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  • Sneezing Rats?

    I currently took a 7.5 foot redtail boa from my friend because he couldnt care for it anymore. He always fed him jumbo rats once a week, So when he was due to eat yesterday i bought 2 because another friend of mine told me snakes that size are used to getting 2. So i bought them and have 1 in the cage right now & the other in a seperate 10 galloln i have right now. The rats wont stop sneezing, and they look like they go into seizures every couple of hours. Im not sure if thats normal or i just got osme sick rats, i would also like to know if its safe to feed him or should i go get differnt ones from a differnt place?? I have 3 snakes right now, one 3 month old red tail boa, one 3 month old burmese python, and the new 7.5 foot snake. they are all currently eating like food, i wanna move them all towards frozen. Was just curious if its gonna be a hard process...thnx for your time.

  • #2
    Re:Sneezing Rats?

    Feed the big snake every 2 weeks instead of once a week. Very scary to feed live. Very dangerous. Check out Clays post on "Feeding Live? Bad Idea". Very informative. It's amazingly easy to switch to frozen-thawed. But if not that, please at least pre-kill.

    I have no idea about the rat's. It's very normal for them to sneeze. Maybe someone will have a better answer. But if you freeze them, every parasite and disease is killed.

    Welcome to the forums!!!! Good Luck. Stick around and you will learn tons!

    **Beth**

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    • #3
      Re:Sneezing Rats?

      Hello Lynch,

      Welcome to the forums..

      Ok first a boa that size should be eating every two weeks, not weekly.. Boas and Pythons can become gluttons and will take food daily if offered. Its not good for thie health to eat too often. The boa should have a chance to digest and build its digestive juices back up before more food is offered..

      As for the sneezing rats. Sounds like it could be caused by a couple possible reasons. Maybe something in the house or cage is dusty or they are allergic to. Or they could have a cold or upper respitory infection. No realistically the snakes should be fine eating the rats. Lets face it, in the wild snakes will sometimes eat rotting food. But personally I do not feed my snakes anything in questionable health. That is the main reason I raise all my feeders. i can insure they are being fed quality food and are in top health before I kill and offer it to my snakes.. The big issue I would be concerned with is the rats having seisures. That is not normal by any strech of the mind. Truth, I would kill those two rats off and get some fresh ones..

      Last issue deals with live feeding. Boas are so easy to convert to fresh killed or frozen thawed. I suggest the next meal is that way. I deal with so many snakes that come in the rescue that have been bitten by their food items, some lose eyes, some get chewed on so bad that they needed to be put down. Its unreal the damage that one or more bites can do..

      Good luck with your snakes..

      Steve

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      • #4
        Re:Sneezing Rats?

        I wouldn't know exactly if there were anything wrong with the rats or not as I have always offered frozen/thawed and never dealt with live rats. Anyways, the point I want to advise, is to switch to pre-killed or frozen/thawed. Feeding live prey, especially rats, carries many risks. One of those risks is severe injury and even death. I would ask you to consider either pre-killing the rats and/or even frozing them for later use. The freezing process kills most of the parasites and is the best way to go.

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        • #5
          Re:Sneezing Rats?

          wow, I didnt think i would get replies this quick, thanx but you were a few minutes to late. i already killed the rats and dangled them in front of his mouth & he hate them that way... he didnt even lunge at it, kinda weird since he has been getting fed like food since he was little. I dont know if they were seizures ezactly that they were having..maybe it was more like a coughing frenzy..lol but i appreciate the help u gave me. i will feed the larger boa once every 2 weeks. im weondering if i should chance his food & get him frozen ginnuea pigs or rabbits. thnx for your time

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          • #6
            Re:Sneezing Rats?

            oh ya. im also probably just gonna stick with getting him frozen rats through a website... was a little pain in the butt slamming them up against a step to kill em..lol also messy. thanx again

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            • #7
              Re:Sneezing Rats?

              Hey Lynch,

              I am sure things will be fine.. Boas stomach acid is real strong..

              I would avoid Guiena pigs unless he is under weight and needs to fatten up some.. Stick to jumbo or clossal rats every two weeks.. One should be fine if they are real big.. Or you could get say 3 pound rabbits. I was reading on the effects of guiena pigs and rabbits on pythons and boas. They say that feeding them this as a staple causes fatty liver and can add to health issues...

              Hope that helps..
              Steve

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              • #8
                Re:Sneezing Rats?

                sry for all the posts but i just figured i would try to get all my questions answered since u guys are being real helpfull..lol this snake is about 3 years old and its a female, how much bigger do u think she will get? (my friend told me she was a femalke but im not positive) im gonna get her (it) checked out real soon to be sure. but even if its a male how big could it get either way, thanx yet again

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                • #9
                  Re:Sneezing Rats?

                  Hey Lynch,

                  How sure are you about the age.. If your snake is a BCI )columbian Bao) I would guess she is about 4-5 years old, and should get close to 8 foot.. although its not unheard of for a BCI female to hit 9 foot...

                  Steve

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                  • #10
                    Re:Sneezing Rats?

                    The rat thing is funny, when I used to feed live, they know whats going on. The rats used to act like they were retarted and scared all at the same time and the sneezing would happen once in a while too. I just thought that was funny.

                    As far as the length, females can get to 9 foot in length but I've just heard of a 11 foot BCI female!!! I was like, no way but I guess it's true. That has to be rare. 9 foot is the average for a female and males probably about 7 foot give or take. If I'm wrong about the males someone correct me. Hope this helped and welcome to the forums!!! 8)

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                    • #11
                      Re:Sneezing Rats?

                      HI,
                      be real careful with those rats, they can have some nasty flora in their mouths. Many times they bite a boa and it isn't hurt that bad but they have a serious reaction to the bacteria, and sometimes they can become overwhelmed from the toxins while on treaments for the infection.
                      I ve read on another forum a BP died from a single rat bite it was a small nip to the side of the BP and didn't look that serious and he died somedays later while being treated for the infection that caused a small abscess ... :P
                      Geeze... doug
                      most rats that are thumped can surprise you ocassionally by wakin up all ticked off ..
                      my frozen ratsickles have yet to revive after a month in the freezer..
                      and a big plus is that process of freezing the food is most parasites worms, larva, mites, fleas, and some protazoa are killed by the ice crystals when frozen, much better and less likely to infect your snake. :P
                      doug

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