Sick Ball Python...RI

Hi. Im new here and actually signed up because I’m at a complete loss. My husband and I acquired a ball python about a month ago. A couple weeks ago we noticed her showing symptoms of an RI. We took her to the vet and they gave her an antibiotic injection and sent is home with additional injections to gove her every 3days. She started to perk up a bit but wasn’t getting better so we took her back and were told to continue treatment. Yesterday her breathing got worse and we took her back to the vet today for a nebulizer treatment. We are worried sick and don’t know what else we can do for her. If anyone has any advice I would greatly appreciate it. Thanks in advance.


I don’t know what is going on but an RI getting worse while being on injections doesn’t sound right. Are you using a reptile specialist? You may want to get a second opinion from another qualified vet.

But in the meantime, could you give us some more information on how you are caring for her such as-
Heating element
And some pictures of her and her enclosure


I second the making sure there’s a qualified vet seeing your little one. Not all vets specialize in exotics and reptiles specifically can be difficult to find.

Here’s a good place to start:

Another thing I would ask for is a culture and sensitivity test. That way they can treat you baby’s symptoms with the correct medication. If the bacteria is resistant to the type you’re using, it won’t get better.


Thanks for the reply. Her humidity is around 60%, temps stay 90-100 on her hot side and 80-85 on her cool side. Lightning is led and heating element is a 150-watt CHE. Substrate is a mix of repti-bark and repti-soil. She is around 5 or 6 months old. I have been calling around trying to find another vet that specializes in reptiles but no luck yet.


Your temps are waaaaay too high on the hot side. Should be 85 to 88 but no higher than 88. Cool side 75 to 80. Your humidity is fine.

I am not saying to not get a second opinion but it is entirely possible that the RI may have been going on longer than when you first noticed it since you have only had her for about a month. If so it is in an advanced stage and may be more difficult to treat.

At any rate you should definitely get the hot side temps down asap…….

Good luck


Thank you.


Personally I would be double and triple checking my temps and making sure that it is not getting too cold overnight (or any time really but overnight would be my main concern). I’m not a ball python expert by any means, and mostly have worked with larger lizards, but when I have had RI that continue to progress while on medication, it has almost always been a temp issue. Check any areas she spends significant time at the level she is spending time (for instance if she is under leaves or mulch at night make sure you are checking the temperature at that level at the coldest time). Good luck and I hope things turn around!

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Thank you. We got a thermostat for her enclosure which is helping. We also found a better vet that has given us a good plan as well as taken a culture that we are currently waiting for the results from. She also switched to a different antibiotic and she seems to be making some improvement. Thanks.


Buy F10 Vetinary Desinfect. 1-250 1-500 solution depending on weight and snake. With nebulizer. It helps the snake during RI"S and assist in recovery and curing the RI. Sometimes the RI cant be cured by this method and Baytril or other antibiotics is the only alternative.

The animal is already receiving treatment and nebulizing at a vet. The RI is already resistant to to the antibiotic the vet prescribed which most likely is baytril.

Hopefully the op has brought them to another vet who can do the culture and sensitivity to see what medications to use to effectively treat.

It would be nice to see an update on recovery, but things may have gone poorly for OP, which is understandable.

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