Water Snakes from Kansas Question

Heather

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I help out at the local museum and they have 2 water snakes on display for the public to see. One is a plain belly water snake and the other is a diamondback water snake. I am unsure of the sex of either. Their diet consists of catfish and if someone goes fishing they may bring that in for them as well. There have been no recent habitat changes.

Recently one (not sure which) has had blue poo (which hasn't happened before and only once that I have seen.)

I was wondering if anyone would know anything about this, or if it is of any concern or is completely normal.

Sorry if it is a silly question, but we are unsure if it is a serious problem. :8o

Any help would be appreciated.
 

Mushroom Spore

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and if someone goes fishing they may bring that in for them as well.
This right here needs to stop. Feeding captive animals things caught in the wild, which are exposed to pollutants, diseases, poisons, and parasites is a really bad idea. Yes, wild animals eat those same fish, but a lot of those wild animals aren't going to be in the very best of health either.

It wouldn't surprise me if some of those fish had been exposed to some sort of chemical (blue sounds like maybe cleaning chemicals of some sort that ended up working its way into the ecosystem by way of rainstorms and runoff). Stop feeding any prey item that was not raised in captivity, period. You have no IDEA what's really being fed to those snakes, or what it's doing to their long-term or even short-term health.

The only account of discolored snake poo I can remember off the top of my head is someone whose corn snake poo'd green after a long period of refusing to eat its mice, and then died soon after.
 

Heather

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Oh dear... I do know that it has been several months since they were given the wild caught fish (maybe about 3 weeks before Christmas.) I would guess that if that were the problem it would have been seen soon after than??

We will certainly not offer it again. I feel so bad. (I guess I should have known better since I don't offer any of my critters anything that was wild caught.) Thanks for the insight.

So is it possible that the snake is ill? They both look healthy, neither too fat nor too thin. One does eat better than the other, but again, I'm not sure which one it is.

Thanks for the words of advice!

Any other thoughts would be most appreciated.
 
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Mushroom Spore

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Oh dear... I do know that it has been several months since they were given the wild caught fish (maybe about 3 weeks before Christmas.) I would guess that if that were the problem it would have been seen soon after than??
Possibly--although snakes poop rarely compared to mammals, so it could be that it just took a while for their systems to process it, if that is the cause.

So is it possible that the snake is ill? They both look healthy, neither too fat nor too thin. One does eat better than the other, but again, I'm not sure which one it is.
As I understand it, weirdly-colored feces can mean there's something seriously wacky going on with the natural bacterial flora or something in the animal's intestines--if we assume for now that they weren't just pooping out some accumulated contaminants, although the latter could easily have caused the former.

They really should seperate the snakes for a while, and quarantine both from contact with any other snakes. The blue feces should probably have been taken to a vet to run a fecal check right away; if it happens again, make sure they do this. Put it in a baggie and GO. Have a vet check the snakes out ASAP anyway, particularly the one with the problem, if it's known which snake it was. (This is one of the reasons you should never house snakes together, because it makes it a pain in the ass to ID who has a problem when things like this happen. Plus they'll make each other sick if one comes down with something.)

...although I can't remember if they're being housed together or if they're on display seperately, so ignore that last paragraph if I'm just tired and making things up. :)

Otherwise: no more wild-caught food, keep a sharp eye on them, and call a vet the first time anything seems even a little off.
 

Heather

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I volunteer at the Sternberg Museum... really nice people there. :)
 

KUJordan

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contact Joe Collins or Chad Whitney. I'm sure they'd be able to help you out. How's that state record snapping turtle doing? That is a lovely turtle and seems to be a tad too overweight for its own shell!
 

Heather

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Thanks for the info... I will see what they can tell me. The snake is really bloated and very uncomfortable looking, he was taken to Dr. Braun and she found nothing. I didn't make it in today, but he was still puffy looking, not sure when he will be again.

The turtle has been moved to another location... I can't remember where, but I will pm you when I recall. He was put in a facility that can accomodate his size. I thought it was quite a tubby guy, but that is the only I ever saw in that sort of enclosure.
 

Heather

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Wow, I need to watch my wording! One of those sentences didn't make any sense :eek:

He seems to be getting better, but he is still bloated and hasn't eaten as of today.

The turtle was moved to Pratt... I guess they have a large tank to keep him in.
 

Mushroom Spore

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He seems to be getting better, but he is still bloated and hasn't eaten as of today.
If the snake is bloated and it's not a very (last day or two) recent meal, that's kind of a huge problem. Snakes don't just bloat randomly. Tumor? Fluid buildup? Fecal impaction?

Try a different vet, and I suggest this be done very quickly. Like, yesterday.
 
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