Danielle Sciberras Exercise 4


Kaja's Story

I saw my Ball Python,Kaja, at a pet store here in Orlando only two weeks after moving into town. Kaja was a hatchling when I bought her, but I did not know that. The pet store had no clue what her gender was, how old she was, and they told me they have not seen her eat since her arrival at the shop. I assumed that Kaja was stressed and would relax after being at my home for a few weeks, and would hopefully eat as a result. Ball pythons are extremely affected by stress and can fast for months at a time if they are not comfortable in their environment. After Kaja did not eat for a couple of months and she started to drop weight I decided it was time to bring her into the vet. When Dr. Diaz examined Kaja he found that she had a parasite called Coccidia and that she was anorexic.

Once I was told that Kaja was anorexic and that she had a parasite that had gotten pretty advanced I was devastated knowing she was sick that whole time. Dr. Diaz informed that her treatment plan would be two weeks of Kaja staying at the vet to receive her medicine daily. Dr. Diaz had given me the option to take her home and administer the medicine myself. I rejected that offer because her medicine needed to be tube fed to her with a syringe so that it would go down into her stomach. With that needing to be done, every time the medicine is given to her, the syringe runs the risk of going into Kaja's lungs and not her stomach if you are not careful and do not know what you are doing. Along with having to give Kaja the medicine every day to get rid of her parasites, she needed to be tube fed so that she can being to build her weight back up from her anorexia. Kaja ended up needing to be at the vet for a total of two and a half months for constant care before the parasites were finally gone and she was eating on her own.

Dr. Diaz wanted to make sure that Kaja was perfect before sending her back home to me after the whole predicament so I was not allowed to have Kaja back until she ate a mouse on her own. Part of Kaja being at the vet for so long was because she took a very long time to do so. Dr. Diaz was trying to feed Kaja frozen/thawed mice, which is the best way to feed your snake to avoid injury and disease to your pet. The mice can fight back if alive and can also carry a variety of parasites that will transfer to the snake once ingested. After Kaja not eating a frozen/thawed mouse for so long, I called Dr. Diaz and suggested that I bring by a live mouse to see if that would get Kaja to eat. I thought since she had never eaten a mouse before that it would make her instincts kick in. Dr. Diaz loved the idea so I brought a mouse to the vet right away and Kaja ate it. After she finished her meal I was able to take her home, finally. She has had a couple of bumps in the road since then but is now perfectly healthy. Kaja is still not fully grown and will never be fully grown due to her having anorexia at a young age. Her being so sick cause her growth to be stunted so Kaja will always be small.

About Coccidia
Exotic Animal Hospital of Orlando