Sick Garter - head is tilted to side, keeps burrying it

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Sick Garter - head is tilted to side, keeps burrying it

Post by William W. Viergev » Tue, 24 Feb 1998 04:00:00



Hi All:

Pet-lover and 1st time poster here.

I've 2 garters (red-sided, I think) acquired from a pet store over a year
and half ago (they were quite small) and they've done marvelously,  
graduating from guppies to goldfish for their food, and going through
many sheds and now on our 4th (?) aquarium (a 60 gallon job this time).

Both eat and shed regularly; however last week after their round of fish,
I notices one seemed a bit sluggish and it let me pick it up without the
typical hassle or running away.

Came into work today (I keep them at my office) and the one looked dead!

Picked it up (he/she - I don't know at this point) and it *was* alive,
breathing seemed slow (you've got to look close to see the breathing
movements) and it's tongue doesn't flick as much as normal. Its eyes are
open but they don't seem to follow me as usual.

Called my shop, the owner referred me to a gal in the local herp society
(I think they meet out of UC Davis) who immediately (and sadly) said the
snake has "stargaze" disease (I know it's not probably a technical name -
but she knew exactly what the symptoms were and called it the "star
gaze"), i.e., a diet deficiency that renders the snake blind and then
brain-dead? The snake definitely does not seem to see (i.e., doesn't
follow my hand movements as usual) when I move my hand in front of the
cage. She said this was irreversible and that mercy killing was probably
in order.

I called a vet that does herps and have a 4:45 appointment, so I'm
pursuing that course.

My question to this group is "has anyone else heard of this affliction"
with respect to garters, or snakes in general, and/or can you tell me
what's going on (again, he's very listless, when he slides up the glass
of his cage, he'll then fall over, and just sort of stay there - and then
after a bit, he'll move around the cage again, all the while with his
head tilted to one side. In fact, when I pick him up and hold him, it's
like he's crawling on his side, he's tilted that much).

In hind-sight (i.e., after going through this group and the Web) it
appears in fact that goldfish alone is not a complete diet and that I
probably fu-^%$cked up (I know for my lizards, I dusted their crickets
with vitamins, and fed them mealy worms as well as crickets). I read
where Garters often eat leeches, small frogs, worms, etc.. For my other
snakes well-being, just what should I be feeding him (them)?

TIA for any and all help - losing a pet is a ***.

/==================================================/
W. W. Viergever
Principal
Viergever & Associates
Sacramneto, CA
(916) 923-2355
/==================================================/

 
 
 

Sick Garter - head is tilted to side, keeps burrying it

Post by sl.. » Wed, 25 Feb 1998 04:00:00



Quote:

>Hi All:

>Pet-lover and 1st time poster here.

>I've 2 garters (red-sided, I think) acquired from a pet store over a year
>and half ago (they were quite small) and they've done marvelously,  
>graduating from guppies to goldfish for their food, and going through
>many sheds and now on our 4th (?) aquarium (a 60 gallon job this time).

>Both eat and shed regularly; however last week after their round of fish,
>I notices one seemed a bit sluggish and it let me pick it up without the
>typical hassle or running away.

>Came into work today (I keep them at my office) and the one looked dead!

>Picked it up (he/she - I don't know at this point) and it *was* alive,
>breathing seemed slow (you've got to look close to see the breathing
>movements) and it's tongue doesn't flick as much as normal. Its eyes are
>open but they don't seem to follow me as usual.

>Called my shop, the owner referred me to a gal in the local herp society
>(I think they meet out of UC Davis) who immediately (and sadly) said the
>snake has "stargaze" disease (I know it's not probably a technical name -
>but she knew exactly what the symptoms were and called it the "star
>gaze"), i.e., a diet deficiency that renders the snake blind and then
>brain-dead? The snake definitely does not seem to see (i.e., doesn't
>follow my hand movements as usual) when I move my hand in front of the
>cage. She said this was irreversible and that mercy killing was probably
>in order.

>I called a vet that does herps and have a 4:45 appointment, so I'm
>pursuing that course.

>My question to this group is "has anyone else heard of this affliction"
>with respect to garters, or snakes in general, and/or can you tell me
>what's going on (again, he's very listless, when he slides up the glass
>of his cage, he'll then fall over, and just sort of stay there - and then
>after a bit, he'll move around the cage again, all the while with his
>head tilted to one side. In fact, when I pick him up and hold him, it's
>like he's crawling on his side, he's tilted that much).

>In hind-sight (i.e., after going through this group and the Web) it
>appears in fact that goldfish alone is not a complete diet and that I
>probably fu-^%$cked up (I know for my lizards, I dusted their crickets
>with vitamins, and fed them mealy worms as well as crickets). I read
>where Garters often eat leeches, small frogs, worms, etc.. For my other
>snakes well-being, just what should I be feeding him (them)?

>TIA for any and all help - losing a pet is a ***.

>/==================================================/
>W. W. Viergever
>Principal
>Viergever & Associates
>Sacramneto, CA
>(916) 923-2355
>/==================================================/

Star gazing in Boas is deadly ! It's a *** parisite and hard to cure
. Even if it can be treated !!!  I'm not completly sure about
treatment outcome.. Garters do eat frogs worms small rodents chunks of
tuna fish cat food.. But when feeding fish to any animal you should be
aware of the temp at time of feeding.. Warm fish is bad cool fish is
good..It has somethi9ng to do with a toxin buildup in the fish when
it's warm....  And if I'm not exactlly correct I'm sure I'm on the
correct tract....
 I have kept garters in the past ... Cool little dudes if you ask me..

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