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Posted by jasons-jungle on April 03, 2003 at 11:36:45:
This is my 7th year breeding Kenyans. I don't consider myself a newbie but still seem to learn something every year.
I just had a generic question. In the course of the past 7 years, I have only had 4 snakes die in my care. One was a horrible feeding mishap (read: even if you house snakes together, ALWAYS feed them separately) with one of my normal babies but the other 3 have all been morphs. I have lost 2 anerythristics and one albino. One of the anerys was a bad investment; I bought it from a shady character for a cheap price and got what I paid for. The other anery was a perfectly healthy snake and one day decided it wasn't going to eat any more. I just lost my 2-year old female albino in a similar way. She was up to 110g then just stopped eating. I waited a month and took her to the vet. He found she had a small bit of an infection her mouth (her upper palette was a bit red) and he gave me some antibiodics to give her. That treatment went successfully and the redness went away but she still would not eat. She went from 110g to 80g to 65g then to 55g. I took her back into the vet and she had a clean bill of health. No problems at all. He suggested bringing her temps down for a week (I had thought of that but didn't know if she could handle it) so I did so. Still no luck. She eventually went down to 45g and I couldn't sit and watch it any longer so over the past few weeks, I've had to resort to force feeding with a pinkie pump. I would feed her about once every 3 days and would alternate with egg yolk and a F/T pinkie. She wasn't happy about it, but she took them.
To make a short story long, she died last night at around 55g, 1/2 of what she was 6 months ago. It was not only hard to watch because she was one of my first morph Kenyans, and quite expensive at that, but that I had tried so hard to get her over the hump.
The basis of the question is that 3 of the 4 snakes that I've ever failed on were morphs. I know that in the human genetics, albinistic people are more prone to infections and viruses. Does anybody know if this is true with snakes as well? If so, any ideas on how I should treat those animals differently? I have a pair of snows that will breed next year and by no means can I afford to lose one or both of those snakes (mentally and monetarily).
Sorry for the overly long post...
Jason @ Jason's Jungle