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Posted by cf on February 17, 2003 at 07:49:48:
In Reply to: Baby Spilotes Died today...sorry to hear & moe.. posted by regalringneck on February 17, 2003 at 06:20:27:
Sounds like you've done a fair amount of your own lab work! I'm actually a Biology student so I recognize your procedure. I am fortunite that I work for my vet on a barter type basis, I work for him, and he takes care of my animals!!! Very good setup when you have 55 animals in your care, and when most are turtles/torts that like to get into trouble! I will take the pics and post them when we do it, so if there's anything found you can get a first hand look at what it is. I like to do this type of thing with him, because I get an anatomy lesson at the same time.
:Pity, it sounds like you're a good keeper & a nice guy to boot. You might want to save your bucks tho on the necropsy, esp. if you have access to a digital camera. Photo first the entire snake dorsal & ventral w/ laterals too. Then use a single edge razor blade (if you dont have a scalpel) to cut the skin, peel it back to expose the lump area & adjacent tissue. Photo this. Then cut through the lump longitudinally & pin the tissue back with pins on to cardboard & photo this in macro focus mode. Lastly cut the snake open along the ventrals from vent to throat, pinning it back as you go & photo. Any dark or bloody areas (rather than pink) should be photographed. While no vet, I have examined post-mortem; a number of snakes, & probably can give you an idea what your short list of culprits might be, if you send me the jpgs in a powerpoint file.
::Its been a difficult day for us today, as we lost one of our little ones. 4 weeks ago we got a baby Spilotes at a local herp show, and I knew when I got her that she was pretty annorexic, but I figured I'd work my magic and get her better. Well, it took 2 weeks to get her to eat and hold her food down, not too bad for this time of year, and on the 2nd feeding I started treating her conservatively with Flagyl injected into the pinkies to reduce stress, at the suggestion of my vet and various keepers of Spilotes including some of you on the forum. I cleaned her yesterday and gave her what was to be her 4th meal and she was a little to docile for my taste, and then I noticed a small bump running horizontally on the side of her belly, which caused my to worry even more. So, she refused her food, which I left overnight, and this AM I went to check on her and she was curled upside down, abdomin sunk in, and I just knew it was over. I did everything right, but it seems there was more to her annorexic state then we realized. Its so hard to tell there's something wrong, when you have so little time around an animal. She had perked up, and seemed to be ready to eat every 5 days or so, but the unseen finally won over my attentiveness. I do plan to start over with another Spilotes, but I'm not sure when.
::Its been a rough day, and I'll certainly be more careful next time $$ goes toward a sickly animal, even though I think they all deserve a chance, and my compassioon may still get the best of me in the future.
::I will probably have my vet do a necropsy so I can pass the info to the people I got her from, so they can hopefully pass that info to the breeder, if there's anything significant found.
::I just want to thank those of you who passed on info and answers to my questions when we first got her, and hopefully next time I'll be posting pictures of a happy healthy snake, as opposed to being the bearer of bad news!