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Q: Sick Burmese python
Posted By:

Escamillas Jungle

ok finally I got a picture of him on here.  He does not even let out the "white" stuff.  Its been over a month if not longer.  Today when my husband fed him he killed the small hairless rat.  When we feed him we have to help him because its like he cannot sqeeze hard enough, also sometimes he can't coil around it right.  We always have to help.  Then thats all he does he loses interest.  We have to force the rat into his mouth to make him eat.  This is the second time now.  Its like he is getting worse.  He didn't have any problems when he was younger he just got this way in the p[ast month or two.  He is super flimsy, "soft"  Can anyone help me?  Is he going to be ok?  I love this snake.  Please!

Points: 150
Topics: General Health , Feeding , Digestive
Administrative: Show/Hide

Member Comment 12/20/2010 9:31:57 AM


Maybe he is dehydrated? Have you tried soaking him in warm water?

I would definetly take him to a vet. At least call them up and see if you can bring in a stool sample to check for harmful bacteria, parasites etc. It is not too expensive if you just do the fecal exam.

Member Comment 12/20/2010 11:24:20 AM

Tiger Onzuka

Not sure of your geographical location, but it is tough to keep the proper heat and humidity levels during winter months. It is possible the snake has gone off feed especially Ball Pythons. (I didn't see a Burmeese Python in your animal collection?). You can also try mice vs. rats, live vs. dead, and the sex or color of the food. Sometimes they can get very picky!

Member Comment 12/20/2010 11:34:36 AM

Tiger Onzuka

Another note: Perhaps Lemonhead is who you speak about? I notice you and your family handle the snakes quite often. If the snake is not feeding well, make sure to give him some privacy, too. They need hide boxes or spaces they can feel secure. Also check the size of the cage. Most snakes don't need a huge enclosure and the general rule of thumb is the length of snake is less than the perimeter of the cage. If your cage perimeter is twice the length of the cage then its too big for your snake. It looks like you can keep this snake in a 20 gallon long for now. Use a box and cut a hole in the side for a hide spot. Give the snake a heat source OUTSIDE of the cage so the snake won't burn itself. Place the heat source to the left or right side of the cage so the animal can thermoregulate to be warm or cool. Also, you should avoid keeping other snakes with this one until it gets back on track.

Member Comment 12/20/2010 1:40:06 PM


Heat and humidity don't sound like the real issue here. This snake needs a vet. The symptoms you are describing sound like some type of neurological disorder. It could be from some type of toxin in the environment (pest control) a genetic defect or a bacteria or parasite. No matter which it need medical attention. Get a fecal sample if you can and stop handling this animal so if it is contagious you minimize exposure.

Member Comment 12/20/2010 7:37:16 PM


A Burmese python (note correct spelling) that can't constrict its food is a very sick snake indeed. I'd strongly suggest getting your snake to the vet immediately. Because you're relatively new to the hobby, you're likely not familiar with supportive techniques for sick snakes so have your vet teach you. iHerp is a wonderful resource, but no substitute for veterinary care which is what your snake needs asap. Let us know where you are located, maybe someone can help suggest a qualified vet.

Member Comment 12/20/2010 8:59:03 PM


+1 to Julie!

Member Comment 12/20/2010 9:43:02 PM


Yes, this warrants a vet trip. If you have an animal in a severely weakened condition, there's no way it should be eating, forced or not.

You have to fix the problem, and without a trip to the vet this animal is almost certainly going to die.

Author Comment 12/20/2010 11:00:57 PM

Escamillas Jungle

i am in columbus ohio

Member Comment 12/20/2010 11:03:04 PM




herp vet connection has 2 reptile vets in Colombus...

Member Comment 12/20/2010 11:11:13 PM


Either of those two vets look like good options. I'd call them both and see which one has an opening first. Ideally you'll get your snake seen tomorrow. In the meanwhile, keep him warm and hydrated. If you don't have a temp gun to check his body temp, you should get one asap. Definitely practice quarantine procedures. If this is contagious, you could easily spread it to the rest of your collection.

Member Comment 12/21/2010 4:55:03 AM


I'd personally recommend Dr. Bob Dahlhausen in Milford OH, but that's about a 2 hr drive for you. He's worth it though!

Accepted Answer 12/21/2010 9:22:06 PM


I agree with what has been said here so far.

There is never any substitute for veterinary care from a qualified herp vet. Yes, this definitely sounds like it has something to do with either an internal parasite that is depriving your snake of the nutrients needed for energy, or perhaps it is a neurological disorder. Does your burm flail around at all, or does it lack the energy to do that even? Sometimes hopeless flailing and tossing can be a sign of neurological disorders in snakes. :( You should never force feed a snake unless your veterinarian tells you to do so. Forcefeeding can cause harm and even cause regurgitation, which creates a cycle of unecessary events. What's the point of feeding a snake that's just going to regurge it back up? Also, a vet can show you how to properly "force" feed if it becomes truly necessary.

Anyway, I think the best option would be to contact a well-qualified, well-recommended veterinarian for this issue. They will ultimately have the best advice.

Member Comment 12/22/2010 2:15:15 PM


heck YEAH - force-feeding is very dangerous if you don't know what you're doing, and an in-person demo by a qualified vet is always preferable to youtube - we got a foster into our herp society several months ago that had been chronically force-fed and has such terrible scarring in his esophagus that he's afraid to eat, and may never be able to eat on his own.  if your animal's just not eating for a long period of time, he NEEDS to see a vet before other measures are taken

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