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Indo Tree Boa Updates

Discussion in 'Solomon Island Boas' started by Dragoness, Nov 30, 2010.

  1. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Well, Lilith, as I have named her, has taken well to F/T mice, eating and pooping well, and not being nippy at all. She seems to be acclimating nicely.

    However, Saturday, when I went to feed her, I was pretty sure I saw small lumps. Because she was contorted trying to 'kill' her mouse, I was hoping maybe it was just an effect of her color pattern, contortion and lighting. I let her be for a few days, and took her out for a closer look today. She most assuredly has lumps. The lumps are small (~2-4 mm) and directly under the skin. There are at least 4 of them, all on her sides (None on her back or her belly) they are all firm, but don't seem to be connected to the underlying muscle. When I was feeling them, they seem to slide and give with the skin. Her eating, & defecation, etc are all totally normal, in fact, robust (she eats like a champ, and poos like one too. I will have no problem getting a fecal for the vet) She is active at night, exploring her enclosure, and when handled, is generally very inquisitive, shows no signs of distress or agitation at all, both inside her enclosure, or during handling.

    Already have a Vet appointment for Saturday morning.

    In the meantime, I am hoping to read until my eyes are bleeding on what it might be, so I can be prepared (possibly) for what to expect.

    In my research so far, I have seen 2 things which seem possible.

    First (and most likely, I think) is that she has some kind of Filarial Worm encysted just under her skin. It is a common problem in W.C. snakes, and since I do not know her origins, it is possible. Treatment ranges from just de-wormers to actually having to surgically remove larger worms.

    Second (And less likely, but more dire) would be some kind of tumor. Some tumors can be operated with success. Others regenerate, and snakes don't exactly have a great record with Chemotherapy and other treatments.

    If anyone has seen or experienced anything, I'm trying to find out as much as I can about what it might be, and what I can expect.
  2. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    I hope its nothing serious, I'll say a prayer for Lilith and hope your vet trip goes well on Saturday.
  3. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I'm hoping it's just worms. I'm hoping we noticed it early enough that de-wormers will be sufficient. There are several de-wormers available that work well on Filarial nematodes (Ivermectin is one). Many species of filarial nematodes leave "zigzags" as they migrate around under the skin of their host. So far, Lilith only has solitary lumps, not zigzags or trails. Maybe these are small worms still in their cyst stage. She is a very small snake...

    Another possibility is a small abscess of some type (but why would she have them? and why would she have multiple? - there is NOTHING that sharp in her enclosure.) there is no evidence of an injury at the site of any of the lumps, so I consider that to be unlikely.
  4. MadDog

    MadDog Elite Member

    Good luck with the visit. Can't wait to hear what it is.
  5. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    Could it be passed through a feeder?
  6. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The first thing I thought of was the underskin parasites. I would not expect tumors to move around.
  7. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    That is usually how they are acquired. When I got her, she was being fed live fuzzies. I only had to feed her one before she converted (A breeze compared to my other snakes) She is eating very well on F/T mice now. If she was a WC snake, the odds of her eating an infected feeder are significantly higher.

    So far, she has not developed the characteristic zig-zag trails the worms make (could be early though.). The lumps did not feel connected to the muscle tissue (so if it is a tumor, it's confined to the skin - which would mean it is likely operable, and could easily be removed.)
  8. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Vet visit went fine. Lilith just had some subcutaneous worms. The vet cut out the ones we could find, and showed me how to do it. Glued the incisions shut, and swabbed with neosporin. Gave me some panacur to dose her pinkies with for the next 3 weeks to take care of the hookworm eggs in her fecal.

    I'm sure she's uncomfortable right now, so she is getting some R&R

    The vet said she probably came with them, and that healthy snakes will generally get rid of the worms themselves. Since she didn't have them when I got her, he said that the simple stress of relocating probably gave the worms a foothold. He also expects no complications, and few if any more worms to pop up, since she is eating and pooping normally, and fecals turned up only minimal amounts of anything.

    I'm breathing a sigh of relief - so is my wallet. The whole visit (examination, fecal, worm removal, and meds) only cost $85. I was prepared to drop $500 right away if needed, and make calls to my investor if that was not enough. Boy am I relieved to be able to buy groceries this month!
  9. mld

    mld Subscribed User Premium Member

    That wonderful news, nice that your vet showed you how to do it if it ever happens again. Thanks goodness for superglue, the perfect bandaid that will just shed off. Big sigh of relief for you I'm sure, plus that was a great price, must really like reptiles.
  10. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I actually took her there because another HC member recommended him. I'm going to make sure he is listed in our vet finder.

    The vet was amazing - Kirkman Area Animal Clinic

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