Devastated. What should I do? (RI's)

To get straight to the point- my male OD Gravel Clown male (Loki) passed away from an RI, and my pastel YB Clown female (Freya) is still going through treatment for what my vet and I are assuming to be the same bacteria.

I got my male in to the vet as soon as I saw him show symptoms. I have read things about self treatment and F10 in my research phase but decided that I would still opt for the exotic vet in these situations. I figured that moving to a bigger rack system probably stressed him out, and that I had made a mistake of such a big change + a new night drop temperature setting he wasn’t used to. I asked my vet to do a swab because I had read about that, but he said he did not think it was necessary as most respiratory infections go away with the use of Tazicef and the 10-day wait for results “would take too long”. So, I took his advice. My poor Loki passed the day of completing treatment. I had thought he was improving but it honestly was hard to tell, and my Vet had assured me that sometimes it takes awhile to curb symptoms. I was so heartbroken. :frowning: Meanwhile this whole time we had been keeping a close eye on my female Freya, as I had put one in the other’s bin while doing cleanings at one point. So unfortunately, she had started symptoms and I already know to try to treat it as fast as possible so we gave her a long-release Doxycyline injection (assuming whatever bacteria it was was resistant to our previous treatment) and did a swab to try to pin-point exactly what we are dealing with. She doesn’t improve. Our vet finally got the results and tells us what bacteria it is (Aeromonas) and that it was actually not treatable with the previous Doxycycline injection we just tried. However it is still apparently treatable with the Tazicef, the same antibiotic that didn’t work with my poor boy.

Because of this, he suggests to go a Baytril + Tazicef treatment route. An injection of Baytril every two days and Tazicef every three. I know Baytril causes soreness and its just eating me up that I havent seen any obvious signs of improvement yet. 3/5 of each antibiotics has been done so far.

Any advice or input??

Husbandry note: My humidity levels & and hot spots are monitored and within normal ranges. I have another snake in the same rack who had been totally unaffected so I just wanted to make note of this as I’m sure that could have been a contributing factor to recovery if not.


Skip Baytril. At this point it has been so overused in the hobby that everything it resistant to it. I will have to check with my vet for what the current preferred anitbacterial is


Okay, thank you!

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Going to post this here since you mentioned F10.


When a culture and sensitivity test is done though the individual antibiotics are tested on that particular bacteria sample.

Now if that particular lab didn’t use a baytril sample for the results, then yes. it would be mostly useless. By not continuing through to finish a medication, that makes the remaining bacteria stronger against it for next time. Since it had already been started, finish it because it will at least keep secondary infection from happening and if it IS effective on this particular bacteria, you won’t make a resistant strain

I have seen cases in guinea pigs where baytril would work but the gentamicin we had been treating with was useless.

As far as the female herself…
Snakes are so good at hiding just how Ill they really are. And the metabolism doesn’t help with that. It can take quite a while for the improvements to be seen.
The vet did the right thing this time by running a C&S. I’m angry that he denied that test request for you on your male.
Follow through on the medications until they are complete. Contact the vet immediately if things look worse again. I would also consider a second culture to see if more bacteria still show and if a second round would be needed to deter a relapse if it was my snake.


Very good point thank you, I will certainly finish out the antibiotics as prescribed just incase.

I was so upset about the vet doing that aswell. I think he knew he messed up, but with the swab results who knows… This was supposed to be my first upcoming season and they were doing so well. :frowning:

Last I spoke to my vet he wanted to hear how she’s doing closer to finishing up, so I am hoping there’s a plan c antibiotic to try if all else fails…

My fingers are crossed I’ll wake up to her feeling better after these two last rounds :crossed_fingers:


Thank you! I knew I wasn’t comfortable going that route before I even had my snakes from what other resources I found researching but it’s nice to see that Vet’s comment to know for sure I didn’t pass up giving him some kind of DIY miracle. :sob:

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I am intimately familiar with how antibiotics work, thanks. The fact that the vet did not test for sensitivity to Baytil means that its use is, at best, pointless and, at worst, contributing to the problem of overuse. Add to the fact that Baytril is known to cause permanent scaring and tissue damage and, to me and my vet, it seems more a knee-jerk than a good prescriptive method.

F10 is horribly corrosive to tissue. This would be kind of like putting Lysol in a fogger and making your animal breath it


Op never said anything about baytril not being effective or tested. Just that doxy was useless on this strain so the vet went with the other 2 different medications instead.

Good of your vet to agree with you, but from the sound of it you also aren’t licensed for medical advice? Sure we can recommend it get a second opinion. But telling them to stop medication is reckless and quasi-legal


No where does it actually say a sensitivity panel was run. OP says that testing identified Genus and that it was “apparently treatable” which further supports the idea of vet using google for answers rather than a T&S testing.

And are you?


I suggested they continue to follow the vet’s advice instead of a staff member who is giving medical advice and telling them to stop treatment without a veterinary license. The extra fluff I added was from working as a veterinary technician and having to deal with far too many resistant strains of bacteria, especially one in a dog where due to negligence in medication it became highly resistant to everything we previously recommended

If you don’t see the problem with that as opposed to saying something like, “my vet doesn’t agree with the use of baytril, I would consider a second opinion” then I’m more than a bit surprised.

The sample was obviously cultured since they know for a fact doxy is useless and the tazicef they thought did not work for the male IS effective. The vet cannot know that without a culture.

You have a responsibility as staff as well. I would definitely be more careful about what you recommend if I was in the position. I don’t think the illegal medical advice is a good look personally


I would suggest that they consult their vet about the option to switch the medication/treatment.

And also, remember, they asked for help from people that have had real world experience with the treatment of RIs. Frankly, in my personal experience, I wouldn’t have started the treatment because I know the reasons that Travis brought up. Also, vets are not always correct in the advice that they provide. The vet that I have works for the Broward zoo down here in Florida. While I trust her opinion on care, all things must be viewed with some salt, as vets can’t know everything. That is would be what you would call an unrealistic expectation.


You do realize that medical professionals aren’t the only ones who have extensive expertise with antibiotics, right? Research scientists in certain fields, especially anyone who works in a microbiology or similar area, are going to have just as much information, if not more, as to the effectiveness of of antibotics in various situations.

One doesn’t need to be a “licensed veterinary professional” in order to diagnose and treat animals, if you did pretty much every farmer, reptile keeper and half of pet owners would be out of luck


Let’s not personally attack and try to provide the best possible information to the op


I will say, I have had multiple vets before the one I have now that have given me bad, outdated information on the generalities of reptiles, even though they are herp vets. And I mean, like all boas lay eggs and clarified that boas are egg layers.

Not calling you out @armiyana, just want you to see this. But Travis has more experience then most vets by trade, period. I am going to him and others that I know that have had years and years of experience for opinions, as they also have vets that would meet their apparent high standard of care for their animals.


Travis is also a Dr in genetics and understands how viruses and antibiotics work.


That’s fair Lumpy.
You know Travis personally and I do not.

It’s one thing for you to know someone and take the advice. It’s another for someone to offer it recklessly.

Sure, as was said, you don’t need a license to treat and diagnose if it’s your own pet…but in CA my vet hospital had to report a human doctor for ordering prescription drugs and medicating her own dog.

I still don’t agree with openly advising things like this on a forum. For one thing it can also lead to bad blood if someone follows that advice and the animal gets worse. You are taking the advice of someone who is not legally recognized as a vet… If someone pulled that stunt at a pet store, the employee is held responsible. If a nurse at the vet hospital told the patient to stop medication without consulting the doctor? Guess who gets written up?

Sure, we see minor things all the time… “If it gets worse take it to the vet” and offer small first aid options. Or the F-10 nebulizers that we constantly have to shoot down when brought up.

But in a case like this, I don’t feel that a person without a license should be openly diagnosing and treating . Sure, mention a “my vet personally doesn’t agree with this medication. I would get a second opinion. I’ll pm you more details” is a much better response than admitting that reptile hobbyists are practicing medicine without a license. Especially when we’re dealing with how much stigma the hobby has already and governments working to police it more.

I honestly am surprised at the responses I’ve seen on the forums here. It honestly has me rethinking wanting to be part of this community.

All I see is ‘staff’.
It’s great that you all know him and feel comfortable taking the advice he offers for medical care.

I come from the background of having worked veterinary and retail pet shop and having to tip toe around what you can and cannot legally recommend.

This could be said for ANY advice given on the forum.

All the more reason for staff not to post anything like that openly instead of a PM?