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  1. #1
    "First shed In Progress" New Mutant's Avatar
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    Ribbon Snake won't stop rolling

    My ribbon snake Luke was getting ready to shed, but seemed to be having problems. After a few hours of him getting nowhere, I looked in and he was just rolling over and over and waving his head around. I took him out, and he didn't run like heck (very unusual for him) and seemed to be barely breathing. I had a small wet towel waiting for him to slither through, but he was too weak and I worried that the rag was too heavy for him, as he is a very tiny snake. I submerged him in warm water and peeled off most of his old skin. He seemed much more lively after that, and even tried to bite me a little. However, this morning he was back to rolling around.

    He isn't hiding or showing fear of humans, which makes me think he isn't aware of his surroundings. He spends all his time either rolling uncontrollably or lying on his back. He still has a bit of old skin stuck to his jaw and neck, but I think it's gone beyond just trying to get rid of that. What's wrong with him?!

  2. #2
    I have a condition! RedSidedSPR's Avatar
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    Re: Ribbon Snake won't stop rolling

    What are you feeding?
    I have no idea what's up, but it's not good. Id get that skin off. Damp (warm) cloth works...

  3. #3
    "First shed In Progress" New Mutant's Avatar
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    Re: Ribbon Snake won't stop rolling

    He's been fed rosy red minnows since he was first caught for the pet shop; since no one seems to know if ribbons can safely eat just minnows, and mine won't eat anything else I've tried, I've been keeping him and his "brother" Percy on them.
    Should I just stroke his chin with the cloth?

  4. #4
    "PM Boots For Custom Title" Didymus20X6's Avatar
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    Re: Ribbon Snake won't stop rolling

    Rosie reds are very high in thiaminase. If memory serves, these symptoms sound to me like the onset of Vitamin B deficiency (similar cases have been reported on this forum).

    If you have to resort to rosie reds, best to cook them first, as it kills the thiaminase. But all in all, they are not considered a good feeder fish for thamnophis. Try scenting mice or earthworms with the fish and see if they'll take those. Or try feeder guppies; those are safe.
    People assume that time is a strict progression of cause to effect, but actually, from a non-linear, non-subjective viewpoint, it's more like a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff.

  5. #5
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: Ribbon Snake won't stop rolling

    I hate to say it but it sounds like Thiaminase poisoning. B1 deficiency.
    Rolling is a very bad sign.
    A Vet. visit is called for but to be honest it's probably too late to treat.
    If it is a B1 problem and the evidence certainly leads to that conclusion you should consider ending your snakes suffering.
    I'm sorry to say that but that may be the only thing you can do.
    Sometimes they will roll with the mouth open and even bite themselves.
    This is totally your call as the keeper and not an easy one.
    How long has the rolling been going on? Is it continuing?
    Steve
    5 awesome kids!
    Emmy, Kale, Molly, Gabby, Hailee
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    http://www.youtube.com/user/thamnophis14?feature=mhee

  6. #6
    Ophiuchus rhea drache's Avatar
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    Re: Ribbon Snake won't stop rolling

    ditto what Steve said
    you also need to stop feeding minnows to your other snake
    if live fish is all they will take, feed guppies for now, but most ribbon can be switched to f/t rodents with persistence and a few tricks
    rhea
    "you cannot depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus" Mark Twain


  7. #7
    Adult snake brain's Avatar
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    Re: Ribbon Snake won't stop rolling

    Sad
    Michael
    1.1 Woma (Sun Burst), 2.1 Eastern Blackneck, 3.3 Plains Garter, 3.1 Puget Sound,
    2.1 Granite Checker, 1.0 Brazilian Rainbow Boa (snake sitting )

  8. #8
    "First shed In Progress" New Mutant's Avatar
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    Re: Ribbon Snake won't stop rolling

    He's been rolling for about 12 hours and is still at it. Could it really be that serious without showing signs before then?

  9. #9
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    Re: Ribbon Snake won't stop rolling

    If it were me, I'd put him down. He's suffering. B1 deficiency often gets the blame but who knows what's really going on. One things for sure, the rolling is most likely because the snake is dying and in agony. I would highly suspect the snake as somehow been poisoned by eating bad fish, B1 deficiency or not. Live minnows are not a good idea long term.

    Most any ribbons from pet stores are wild-caught, been through hell, many already died and you're buying the survivors. They don't even bother to deworm them. Who knows what nasty diseases they carry. I wouldn't buy them. At best they are "cut flower" specimens and likely won't live long anyway but if you combine that with improper feeding and husbandry, they're doomed.

    I would seriously offer a pet store at least half of my CB concinnus' for free each season if they would pledge to stop this practice and not buy WC collected ribbons/garters. It makes me sick to see thousands, if not hundreds of thousands of them rounded up to wither away and die in pet stores. It's senseless.

  10. #10
    "First shed In Progress" New Mutant's Avatar
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    Re: Ribbon Snake won't stop rolling

    Yeah, when I bought him he was so thin that his stripes weren't showing, the skin just folded out off him. Do I need to take him to a herp vet or would a normal cat-and-dog vet be all right?

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