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My New Girl

Discussion in 'Common/Red Tail Boa' started by Bones, Aug 23, 2008.

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  1. Bones

    Bones Member

    She is an eight foot columbian boa that was given to me because her previous owners didn't have enough time for her anymore.

    She recently had some kind of infection on her face that they had been treating with medicine they got from their vet, it is down to only a scab on the tip of her nose.

    She was shedding when I got her, but it was coming off in pieces, and she still hasn't got all the skin off of her head. I think it may have been due to a lack of humidity because half of the top of the cage she came with is made from wire mesh, and I have been having a hard time keeping the humidity up.

    I am in the process of building her a new melamine enclosure (5.5'wide X 2'deep X 3'tall). I have been trying to keep the humidity at about 70% while she is shedding, and I have her temps at 88-90 degrees on the warm side and 80-82 on the cool side.
    I am using repti bark as a substrate, I didn't know if there was something else I should be using instead. She hasn't eaten in a while, but I was going to wait for her to finish shedding to try to feed her. I think she has been eating mostly live food, so what should I try to feed her?
  2. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    Congrats,but where's the pics? I'd love to see her.

    First, I would bump the humidity up a bit. Second, you need to remove the shed that did not complete. Third, I would try to switch to frozen - thawed rats. If you have any questions regarding these steps, please feel free to ask.
  3. kcftlaud08

    kcftlaud08 Elite Member

    I totally agree on the frozen thawed rats. The bigger the snake, the bigger the prey, the bigger the fight. That infection may have been caused from a bite. I have also seen some posts regarding shedding and if I am correct there was some advice on moist towels. Look up those threads. I haven't had to do that yet but I found the information very informative and may be useful in your case. Good luck. I'm sure in a month or so she'll be fine! It may be a difficult transition if you do switch from live feedings but hang in there. I think it will be worthwhile. I wasted plenty a rat and money until I finally got Roxy what she wanted/needed.
  4. untsmurf

    untsmurf Elite Member

    I third the f/t rats. Also, I have aspen shavings in with my baby rtb and it holds humidity really well. Might try that. Adding a water bowl closer to the heat source will also increase humidity. And of course, misting is an option as well. You should post pics of your baby.
  5. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    To get the extra shed off, get a wet towel. Place it and the snake in a pillow case. The wetness and the texture of the towel, with her slithering around in the bag will get the shed off without irritation. An overnight stay in the pillow case is all it should take.

    I'm going to also suggest trying a frozen/thawed rat. Warm it up really good and wiggle it on a long pair of tongs, if she is hungry enough, she'll go for it!
  6. millerpj

    millerpj Subscribed User Premium Member

    Congrats on your new snake! I switched my RTB over from live when I got her - she had multiple bites. F/T has worked well. I just make sure they are thawed and warm. She might switch very easily. Also, my classroom was moved into the basement with air. She is in a glass aquarium with a wire top. I've found that by putting a sheet around the outside of 2 sides and putting a towel to block 1/2 of the top has helped with temps and humidity. It isn't pretty but it is working until I can find someone to make me something better. Good luck!
  7. Bones

    Bones Member

    Thanks for the advice, I covered some of the top of the cage and put another water dish in near the heat source, and it has helped with the humidity. I tried the pillow case thing to help her finish shedding, and it didn't really work. I read that I can let her soak in the tub or like a rubbermaid container for a while and then gently remove the rest of the shed with a damp towel. Would that be a good plan B?
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    That would work as well though I have never known the pillowcase trick to fail.
    Was the pillowcase and towel sopping wet?
  9. Bones

    Bones Member

    The pillow case was dry, and the towel was only damp. Should they have been wetter? It kind of made me feel bad when I did it, she did not seem to be enjoying herself. I think I will try the bathtub method tonight, and I will let you guys know how it went.
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Let the towel and pillowcase both be really wet.
    If its only just barely damp it may not have enough moisture.
  11. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    The pillowcase method is pretty much fail proof and may be less stressful then a bath
  12. Bones

    Bones Member

    Alright there has been a new development, I came home and her eyes have turned blue. So do I try the pillow case trick again, or could she possibly shed it herself?
  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I would wait for this shed. Just spray a lot and keep your humidity up and it may take care of itself.
  14. thead11

    thead11 Elite Member

    I was going to suggest making sure that her eye caps came off with her last shed, but since she is about to shed again, I would just watch her. I agree with Merlin. Keep misting her and paying attention to the humidity. How big of a water dish/tub do you have for her? I use a cat litter pan for Jasmine's water tub. It really helps with the humidity. Her next shed may also be in pieces, but as long as you have her levels right, it should get better. Jasmines first two or three sheds after we got her were in pieces even though the humidity level was good. She just shed last week, and it was perfect.
    I am also going to chime in on the f/t rat feeding thing lol. Most definitely switch her over to f/t. Depending on where you live, you may be able to get pre-killed rats, which may help her switch over if there are any troubles. Try f/t first though, she may not have any issues.
    Also, if she had been feed live previously, I would check her over really well for any other infected bite wounds. It's better to find them now, then to find them when they are really bad.
    I too use aspen with all of my snakes. I have used repti bark and I found that the aspen does hold humidity better. Also, it is more "comfy" for them to burrow in, at least it seems like it.
    Good luck with your new addition, and definitely let us know how this shed goes, and don't forget to post some pictures!!:)
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