Some of you may know that Sunshine, our albino Burmese python, was diagnosed with a bacterial lung infection a few months ago and was on sick leave for about 3 months. She has made a full recovery and is back at work right now at the Celebrate Fairfax festival.
Back in early March, we noticed Sunshine seemed a bit congested, so we took her to see Dr. Emily Hoppmann, a DVM who specializes in exotic animals, including snakes. So, you could actually call her a “snake doctor.” She works at SEAVS (Stahl Exotic Animal Veterinary Services) which is nationally renowned exotic animal clinic located in Vienna, VA.
Dr. Hoppmann examined Sunshine and took a nasal culture to be sent for testing. Sunshine tested positive for two types of bacteria that can cause respiratory disease in snakes. Two antibiotics were prescribed and every day for about 30 days, we had to give Sunshine a shot. She didn’t get a lollipop after her shots, but she did get better.
After Sunshine was finsished with her medicine, we wanted to wait until she had rested for awhile before taking her to work. Sunshine is now doing great – she is eating lots of defrosted frozen rats and is very active.
We also learned two things about her from Dr. Hoppmann. One, Sunshine IS a GIRL! We actually didn’t know for sure until now. Two, Sunshine is getting to be a senior citizen. Dr. Hoppmann explained that most albino Burmese pythons live around 20 years or so, and Sunshine is around 16.
We are so grateful to Dr. Hoppmann and all of the great reptile vets at SEAVS. Thank you all for helping Reptiles Alive keep our reptiles alive!