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Thread: My Ball Python is Whistling???

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    Question My Ball Python is Whistling???

    Hey Everyone, This is my first post as new pet owner, so bear with me if I say something dumb.

    I bought Greg, my male ball python a few weeks ago at PetSmart. He's beautifully colored and he eats every week, even though he won't eat off the thongs right now, he only eats after I leave the mouse on the floor of his tank for 10 to 15 mins. But that's a whole other story.

    What I want to know, is it why he is whistling. It's like a breathy sounded hiss. But he's not hissing at me because at the same time he is rubbing against my hand with a straight neck, not s-shaped in defense. He's making this noise as he moves around the cage by himself as well. I don't know a lot about the shedding process, but last week his eyes were very cloudy and now they are clear, and I do see some mild shedding around his neck.

    Is this just a normal part of the shedding process or should I take him to the vet?

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    I would get him to a vet. Whistling means R.I. infection. Sooner it's treated, the better off he will be! Keep him quarantined if you have other reptiles.

    Good luck!
    Brandie

    www.cbballpythons.com
    5.5.7.3 Cresties - 1.2.1 Gargoyle - 1.1 M.I. Chahoua - 1.1.0.4 P.I. Chahoua - 0.0.1 Leachie

    "I'm in the high-fidelity first class travelling set.......I think I need a Lear jet"

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    Yes, the shedding sounds okay. The eyes will get cloudy and then clear up. Make sure you have some kind of moist hide in there for him and also that you have some rough surfaces for him to rub against.

    The whistling, however, does concern me. As Brandie said, it is a sign of respiratory infection. Sometimes cranking up the heat in his enclosure can help, or drying it out some (except for the separate moist hide that he needs). But, as always, a vet trip would be best.

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    Agreed on the R.I infection
    0.2.0 Crested Geckos-Cornelius:aka Doodles, Sweetums, Little Miss and Nibbler:aka BooBoo, Miss Boo and SqueakaBoo
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    i've heard the sound your describing in most my snakes at one time or another.the hissing sound can be from a respiratory infection,but isn't always.does he make that noise constantly ? i'de make sure the husbandry is correct,and offer a hot spot slightly above normal,making sure he can thermoregulate.don't cook your snake.

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    Even if you're husbandry is correct he may have developed the infection at the pet store. I've heard many stories of the same thing happening.
    0.2.0 Crested Geckos-Cornelius:aka Doodles, Sweetums, Little Miss and Nibbler:aka BooBoo, Miss Boo and SqueakaBoo
    1.0.0 FBT-Spartacus

    1.1.0 Humans-Oscar Roland and Alice Scarlett

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    respiratory infections can get reallly bad. You may want to open the mouth and look inside. I use the side of a skewer and just kind of roll in where the lips meet. If there is any foam or liquid, he probably has a R I, and needs to see the vet. You may also want to talk to the pet store if he is still under warrentee. It ran to about 100 per snake when I took them to the vet, which includes the meds you inject. Again go to a reptile vet.

    The shed is perfectly normal, he should loose the shed in a few days after the eyes clear.

    Good luck!!!
    Roxanne
    and the zoo
    www.geckoluv.com

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    I have done quite a bit of rescue with snakes (esp. ball pythons) and RI is what I see most commonly. One common thread is people not actually knowing their true temperatures. If you got it at a boxer it is likely they gave you an inacurate temperature gauge. Pick up a temp gun or a digital temperature gauge. Can't fix it unless you know a problem is there.

    Also, I agree with the vet recomendation. However, I also understand if you don't have a good herp vet available (I have the same situation). They need to do a culture to find what is the most effective treatment. If you decide to try something without a vet visit, the combo of pennicilin g (can get at farm stores) and baytril (get from a vet) seems best, though some strains may require other meds (ie fortaz). Injectable is ALWAYS better than oral when it comes to snake meds.

    You can also always demand a refund due to them selling you a sick (and prob. wild caught) snake and go purchase from a reputable local store (key word-reputable). Hope that helps!

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    Another note: mouth rot is very common if RI is present. Check for discoloration on the gums, hydrogen peroxide has worked well for me to get rid of mouth rot.

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    While I agree with everyone here that it could be a respiratory infection, and that you should take the snake to a vet, another cause it could be is simply stuck shed around the nostrils. Sometimes they will get some stuck shed over their nose/nostril area, and it will partially block the nostrils, causing the whistling noise.

    It sounds like the snake isn't shedding in one piece (like they should) but is rather shedding in patches. You said it is rubbing it's head against you, which also makes me think that it is trying to use you to rub the skin off with. This has happened to one of my snakes before.

    Make sure the snake has a large bowl of clean water - big enough for the whole snake to fit into. My snakes like to climb into their water tubs (I actually use those takealongs casserole dishes for water bowls) their full bodies and soak in the water periodically. Note that if your snake does that too frequently it is a sign of mites, but if they do it just occasionally, it's perfectly normal. If the snake is indeed having trouble shedding (meaning, not shedding in one piece) you could give it a soak/sauna.
    ~Jenni
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