My Diamond has the Flu.

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Reecehay

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I am a new snake owner and have purchased a 2.5yr old diamond about 5 days ago off a breeder. The guy I got it off said he was perfectly healthy and fine but since day 1 he was a bit wheezy and making funny sounds when breathing and now breathes with his mouth slightly open and has a 'runny nose'.

I believe he was in a plastic breeding rack before I purchased him. Have a attached a photo of my enclosure. His basking spot on the sticks is about 28-32 degrees depending on room temperature and the ground temperature on the other side is 20-25 depending on room temperature as well but generally a 10 degree gradient.

Ive read a few forums saying to use a few tub and Vicks and eucalyptus oil in hot water to help but I feel like this may burn his eyes. Does anyone have any remedies that might help or is the safest option to get him straight to a vet?
 

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cement

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Sounds like he has a respiratory infection. Try to keep his body temp at 30 degrees, easier to do this in a small hospital tub with a run or two of heat cord under it. Being a new snake owner my advice is go to a vet, he may need antibiotic injections.
 

pythoninfinite

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Definitely a vet visit is required, as it sounds like the disease is well advanced. Increase the heat as cement suggests, and apply 24/7, and get it to a vet asap. It's not the "flu" by the way, and it will eventually kill your snake if you don't take action. This is likely to have been obvious when you were sold the snake because the disease is obviously advanced (it is usually slow to develop), so you should seek some redress from the seller.

If the top of that enclosure is pretty much all mesh, as it seems, you should cover it with a towel (if it doesn't get too hot with those heat sources) because all your heat will be going straight up and out of the enclosure. Top ventilation is inefficient and makes it almost impossible to manage temps, especially in colder weather. As cement suggests, belly heat would more useful when treating a snake with RI.

Jamie
 
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Iguana

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Have to agree with the others in that a vet visit is required, once they start breathing with their mouth open it means the disease has been in the snakes system for awhile and has grown to dangerous levels, antibiotics will most likely be the answer, although it will take some time before the disease has completely cleared his system. As for now, raise the temps and make sure clean water is always available. Great looking enclosure by the way.
Hope this helps, good luck!
 

Reecehay

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Thanks for the advice guys!! The top is mesh but mostly encased but just as you said a lot of heat does escape out. There is a mesh vent section in the bottom right of the enclosure that lets a small amount of draft. I have added heat lamps into both fittings and am holding the tank at 30-32. The ground temp is still around 26. Will he be okay with the absence of a UV light for a couple of days while I am heating him? I am unable to get a vet appointment until Wednesday next week but if you guys believe it is serious I will get him into an emergency vet?

i have tried to contact the seller but he just mentioned that he was healthy and that's about it.

i also am using a new bag of substrate. Could the substrate be causing irritation? And would it be worth taking him out and spraying the substrate to calm the dust a little bit?

Thanks again everyone for your help.
 

Kopeht

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My Diamond had an RI towards the end of last year not long after I received it from a breeder (Wheezy, mucus discharge, lethargic) Get him to the vet ASAP, as soon as I noticed these symptoms on my Diamond I dropped everything (Including work) made an emergency appointment and took it to the vet that afternoon. as it was mentioned earlier- if it's wheezing, mouth open with mucussy discharge it has already progressed and it needs the aid of a vet immediately. I was given a course of antibiotic injections over a period of three weeks, was told by my reptile vet to keep the animal in a sterile plastic tub (a storage box with a clip on lid and a soldering iron to make a few holes for air would be ideal) with paper towels as a substrate. Stuff like bark will cause the humidity to rise and house the bacteria from the infection, you want to get rid of this and clean out your entire enclosure, i highly recommend getting your hands on F10 to use as a cleaner, most vet's stock it. Keep up the heat and provide a small water bowl away from the heat source to minimize the humidity. Also do not feed it until you get to the vet, and it'll be fine without the UV.

My Diamond started to come good after 3 weeks, as Iguana said it'll take awhile until it'll visibly start to clear.
 

pythoninfinite

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The snake does not need UV at any time - it will not do any harm, but it is not necessary for snakes - they get their Vitamin D from their food, they don't synthesize it from sunlight. If the enclosure has a vent down low, it will set up a convective draught drawing cold air in at the bottom and shooting it out through the top. Not a good design for reptile management. At 30-32C it may still not be warm enough to heal your snake - you should probably raise it to around 35C (with room for the snake to move to a cooler spot if it wants) at the basking spot on the ground. Easily replaceable substrate such as newspaper should be used in any container while the animal is convalescing. Those fancy enclosures look grand but often are not good for the long-term health of the animals they house.

If you can, I would do as another member has suggested and get the animal to a reptile vet asap so that you can start antibiotic therapy immediately.

Jamie
 

Reecehay

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Are you aware of any animal rights group or reptile federation that I can report the breeder to?
 

Wally

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Are you aware of any animal rights group or reptile federation that I can report the breeder to?

The animal rights groups would have an issue with you keeping a reptile in a box, period. Don't go down that path.
 

Wokka

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Work on fixing the snake not the breeder! That cage looks pretty but will be a nightmare as a hospital cage. Use a plastic tub and keep the temperature 30C plus a sick snakes dont always thermoregulate. Snake "flu" is more like pnuemonia than flue and fatal. You will need antibiotics given the advanced stage you describe.
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