**First - A trigger warning: death is spoken about here. There are no grisly details, I give as much information as I can without being graphic. There are pictures, however, NONE of them are of a corpse. She was very much alive in the photos.
To be extra clear, these photos are of Ziyah when I got her and during her up times. None of these photos show a snake during her dying moments. **
A few of you might remember me. Back in September I was surprised with a Limburg Snow Rosy Boa. I made a post about her, asked questions, was generally excited.
Sadly, she has passed. She went at 12:43 am today. Cause so far is unknown. The vet highly suspects IBD but the only symptom of IBD she has shown was a neurological tremor. No stargazing or anything. Back in October, my girl decided she wanted to brumate. After coming up with a solution to meeting her wintery needs, she handled the brumation process poorly and after a really bad scare, I pulled her out of it. She went straight to the vet and after explaining everything, the vet stated I had done nothing wrong, but that she was probably hiding an illness and that the brumation process just exacerbated it. She was showing obvious signs of a respiratory infection, injections started. For a moment we were doing okay. She gained back all the weight she had lost, plus a gram. She had a successful shed…
The RI didn’t go away. Injections continued, she still wasn’t eating, so we put her on a formula and I hand fed her. She had good days where it seemed she was really pulling through, showing no symptoms, got some color back in her eyes, tongue flicking away… then the RI would double down, her tremors would happen more frequently.
The day before her death, the tremors were lasting longer and appearing more frequently. Her bowels looked so distended. I knew she wasn’t going to make it. She was displaying all signs of dying. For those of you who have been around animals (farm life, shelter technicians, vets, etc) you know what I mean. Last night, before bed I got her out to check on her one more time. The smell hit first. She smelled dead… But she was still breathing. I stayed up with her all night.
During that time, my vet managed to find an IBD test that was a mouth swab and didn’t require taking blood from a neonate’s heart. She said at first that they would not need to send out for the results. Well, that was incorrect… Then she said we should hopefully get them by Friday (test was taken in a Tuesday). That also did not happen. It’s been a week since the swab and the results don’t appear to be coming any time soon. During the test I had asked my vet if it’s not IBD (again, Ziyah was not displaying any typical IBD symptoms) then what else could it be. Her answer was that she had no idea and she would have to crack open the books and consult with other doctors. I personally have my own theory. But if not IBD, then I decided a necropsy would probably be best. For my sake and for the vet’s sake. Maybe even the snake community’s sake.
The issue is, Ziyah has passed. We have no answer on her IBD test. It was requested that I keep her body in the fridge so she wouldn’t have to thaw if/when it comes time to the necropsy. I’m sad.
I had my sweet baby girl for 4 months. Three of those months she was sick. She tried very hard and I am proud of her. I miss her so much already. I loved her and I hope she is resting peacefully now.
Love your snakes, folks. Hug them close if you can. They are precious.