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Mouse Bite= HELP!

Discussion in 'Common/Red Tail Boa' started by briana1399, Jan 20, 2009.

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  1. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    My first bite was from my male burm, he was only 10 feet long at the time and it was completely my fault. The day after I got him he was chilling out in his enclosure and like an idiot, I put my hand in front of him without giving him a warning pat first. He was so fast he bit my hand and had let go before I realized I was tagged. But he did leave me a souvenir-a nice sharp tooth left in my hand. I kept it and now it is part of my lecture that I give to people when I present my snakes at the community college, animal control and even my church.
     
  2. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    So you suggest to approach the snakes from behind or the side, rather than the front? Sometimes, that seems illogical, but because I thought they had to know your smell in order to know you won't hurt them. The day mine struck, I was wearing a black and white striped shirt and shiny jewelry, which I thought also added to it's fear of when one of my twins grabbed for it. They may not be able to see well, but they can see, right?
     
  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Exactly. Coming at them directly from the front can be construed as an aggressive move. An attack would come directly at them head on.
    And yes they can see.
     
  4. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    Well, I know they can see, but as for how well, I "read" that they can't see very well and can hear even less, so they go by movement, smell, and heat. My husband laughed at me when I told him because he swears they have perfect vision, but it isn't the constrictors that do, it's the venomus ones that do, right? It is just very interesting. . . And laughable if I am mistaken. . . :)
     
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Actually I think they have pretty good eyesight. And no they can't "hear" as we think of it but they are very sensitive to vibration.
    Their primary targeting mechanism is movement and heat.
     
  6. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    I do have a question about our male ball. He has had scales on his head for about a week after his shed. My husband says we have to take him to the vet, even though we have been keeping the terranium up to about 70-80% humid and the temp stays average (75-85) in the middle. I was wondering if we should give him more time, as the skin looks like it's loosening, but it's not coming off. He only has the one eye that is covered, and he has LET ME, of all people, work on him and rub at it, even the day after his feeding, but to no avail. I wasn't sure about how knowledgeable the vet here is and that was my only hesitancy, as we are in a sort of "hickville" :) I love it here, but it isn't up to reptilian knowledge. . .
     
  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Take the snake and a wet bath towel, put both in a wet pillowcase and tie a knot in the pillowcase. Leave the whole bundle in the snake enclosure over night and it should remove the skin.
     
  8. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    Will he be able to breathe?! I did it without questioning, until I worried perhaps he wouldn't be able to breathe in there. He's such an attentive and careful snake. I shouldn't brag too much, but he hasn't struck at me once, even though the last several days, I have poked and wiped at his little eyes and face heedlessly. . . ;) Our rtb has buried himself under his bedding, I know it's normal but should I disturb him to handle him or do you think it's his way of wanting more privacy?? We have aquarium style tanks and even though they don't seem to mind the attention, he must if he's buried himself.
     
  9. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Your snake can breathe just fine in a pillowcase - just like pulling covers up over your head at night, air gets through the cloth just fine.

    Does your boa have a hide? If he doesn't have a place to hide (half-log, hide box, etc) he may feel insecure, and burrow.

    Or he may just like the substrate. Our female RTB has a thing for Spanish moss - she has 3 hides in her cage, and will use them all varyingly, unless there is Spanish moss. she likes to burrow under that when I give it to her.
     
  10. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    Um, well, I am worried because he's the newest, about a month old for our home and I haven't yet changed his bedding, it was something that he had swallowed a particle of and gave me a scare, but it's recommended for rtbs. It's a combination of things, honestly for me to worry about him. But, yes, we have 1 hide, a climbing stump with vine and a large water dish. His hide is much more private than the substrate seems to me, but I'm not a snake. I just want it to be clean enough for him to be under it!! He's not made any messes and the water is changed daily, sometimes more, so I'm sure it isn't an issue. . . (?) Also, with my male ball, I just thought with the Pillowcase wet, it would be more difficult for him to breathe, but that's why I asked! Thank you for being so kind and answering! The rtb's bedding is tropical red cypress, any opinions about it? It's supposed to be highly recommended, however far that goes here.
     
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I have personally used and recommended the pillowcase trick for many years. The snake will be fine.
    As for the boa. My big girl is currently buried in the aspen with just her head sticking out. It's a snake thing.
    Regarding the cypress. Cypress mulch is fine but you want to use regular colored cypress. The red stuff is dyed with a chemical dye.
     
  12. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    in case nobody already warned you, be wary of recommendations from pet shops. The cypress is harmless, but pet stores will often recommend anything they think they can sell, with no regards (or no knowledge) of how good (or bad) it is for herps. You probably already know all that, but just in case...
     
  13. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    I couldn't brag about knowing anything much for sure just yet. I find that just as I gain ideas I can be mistaken as well. He's moved out now and in his warmest spot. I've made sure his bedding isn't wet or dirty, but it is so wiry and kind of gritty underneath. I had read that the coconut bedding is perhaps a better choice and I may look into that. We are going to be looking up some sites and probably start ordering online instead of trying to find things locally. I cannot wait until my husband lets me buy f/t, I so HATE transporting the mice in boxes and trying to manage them not chewing out before getting home to their tank. We keep feeder mice, but we always have to stock up because, believe it or not, some of them die every few days and they will even EAT each other. How funny is that, that I didn't know such a thing??!! :)
     
  14. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

  15. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    How big is the enclosure you are using and how many are you keeping in it.
    Mice don't just die every few days. There is something wrong and if they are overcrowded they will fight.
     
  16. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    um, well, we have a twenty gallon tank, but at the most, we've only kept about four at a time. Once we had six, but they fought, and we fed two to the snakes. The four remaining still seemed to fight, and then one died and was half eated before I saw it the next morning. the pet shop owner told me that sometimes they just fight, but that mice die regularly. I have a mother and her babies right now, which I don't know for sure how we are going to manage them as they grow because I'm hoping to go on to f/t by then. I had thought there was something wrong with a couple of the mice that died because they were aggressive from the beginning. He keeps them in a tank about the same size at the store, but he probably goes through them much quicker than we do.
     
  17. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    By the way, thank you for the pillowcase idea, as when I got him out yesterday morning, he looked as good as new!! His skin was fresh and all the scales were off of his eyes. . . Beautiful! It seemed like, too, the female came out and snooped every inch of the area for him. She couldn't find him, even though he was right there in the "new white thing". She didn't seem happy about something new in there, either. :)
     
  18. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Males will often fight, and it would not be unexpected for them to eat a dead one. Food is food after all.
    But mice don't just "die regularly". :rolleyes:
    If that were the case mice would soon be extinct! And we know THAT is far from the truth.
    I am not sure what the answer is but something is not right.
     
  19. 1melissa3

    1melissa3 Elite Member

    Yeah, I know, it just made sense at the time because they were new to me. When we switched to a different pet store, the mice haven't died. I thought it was something I did wrong, honestly, but the mice we have now have been alive and thrivingly well for the past several weeks. We have been giving them a mixture of bunny and ferret food. We had, once, two hamsters that died not too long after each other, and it just seemed to me that it had to be my mistakes that were harmful, but now these mice (and rabbits, snakes, dogs, etc) are as healthy as can be and we've not had too many problems, other, of course, than my sweet husband overfeeding the rtb right off. . . ;)
     
  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I would suggest feeding a commercial rodent chow as opposed to rabbit and ferret foods. Neither are formulated for mice.
    And if I recall feeding meat to mice will make them more aggressive!
     
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