Burm dead because of Vet.

At one stage or the other, we all deal with a death. It is never nice losing a pet and thus, you can share your loss with the rest of us and share your memories so that they will be remembered.

Burm dead because of Vet.

Postby snake-eyes » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:21 pm

We would often visit a pet shop in Bryanston and Chris was always fascinated at green burmese python that they had. She had such a personality of note, was gently as anything and liked to be taken out and held. she was absolutely gorgeous. I don't care what anyone says about snakes, they can understand and know when they are loved and cared for and she knew we loved her and cared for her.

Being it as it may and circumstance permitting, they gave her to us as a gift and knew we would cherish her and look after her. None the less it became Chris's baby, she would be in the bed with us every night for a 1 hour before being put to bed, she would go out to coffee shops with us (owners allowed us there with her :-P ) and everyone adored her. We visited the pet shop from which she came regularly bringing her with to visit the owner who shared the same love for her as we did. Our beautiful little Monsoon.

She was great. for a 2.2m python, she was weighing just over 10kg (very healthy everyone told us). One day she started bubbling from the nose and had a ruspy breathing motion. We took her to the Vet, the one vet who claimed he specialized in reptiles and could help us.

He looked at her, looked down her wind pipe and immediately told us she was fine (within a 10 minute consultation?). He never used a stethoscope or anything of the sort and believing him (as he said is was qualified in reptiles), we took her home. The next 2 days she was fine until the 3rd day she really started struggling to breath and she kept on trying to cough up a thick mucus. We did not know what to do.

We phoned our dear friend who worked at a snake park and his only advice to us was to keep her warm and hope she made it through the night.

None the less, we had her in the bed with us and tried our best to keep her warm on the electric blanket and everytime she tried to cough up mucus would try help her get it out... We could do nothing... we could do nothing except hold comfort her as we watched her die.... :smt022 we were devastated beyond belief.

The following day, angry we phoned up the vet who gave us a clean bill of health and he told us to bring her in to get an autopsy done on her. Reluctantly we took her and still to this day he has never phoned us back with the test results becuase i think he knew why she died and does not want to admit his mistake... :smt022 :smt022

Our albino male burmese python, Typhoon which we had gotten her as a friend, a month after getting her (Monsoon) and who was mating with her sensed that his partner was no longer there nor was ever coming back and actually stopped eating... We were nervous, thought we were going to lose another one of our baby's... We decided to get him a friend whom we called Africa.

Yes Africa does not replace Monsoon and adorable and gorgeous as she is also and as much love as we will give her without hesitation, can't take back the neglegance of the Vet.

My brother who specializes in poulty immediately told me that when the snake bubles from the nose it is an infection in the lining of the lungs and he should have done more in depth consultation on her and she would have still been alive today...

I know i shouldn't palce the blame on the vet but i think if he only did his job properly and not rushed it that day that he still could have picked up that there was somtheing wrong.

P.S - Our albino burm (Typhoon) is healthy and eating again... :)
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Re: Burm dead because of Vet.

Postby Bundu Boy » Tue Aug 18, 2009 1:42 pm

Shame man, that sucks.... it is always horrible losing a pet that you love so much...

Sounds like it may have had a respiratory infection(RI) by what you have said.... if it was then I suggest being cautious with where and when you take your snakes out, I believe these tropical pythons need high ambient temperatures and temperature/humidity fluctuations are the main cause of RI.

Glad Typhoon is back to strength though.... and that Africa will bring you years of joy....
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Re: Burm dead because of Vet.

Postby Carpetpythons » Tue Aug 18, 2009 2:35 pm

This might sound insensitive, but rule number one for big snakes in johannesburg is that they will get sick in winter if taken outside for extended periods! You can not fully blame the vet for this one. He should have picked up that it was an upper respiratory infection or even pneumonia. I also find it weird that the snake died in a matter of days. Respiratory infections are not normally fatal but if it is allowed to progress to pneumonia the it is lethal. I am not going to tell you how to keep your snakes, but what you have written shows a serious lack in understanding reptile husbandry and biology. You are definately partly to blame for the progression of this infection to the more than likely pneumonia phase. It somtimes take weeks to progress to this stage. I have had snakes die from pneumonia in my life as a keeper. I stopped having sick snakes as soon as i stopped treating them like people. Contrary to your belief that they like to go to coffee shops or sleep in your bed or whatever you like to do with them, they will keep getting sick and stop feeding. They live solitarry lives in nature ond only interact when it is mating season. They avoid being out in the open and pythons are nocturnal as well. You might not think the snake mind it but if you adhere to the basic rules of reptile husbandry your animals would not get sick in the first place. Snakes do not get sick if they are kept right! You should maybe invest in an advanced vivarium system book, as far as i remember they have a burmese python book. A lot of people seem to think that the same rules apply to reptiles and their keeping, as to keeping dogs and cats. That snakes environment was not right, it was to cold. Your thermal gradient in your cage was to low. This would explain why your albino went off it food to. I hope i did not offend but 2 degrees in zoology and about 20 years of experience in keeping these animals have taught me a few lessons. I hope you dont lose anymore snakes.
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Re: Burm dead because of Vet.

Postby Bushviper » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:02 pm

Carpet pythons you hit the nail on the head. This time of year pythons get cold very quickly and the core temps need to be sub-optimal for only a few hours at a time to trigger a massive infection. If the snake had been kept at a constant 32 degrees (day and night) for 3 weeks and a very high humidity it might have pulled through.

Snake eyes please do not make the same mistakes with your other snakes because they take a long time to show they are sick and then it takes longer months rather than weeks to recover. Tropical snakes need to be kept in the correct environment at all times all year round.
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Re: Burm dead because of Vet.

Postby Mitton » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:11 pm

Well said Carpetpythons, spot on.
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Re: Burm dead because of Vet.

Postby Bushbaby » Tue Aug 18, 2009 3:13 pm

Ditto. The fact that your Albino Burmese stopped eating was not because he misses his buddy. They do not live in pairs in the wild. Check your Albino to make sure he is not sick as well. This would have caused him to stop eating if he is. Other reasons why he would have stopped eating is because he is in mating mode. They will refuse food for a while until it gets warmer and the light cycles change.
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Re: Burm dead because of Vet.

Postby gaboon69 » Tue Aug 18, 2009 4:45 pm

I only trust two vets I know of when it comes to snakes. Next time try Dr. Bull or Dr. Elliot. These 2 names seem to be popping up everywhere.
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Re: Burm dead because of Vet.

Postby Wobbles » Tue Aug 18, 2009 6:20 pm

sorry for your loss snake_eyes.


as far as snake vets go try to stick to the names that keep popping up. try to find a vet that has actually kept snakes/reptiles and that has an interest. not much else can be said over and above what carpetpythons has said. just know he is trying to help you not repeat the same mistakes. sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind.
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Re: Burm dead because of Vet.

Postby Buck Rogers » Wed Aug 19, 2009 8:01 am

gaboon69 wrote:I only trust two vets I know of when it comes to snakes. Next time try Dr. Bull or Dr. Elliot. These 2 names seem to be popping up everywhere.


I'm with you on this, I stay in Fourways and Dr BUll all all the way in the East Rand and I make that trip to take my herps to him when need be.
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Re: Burm dead because of Vet.

Postby snake-eyes » Wed Aug 19, 2009 9:36 am

Can you please tell me where in the East Rand is Dr Bull. We went to the Dr Shebeer who comes highly recommended whose name did pop up everywhere. the next vet we found out is all the way in bryanston and craighall which we have the number for but would be great to have the guy in east rand also... Please give me the contact.
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Re: Burm dead because of Vet.

Postby deleray » Wed Aug 19, 2009 1:56 pm

You going to be paying a lot in vet bills if you continue treating your snakes like house pets. Agree with the others, setup the cage with the right requirements and let the animal be.

Get a monkey or something similar if you want to walk around town and attract attention :-) Can't get over the people who (and don't mean to offend) name their 3m wild animals cute names and treat them like Shitzu's!

P.S Can't imagine Dr. Shebeer will be too happy with this post, especially the topic heading!!
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Re: Burm dead because of Vet.

Postby Jantus » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:46 pm

I use Dr. Shabeer Boohla for my reptiles when they need attention. He's one of the top vets in my opinion concerning reptiles. He has an impressive personal collection of Pythons himself including retics, scrub pythons etc. He's sorted out Respiratory Infection for me in the past so has experience in treating it.

If your snakes' Respiratory Infection was as advanced as what you say ("One day she started bubbling from the nose and had a ruspy breathing motion") then there's surely no way he could've missed it? Just by opening the snakes' mouth you would notice an excess of saliva which would pretty much be a giveaway that the infection is in an advanced state. There must've been a misunderstanding of some sort here?
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Re: Burm dead because of Vet.

Postby Bjorn » Wed Aug 19, 2009 7:57 pm

When these snakes get RI's they can cough up hard puss balls that block the airways. Puss in snakes is not soft like ours it get really hard. With only having one lung and a bit RI's are extremely dangerous. In your case this could have just happened in the early stages.

I lost a snake to a growth on the respiratory track. There was no RI or slim and just a wheeze. Sometimes these things can't be seen in a single appointment.

Sorry for your loss!
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Re: Burm dead because of Vet.

Postby Loslappie » Thu Aug 20, 2009 7:39 am

Sorry about the loss of your snake, its never easy losing a pet.

From my limited knowledge of snakes I know that heat could solve a lot of issues. especially when the animals are ill. What I also know is that if in my opinion Im not getting my moneys worth from the consultation I will say so. and after a day or two if the condition worsens I seek a second opinion. We all make mistakes and thats how we learn. however taking an animal out even if its 20+ deg celcius outside could be detrimental to a snake, Im sure after you excursions to the coffee shop etc you wouldve felt the snake is cold, dogs and cats have fur, seals have blubber etc, to keep them warm, snakes depend on heat which we as owners have to provide.
In my opinion this threads heading should be changed or at least the name of the vet removed, as a persons reputation could be dragged through the mud unnecessarily.

Did he get back to you about the autopsy yet?
If it hasnt yet, it will!
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Re: Burm dead because of Vet.

Postby snake-eyes » Thu Aug 20, 2009 1:42 pm

no he hasnt' gotten back to me to this day and i phone and leave messages and seldomly get phoned back from the receptionist to say that the results are not back yet. can it really take so long??

So yes, maybe fault is on my side also but still its hard to lose a pet. we never took her out when it was freezing, we knew we had to keep her warm, but obviously it wasn't warm enough. when we transported her we had her in her container with a hot water bottle wrapped in a blanket so she woudln't burn so ja... its not like we left her to freeze or anything.


Any way, can i get the number for Dr bull or dr elliott please. for those who recommend them...
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