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Possible New Addition

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

  1. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Jen, do you happen to have any good shots of the mouth? I can always use pictures for our disease section. The stomatitis page would be where I would use it obviously.

    So are you going to follow up with the police? Did the vet inform you how long the wounds had been there and how long the snake was in this condition?
  2. Gaaaaaaaaaard

    Gaaaaaaaaaard Elite Member

    I feel like a police follow up on this is essential. He shouldn't be allowed to go unpunished for that.
  3. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    The only pic I have of his open mouth at the moment is from yesterday. It looks a bit different today, now that the vet cut off a substantial amount of dead tissue. Thankfully, most of the rot was confined to the front of the mouth, largely to the upper jaw.

    Right now, there is still quite a bit of swelling, and it still looks like crap, but hopefully, with time and medication, it will return to a somewhat normal size/shape. Right now his upper lip is so flared out, he can't close his mouth properly.

    Pics (from last night)

    boa2 022.jpg
    boa 016.jpg
    boa 014.jpg

    Rich, I do have larger formats of the pictures, if you want them for cropping/editing for the sheets.


    As to the possibility of pressing charges, I did discuss it with the vet, and for a few reasons, I have decided not to pursue it. I am not in any way defending him, or anything he did. He is a waste of perfectly good air. If I never saw him again, it would be too soon.

    Some people are stupid, but perhaps teachable, and some are just stupid without hope. He falls into the latter category. While it was certainly a crime of negligence, he had been (half-heartedly) trying to re-home the boa for months before I heard of it. He made it clear he wanted to be done with reptiles, and never wanted one to begin with. He ended up having to care for it when his drug dealer son got incarcerated. Not that he was doing a spectacular job, either. If he had other reptiles, or even an interest, I would be pressing charges, just to make him think twice about going back down that road.

    Mentally, this guy was maybe 3. and by 3, I mean 3 months. He just did not get life in general. I have worked in retail and foodservice for years, worked with the public, worked with the school system in their special needs classrooms. I have seen almost everything the spectrum of humanity has to offer, and I can honestly say, I have never met a person this incapable of thought who was not confined to a wheelchair and drooling for most of his existence. I sincerely do not believe he can be "taught" anything, especially about empathy. That is not something that can be taught. If you aren't born with it, you won't develop it later. I am reasonably positive he has a cognitive and/or emotional disorder as well. Whether or not he has ever been diagnosed or treated is another story.

    He was very helpful with the whole process - admitted he didn't know squat about snakes - never asked for a penny, and even delivered the cage to my house - an 8 foot monstrosity that had to be trailered. He knew he was extremely incapable, and more than once referred to himself as "retarded".

    The punishing won't undo what happened to the snake. With any luck, the veterinary attention will hopefully get pretty close. I honestly do not think this guy is teachable at all. He may learn technical skills, but learning to interact with other living things seems to be a consistent story for him (hence my suspicions of disorders.)
  4. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I will trust your judgement since you have firsthand knowledge of the situation but I was severely angry when I saw your pics and the urge to beat this man was strong. It is unfortunate that nothing will/can be done that would benefit the situation. At least the snake is in much better hands now. If he pulls through you could name him survivor. :)

    If you want to email me the larger pics I am ok with that. I will resize them and crop them most likely. I will have them attributed to you of course on the page itself.
  5. lizardhoarder139

    lizardhoarder139 Elite Member

    Yea it sounds like you have made the right decision on not pressing charges, I can understand what you are saying.
    I'm still very angry about it, but nothing is going to undo the snakes years of suffering. Hopefully now he can just relax and heal :) I know he's in good hands and he will have a much better life
  6. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Exactly how I feel. Just wanted to punch him. In the throat. With an axe.

    I feel tremendously better now that the vet has seen him. Every time I check on him, and he is still alive feels like a small victory. The first 48 hours gave me quite a bit of anxiety (and consequently very little sleep). Finally at the point where I can't do anything else for him right now but wait and keep up his meds. He's out of that mess, into his hospital enclosure, and has been given medical attention.

    I have not yet seen him drink. I change his water about 2-3 times a day, hoping that the 'fresh water' smell will entice him like it seems to do with my other snakes. But since I am not around 24 hours a day to observe, he may be drinking when I'm not looking.

    He does move around between his basking spot and the cool end of his cage, and puts up a token fight when it's bath time. On that note, I can probably rule out mites. If he had them before (no signs yet), he won't have them after a month of daily chlorhexadine baths.

    The vet told me that as soon as I rule out mites, I can put him in the reptile room (much sooner than normal 90 day quarantine) as all of his problems are septic infections, not communicable diseases. The reason for this move would be because the larger cage I have set aside for him is too large to fit through the door into the room where he is currently being quarantined. Consequently, he is in a smaller cage than I would prefer for the time being. Adequate, but not ideal. He would of course, still be housed alone, and no contact with other snakes, their things, or things used to clean their things. I'm still unsure if I am going to do this, but I am thinking about it.

    We named him "V"
  7. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

    Remember, remember, the 5th of November!!

    At least he's still going. And thermoregulating!
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Regardless I would still observe a regular quarantine.
    You never know what could be lurking.
  9. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    That is the plan.

    Disassembling my door jam to make the larger cage fit through was not out of the question, either. It doesn't fit by a margin of 0.5"

    The door doesn't latch anymore because of recent house renovations (jacked up a sagging floor) so it needs work anyways. Putting in a larger door is on the to-do list for sure.
  10. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    I guess the other big issue is temps in that cage. Even with the heater running full tilt 24 hours a day, it takes a serious drop every time I open the cage (at minimum 2x daily for bathing and wound care).

    The cage was meant to house a smaller snake, with less intense heating needs, in a warmer room.

    Doesn't help that the house is cold because downstairs is currently floorless for repairs/remodel, and heater is struggling to keep up.

    Going to find myself a space heater for that room for the next few months, and see if I can find a way to add some more heat inside his tank. Extra heating pads, or maybe a red heat lamp outside the tank, but pointing at it through glass front doors.

    He seems quite strong, and moves around when I poke his wounds. It gives me hope that he isn't just a limp noodle of a snake.

    Frankenboa pictures:

    Tail, after a partial amputation:
    boa2 014.jpg

    Cysst/abscess on belly. It looked like a kernel of corn before removal, and wouldn't stop bleeding easily.

    Face, after his "Nose Job"
    boa2 016.jpg

    The bill from the vets. This is just for round one (note the generous discounts). I go back on the 26th for a re-assessment, and will probably have to get refills on at least the Ceftazidime. Have plenty of Chlorhexadine and SSD for now. May give him more fluids at that point as well, especially if he is not drinking much.
    boa2 001.jpg
  11. CTU2fan

    CTU2fan Elite Member

    Ugh, that poor snake...

    Really hope he pulls through, the fact he remains active gives me hope...I've seen many sick reptiles that just kind of lay there waiting to die.
  12. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    He was actually even more rambunctious during this morning's bath. He seems to perk up a little bit more every day (and maybe it's just me being optimistic, but I really think he is doing a lot better now that he has the antibiotics, and good environment.).
  13. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Bath time shenanigans
    11.15.14 002.jpg

    I typically give his bath in a plastic bin just in front of the dresser that his cage sits on. He has figured this out now. I'm supposed to let him soak for about 5 minutes before I start cleaning the wounds. For those first 5 minutes, the lid is on the bin, and he can't really go anywhere. I can start a load of laundry or something while I wait. Those next ten are getting to be fun, lol. Once the lid comes up, he starts heading for home within a few minutes.

    I still have not seen him drink, and his water dish is small, so if he drank any appreciable amount, it would be noticeable. I change it twice daily in hopes of getting him to drink. He will however, swallow water, if I use a syringe to put some in his mouth.
  14. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

    Sounds pretty rambunctious to me. Maybe he isn't really thirsty with all the bathing and the subQ fluids he got.
  15. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Well, I hope he isn't drinking the bath water, what with the Chlorhexadine in it.

    Cage is staying humid, too.

    he did get a LOT of fluids - like 3 gigantic syringes of SubQ. I'm not sure of the volume, but the syringes were each an inch in diameter and 5 inches long!
  16. Logan

    Logan Elite Member

    Yea. That's a lot of fluids. Ha.
  17. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Maybe I'm being overly optimistic, but I think he is making some good improvement.

    The scabs on his face are starting to slough on their own.

    The 'rotten flesh' smell that he came with is much diminished (though not quite absent)

    Most of the wounds are looking a LOT cleaner. There is still one (well, a corner of one) that is pretty nasty.

    V 005.jpg

    This actually works out pretty well. When he is heaped up in his tub, he tends to coil over his wounds so I can't easily reach them. When he does this, I can scrub, blot, dab as he passes by, assembly line style.

    His face is still massively swollen, and he still wheezes a lot.

    Added a blue heat lamp to his setup, it sits outside the cage pointing in, and that helps stabilize the tamps a LOT, so that even when the door is open, it doesn't drop as far as it was. Specifically, his hot spot. I have to move it for bath time, though.
  18. CTU2fan

    CTU2fan Elite Member

    Yea, the heat is going to be a big deal. I wonder at what point will he fell well enough to eat, I feel like once he eats you've won the battle, that nourishment will help him heal that much quicker.
  19. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    This is so wonderful and amazing in its educational and emotional content.

    You are obviously totally committed to this beautiful boa, and he is just about the most lucky guy in the world right now. Keep us posted and on behalf of "V" - thank you!
  20. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    His condition is much the same, and I suspect not much will change for a while. He is thermoregulating, and drinking at least a little for me at every bath. Wounds are getting cleaner, and don't smell as bad. He still wheezes and pops all the time, and opens his mouth to breathe frequently.

    I can't wait until his face is healed. He had enough damage without having to potentially worry about oral tissues drying out because they are exposed to air, when they are normally kept in a moist, closed mouth. :confused:

    Add that to the list of questions for the vet when we revisit.

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