Possible case of Mouth Rot?

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Possible case of Mouth Rot?

Postby rvanhuyssteen » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:13 pm

Hi,

I was checking out my boa today and noticed that something was wrong on her lip. I had a closer look and think it might be mouth rot, although I am not sure.

The scales above the lip seem to be the worst affected and then the scales below are showing some deterioration.

The saliva in the mouth is also looking bad to me.

Here are the pictures:

Image

Image

Obviously the snake needs to get to a vet as soon as possible. I am intending on taking her tomorrow morning first thing.

I would appreciate a recommendation of a vet in Johannesburg (I can travel) and also any advice on what I can do right away.

The snake has been rubbing up against the glass for about a month now and she hasn't been eating as heartily as usual. Although she has been eating.

I feed her live rats as she always refused dead rats.

I have had the snake for over a year now. It was given to me by someone who didn't want it any more.

She is around two years old and just over two metres. Her faeces seem normal, no unusually bad smells and there is a consistent form.

Her warm side is 37 and her cold side is 28. I have a large water bowl on half the heating pad (after she had a bad shed I wanted to raise the humidity). I think that maybe the humidity is causing this, but it has been just under a year that she has been in the enclosure with this set up. I use newspaper as a substrate.

I am very concerned as I am about to go away (friday morning) for two months and was leaving this snake in the care of a friend who does not keep snakes.
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Re: Possible case of Mouth Rot?

Postby Lillypod » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:44 pm

I'm no expert, but it doesn't look very good. I wish you luck.
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Re: Possible case of Mouth Rot?

Postby Lillypod » Tue Apr 02, 2013 5:46 pm

It may be caused by her rubbing against the glass...?
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Re: Possible case of Mouth Rot?

Postby rvanhuyssteen » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:28 pm

Thanks Lillypod.

Maybe it is from rubbing. But I think that there may be an underlying cause to the rubbing.

I am feeling awful about it. I should have known something was wrong when the snake started rubbing.
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Re: Possible case of Mouth Rot?

Postby Sfourie » Tue Apr 02, 2013 7:44 pm

Friday, for two months? You would not by any chance be going to an EcoTraining course in the Selati and Karongwe Game Reserve would you? That’s how the next two months of my life is planned.
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Re: Possible case of Mouth Rot?

Postby Snakesitter » Tue Apr 02, 2013 10:29 pm

The sooner you get her to a vet the better. Make sure they check for an RI as well. If she's still eating you're probably early enough to beat it, so take heart from that. Good luck!
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Re: Possible case of Mouth Rot?

Postby rvanhuyssteen » Wed Apr 03, 2013 12:15 am

Thanks for the replies. I'll get it to a vet tomorrow morning.

@ Sfourie I am going to Selati on Friday. Glad there is another herp enthusiast that is going to be there. We are going to see a lot.
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Re: Possible case of Mouth Rot?

Postby Sfourie » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:41 am

And learn a lot as well. Already packed, see you there.
A Shangaan legend states that any man resting or sleeping in the shade of a baobab will become eccentric and forever be enslaved by Africa and its wilderness, guess it's too late for me.
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Re: Possible case of Mouth Rot?

Postby Westley Price » Wed Apr 03, 2013 8:51 am

Yeah, that's almost certainly due to rubbing, but even the scales under the chin look a bit dodgy. That brown edges of the scales is often a sign of the onset of scale rot, but it could simply be another injury from rubbing.

It could also be an injury from feeding live rats, which is VERY negligent from your side. Live rats can kill a snake within minutes. So maybe see if it'll take freshly killed. Often snakes that refuse thawed prey will take freshly killed.

You must also try to eliminate all sharp edges in your enclosure. If you have two sliding glass panes on the front, that joint between the two panes is very dangerous to rubbing snakes. Try to cover it with a small flap or rubber on something.

You will also need to determine why the snake was rubbing. Are the temps right? Is there another Boa of the opposite sex in a nearby enclosure? Your temps sound fine, maybe a tad warm on the warm spot, but it shouldn't have this effect. Maybe try to offer more hides.

Good luck and I hope he makes a full recovery.
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Re: Possible case of Mouth Rot?

Postby rvanhuyssteen » Wed Apr 03, 2013 9:23 am

Thanks Westly.

I never leave the snake alone with the rats, I always feed it in a separate tub with the lid off right in front of me. The snake takes the rat and I watch until it is swallowed and if it doesn't show any interest I remove the rat immediately. But your warning has been heeded and I am going to suck it up and kill the rats first.

I don't have any other boas nearby. I will recheck the temperatures and add some extra hides. I'll also get something for those edges. I felt them now and even though they are not sharp they certainly do seem to be the culprit of those injuries.

I looked just had a good look at her scales underneath from the head to the tale and I cant see anything nasty lurking there, so perhaps it is just from rubbing.

Thanks for your advice.
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Re: Possible case of Mouth Rot?

Postby Bushviper » Wed Apr 03, 2013 3:53 pm

Your snake is getting cold. You need to make sure that it has a larger basking area and that the humidity is increased now that it is becoming autumn / winter. Hook up at least one more heating pad. The bubbles are also a sign the snake is not happy. I would not worry about antibiotics right away because the increase in heat will help with the healing. Keep monitoring the snake. If it gets ANY worse then off to the vet with it.
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Re: Possible case of Mouth Rot?

Postby rvanhuyssteen » Wed Apr 03, 2013 4:36 pm

Thanks Bushviper.

I freaked out when I saw it yesterday, but looking closely today, it is from the rubbing.

I am getting her warmed up now and she is relaxed and on the hot side and has not been rubbing (I took out the big water bowl that was half on the heating pad, thereby increasing the surface area).

I am going to put an extra heat source in to maximize the warm side.

Thanks again to everyone for their help. I really appreciate it.
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Re: Possible case of Mouth Rot?

Postby Snakesitter » Wed Apr 10, 2013 10:01 pm

Any updates? Is she still OK?
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Re: Possible case of Mouth Rot?

Postby rvanhuyssteen » Sat Jun 01, 2013 8:04 pm

Hi there, yes the boa is doing well.

I had to go to the bush and left it with a friend with instructions to take it to the vet should the condition escalate.

It did, and she went to the vet. They administered injections and saline washes.

The snake is recovering in a plastic container and is looking very good. I cant see any external visible signs of an infection anymore.

Tomorrow I am going to get her checked out again and see we are at.
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Re: Possible case of Mouth Rot?

Postby Snakesitter » Mon Jun 03, 2013 10:09 pm

Glad to hear she is doing well! And major kudos for taking the proper steps to ensure she got treatment when needed.
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