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  • [Eyes/Mouth] Recurring Mouth Abscess?

    Setup:
    - Housing: Was in a 41 qt Steralite bin, which he was previously housed in at his old home. Recently swapped to a Hefty bin the same size, but taller (LATCHING LIDS GUYS!). Will be moved to a Christmas tree box when those hit the shelves. Paper towels are used as substrate.

    - Humidity: 50-60%
    - Temps: Ambient- 79-81F, Hot spot- Low-mid 90s. Heat pad regulated with Ranco thermostat

    About the snake: He is about 5 years old and was given to me by long-time family friend, [MENTION=7407]zamora[/MENTION] last November.


    Hello! In early April, I noticed some swelling in my boa’s mouth. I ended up taking him in to a reptile vet, where he was treated for an abscessed tooth with gentacin injections and oral amoxicillin. I also had to put a gentacin-based ointment (Gentak) in the abscess cavity daily. My boy is a champ dealing with all of that. I have no idea what caused it since I am pretty anal about my husbandry. I brushed it off as a freak accident, and took steps to prevent it from happening again.
    I changed his water bowl from a pourous stone-like material from petco (seemed like a breeding ground for bacteria) to a plastic dog bowl, which he can’t tip and can be cleaned easier. I change his water daily and disinfect the bowl every time. I lowered his humidity. It used to get up into the high 60’s, so a few new holes in his bin and it sits pretty constantly within 50-60% now. I don’t let him sit in his waste ever- not that I did before the abscess. Anything I saw as a potential cause was fixed.
    Anyways, even with all of those steps it looks like it was not enough. Here we are months later, and there is some swelling on the other side of his mouth, which looks like the same thing. He has an appointment with the vet at 2:00 today. Unfortunately, the boyfriend was roped in to taking him because my class schedule wouldn’t allow me to sneak away today. I’m sending him with a bunch of notes for the vet. Haha! I am honestly at a loss as to what is causing it, and as a broke college student, I can’t afford to keep treating it if it’s going to be a recurring problem. Plus, if my care is causing him to get sick, I can’t keep letting him suffer. I may end up having to sell/give him to a more experienced keeper, as much as I would hate to let him go. If anyone has any input, I would be very grateful! Zamora and I have been in constant contact about it, but we are both at a loss.

  • #2
    Re: Recurring Mouth Abscess?

    I'm going to add in here that I asked Ashley to please post here regarding Bombaata's recurring abscesses. I know her husbandry and you all know me so that is not in question. (The reason she put him in a Hefty (taller) bin was because he was rubbing the top of the Sterilite tub). Any of the more experienced keepers have any input? If any of the good Doctors have any ideas, they are also much appreciated. This is the most calm, accepting and 'kind' snake I have ever had and I gave him to Ashley in good conscience so it's killing me that he is having all these problems.

    Thanks in advance. Oh, he's the awesome hypo in my signature and avatar FYI.
    http://berkeleyknebel.wix.com/mississippimorphs

    Photo credit:Eddie Ard .....Banner Credit:Big PaPa Ernest

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    • #3
      Re: Recurring Mouth Abscess?

      Update from the appointment today:

      It's on the other side of his mouth this time. She took some x-rays and said there's debris in his sinus cavity and some bone resorption. She recommends surgically implanting an antibiotic bead in the cavity, and doing baytril injections. My vet is an absolute angel from above and helps me out every way she can. She charged me way less than normal for his x-ray today, but it's still going to be expensive to treat him again. He has some previous issues that have nothing to do with the care he received from me or Zamora that have made him more susceptible to sinus infections, and unfortunately that has chosen to manifest itself with me. That's the only explanation any of us have at the moment.

      Again, if anyone has any input, I would love to hear it.

      Thank you, everyone!

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      • #4
        Re: Recurring Mouth Abscess?

        I've never had any experience with antibiotic beads. Are they going to remove the debris at that time? That should render a bead of antibiotics unnecessary. But I am no where near qualified enough to know for sure.


        -Sean in NoCal
        “Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood – the virtues that made America.”
        -Teddy Roosevelt.

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        • #5
          Re: Recurring Mouth Abscess?

          Good question. My understanding is yes, she would remove the debris first and insert the bead to slowly release antibiotics to the area and keep things at bay while his sinuses clear out and heal up.

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          • #6
            Re: Recurring Mouth Abscess?

            Just bad luck I guess? Like with people, some just have sinus issues...? Hoping this solves the problem once & for all...I've not heard of veterinarians implanting antibiotic beads, that's very interesting.

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            • #7
              Re: Recurring Mouth Abscess?

              That's what it looks like. Kind of how someone with a deviated septum is more prone to sinus infections. He is just more prone to them, now. I had never heard of the beads being used either, but I think it's a long-term option as opposed to packing the infected cavity daily with ointment like I did last time. It also makes sure the medicine gets where it needs to be. I'm hoping this is the last time we have to go through this with him.

              I can't say enough good things about my vet, though. Her top priority is making sure he receives the care he needs, even with my financial situation. Plus she has a soft spot for boas because she owned one when she was younger. She is very comfortable handling him, and very knowledgeable about current treatments.

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              • #8
                Re: Recurring Mouth Abscess?

                Finding the right vet is a true blessing, that's for sure. And having a snake that's as comfortable being handled BY the vet, as the vet is comfortable handling the snake, surely helps!

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                • #9
                  Re: Recurring Mouth Abscess?

                  I posted this in the Facebook RTB page as well Ashley so hopefully we can get some input.
                  http://berkeleyknebel.wix.com/mississippimorphs

                  Photo credit:Eddie Ard .....Banner Credit:Big PaPa Ernest

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                  • #10
                    Re: Recurring Mouth Abscess?

                    It might be worth while to get that boa checked for flagellates, too. They are usually found in the intestine but are sometimes found in mouth infections. As far as I know, gentocin will not touch them. Good luck.

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