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Woma HELP needed

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Mango

Not so new Member
I got two woman's about 6 weeks ago. The boy came to me with some scales stuck on his face (specifically over his nose), he had a lot of trouble breathing so had to go off to the vet and get it all cleaned out. He has had one shed with me since then and it was not a clean shed, again the upper jaw was incomplete. The vet checked him out again and wasn't 100% sure if he had gotten it all off or not.

He is now unwell again, I will take him to the vet asap, but he is sneezing and having trouble breathing just like before. I am super worried this is going to happen every time he sheds!! I can't afford to keep having him sedated to clear out his nose every 6 weeks!! The vet did say that one nostril was quite narrow and that is in the back of my mind, maybe that is part of the problem???

Anyway my other snakes are perfectly fine, shedding, eating and active. Its just cinnamon :( If there isn't a solution I don't know what i am going to do with him :(
 

pythoninfinite

Well-Known Member
APS Veteran
You don't say how old or how large the animal is? If the shed is incomplete at any time, I would place the snake in a small tub (with a secure lid and a few small holes for ventilation) and about 30mm of body-temperature water in the bottom, place the tub in the enclosure to keep it reasonably warm, and leave it at least overnight. This won't harm the snake, but should allow the removal of any adhering skin. It's most likely that the skin will come off of its own accord if you undertake this treatment. If you do have to slip the skin off manually, just watch how the skin lining the nostrils comes away - it should come away fairly cleanly if you carefully ease it out. Much safer than repeated sedation, and no cost.

On the odd occasion I've had to do this, I generally use the 5L tubs from the Reject Shop if the snake fits into it. Sometimes the snakes react actively when placed in the water, but they usually settle and just lie in the water with their nostrils above the surface. The water and 100% humidity should soften the remnants of a bad shed pretty quickly, especially if you do it asap after the shed. Good luck.

Jamie
 

Mango

Not so new Member
Cinnamon came to me with scales in/over his nose he was already having trouble so I took him to the vet within a week of having him. After figuring out that he had not shed properly before I got him his nose was cleaned out and he was instantly a happy snake again. He has had one shed since I got him and I took him in to get his face checked because the shed didn't look complete to me but I couldn't see anything on his face. The vet couldn't tell either if there was anything left on his face so we have been waiting to see how he went.

Cinnamon is about a year old, I don't have his hatch date so it is approximate. He shed 4 weeks ago and has been a happy camper until this last week, now he is sneezing and off his food and lethargic again. I would say we are back to where we started and his nose if full of mucous and skin again and the vet is away :(
 

pythoninfinite

Well-Known Member
APS Veteran
OK. So at the last vet visit, did he/she say anything about the possibility of a low-grade respiratory infection, or some other pathology in the mouth that is causing the nostril to block up? If there is mucus, there is likely to be an inflammatory process happening, in the lung, mouth or nostril - retained skin in the nasal passage may be a result of that, or it may just be dried mucus/pus that you think is skin from another underlying cause. There may be something lodged in the nostril (Womas are diggers), but it sounds more like inflammation or infection rather than a nasal deformity.

You should get it back to the vet as soon as you can, in the meantime, until the vet is again available, keep the basking temps at the higher end of the range (around 33-35C) just in case it's a respiratory infection, because warmth is an aid to the immune system. Is your vet a reptile specialist? if it's a shedding issue, you should be able to deal with it yourself as I've outlined, and if it's a local infection it should also be able to be cleared up fairly quickly as well, negating the need for repeated vet visits.

Also of great importance is quarantine - if you have other reptiles, and you don't know the history of these Womas, you must keep these two away from them, and use separate utensils for feeding, watering etc. For at least 6 months, preferably 12. Do this animal last on the list, and wash your hands thoroughly after dealing with this snake.

Jamie
 

Mango

Not so new Member
Thank you Jamie,
the vet felt it wasn't an infection (he is a herp specialist) just a blockage. After it was all cleared out he said one side was very narrow still. He showed me a pic of what he got off his face last time and it was definitely some scales and disgusting mucous. His thought was that the scales caused the inflammation. I have turned up his heat and we have an appointment with another vet tomorrow.
 

Mango

Not so new Member
Well I adjusted the thermostat so that the hot hide is topping out at 35C instead of 31C and he came out last night and munched down two hopper rats! I didn't see any sneezing or mouth breathing and he was quite mobile. So I am really really hoping he's fine and it was nothing!
 

pythoninfinite

Well-Known Member
APS Veteran
That's great - readiness to feed like that is a very good sign, so it may be that it will be fine after another shed or two. Womas are largely desert snakes (except for a population that lives/lived in the northern wheatbelt of WA) and they are largely nocturnal in hot weather, but I suspect they utilise the sun-heated ground in the evenings to assist their foraging, so a couple of degrees higher temps may assist activity, feeding and overall health for this species.

Let us know if there are any further developments, but it's good that it's got a healthy appetite - always the first and best step to good health.

Jamie
 

Mango

Not so new Member
just thought I'd let everyone know that the woman's are doing great. Cinnamon shed and I haven't seen any sneezing or weird breathing so he is all good :) His sister also shed so they are both looking great and eating and happy little woman's :)
 

SKYWLKR

Active Member
Nothing like a happy woman. As the saying goes, "happy woman's, happy life"

(or something to that effect!) Lol
 
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