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PLEASE HELP! (possible Life or Death)

Discussion in 'Common/Red Tail Boa' started by wonderkillie, Feb 17, 2014.

  1. wonderkillie

    wonderkillie New Member

    I work at a Petco and since I've started there was one redtail boa that nobody would buy. After months have passed, his health started to deminish from improper care. With that, the manager decided he would just get rid of it, so I decided to take it in an attempt to nurse him back to health. His tongue was just a white nub for some reason...

    I've tried so hard, and spent so much money on him and have gotten really attached. He hasn't eaten yet. He keeps shedding ,which has improved a LOT since I've had him. It's been almost 3 months and this is his 5th time shedding. Lately, he hasn't been active and is VERY weak. He can hardly move his head and I feel/see his bones through his skin. I fear for the worst and it would kill me inside to lose him after how much he has
    improved since he left the store.


    · How long have you owned the animal?

    ~3 months

    · What is the enclosure size?

    10 gallon (I know it's small, but what I have room for)

    · What type of substrate are you using (shavings, bark, paper towel, etc.)?

    Coconut shreddings

    · What type of lighting are you using and at what distance(s) are they from the animal? (UVB and Basking)

    75w & 15w heat lamps

    · What are the temperatures within the enclosure and how are they being measured?

    ~80-90 & 70 humidity/temp gauge

    · What is the humidity within the enclosure and how is it being measured?

    ~30-70% humidity/temp gauge

    · What are you feeding (or attempting to feed) the animal?

    F/T hoppers then fuzzies then pinkies (all attempts according to his size)

    · What exactly are you concerned about?


    · Please provide images of the animal as well as the enclosure if possible.

    Can't at the moment
  2. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    The way Petco's and Petsmarts "care" for their reptiles is sick and inhumane so I am going to explain everything just in case you have grown to think the way they operate is at all acceptable.... You need to go against everything they do at your job and get your husbandry under control ASAP. Use digital Thermometers and Hygrometers (the analog ones/stick on ones are EXTREMELY inaccurate). Get rid of the tank and get him a plastic container to live in. Something that is equal or more square feet than he is in length... For example, say he's 24" long, give him a tub with 24" square inches of room. He's having extremely bad sheds and has a lot of stuck skin on him because the humidity is too low.. a plastic tub with holes in it will keep humidity high... And no, the heat mat or lights aren't going to melt it. Go online and buy a thermostat. You can buy Hydrofarm plant thermostats for $30 which work perfectly fine... Ditch the lights and get an Under Tank Heater/Heat Mat. Put him on Newspaper, give him about a week and then attempt to feed him a fuzzy rat. Live or F/T is fine.

    All that is very important to get done ASAP if you want him to get healthy and if he isn't getting better, he's only getting worse.

    You're going to want to keep humidity at 70-89% AT ALL TIMES UNTIL HE STOPS SHEDDING... That can lead to some serious health issues so getting it under control is extremely important. Keep his hot side at 93F degrees, with a colder side of 83 degrees. Once you have that under control it's just a matter of waiting and feeding him. Good luck.

    Make sure you're offering at least two hide spaces since he's going to be very stressed from all theses health issues.
  3. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    Agree with the above. Turn that light off! A 75w bulb is probably cooking that little enclosure. A tub will work better and keep higher humidity, get an uth and a good thermometer (digital) and ho from there
  4. wonderkillie

    wonderkillie New Member

    I work at Petco, that doesn't mean I agree with them. I know exactly how they don't care for the animals. I do the fish section and even that is awful, but money is money.

    Thanks for the suggestions, I will do what I can once I have the money..I just hope he can hold out until Friday (when I get paid). I was told by so-called experts that my setup is fine but clearly that isn't true.
  5. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    For now, big improvements you can make would be to turn that light off. You can cover the top of the enclosure with foil, something to stop the humidity from escaping. These things come at no extra cost to you, just some time. If you have a lower watt bulb you can switch your current one out with, that would also help. Do you have hides for him? Does he have a water bowl large enough to submerge himself in?
  6. wonderkillie

    wonderkillie New Member

    His water dish is plenty big, I made sure of that to help his shedding. He also has a half log hide he balls inside of (despite the small size), a plastic plant (which is usually hangs out under), and a driftwood log to climb.
  7. Manda

    Manda New Member

    For some cheap and easy ways to help. I would take a towel and soak it in warm water then wring it so it is not dripping at all and then cover about 3/4 of the cage with is. Also using a spray bottle (you can get one from walmart for like $1) fill it with hot water and lightly spray the enclosure. You should see your humidity go up and this will keep it up really well. Make sure you have a hide on the cool and warm side for him. For those you can just take a cardboard box from like pop tarts or whatever and cut a hole in the side. For the heat you can get a ceramic heat emitter on amazon ALOT cheaper than the stores. You'll probably only need a low wattage one. That will probably make him more comfortable than the bright light. Also make sure you are maintaining a proper day/night schedule. They can get very stressed if they don't have proper day/night schedules.
  8. Manda

    Manda New Member

    Make sure you have a warm side and a cool side of your enclosure. Keep the lamp as far as you can to one side. One side should be about 80 (never lower than 73!) and the warm side in the upper 80s with the basking spot around 92-95. If their temperatures aren't high enough that may be part of why he isn't eating because they cant digest properly without it being at least fairly high temps. And while people are saying to get all the different items. I honestly wouldn't worry about digital stuff and everything right now considering you're not sure if he will make it through this. For a short period of time analog meters are okay
  9. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    What happened with this case? Is this snake still alive?

    You have got a lot of very good advice! Hope he is OK still.
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The poster has not been back on site since the day of the posting.
  11. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    In this case, no news is more than likely not good news.
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Not necessarily. You would not believe how many people join, post a question and then don't even come back to see if there were replies.
  13. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    seems pointless to post and not come back to see the replies.... hope the animal is okay
  14. dragodragon262

    dragodragon262 Well-Known Member

    I noticed someone said you can feed alive or f/t "it doesnt matter". I understand the snakes have to eat, but they don't need to eat live. (Accept for the rare case in wich the snake won't eat it unless it's moving, but you can wriggle it around though). So please try and feed f/t instead its much more humane.

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