors have mostly stopped now, and instead every few hours the snake will rest with it's head upside down, or the upper third of it's body will twist and coil and writhe almost like death throes. The movements are slow and controlled, not violent, but the behavior still concerns me. (I have video of this behavior I can try to post, it looks like a very calm seizure)
    The snakes droppings have been small for the past 3 months, with a brown liquid component. I wonder if it may be a constipation issue. The snake eats rats and dead baby chickens and has never had a problem before.

    The snake still exhibits all of it's normal behavior, it is roaming, basking, sleeping, and responsive to touch; but has not shown any hunting behaviors, has refused the rat I offered a few days ago, and has been unusually non aggressive. (normally it is slightly aggressive and thinks almost any movement is food)
    The snake has never refused food before, and last ate about a month ago.
    The enclosure is 100x60x60, with a cardboard box to hide in, a shelf to climb, a water bowl and a heat lamp. The substrate is paper pellets (kitty litter). Lack of sunlight may be an issue as within the last year the enclosure was moved and now gets less direct sunlight.

    It's because the snake still shows otherwise normal behavior (and the pandemic) that I haven't taken it to a vet so far.

    Hope everyone is having a good day. Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.
    -Mitch
     
  2. Herptology

    Herptology Donator Donator

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    Messages:
    923
    Likes Received:
    752
    Gender:
    Male
    Doesn’t look like this does it


    --- Automatic Post Merged, Sep 14, 2020, Original Post Date: Sep 14, 2020 ---


    Same snake as first vid which has since been euthanised - vet put it down as birth defect as I did assist it out of the egg and it showed neuro from day 1

    Not suggesting anything but we’re temps being measured in the enclosure where it was receiving direct sunlight?

    And are you still monitoring/ controlling temps of the spots of enclosure ]A video of behaviour will really help
     
    Mitch3ll likes this.
  3. Mitch3ll

    Mitch3ll New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2020
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    Yes that's the behavior. All of the movements are the same in my snake but even more exaggerated, with the addition of willingness to have their head be upside down for 5+ minutes. (I will try to get a video uploaded once I figure out how)
    Normal behavior doesn't seem to be impaired outside of a few of these episodes each day (maybe 4 each day, lasting 5 to 20 mins), aside from the decrease in appetite and aggression.

    The tank only ever received direct sunlight on about 10% of it's floorspace, and this was about a year ago. Since then it's been moved and now receives none. I don't think it's likely the tank overheated (35 degrees maximum, and over 6 months ago during summer), but for a few weeks after moving the heat lamp was not properly plugged in and temperature may have dropped to 15 degrees during nights.
    During the early half of this year the snake outgrew it's hide, and didn't have one for several months, so constant light or stress might have played a factor, but aside from the actions already described I haven't noticed any indications of stress.
     
  4. Herptology

    Herptology Donator Donator

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    Messages:
    923
    Likes Received:
    752
    Gender:
    Male
    The behaviour in my videos was severe neurological issues caused by a deformity in the brain...

    So if yours is worse than that i can’t imagine... but it will most likely have to be PTS

    Definitely 100% see a reptile vet

    Do you have a thermostat? It’s possible the snakes been cooked even for a few hours can have lifelong impacts

    At this time of the year he should be getting a hot end of enclosure around 30-34c for 10-12hours a day and then ambient night time temps

    With a cool end of enclosure for him to retreat too
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2020
    Mitch3ll likes this.
  5. Mitch3ll

    Mitch3ll New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2020
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male


    There is a link to the video. I saw a list of reptile vets in another thread on this site, so I'll try to get in contact with the closest one.
    Thanks for all the help, if you or anyone else reading this has anything more to add it would be greatly appreciated.
     
  6. Herptology

    Herptology Donator Donator

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    Messages:
    923
    Likes Received:
    752
    Gender:
    Male
    That’s definitely a severe neuro mate

    Normally you can get off with a snake with a slight wobble, but once it starts corkscrewing, it’s not good :(
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Sep 14, 2020, Original Post Date: Sep 14, 2020 ---
    @Mitch3ll do you have a picture of the whole enclosure? Perhaps we can point out anything wrong? I think I can see a problem with the probe underneath the basking platform?
     
  7. Mitch3ll

    Mitch3ll New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2020
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    It's the only snake I have. Is there anything I should do differently when/if I get another? Is it genetic? Why did it take so long to happen? Can it live a healthy life if I can convince it to take food, or would that be cruel?
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Sep 14, 2020, Original Post Date: Sep 14, 2020 ---
    Here are some (rather large) images of the setup, let me know if you'd like a picture of something more specific.


    IMG_0143.JPG IMG_0144.JPG IMG_0146.JPG
     
  8. Herptology

    Herptology Donator Donator

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    Messages:
    923
    Likes Received:
    752
    Gender:
    Male
    Will answer those questions in a bit when I write a suitable response I’m happy with

    But was the snake sold to you as a centralian because it looks like a Murray darling
     
  9. Mitch3ll

    Mitch3ll New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2020
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    My mistake, it was sold to me as Spilota, I had the common names confused. It's a Murray darling.
     
    Herptology likes this.
  10. Herptology

    Herptology Donator Donator

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    Messages:
    923
    Likes Received:
    752
    Gender:
    Male
    1. I can’t really say as I’m not 100% sure what has caused the neuro to flare up so suddenly

    As I previously wrote, it’s possible the snakes been cooked under the heat too long, the heats too high etc

    That globe doesn’t look suitable as a heat emitting globe but if your thermometers are reading as 30 then I guess I’m wrong


    2. No it shouldn’t be, possibly if it was showing signs since birth but seeing as it’s new, it shouldn’t affect the offspring.. but I would NOT breed an animal with neuro

    It’s dodgy and no one will buy off you knowing the parent has neuro issues

    3. Can’t say, same reason, don’t know 100% what’s caused it so suddenly

    4. This is a hot topic, most people will tell you to euthanise it, some people will tell you it’s ok if it’s feeding and behaving normally.. I personally get sick seeing animals with neuro whether it’s jags or brain problems
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Sep 14, 2020, Original Post Date: Sep 14, 2020 ---
    Morelia spilota what?

    Also how long have you had this snake?
     
  11. Mitch3ll

    Mitch3ll New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2020
    Messages:
    6
    Likes Received:
    2
    Gender:
    Male
    The globe is ceramic, I can try to find the box as I can't remember the exact brand, but I bought it from a reptile specialist shop in Victoria.

    I will not be breeding with the snake.
    I'm not sure what to do about having the snake euthanized, but I'll talk to a herp vet and make a decision on that front soon. Thanks for the help.

    The snake is a Morelia Spilota Metcalfei.

    I underestimated the snake's age in my starting post. I said 5 years, but it's closer to 8 years. I've had the snake for nearly that entire time and never had an issue. It was bought at a herp and fish focused pet store.
     
    Herptology likes this.

Share This Page