Possible Stage of RI need help please

4/7/20 Today I took ziggy out for a little bit. Every couple times that he breathes out it sounded like a small whistle. I also noticed that he stood up while flat on surface, not in his enclosure though. First time he did that today. Temp of his enclosure is 88 humidity is at 50, when I turn on heat lamp it lowers the humidity. When I turn it off, the humidity will go up. I have a digital thermometer and a manual thermometer and a manual humidity gauge and a thermostat. He doesn’t show any other signs like drooling from the mouth, mouth keeps opening mucus in his nostrils, or his facial area none of those signs.

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If he was sitting with his neck straight and his head raised, he would have been periscoping — just checking out the area!

Here’s a pic of one of my snakes ‘scopin

A whistle isn’t always something to be worried about, sometimes it can be from shedding or maybe bedding getting stuck in the nostrils.
If there’s no other signs then I wouldn’t worry too much myself, but if you’re worried then I would still take him in for a vet visit!


I did change Out his Repti chip bedding on the 6th. I notice small green mold follicles growing on his mopani aq wo on the bottom where it sits on the Repti chip. I threw that out on the 6th and cleaned the whole area that he’s in then added new bedding.

Yeah, there are some types of bedding that are more susceptible to growing mold. Not good for your snake!

I personally use paper towels for most of my snakes, so I wouldn’t be able to advise you much on what the best bedding types would be. I’d wait for more input from other keepers on that!

Can we see a photo of your setup, to try and help you?

It’s a 30-40 gall tank, all three sides are covered up with cardboard. Screen top, heat pad, thermostat, heat light half of the screen is covers with aluminum foil. Water bowl, 2 hides 1 closed the other open and fake plants. Temp and humidity it correct for the most part. The mopani wood is gone. The tank has been cleaned with 5%bleach water, new repti chip has since been added. If you go to my previous discussion about feeding issues, there’s pictures up of the tank. because I just got him. It’s been three weeks since I had him, he already ate. The next feed is in a couple of days.


The Snake arching its back could possibly be the animal trying to deal with fluids building up in its lung. I see snakes do it all the time and its also normal behavior, but that coupled with any of the signs or symptoms you listed, I would address the issue by taking the animal to the vet immediately.

I would recommend you clean the enclosure to make it as sterile of an environment as possible.
Use paper towel as the substrate. The snake shouldn’t mind and you will be able to monitor its health more easily. If any unusual discharge happens you will be able to see it at its earliest sign, instead of hunting for signs in any kind of natural substrate.

After the enclosure is as sterile of an environment, ensure that all the necessary temp and humidity readings are correct.

A Larger or smaller water bowl and its positioning in the enclosure, can sometimes help with the humidity instead of misting. The mold follicles can be water getting trapped in the substrate when its misted possibly. If you have substrate, when you spot clean shift it around a little bit. So that it may dry evenly.

Keep us updated, i really hope it isn’t anything. Good Luck!

Right now paper towels are in short supply because of people panicking and stocking up on them. I personally use newspaper since it is cheap and easy to get. If they can’t get paper towels then newspaper is the next best thing in terms of ease of cleaning and mold resistance.

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Alright so he’s been doing great. He stopped doing what I explained previously. I figured out that the air was to dry. The humidity was Escaping from his enclosure. So I covered the whole top of the lid with aluminum foil and a cut a hole so that the heat light can shine through. Now the humidity is not escaping the temperature is perfect and he seems pretty happy now and I don’t hear those sounds anymore. He also ate on 4/11/20 the second time he is eating since I’ve had him. I also put reptile calcium for the first time yesterday on his food. Every week I will be doing that.

Why the calcium? Does he only take pinkies or something?

Should the calcium be only used for baby ball pythons? I’m using thinking that it would be best for him to help his bones so that he will be healthy and grow. He’s a year old.

Calcium would be a supplement, if the snake was only taking pinkies which wouldn’t provide the necessary nutrition?

Can calcium create issues if given to the animal when it’s not needed?

Right now I have him on Fuzzy, I used the calcium powder 1nce if it’s not good for him I’ll stop. I have one Fuzzy mouse left to feed him next week. Then I’m going to go to small rat.

A small rat is a big jump from a fuzzy. Do you mean a hopper/weaned rat? A small rat would be a small adult rat when we are talking about feeding sizes.

There is no reason to dust a feeder rodent with calcium that i know of. All the calcium and minerals needed for healthy growth comes from the feeder rodents itself.

As far as too much calcium i guess that would be something hopefully one of the vets on here can answer. i don’t know if snakes can get kidney stones or not…


Not that i do that. I was just curious given the post. Now I’m curious about the effect from unnecessary calcium intake. If there is any.

They eat animals with bones they do not need additional calcium. Beardies etc are different than bps for sure. He’s safe to discontinue the use.

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Wow I didn’t know. I’m not going to ad that to his feed again not knowing if it’s going to affect him in any way. I just thought that it would make his bones a lot stronger and help him grow/ besides that fact that his normal intake would already take car of that. He seems fine I had him out today. He’s basking right now. I know he can’t speak so I don’t know for sure. But damn a little help here TF everyone being shock and acting like that. With the shock reactions. Thanks. Now I know. Would it be better if I don’t come on here with my concerns? To all the comments I this lobby and my last lobby ??? I’m just trying to get some help with my pet.

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Hey, don’t worry! It isn’t entirely unreasonable to assume something like that, since there are some species of reptile that do benefit from that extra calcium supplement.

You’re learning just like the rest of us, so please don’t feel bad for not knowing. I’ve had a few mess ups that left me feeling dumb, but I learned from it and moved on.

I would not let anything deter you from asking for advice/help here, this forum in particular has been one of the nicest communities I’ve been a part of.

Not shook or shocked. Just telling you how it is. I don’t think it is going to hurt him but he doesn’t need it. Don’t take it personally no one said anything attacking you.