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Help! Rescued Boa With Mouth Problems

Discussion in 'Common/Red Tail Boa' started by Marki Marie, Nov 13, 2017 at 7:03 PM.

  1. Marki Marie

    Marki Marie Member

    So I rescued a young Red tail from some deplorable conditions. I've only owned a ball python and milk snakes before, so I'm kind of in uncharted territory, but he really needed help.
    When I got him I thought he had mouth rot, but it's not developing inside his mouth and there is no increase in mucus or any kind of petechiae. I've had him for about 2 months now and it cleared up after the first time I got him to shed and then it came back and did it again after his second shed, both sheds were perfect and in one piece. I used diluted iodine to clean around his mouth and that seemed to keep the crusty stuff from spreading, but it would only go away with his sheds. This time he shed and his head and neck have stayed on, and the crust around his mouth is getting worse than I've seen it since I got him. I've tried soaking him, and boosting the humidity in the tank, and he has a humid hide with moss, but I just can't get his head to shed this time.
    I'm also not sure what is wrong with his mouth, the longer I look at it the less it looks like mouth rot and more like super dry skin that's starting to curl down at the edges.

    I'm basically panicking at this point and any advice would be greatly appreciated!!

    Marki
     
  2. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Best I can say would be to start hunting around for a good reptile vet. Also raising the humidity in the cage might be a good idea, retained sheds are usually caused by low humidity. Actually, if you could give the details of the setup and include some pictures, we might be able to help a bit more.
     
    TamJam likes this.
  3. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Yes, definitely send some pics of the snake and the setup, it would help us to help you better.
    But a good reptile vet would be the way to go anyway.
    I'm not the expert here, just along for the ride and the information I might learn.
     
  4. Marki Marie

    Marki Marie Member

    Thanks for the responses guys, I'll get pictures of him and his set up when I get home from work. There is only one exotic vet in my area, and they're pretty spendy so I've been trying to remedy it on my own but its starting to look like my only option. I'm broke until friday so hopefully he can hang on until then. :(
     
  5. Marki Marie

    Marki Marie Member

    Right now I'm trying to keep the humidity up in the high 80s/ low 90s, it was pretty steady at 65% until this last shed. I use Repti Bark substrate and under tank heating mats, the temp on the warm side stays about 88 degrees and the cool end is around 75. He has a hide on either side but he tends to hang out more on the warm end. I also keep his water dish half way on one of the heating mats to try to keep the humidity up.
     
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, can I ask what type of enclosure it is and does it have a solid top?
     
  7. Marki Marie

    Marki Marie Member

    Right now he's in a Zilla critter cage 20g long, with a mesh top. I put cling wrap over half of the mesh to try to keep the humidity higher.
     
  8. Marki Marie

    Marki Marie Member

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  9. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    How are you measuring humidity? Your boa looks severely dehydrated... if you are using an analog guage they are very inaccurate.
    Definitely need to see a vet, something going on with the mouth there.
     
  10. Marki Marie

    Marki Marie Member

    I am using an analog, I didn't realize they were that inaccurate. I'll pick up a digital one as soon as I get paid. In the mean time, any ideas on how to keep the humidity higher. I've made an appointment with the vet, but they weren't able to get me in for a few days.
     
  11. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, can you crop the photo of the snake`s head and zoom in to the mouth?
    You will never be able to stabilise the temps and humidity with the screen top only being half covered, you can use kitchen foil as a temporary fix to cover it as completely as possible, once you do that you`ll have a "self contained" environment.
     
  12. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Hi again. Cover the rest of the screen, that is your main problem where the humidity is concerned. I wouldnt leave more than a half inch open along one end, if even that much. And I will say after seeing the picture that the snake definitely needs a trip to the vet, not at all sure what is going on there but it looks past the point of a home remedy to me and doesn't look like issues from retained shed either.
     
  13. Marki Marie

    Marki Marie Member

    Hey guys, again thanks for all the responses! I will cover the rest of the screen top with foil when I get home, I initially didn't want to cover the whole top as I was worried about the availability of fresh air. I'll also snap some better pictures of his mouth.I was able to bump his vet visit from Monday up to Friday morning. Thank you so much for the help, and any other advise you have is truly appreciated.
     
  14. Marki Marie

    Marki Marie Member

    Alright! We went to the vet and it wasn't an infection or anything particularly worrisome, thank God. Just his being kept in poor conditions before I got him had caused his mouth to severely dehydrate and curl down on itself, and it wouldn't quite clear up when he would shed so it just kept getting worse. The vet was able to get all of the crud off and he's in much better condition now.
     

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  15. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    Awesome. Looks way better! I'm sure he's much more comfortable now.
     

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