Snakes/adult ball pythons eyes
QUESTION: My ball python milo is about 4 feet long not sure his age we rescued him from being abused about a year ago. He has gained weigjt and seems pretty healthy and active and is adjusting just fine but after his last 2 sheddings he got this dark brown layer over his eyes which makes it look like hes blind. My son has taken a warm wet papertowl and taken them off and when he goes back into his cage he rubs his eyes against anything he can as if hes scratching them but the dark briwn layer grows back. What can i do to help him with this and prevent it??
ANSWER: Unless its a fungus, which it would probably be on most of his body, I would say its retained shed. You do not want to be wiping his eyes, no matter how gentle you think you are doing it, one wrong rub and you can really irritate his eyes and even cause him to lose sight in them. I use castor oil and a q tip when removing stuck eye caps and it takes me a good 15 - 20 minutes of sitting the snake under a light and magnifying glass to ensure I barely touch the cap and peel it off.
Raise the humidity in his tank and this should help with it. Also soak him for about 10 min each day for a few days prior to his shed. normally stuck eye caps are grayish colored or a tan, if they are growing back right after they are wiped off I would take him to be looked at. That's not normal, they should only be there after he sheds ( if he does not remove them). Just to be safe I would get him in and have him looked at, I cant see him so I cant say if its really stuck shed, a fungus or damage from his past sheds or environment but its not normal for their eyes to have a covering.
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QUESTION: We dont have a vet that specialises in reptiles close by. Any recomendations!
It looks like a fungal infection of the eye, to wet of a environment can cause this, especially if the snake is kept on mulch or coconut husk. The little particles of husk and dirt will hold bacteria and cling to the snake, but to much moisture in any bedding can cause it. I would start by putting him on paper towels, do not mist him and keep him as dry as possible for a week or more, give him water but if he spills it, clean it asap. This will dry out the fungus a bit, also bump his heat up a few degrees from what it is currently at, it will help his immune system to heal better and faster.
I have not had a snake with a eye fungus but have has them with scale rot, which is a fungus on the body essentially, and with some keeping them hot and dry did the trick and with others it took antibiotics. There is really no way to say what will or wont help him until he has had a week to dry out or he see's a vet. If after a week of being hot and dry, he does not appear to be healing at all or if he goes off food, take him in. I would not let the dry period go past 2 weeks, at that point if no progress is showing then meds are the only thing that will help him and like all things, its better to get in earlier than later. If you have any exotic pet shops or any local big snake breeders then I would give them a call. A lot of the times they know someone or will keep antibiotics on hand.