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Help with Rescued Boa Please!

Discussion in 'Boas *General*' started by LovelyMomma, Dec 10, 2011.

  1. LovelyMomma

    LovelyMomma Elite Member

    Hi, me & my husband rescued a boa wednesday night. As far as we know, it hasn't eaten in at least a month, possibly more. It was in a skate shop & I guess it was open for about 3 months then it closed down. They left the snake there, the place had no electricity so it had no heat source & no one came to take care of it. We have it now in the enclosure it came in. The warm side is 90-94, cool side 85. The snakes temperature is about 90. We've tried to get her to eat a few different mice and she just shows no interest whatsoever (we're just assuming she's a girl, btw). Really don't know anything about boas, not even sure what kind she is but guessing she's a red tail morph. She's about 4 ft long and very thin for her length. She doesn't move about her cage a whole lot, and after she coils up has a very hard time getting straightened out again (i.e. loses control of her head). We've had her out 2 times, and she has no problem moving around the floor or anything like that. Just don't know what to do for her, because we honestly can't afford to take her to a specialist right now. I don't know if the mice are just too small for her to even bother with, or if she's beyond help. Any advice will be gladly taken. Thanks so much.

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  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Some people should just be taken out and,..........

    The snake is stressed. Leave it alone for a few days, no handling, no attempting to feed no pestering it in any way. Let it get settled in and relax.
    Do you have any sort of hide box in there the snake can retreat to? Is there a water dish big enough the snake can get in and soak. I use a cat litter pan.

    And don't leave live rodents in with the snake. If it doesn't show immediate interest in them remove them.

    Oh and since it hasn't eaten, a mouse may be ok for a feeding or two but you are going to need big rats for a snake that size.
    CAn you post photos of the entire enclosure?
     
  3. LovelyMomma

    LovelyMomma Elite Member

    Yes sir, I will go do that now. Pics coming in 5.
     
  4. LovelyMomma

    LovelyMomma Elite Member

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    I'm on the fence about the hide we're using, I know how snug our balls like to be so we chose that one as apposed to one about twice the size. She's been in the dish once or twice that i've seen, usually she just goes around the top of it and puts her head way up in the top corner. Like I said though, she doesn't move very much. & what about losing control of her head? Is it just because she's practically starving?

    EDIT: Oh, and I'm a newbie at snakes in general and my ball pythons so far haven't had a problem feeding, but why not keep the rodent in the cage?
     

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  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I would replace the log with some sort of box with a hole in it just big enough to allow access. Someplace dark and secure. That log doesn't give the snake to get away from your sight. And who knows how it has been treated before hand!

    The issues with the movement may be due to the snake being weak or it could be something else. Unfortunately that is something that only a vet would be able to say for sure. How are you measuring temperatures? For now see if you can't get the basking spot temps to stay up about 95.
    Are your heat lamps inside the cage with the snake? If so that would be a danger for the snake getting burned.
     
  6. LovelyMomma

    LovelyMomma Elite Member

    Okay, so like a shoebox of some sort. Now I should put that on the warm side right? & yes, unfortunately it is inside. I've tried to mount it outside but then the temp inside doesn't get above 85.... I'm not sure what else to do :/
     
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    You can attach some screen, 1/4 inch hardware cloth will work, over the outside of the reflector. Just something to prevent direct contact with the bulbs.

    Oops, missed that. The rodent can chew up your snake.
     
  8. LovelyMomma

    LovelyMomma Elite Member

    okay. got it :) thanks so much, will keep you updated.
     
  9. LovelyMomma

    LovelyMomma Elite Member

    Okay, so I'm a bit confused now... I spoke to a guy that has a local ad on craigslist that says he's a reptile rescuer and he says that I should take the snake out once a day and let it soak in warm water for about ten minutes because it sounds and looks like from the pictures that it's dehydrated. I'm really not sure what to do.. Do I leave it alone completely for 3 days then try feeding it? Or does what this guy say about letting her soak sound at all feasible? I'm also going to post some more pictures for you. Thanks again.

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  10. LovelyMomma

    LovelyMomma Elite Member

    Oh, & when I do try to feed it, should I feed live, f/t, or fresh killed? And since I've already attempted mice, should I just go for a young rat instead? Sorry for so many questions...
     
  11. justor

    justor Elite Member

    Whoa that mirror needs to be covered pronto!

    Edit: and as far as feeding goes you'd be best off feeding f/t if the snake will take it. If not you can try pre killed or live as a last resort.
     
  12. LovelyMomma

    LovelyMomma Elite Member

    why does the mirror need covered? theres one at both ends...
     
  13. justor

    justor Elite Member

    Stress. Many reptiles are uncomfortable around mirrors. It is most notable in the more territorial lizard species which see their reflection as an intruder in their territory. It may not be quite as big a deal for a boa, but generally reptiles cannot understand what a mirror is and it can cause them stress. Especially with a mirror at each end. Have you ever stood between two mirrors? It's very odd seeing reflections inside of reflections inside of reflections, and it just goes on and on and on to infinity. Definitely not a good way to make a snake feel secure, more like it's stuck in the twilight zone or something. I would even go so far as to say this is probably the main reason your snake isn't eating.
     
  14. LovelyMomma

    LovelyMomma Elite Member

    Wow... never even crossed my mind. Will take care of that now! Do you have any advice on the soaking as apposed to not handling at all? Like I said, I know nothing about this snake at all so I don't know what she's been through or used to.
     
  15. bucher70

    bucher70 Elite Member

    The reason you would soak a reptile is to encourage drinking, mainly in a dehydrated animal. Signs of dehydration can be wrinkly spectacles and or shriveled skin. From the picture he does not appear to be dehydrated, but that is hard to verify from a picture. If he is drinking on his own, I wouldnt worry to much about it, just make sure his temps and humidity are where they should be.

    On a side note, you mentioned you have ball pythons, there is an infectious disease called inclusion body disease, or IBD. Boas can be carriers of this, and one of the symptoms is neurologic problems,ie head wobbling, star gazing, loss of righting reflex.
    Pythons can also catch this and is fatal, no matter what. Make sure you are using strict hygene when handling your snakes. I would even move the boa to his own room, just to be safe.
     
  16. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    IBD can be a serious issue since you have pythons to,make sure to wash your hands THOROUGHLY between any contact with your other animals! Do not use any equipment that you use for the boa with any other boas/pythons,as it is said that IBD can be transmitted through feces,urine,saliva etc. as well as reptile mites. I agree with housing this animal in a separate area away from your collection just to be safe....here is a good article on IBD that can answer some questions-
    http://www.boaconstrictors.com/en/I...strictor_Care/diseases/Inclusion_Body_Disease

    I have seen IBD and how devastating it is to a collection,it took out all of a "rescues" collection of boas and burms,because they did not quarantine and housed all of the large boas and pythons together.....not a pretty sight :( a horrible disease.
     
  17. LovelyMomma

    LovelyMomma Elite Member

    Okay, so we ended up soaking it in the bath tub last night anyway for about 10 minutes, and i have some new pictures to show you. I also have been researching IBD since I woke up and find it all to be terribly confusing and concerning. I watched some videos on youtube and it seems to be what she's doing, but doesn't have any signs of RI. This one picture really concerns me though and hope someone can give me a little insight to it. I also am going to be contacting every reptile vet/rescue within a 50 mile radius of me in hope that someone can help us.

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  18. LovelyMomma

    LovelyMomma Elite Member

    Ahh.... The more & more videos I watch and articles I read, the more I think she does have IBD :( Time to move my pythons out of the room completely until I figure out what can be done with the boa... This breaks my heart...
     
  19. LovelyMomma

    LovelyMomma Elite Member

    UGH! I'm such an idiot.... when we first got her, I gave her refused mouse to one of my pythons.... *slams head against desk* idiot, idiot, idiot...
     
  20. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    IBD is normally a fast moving disease,while some animals will slowly starve... keep your python isolated from the others just in case. I have a boa that I was told has a neck injury(from said "rescue") but a friend thinks she may be a carrier of IBD,she is unable to control her head most of the time and star gazes now and then,but shows no other symptoms, she eats,drinks and sheds perfectly....

    Only time will tell with your boa
     

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