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  1. #1
    Never shed
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    Open mouth breathing

    I have two garters that are co-habbed together. They are both wildcaughts from late last year. the bigger one has been breathing abnormally, it seems to have to open its mouth a little to breath. This is especially noticable when I handle her. She opens her mouth slightly to inhale and exhale.

    She has eaten tuffy minnows and two goldfish which I read after are bad. I believe she has eaten earthworms since then. I can't find a vet that sees reptiles/exotics anywhere near me. Help or suggestions appreciated.

  2. #2
    Forum Moderator Stefan-A's Avatar
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    Re: Open mouth breathing

    You might want to have a vet look at that.

  3. #3
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Open mouth breathing

    You might try finding a rep. vet. that will give you some advice over the phone. Respiratory illnesses can be deadly and this can happen quickly.
    Where do you live? Maybe a member who lives in that area can suggest a Vet.
    Steve
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

  4. #4
    Never shed
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    Re: Open mouth breathing

    Ok I found a vet and scheduled an appointment. I handled her today and she was very aggressive musking and biting; maybe thats because of her illness.

  5. #5
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Open mouth breathing

    I think this is the best decision.
    Please keep us posted on this situation.
    I'll also include a link to the forum care sheet in this post.

    Garter Snake Forum - Garter Caresheet
    Steve
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
    They are not just snakes. They're garter snakes.
    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

  6. #6
    T.s. affectionado EasternGirl's Avatar
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    Re: Open mouth breathing

    Good that you found a vet...it sounds like it could be a respiratory infection...and pretty bad if she is to the point of open mouth breathing. One of my snakes has chronic respiratory problems but I rarely see her doing open mouth breathing. Now, sometimes garters do breath heavier when you hold them and they are nervous and sometimes their nares become blocked before a shed which can cause some breathing difficulty...but it is best to play it safe and get a vet to check her. The fact that she was aggressive with you today does make me suspect that she could be getting near a shed...but also, if she is not feeling well, she would do that. It could be both and if she has an infection, her nares being blocked before the shed could make breathing even more difficult for her. Make sure you have the heat and humidity up in her enclosure...this helps with my snake with the chronic problems. I keep it up around 86 on the warm side and the humidity around 50%-60%. Also, do not let the temps drop at night like you normally would...let it stay warm...I wouldn't let it go below 80 degrees on the warm side. Best of luck and please, keep us posted.
    Marnie
    3.3 T.s.sirtalis 1.0 T.marcianus 1.2 T.radix 1.0 T.s.parietalis
    Izzy, Seeley, Ziggy, Perseus, Peanut, Snapper, Hermes, Sadie, Osiris, Seraphina, Little Joe


  7. #7
    Never shed
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    Re: Open mouth breathing

    I saw the vet and she said if it is a resp. infection its in the early stages because there was no mucus or saliva. It didn't seem too bad to her, but she prescribed the snake baytril oral injections.

    She also said the snake looked hungry, he was striking out of hunger. She told me to feed pinkies. I have left some salmon chunks in the viv but he hasn't touched any.

  8. #8
    T.s. affectionado EasternGirl's Avatar
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    Re: Open mouth breathing

    Good that she prescribe the Baytril...that should clear the RI up. What do you normally feed your snakes? You said you believe that the snake has eaten earthworms...how exactly do you feed them? How often do you feed and how much?
    Marnie
    3.3 T.s.sirtalis 1.0 T.marcianus 1.2 T.radix 1.0 T.s.parietalis
    Izzy, Seeley, Ziggy, Perseus, Peanut, Snapper, Hermes, Sadie, Osiris, Seraphina, Little Joe


  9. #9
    Never shed
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    Re: Open mouth breathing

    I have fed these two garters nightcrawlers by leaving a tupperware in the viv before brumation. After brumation I put a tupperware of a doz. tuffys and goldfish in the viv and they were eaten within 2 days, but I did not see the snakes eat or which snake actually ate fish. I fed the small garter succesfully in a seperate container chunks of perch and earthworms. I later found that the perch had sodium triphosphate. The salmon she just bites but dosen't actually eat. Im offering food to these snakes once a week.

    I want to start feeding them feeder fish consistently. Are feeder goldfish and tuffys really that bad?

  10. #10
    Pyrondenium Rose kibakiba's Avatar
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    Re: Open mouth breathing

    A b1 deficiency can kill a snake. So, yes, goldfish and tuffys are bad. Goldfish carry a lot of parasites, too.
    Chantel
    2.2.3 Thamnophis ordinoides Derpy Scales, Hades, Mama, Runt, Pumpkin, Azul, Spots
    (Rest in peace Snakey, Snap, Speckles, Silver, Ember and Angel.)

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