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  1. #1
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    Question My Red Tail Boa Wont Eat. Help!

    My female red tail boa wont eat. She hasn't eaten in 4 weeks now. I have offered her food every week and she still refuses. I used to have her on fresh killed and I have tried to get her to eat live since the rats are still quite small. I have tried covering the rubber maid box i put her in to eat and that does not help either. I have left her alone with the food and it doesn't matter, she still wont eat. She is about 8 months old and was eating fine before now. I got her about 7 months ago and she has not changed cages since then or placing in the room. She had mites when I got her and I have been battling to get rid of them and haven't seen any in almost a month now. I have not put her back on cypress yet, I still have her on paper towels watching for mites. She does not have anything in her cage besides a water bowl. What should I do to get her to eat??? Any help would be appreciated. I also had her looked at by vet and she is in good health.






  2. #2
    Elite Member purplemuffin's Avatar
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    Re: My Red Tail Boa Wont Eat. Help!

    First off, don't try to get your snake on live! Even a live mouse can seriously injure a snake, and rats are much more dangerous!

    She is probably stressed, she has nothing but a water bowl--make sure you give her a hide so she can feel safe and secure! Stressed animals won't eat!
    -Kat

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  3. #3
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    Re: My Red Tail Boa Wont Eat. Help!

    What are the temps at?

  4. #4
    Elite Member David McConley's Avatar
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    Re: My Red Tail Boa Wont Eat. Help!

    I agree with Purplemuffin- you may want to try putting in a hide box, snakes stress very easily wiothout one and they won't eat if they are stressed.
    Also- like Jeepguy said check the temps and the humidity.
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  5. #5
    Elite Member bethany's Avatar
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    Re: My Red Tail Boa Wont Eat. Help!

    You have to good suggestions already, check temps/humidity, and get a hide. Also I wouldn't get to stressed yourself, sometimes they just aren't hungry. My Ned is funny like that. She will shed, go potty and get very active, which to me all imply and usually = feeding time. But occasionally I am wrong and as result get to hang on to her lovely dead rats in the freezer! Unless she is loosing weight or seems to have some other medical problem that could cause her not to eat, try checking environment conditions and a hide. also look in her mouth if you can. When Ned was small she hurt her mouth on repti-bark (my mistake) and got mouth rot, that was an appetite killer for her. If her mouth looks puffy or really red or won't close all the way you night want to see a vet. It was a very easy fix for us. Good luck!
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  6. #6
    Elite Member TamJam's Avatar
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    Re: My Red Tail Boa Wont Eat. Help!

    How is she now? Any luck with eating?

    I sympathize, because at this time mine (around five and a half feet of her) has not eaten in about five weeks and I know I need to make some changes to see if she is too stressed out where she is.

  7. #7
    Elite Member Dragoness's Avatar
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    Re: My Red Tail Boa Wont Eat. Help!

    I have a boa that regularly goes a month or two without eating, and it's just his nature. Yours may or may not be the same way, though if you recently had mites, she still might be a bit weirded out by all the stuff you undoubtedly had to do to get rid of the pesky things.

    A hide doesn't have to be anything fancy - even a cardboard box will do, and that would also enable you to throw it out every few days, and replace it with a new one, should you need to in your ongoing surveillance for mites. Heck, you can even use a towel, and she will probably squiggle under it, and you can wash and replace as needed. When left out in the open, they feel exposed and vulnerable, like a sitting duck just waiting for a predator to come along.

    Chances are, your snake is just fine, and everything will correct itself once you have made the recommended changes... Just give her some time.
    My name is Jen.

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  8. #8
    Elite Member TamJam's Avatar
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    Re: My Red Tail Boa Wont Eat. Help!

    Dragoness this is excellent advice!

    So how is this boa doing now??? Any changes?

  9. #9
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    Re: My Red Tail Boa Wont Eat. Help!

    Thawed/Frozen is safer then live but frankly I feel the benefits of feeding live out way the cons... (nutrition they get from it)

    I do several things to keep bites from happening to my snakes... I clear out all obsticles in there cage (I use this time while they are eating to clean the peices and spot clean the cage) This gives the snake a clear shot at the prey. I keep a extra long set of feeding tongs (basicly oversized tweezers) in the event that the snake dosnt hit the face of the rat or mouse and I place the end inside the rat/mouse mouth to prevent it from chewing on the snake.

    Even with these steps a bit can still happen but will most likely not cause any harm what so ever. Snakes survive in the wild eating live and get bit all the time. If your snake dose get scratched or bit, use anti-biotic ointment with no pain killer in it.

    Also feed in the tank, the stress caused by taking a snake out to feed and then handling it right after can cause issues.

  10. #10
    Administrator Merlin's Avatar
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    Re: My Red Tail Boa Wont Eat. Help!

    Quote Originally Posted by MrBoaJangles View Post
    Thawed/Frozen is safer then live but frankly I feel the benefits of feeding live out way the cons... (nutrition they get from it)
    Not true. The only reason to feed live is for a snake that just flat out refuses to feed any other way. The arguement that live is more nutritious than frozen was shot down years ago. Go by your local Zoo or, if you have access to them, professional breeders. You will see them feeding frozen thawed items. If the feeders lacked proper nutrition then the snakes would not breed well and it would undermine their profits.

    Even with these steps a bit can still happen but will most likely not cause any harm what so ever. Snakes survive in the wild eating live and get bit all the time.
    And snakes in the wild get killed by their intended dinner item! These snakes are captives and not in anyway "In the wild".

    If your snake dose get scratched or bit, use anti-biotic ointment with no pain killer in it.
    Unless it is bitten deeply in the eye, head, or into the spine. In that case you are putting ointment on a blinded or dead snake.

    Also feed in the tank, the stress caused by taking a snake out to feed and then handling it right after can cause issues
    Nonsense. I have been keeping numerous snakes for decades,and removing them for feeding and replacing them! And never once has it caused any sort of problem. Granted you can not feed them and them and then toss them around with your buddies!
    Merlin,
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