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Discussion in 'Common/Red Tail Boa' started by Dragoness, Nov 10, 2014.

  1. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Well, In calling the vet about my JCP tooth problem, they mentioned while they were on the phone that another one of their clients had a snake he was looking to rehome. He was moving into a new apartment, and this one does not allow reptiles. Was I interested? They gave me his contact information, and I called him.

    He says it is a male red-tail, 8 feet long. Comes with an 8 foot enclosure.
    I'm going tomorrow morning to see the snake and the cage, and see what kind of room I need to make. I only know that in one measurement, it is 8 feet, but I do not know the other dimensions. It might be an 8 foot long boaphile type thing that is relatively short/slim, or something else entirely.

    Nor do I know what condition the snake is in, but I am inclined to believe he is probably not going to be a rehab, as he has seen a vet before, and most people won't buy or make that kind of nice cage (Supposedly, it was $500), and then neglect the animal in it...

    Timing just couldn't be worse. House is torn apart for a remodel, so my living room has been distributed to the rest of my house, making it quite a mess. The snake will probably have to be quarantined in a smaller cage in my bathroom, or bedroom, until I can make room in the herp room (and make sure the cage is "clean" of any hitch-hikers.). He doesn't have time to wait, because of the move. The snake has to go this week.

    I'll post more details tomorrow after I have seen this snake.
  2. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I went to pick up the snake this morning. After seeing him, there was no way I would ever sleep again if I left him where he was. This snake is absolutely a rehab/rescue, and I'm not even sure right now what his odds are...

    He has a vet appointment first thing tomorrow morning. Vet is not in today (Veteran's Day), so no emergency appointment.

    The snake has been abandoned in a large cage with a live rat for several weeks. He has the damage, the mouth rot, the respiratory infection, and injuries to go with it. I am surprised he is alive.

    Right now, I have him in a plastic bin. The cage i was going to use for quarantine for him is inadequate for an animal that is THIS sick. I'll be getting out the cage I was going to move him into afterwards, so I can get enough fixtures and heat on this poor boy.

    After I picked him up, I cried all the way home. It was a serious exercise in self control not to hurt this guy.

    Here is a rundown of what i know for sure is wrong with him:

    he has at least 6 open lesions/sores/necrotic wounds. Thankfully, no bone or spinal parts are visible, which means, if he is astronomically lucky, he may survive. He shows no signs of paralysis, and still has decent body weight. All of he lesions are about 3 months old (from the 'last rat')

    His mouth is rotted/rubbed/injured, and fused shut on the right side.

    He has (untold layers) of stuck shed all over, everything.

    He has a respiratory infection as well.

    This far, he has been given a warm bath in diluted betadine, and silver sulfadiazime has been applied to his wounds. It's probably too little too late for topicals, but anything is better than nothing at this point. Right now, he is in a simple sterilite tub with belly heat and clean paper towels.

    Pics: be warned, they are gruesome/graphic

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  3. toddnbecka

    toddnbecka Well Established Member

    The ignorance of some people defies comprehension, but there's no excuse for that kind of neglect/abuse.
    Links don't work.
  4. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I was interrupted mid-upload by a cat stepping on the computer power switch.

    Let me try this again:

    boa 004.jpg
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    boa 008.jpg
    boa 014.jpg
  5. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

    Holy. *beep*. That is SO bad. I wouldn't have left him there either. How does someone LET it get that bad??!! Those bite wounds are horrible! Idk the laws in your area, but I would 100% report him for abuse/neglect.
  6. lizardhoarder139

    lizardhoarder139 Elite Member

    Holy beep is right. Omg that poor thing :( that is horrible, and I really hope he can pull through. I don't understand some people.
  7. Gaaaaaaaaaard

    Gaaaaaaaaaard Elite Member

    ,Oh man. That's just terrible. I don't fault you for not doing so but I would've picked up the cell and called the police right then and stuck around to see him at LEAST cited. If he doesn't want to front money for a vet visit let the state take 4 times that. Glad to know you took him in. Best you can do at this point is try to rehab him and if not that at least make him comfortable. I'd be selling TV's and furniture before I let something get that bad. Or even a tenth that bad. It's not to late to contact authorities, the vet can probably back you with contact information if need be as well to at least penalize his negligence in some way. Good luck.
  8. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I will be discussing that with the vet tomorrow.

    There is some good news. He CAN open his mouth - it is not fused or swollen shut the way I first thought it was.

    boa2 022.jpg

    Right now, we have him settled into a quarantine/hospital enclosure. Paper towels, clean water dish, and keeping him warm and slightly humid. He is moving around a bit, and making himself comfortable. The rot smell is very noticeable though, despite that I rinsed his wounds with betadine, and wiped them out (as much as possible) with paper towels before applying antibiotics to them.
  9. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

    Mmmm. Rotting smell is ALWAYS fun. I've always so enjoyed expressing rat abscesses. Especially the green chunky ones. Id totally suggest chlorhexedrine for him. I get the soap form from Walmart or a drug store and use it for enclosures. The soap form deters germs for around 6 hrs. But, you can get a big bottle of the concentrate (exactly the same as the blue stuff vets give out for soaks) for around $20 at a farm/tractor supply location. I SWEAT by it for cleaning out infection. Wonderful for abscesses.. to the point I've seen cat and rat abscesses in as little as 2-3 flushes.
  10. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I washed him with Chlorhexadine from head to tail stump at site. Pretty much put him in the bin, and squirted it all over him, then rinsed him with betadine at home in the bath. Also flushed the mouth with betadine. Followed with rubbing silver sulfadiazime into the wounds.

    The wounds were dry when we picked him up (well, his whole enclosure was bone dry) and looked like jerky. Now that they are moist, some are weeping and oozing, clear and serous fluids, but no pus. In some spots, I see what looks like pink muscle tissue. Others, look brown or green and spongy.

    I'm hopeful.
  11. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    That is horrible! I would seriously get info on the previous owner so that he can be tracked down. Grab his license plate number if you have to. If he bails and you go for charges, make sure they can find them. You could forward along that info to me if you like and it will accidentally find its way onto my facebook page.
  12. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

    If he's made it this far/long he's got one SERIOUS will to live. He's going to be scarred like heck, but if he's nice right now when you know he's in pain, I can only imagine what he'll be like when he feels better. The vet might even want to debride those wounds and sew him up. I've never dealt with an injured reptile, aside from Toothless, but she was practically healed when we got her, so I'm unsure on SOP on this, other than time. I've heard of herps getting stitches for deep slashes, but these are totally large missing chunks. :-( poor beasty. I'm thankful I haven't seen anything horrible on CL ever. The worst I've ever seen is highly inadequate housing.

    But, seriously? How does some one supposedly drop $500 on an enclosure and let the critter end up like this??!! Poor guy.
  13. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Key word "Supposedly". The enclosure was 8 feet by 40 inches by 40 inches, clearly homemade. Not perfect, but serviceable enough, and far from ideal. A little knowledge would have gone a long way. With lights, heaters, and thermometers, it would have been very nice indeed.

    It looked nice from the outside. He never sealed the inside, so the floorboard (easily replaceable) is saturated with dried rodent and snake excrement. It was full of carefresh, shed skin sections, and a live rat when I took the snake. The biggest downside is that it opens from the front, though a very narrow door (you practically have to crawl into it), and that's too much work for me. Would be easy to fix, if I were of the mind, but I am more inclined to build him something better, if not as big.

    Here is the kicker - he must have one heck of a will to live indeed, because he has been in their possession for 13 years.
  14. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

    Woooow! Well, hopefully he pulls through. My thought is that he lasted that long.. with apparently no heat or anything? He'll probably do well enough with some care. :)
  15. CrazySnakeLady

    CrazySnakeLady Elite Member

    This is very saddening. Please keep us updated!
  16. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Wow Jen, I had no idea he was this bad. Already sent you a pm, now sending warm thoughts for a speedy and full recovery. And some not so warm thoughts to the "person" (only word I can use on a public forum) who let things get this bad. Geez, if you won't take care of it then give it to someone who will.
  17. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    The vet saw him this morning - for a full 2 hours. His current prognosis is "Guarded to poor" but we are both still of the mind that it's worth the effort to at least try.

    The vet debrided the mouth/face pretty seriously, as well as the tail (what was left of it) and removed a small pea-sized cyst or abscess on the belly that I had overlooked. The 6 lesions will need repeated cleanings daily for a month or so.

    Gave 200cc of subcutaneous fluids, and 5cc Ceftazidime.

    He says the mouth and respiratory infection are very likely to resolve with the antibiotics, his biggest concerns right now are sepsis and dehydration. If those two can be overcome, then he should recover.

    He has a follow up appointment in 2 weeks (11/26/14), to see if there is any improvement or degradation of his condition. In the meantime, he gets a chlorhexadine bath daily, with gentle debriding of all of his wounds with a gauze pad, and then apply silver sulfadiazine to all of them. Another Ceftazidime injection every 3 days until the next appointment.

    Until then do not feed, try to get him to drink, and keep him warm and clean, and hope for the best.

    Oh, and he has a few staples in his tail and belly, so he looks like frankenboa right now.

    The kindest word I heard the vet use to describe the previous owner was "degenerate". The rest can't be printed here.
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2014
  18. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

  19. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    That's ok......I have quite a few of them rolling around in my head!
  20. lizardhoarder139

    lizardhoarder139 Elite Member

    Omg 13 years!! That poor thing :( from now on he will have a good life :) he just needs to heal up first. Goodluck

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