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Redtail Boa Had "foam" on Tongue. ?

Discussion in 'Common/Red Tail Boa' started by GhostPenguin, Apr 20, 2014.

  1. GhostPenguin

    GhostPenguin Member

    Hello, let me first start off by saying since I'm new here that I have been a snake hobbiest for many years. I currently have about 15 species of snake, and 14 lizard.

    Ok, so this was strange to me, so I hope someone can help. I had my redtail out today and went to my friends. She's about 7-8ft atm. I was holding her and she was acting normal as also. The. On one tongue flick it was like she had a foam covered tongue. It fell off and I freaked out. I checked her mouth, not red, no inflame. She did seem to have extra saliva, but nothing crazy. She was fine for a bit, then seemed to have drool on the side. It was thick though, like not water thin. (If that makes sense).

    So I again checked, all looked normal. I brought her home, rinsed out her mouth and put her back in her cage. I also added an extra heat sorce for now on her. What I'm wondering is, can a snake randomly do this without it being RI? Could she have possible flicked her tongue into something and her mouth was just trying to naturally wash itself? Has anyone ever had anything like this happen and it wasn't RI related? I've seen snakes with RI many times, and this doesn't look the same as those have.

    Thank you all for replies and help.
     
  2. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    Hi. It's not normal for a snake to foam or salivate. Please take her to a vet
     
  3. GhostPenguin

    GhostPenguin Member

    I know it's not normal. I have read though that it could be due to her being cold for being out so long. Or she could have gotten something in her mouth. If she's still like this tomorrow, I'll take her to the vet. I am just curious if it was possible to be anything else. When I say foam. I'm not taking about "foaming". It literally was one foam ball. Almost like a small spit.
     
  4. GhostPenguin

    GhostPenguin Member

    Ok, I just checked her again. Her mouth is as normal as can be. I'm tempted to think she possibly just got something in her mouth or was to cold out I her tank. Will keep an eye on her still though.
     
  5. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member


    Regardless of visible symptoms, the snake needs to see a vet. These symptoms could very well be due to an underlying health issue(s)

    This isn't something that happens when something gets in a snakes mouth. Even if you can't see anything, the snake could be very sick. If the snake had a foam ball and saliva in it's mouth, there's something wrong.

    If you can provide me with more info I can attempt to help a bit more but again... The snake needs to see a vet either way.
    What are the temps in the enclosure?
    How are you measuring temps?
    What's the humidity within the cage?
    Does the snake have a history of health issues?
    How is the snakes hydration? (Check using the pinch method)
    Has the snake lost any teeth or had any mouth injuries/sicknesses to your knowledge?
     
    Last edited: Apr 21, 2014
  6. GhostPenguin

    GhostPenguin Member

    Ok
    Temps in enclosure are 78 to 90
    Have digital thermometers in tank, and also use a spot gun
    Humidity is around 50-70 depending on time of day
    Snake has never been sick or had any issues with anything
    Pinched behind her neck, skin went back like instantly
    Never found any teeth in cage or anything. Or noticed any other issues.

    This was literally the only time I've ever noticed any problem. I handle her almost daily also. So I would notice anything odd.
     
  7. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    Do you see or hear anything odd? I.E wheezing or liquids coming from the nostrils, pus in the mouth, etc?
     
  8. GhostPenguin

    GhostPenguin Member

    ^^ no clicks or hissing. No odd noises at all. There never was anything in her nostrils, and the mouth did not have any puss. It was literally one discharge of foam. Like when we spit. When she looked to have excess saliva. I rinsed her mouth out before I put her up. Everything has seemed 100% normal now. It's so strange. I understand it's best to error on side of caution, but I just don't know what a vet could even do of there is zero visible signs of anything wrong. I've read online that some large snakes will do this after being out to long. Idk, like I pulled this from another forum. It was an actual vet:

    "Some reptiles may exhibit signs of respiratory infection as a signal to you that they have been handled enough or want (or need) to be put down. My female Burmese python would start dripping saliva from her mouth in copious amounts when she'd decided she had had enough out and handling time at education events. When I saw the saliva start oozing from her mouth, I knew I needed to put her away off exhibit immediately. (An interesting note: my male Burmese would erect his anal spurs, digging them into my arm, when he was tired.)"
     
  9. TJOHNSON722

    TJOHNSON722 Elite Member

    It may be the early stages of a RI

    I've had large snakes and I've never had this happen.
     
  10. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    You need a vet. If the vet says he's fine after a physical, ask the vet to take blood work just in case.
     
  11. JoeyG

    JoeyG Subscribed User Premium Member

    I have to agree with Erik, I've never seen a snake foam or spit without some issue.... Raise temps and have it checked out. How long did you have it out and what are the temps it's been out in?
     
  12. GhostPenguin

    GhostPenguin Member

    She was out in temps of 75-80s. She was out for about 2-3 hours. Normally I only have her out for an hour or so.
     
  13. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    First thing is that the foam and saliva is not temp related. 70-80° is just below what her ambient should be and it would not harm her to be out for 2-3 hours in that temp.
    If she was out for 2-3 hours in saym.. 50° or lower, that would probably be an issue but 70-80° is fine.


    Boas aren't really a specie that like to be out for a long time. I usually handle my baby boas 5 min every few days so they get used to humans by time their older. Once they're older, it's better to only handle them when they need to be handled (for cleaning or things like that) but that's is just what I've found to work best with Boa constrictors through first hand experience. Some may argue that regular handling is important for adults but I find that handling too much just irritates them and can make them feel vulnerable. If you prefer to handle adults, 15 minutes every 3-4 days would work well but even half an hour to an hour is too long imho.
    How often do you have her out that long?

    Boas are really weird about showing stress and you can't always see signs of stress like you can with most species. The foam *could have been* stress related but there's a very slim chance of that. I can't say it enough.. You need to take her in just in case. Foam/salivating is a big deal because that can be your snakes way of telling you she's sick. Boas usually show mouth related symptoms as a result of an even worse issue that you cannot physically see.
     
    Last edited: Apr 22, 2014
  14. GhostPenguin

    GhostPenguin Member

    That was the longest I've ever had her out while I was holding her the entire time. Usually if I have her out it's only for 30min or so. Only other time I've had her out for an hour is when she's outside enjoying the sun. Then she's just crawling around in the yard, not bring held the entire time. She has a vet appointment tomorrow just to be safe though.
     
  15. barb2014

    barb2014 New Member

    I have had same issue with my boa had infection due to improper housing snakes can get sick very easily going from hot to cold be careful took four months for mine to get better on antibiotics for four months three days a week was about same length and 5lbs
     
  16. GhostPenguin

    GhostPenguin Member

    5lb? My girl is 20lbs lol.
     
  17. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    It didn't happen just from being out for a bit. This really needs to be looked at by a vet.
     
  18. GhostPenguin

    GhostPenguin Member

    Ok, here is an update. She went to the vet yesterday. They said she was completely healthy. They checks gums, nasal, listened to heart, and lungs. They took blood also, that came back today. Negative on everything. They said, she either got her tongue into something and her mouth was reacting to get it out, or maybe she was stressed. So thanks for the advise everyone, I'm glad I took her in, and very glad all was ok. This really was an odd occurrence though.
     
  19. EriksExotics

    EriksExotics Elite Member

    I've had one of my BCI's bite their own glottis and he had a bit of extra saliva in his mouth so I can believe that.
     

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