Corn Snakes -Persistent, Severe Respiratory Infection? Sinus Problems? - Page 4 - FaunaClassifieds
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Old 10-20-2010, 01:05 PM   #31
snakechaarmer
I went by the vet's office yesterday and demanded he call the lab and ask for SOME SEMBLANCE of some answer on the fungal cultures. They can at least freaking tell if there is SOMETHING growing, so we know at least SOMETHING. i was so angry. And then of course, they never called. So I'm calling again today.

I've put 3 phone calls into Dr. Elliiot Jacobsen and left 3 voicemails at 3 different numbers to call me or my vet back for a consult. Still no word.


The symptoms seem to literally be rotating between all of the snakes. It is the most bizzare thing I've ever seen -

Last week, Argent seemed like he was on death's door. I went in there, he was coiled in a ball, he had his head tilted at a weird angle with his mouth gaping open with drool coming out. I thought he was dead. I tapped on the cage and he was like "What, what? I'm awake". The same day, Adore, the youngest, seemed perfectly fine with a few minor sniffles here and there. No issues at all.

This week, it's completely opposite. Argent seems TOTALLY fine, except a few sniffles. Now Adore seems miserable and is wheezing/popping like crazy.

Sharra seems to fluctuate weekly as well. Some weeks I think she's better, then the next week it's back to popping/wheezing/sneezing...But she is no where NEAR as bad as she was the 2-3 days after the Amphotericin treatment.

I am at such a loss.
 
Old 10-20-2010, 02:38 PM   #32
snakechaarmer
Update:

I'm extremely upset and so frustrated I could scream.

Just found out the fungal culture results came back negative. They've had the results for 3 weeks but due to some fax machine malfunction and the vet hospital not following up with a phone call, they just sat on somebody's desk.

No idea what to do now, treatment wise.
 
Old 11-17-2010, 03:49 PM   #33
snakechaarmer
Just thought I would do a small update, even though there isn't much to say...

All three snakes have been through a full 3 week deworming regiment. It did nothing and changed nothing in their symptoms.

They are all still sneezing, wheezing, and mouth-gaping. However, they seem active, otherwise happy, and are eating with no problems whatsoever. I just don't understand it at all.

The next course of action is they will be getting x-rays this week or next per another vet's recommendation. This should theoretically show if it's a sinus problem or if there's lung tissue damage from a bacterial or fungal infection that is too deep to be cultured by a normal swab culture.

The other course of action was to try them all on a regiment of Fortaz. I have not been able to affordably get ahold of any Fortaz, as it comes only in 10 vial packages for $200+, and my vet doesn't carry it. We are trying to see if we can buy one or two vials from another facility but it isn't looking promising - so that attempt may have to wait until I have the money to buy the medication.

Again, I ask myself, if the RI is that severe - we are going on 4+ months of this nonsense now with 2 of the snakes, over 8 months with one of them - wouldn't they be dead by now?? I just don't understand it at all.

Another vet friend suggested cryptosporidiosis, he said it does not show up on fecals and can present itself as a respiratory problem instead of a GI one. I've personally never heard of this, so thoughts on this suggestion would be appreciated.
 
Old 11-17-2010, 06:13 PM   #34
BigTattoo
Could it be allergies?

Having read this whole thread and all the tests you have done coming back negative. With no real response to the treatments it makes me think allergies. It may not be the aspen. It could be any cleaning chemicals you may use in your home. Even air fresheners can cause symptoms like this.

When I had my shop and Febreeze first came on the market we had a number of customers who would have one or two of their pets come down with symptoms similar to what you're describing. Yet other pets in their homes were not affected. It turned out it was caused by the Febreeze. Once they stopped using it the symptoms went away. Just a thought but I would start looking at environmental and any new products you may have introduced into your home around the time this all started. It may be any number of things from air fresheners, fabric softeners, floor cleaners, even swiffers could be a possibility.
 
Old 11-17-2010, 07:27 PM   #35
TripleMoonsExotic
Quote:
Originally Posted by snakechaarmer
Another vet friend suggested cryptosporidiosis, he said it does not show up on fecals and can present itself as a respiratory problem instead of a GI one. I've personally never heard of this, so thoughts on this suggestion would be appreciated.
I wouldn't even consider that. I've read up a lot on crypto, exotic veterinarian medical journals that the printer I worked for frequently had articles and studies on it and I've never once read or heard it would present itself respiratory (in any strain that infects reptiles). Here is an article I wrote up based on my research.

I wouldn't bother because your snakes don't appear to be exhibiting crypto symptoms (and a lot more of your snakes would be infected by now), but you can get acid-fast testing done on fecal samples to test for oocysts. You'll need to do it 3 times to be relatively certain they are crypto-free.

Good luck!
 
Old 11-17-2010, 08:27 PM   #36
snakechaarmer
Quote:
Originally Posted by TripleMoonsExotic View Post
I wouldn't even consider that. I've read up a lot on crypto, exotic veterinarian medical journals that the printer I worked for frequently had articles and studies on it and I've never once read or heard it would present itself respiratory (in any strain that infects reptiles). Here is an article I wrote up based on my research.

I wouldn't bother because your snakes don't appear to be exhibiting crypto symptoms (and a lot more of your snakes would be infected by now), but you can get acid-fast testing done on fecal samples to test for oocysts. You'll need to do it 3 times to be relatively certain they are crypto-free.

Good luck!
You know, I am a complete dumbass. LOL. I am a freaking histo-tech and I know what crypto is in the human setting, and I know that acid-fast tissue stains and cytology stains will stain it - duh. I should've thought of that because I was actually pondering - well how do you see it if it doesn't show up in the fecal? LOL !

Anyway - I tend to agree with you, I would think other snakes would have it, i would have it, they would've died by now. I did read one obscure article and my vet friend did say as well that it could manifest as a respiratory problem but I don't think this is the case.

Thanks for your input.
 
Old 11-17-2010, 08:34 PM   #37
snakechaarmer
Quote:
Originally Posted by BigTattoo View Post
Having read this whole thread and all the tests you have done coming back negative. With no real response to the treatments it makes me think allergies. It may not be the aspen. It could be any cleaning chemicals you may use in your home. Even air fresheners can cause symptoms like this.

When I had my shop and Febreeze first came on the market we had a number of customers who would have one or two of their pets come down with symptoms similar to what you're describing. Yet other pets in their homes were not affected. It turned out it was caused by the Febreeze. Once they stopped using it the symptoms went away. Just a thought but I would start looking at environmental and any new products you may have introduced into your home around the time this all started. It may be any number of things from air fresheners, fabric softeners, floor cleaners, even swiffers could be a possibility.

You bring up a valid point about the air fresheners and the like - but I would tend to not think this is an allergy thing simply because of :

1) I have hardwood floors
2) I don't use a febreze electrical outlet thing
3) The snake-room is isolated by heavy doors from the rest of the home.
4) The only chemicals I use in the snake room are 10% bleach and KY Jelly, if that even counts.
5) None of the other snakes have gotten ill AT ALL - any other species. The only sick snakes are Anery corn snakes. Maybe it's an anery thing? LoL

However, as I sit here writing this..I am thinking to myself..

Every single one of these snakes was housed, at one point or another, for an extended period of time in a 5 rack system i bought from the company HerpEnclosures about 5 years ago. I had two other large females in this rack and they are problem free, however, they were in and out of it and didn't spend a whole lot of time in there.

This rack system did malfunction at one point right after we moved into the new house and some of the interior material melted. Luckily, it was in a pan that no snake was in and it melted some of the plastic and all so I just threw the whole pan out... Do you think it's possible that some of the vapors/chemicals released during this problem could still be present in that rack system and have caused harmful irritants to the snakes' lungs?

Wow. I never thought about this?
 
Old 11-17-2010, 09:56 PM   #38
JordanAng420
Was a Complete Blood Count ever taken? This would give a good indication of an actual "infection" if the white cell count was elevated.

Did the animal ever have a trachael wash? I know harald mentioned it briefly earlier...this test would not only check for parasites, but it would give you a much more "solid" sample to send to the lab.

And Xrays, to evaluate the lung density among other things, would be ideal...

keep us updated, i'm sorry I missed this thread earlier!
 
Old 11-17-2010, 10:02 PM   #39
snakechaarmer
Quote:
Originally Posted by JordanAng420 View Post
Was a Complete Blood Count ever taken? This would give a good indication of an actual "infection" if the white cell count was elevated.

Did the animal ever have a trachael wash? I know harald mentioned it briefly earlier...this test would not only check for parasites, but it would give you a much more "solid" sample to send to the lab.

And Xrays, to evaluate the lung density among other things, would be ideal...

keep us updated, i'm sorry I missed this thread earlier!

My vet is not comfortable doing a tracheal wash. I can however look into getting one of their WBCs done when I take them in for x-rays. That's a good idea as well. I am not sure if their staff will be able to do it but I hope so.

The x-rays were suggested to me to look for lung damage and possible sinusitis that could mean allergies, so I guess lung density would be determined there also?

EDIT: Adding..Also..Doing a CBC that may come up normal, as well as x-rays that may show lung damage but no sinusitis may mean that I am correct in my theory about the horrible rack disaster causing this problem. The more I think about it the more dread fills my heart that that really may be the cause.
 
Old 11-18-2010, 06:25 AM   #40
BigTattoo
Quote:
Originally Posted by snakechaarmer View Post
4) The only chemicals I use in the snake room are 10% bleach and KY Jelly, if that even counts.
The bleach I understand why you use it. I am wondering about the KY jelly though.

You might be onto something with the residual plastics. The fumes from many plastics as they melt and burn can be pretty toxic. If any residue is still present on the rack it may still be offputting low levels of fumes.

Let us know what you find out from the x-rays and blood panel.
 

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