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Help - house snake seizures?

South African snakes commonly known as non-venomous, including the Natal rock python (Python natalensis).

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Help - house snake seizures?

Postby Brussel » Mon Mar 07, 2011 10:16 pm

Hi Folks,

just joined the forums and this is my first post.

I recently got back into keeping snakes after more 20 years away. Last week I got a brown house snake hatchling from a local breeder that is eating pinkies, but I have a problem.

A couple of hours after I fed him on Saturday ( I know you should leave them alone after they have eaten) I went to see how he was doing and he got a bit of a fright when I lifted the bark he sleeps under and he went into some sort of a seizure. He gets quite rigid, the rear 3rd of his body has tremors and he rights only the front 3rd of his body when put upside down. His pupils respond to light. I left him overnight after he had been having the seizure from around 3pm till after 11pm when I went to sleep.

Next morning he seemed fine and has been acting normal and seeming quite happy with being handled. Until tonight. I picked him up and he tried to make a run (slither) for it across the cage. He never got the whole way across when he started the same seizure like behaviour. It seems a little less intense than the previous one on Saturday, but he is lying pretty much immobile...he will try to hide his head, but it almost looks like the rear half of his body does not respond or he lies there looking like he is trying to strike, or coiling himself oddly. I have included some pictures taken a few minutes ago below.
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Re: Help - house snake seizures?

Postby Brussel » Tue Mar 08, 2011 7:02 am

update:

He is still in the position I left him in last night....semi-immobile, tongue flicking but not able to move more than a couple of centimeters....
I reckon I might euthanase him if this does not get better...I hate seeing animals suffer :(
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Re: Help - house snake seizures?

Postby Kevin Lancaster » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:29 am

You have a really pretty snake there. I would reconsider euthanasia and try and find the root of the problem first. Are you sure he suffered no physical injury at all, like when you lifted the bark?
“Behold, I send you out as sheep in the midst of wolves. Therefore be wise as serpents, and harmless as doves.” - Matthew 10:16
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Re: Help - house snake seizures?

Postby Mitton » Tue Mar 08, 2011 8:51 am

I am also wondering about an injury, maybe something fell on his back and injured his spine?
Is that big log in the back moveable?
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Re: Help - house snake seizures?

Postby it_bit_me » Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:01 am

How cold is your cage?
If I'm gonna be an old, lonely man, I'm gonna need a thing, you know, a hook, like that guy on the subway who eats his own face. So I figure I'll be Crazy Man with a Snake, y'know. Crazy Snake Man. And I'll get more snakes, call them my babies, kids won't walk past my place, they will run. "Run away from Crazy Snake Man, " they'll shout!”
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Re: Help - house snake seizures?

Postby Brussel » Tue Mar 08, 2011 9:36 am

As far as I can ascertain he has no physical injury, once the seizure stops he is totally normal, moving about with no issues. The bark is light so no issues there, as with the log in the back ground which looks unstable but is not able to move at all.

Regarding cage temperature, pretty much room temperature at home which ranges from 22 to 30 at the moment (summer in the Cape Town)

When the seizure happens initially he gets really aggressive, it's like a gets a fright and then overloads his neurological symptoms. I've asked a mate who is a vet and snake keeper for some info and he says it is almost certainly neurological, but has no real further answers. Looking on the web I cannot really find much info...

Will he outgrow this? and most importantly is it hurting him?
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Re: Help - house snake seizures?

Postby Bushviper » Tue Mar 08, 2011 12:04 pm

I think he has neurological problems and this is causing stress. He is reacting to the "feelings" he has at the point where his body no longer functions properly. As long as he is eating you can keep him alive. When this becomes a problem and he does it more often or more of his body is affected then rather have him put down.
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Those who are afraid to ask are ashamed of learning.
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Re: Help - house snake seizures?

Postby it_bit_me » Tue Mar 08, 2011 1:34 pm

You should still put a light in. It helps when your snake is sick and so forth.
I've got a cage on the stoep that doesn't reach 25 ºc if the lights don't go on.
If I'm gonna be an old, lonely man, I'm gonna need a thing, you know, a hook, like that guy on the subway who eats his own face. So I figure I'll be Crazy Man with a Snake, y'know. Crazy Snake Man. And I'll get more snakes, call them my babies, kids won't walk past my place, they will run. "Run away from Crazy Snake Man, " they'll shout!”
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Re: Help - house snake seizures? UPDATE

Postby Brussel » Tue Mar 15, 2011 5:52 pm

OK so here is the deal the second brown house snake arrived and within two days started behaving similarly. so I took both snakes out and cleaned the cage, removed the gravel, got some astro turf and removed all the other organic stuff (mopani root, plant and bark) within 24 hours after removing them from the cage they were both back to normal. Today in the cage with the astro turf they were super active and not acting up at all. Fed them both this afternoon and all is well.

All I can assume is that something was poisoning them at some low level. I was using filter sand which is a coarse silica sand for the cage and on further reading, I believe that some of it is treated chemically. I am not sure if mine was but thankfully I have two snakes that are back to normal! :cool:
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Re: Help - house snake seizures?

Postby it_bit_me » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:08 pm

Smooth move Brussel.
If I'm gonna be an old, lonely man, I'm gonna need a thing, you know, a hook, like that guy on the subway who eats his own face. So I figure I'll be Crazy Man with a Snake, y'know. Crazy Snake Man. And I'll get more snakes, call them my babies, kids won't walk past my place, they will run. "Run away from Crazy Snake Man, " they'll shout!”
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Re: Help - house snake seizures?

Postby Groenslang » Tue Mar 15, 2011 6:10 pm

Glad to hear it is going better!
The future depends on what we do in the present. - Mahatma Gandhi

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Re: Help - house snake seizures?

Postby kfc223 » Sat Apr 30, 2011 8:52 pm

What are the dimentions of your cage???
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Re: Help - house snake seizures?

Postby caveracer » Fri Apr 05, 2013 4:54 am

Hahaha I had a huge Brown house when I was young that did the same thing!!
Good news is that it died of old age.....
If you know it all you know nothing!
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