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Hello everyone my name is Sean from Raleigh NC USA, I have a 3.5 year old black headed python who is starting to show symptoms of a respiratory infection as of now just some light whistles when being handled or moving too quickly and a small amount of mucus in her mouth. I've already made an appointment to be seen by an exotics vet and have thoroughly cleaned her enclosure. Her temp gradient has been kept at 80-83 on cool side going up to 93-95 hot side (rarely getting close to 100 at the hottest but whenever I see it getting that high I immediately bring it back down). I'm wondering if anyone has any experience with RI's in their black heads and if they have any idea what could cause it? It literally appeared almost over night. I did mist her enclosure a little heavily the night before I first heard her squeaks, could having too high humidity cause an infection to appear that quickly? Also could having too low humidity have caused this? I always figured they come from arid environments so I assumed too low (under 50%) would be better than too high but now I'm wondering if that could have been the cause and then the sudden bump from misting just caused it to manifest. I'm pretty anxious about this whole thing she's such a beautiful animal I hate myself for doing something causing her to get sick.
 

Tyrant pets

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High humidity would definitely cause something like this.
How often do you mist her enclosure?
Also i dont mist my snakes at all owning (bhp, woma, stimson) they dont need it. But thats in my case. I dont know the enivoment you keep your bhp in (weather,temp, humidity of your area).

Also what type of heating do you have?
The temps you got are ok but depending on the system she could not be getting what she needs.

I recommend heat cable or mats over lamps as the temps dont change at different heights in enclosure.
Also when you say you bring the heat down after 100⁰f does that mean you dont have a thermostat that auto switches the heat? If not thats definitely worth a buy :)

Type of substrate have something to do with it too. (I use aspen)

My info
I keep my temps at 36⁰c with a 1⁰deadband and depending on time of year heat stays on for 10hrs-ish
 
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High humidity would definitely cause something like this.
How often do you mist her enclosure?
Also i dont mist my snakes at all owning (bhp, woma, stimson) they dont need it. But thats in my case. I dont know the enivoment you keep your bhp in (weather,temp, humidity of your area).

Also what type of heating do you have?
The temps you got are ok but depending on the system she could not be getting what she needs.

I recommend heat cable or mats over lamps as the temps dont change at different heights in enclosure.
Also when you say you bring the heat down after 100⁰f does that mean you dont have a thermostat that auto switches the heat? If not thats definitely worth a buy :)

Type of substrate have something to do with it too. (I use aspen)

My info
I keep my temps at 36⁰c with a 1⁰deadband and depending on time of year heat stays on for 10hrs-ish



I almost never mist her, usually only when she's shedding. She recently had a patch of stuck shed on her back so I missed her and she was able to get it off. That was literally the night before I heard her whistle though which is why I was mostly confused as to how quickly it came on.
I don't have a thermostat on my lamps, I have two heat emitters and a regular day lamp I usually switch the smaller CHE and day lamp on during the day and just leave the one larger CHE on at night (my gf is pregnant and needs to sleep with the A/C on and we have central air) so I use the larger one at night because the little one can't really keep up. I definitely want to either use heat tape or a heat mat with a thermostat. Normally her lamps keep her hot side between 90 and 95 but when I first got the bigger one I had to mess around with the configuration of which ones were on at the same time and check her temps with a temp gun daily when I see any spot get above 95 I turn the CHE off. I'll be getting a thermostat for those too now though just to make it more consistent and safer.
Full disclosure I haven't actually used a hydrometer until recently just because I know they don't need high humidity and since it's been installed it's been reading between 35 and 39%. Everything I've read says they should be kept at 50%- 60% I'm wondering if it's been in the 30's this whole time if that would effect her negatively?
And as for substrate I actuy change it up whenever I do a full clean, previously she was on mix of sand and aspen chips but now that I've noticed her symptoms I switched her to just paper towels so I can keep track of her health more closely.
 

CF Constrictor

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Hi S J
I keep my carpet python enclosures at between 30 and 35% humidity and only mist when they are in preshed. I would rather it be a bit to dry than to damp. I also give my snakes a bath around once a month , which they sometimes seem to enjoy if i get the water temp right. And keep their enclosures clean. Have never had any respiratory issues. Belly heat is the go , CHEs are to inefficient , and paper is my prefered substrate. Good luck.
 
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Tha
Hi S J
I keep my carpet python enclosures at between 30 and 35% humidity and only mist when they are in preshed. I would rather it be a bit to dry than to damp. I also give my snakes a bath around once a month , which they sometimes seem to enjoy if i get the water temp right. And keep their enclosures clean. Have never had any respiratory issues. Belly heat is the go , CHEs are to inefficient , and paper is my prefered substrate. Good luck.

Thank you!
 

Pauls_Pythons

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In my experience BHP's dont need misting at all ever nor do they need to have any form of humidity control.

There is a suggestions regarding temps above but in my opinion that is inaccurate. 95F in my opinion is the lowest temp I would target and depending on the enclosure size Im happy to see temps over 100F especially during autumn & winter if they are being 'cooled' and have reduced availability to access that heat.
 

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