Announcement

Collapse
No announcement yet.

18yo BCC refusing to eat

Collapse
X
 
  • Filter
  • Time
  • Show
Clear All
new posts

  • [Feeding Issue] 18yo BCC refusing to eat

    Hi all, hoping someone can help me. My 18yo boa hasn't eaten since Jan 31. She's refused f/t rats 10-12 times since then. She has refused in the past, but only once or twice and would take it within the next week or so.

    She acts like she wants to eat, but turns her nose away every time. The inside of her month looks fine. It was hard to find a snake-friendly vet in my area but was able to find a young vet that saw her. He gave me some antibiotics for a respiratory infection but I lost all confidence in him when he suggested I try live pinkies for my 8+ foot boa.

    My rats are from RodentPro and have been frozen since Sept 2013. A rep there said the shelf life is 12-14 months so I ordered 36 more. I'm hoping that's the problem.

    Anyone heard of snakes refused f/t food cause it was too old? Any other suggestions? Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: 18yo BCC refusing to eat

    Try from a different source (rodentpro rats are gross and there are TONS of threads on frozen feeders if you search for them) or try a different prey item--I've heard quail elicits a strong feeding response. You could also try small rabbits or guinea pigs, although they are on the fattier side so I wouldn't bank on guineas as a staple. I would also try to find a more knowledgeable reptile vet if you can and get some blood work done. 18 is pretty old for a boa depending on how they were raised, so it's not impossible that there could be some sort of systems issue going on inside.
    Previously jjurczyk



    facebook.com/k1ssy

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: 18yo BCC refusing to eat

      If you post your location someone here may have a recommendation on a better vet in your area.

      I also agree with trying a different feeder. I have a female that was happily taking a one pound monthly for several months, two weeks ago she refused so I waited figuring she just wasn't hungry. This past weekend she refused a rabbit again but she was obviously hunting and acting hungry. On a hunch I flipped her warmed up f/t large rat, which is a very small meal for her, and she hit it like a freight train. Fortunately my retic was happy with the rabbit.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: 18yo BCC refusing to eat

        Thanks for the info. I just read about RodentPro and looked up my order to see if I could cancel it. It's being delivered today. Oh well.

        I live in Central PA. Near Altoona. My vet referred me to a vet in Pittsburgh but was hoping to find someone closer. My boa is thin but not emaciated by any means. I'll definitely take her to Pittsburgh if nothing else is close.

        The vet I saw couldn't even draw blood from her. He gave up after 4 or 5 tries. Not sure why he didn't take an X-ray.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: 18yo BCC refusing to eat

          As much as I hate to say it, an 18 year old boa has lived a long life and may be nearing the end of it's journey. I certainly hope that is not the case here and I am definitely not wishing you any ill will - I am wishing you just the opposite!

          I would say that fresh (or fresher) feeders may be just the ticket. Feeders that have been in the freezer for two years or more run the risk of freezer burn and potentially having lost the majority of scent. In other words, your boa may recognize it as a prey item; however, it may not recognize it as a prey item that it wants to eat.

          Best of luck with everything and please let us know how she is doing and dose with the next feeding attempt.
          "An increase in reptile education can lead to a decrease in reptile discrimination." - Bebo

          sigpic

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: 18yo BCC refusing to eat

            Originally posted by bebowebb View Post
            As much as I hate to say it, an 18 year old boa has lived a long life and may be nearing the end of it's journey. I certainly hope that is not the case here and I am definitely not wishing you any ill will - I am wishing you just the opposite!

            I would say that fresh (or fresher) feeders may be just the ticket. Feeders that have been in the freezer for two years or more run the risk of freezer burn and potentially having lost the majority of scent. In other words, your boa may recognize it as a prey item; however, it may not recognize it as a prey item that it wants to eat.

            Best of luck with everything and please let us know how she is doing and dose with the next feeding attempt.
            I understand. I thought normal lifespan was 25-30 years. My buddy has a BCI that is 22 yo and still going strong. How long can boas go without water? I haven't seen her drink in a while but I'm guessing she has to have been at some point.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: 18yo BCC refusing to eat

              Originally posted by JrtheFreak View Post
              I understand. I thought normal lifespan was 25-30 years. My buddy has a BCI that is 22 yo and still going strong. How long can boas go without water? I haven't seen her drink in a while but I'm guessing she has to have been at some point.
              I was not, by any means, trying to infer that is the case. I was just tossing it out there as something to keep in mind. In captivity, when well maintained, they can go beyond 18 years without incident.

              I cannot tell you how long a boa can go without water, but I would guess that it is a significant period of time. A lot of people think that their boas never drink because they have never seen it. That is simply not the case. A lot of times a boa will drink at night or immediately after feeding. Sometimes, if the prey item is f/t and holds enough water, the boa may not drink for a period of time.

              I certainly hope the best for your boa and we would love to see pictures of the ol' gal when you have time. If you are unfamiliar with posting pictures the forum, the following thread should help:

              http://www.redtailboas.com/f18/video...obucket-36865/

              Again, best of luck!
              "An increase in reptile education can lead to a decrease in reptile discrimination." - Bebo

              sigpic

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: 18yo BCC refusing to eat

                It's a bit like asking how long do people live: good care, good genes & good luck all play a part for snakes too. I've had snakes live to 26+ years & I currently have a rat snake that's pushing 25. Think optimistic.

                I'd try offering either a live (eyes closed!) "appetizer", freshly killed prey or at the very least fresher prey from another source, in order to check his appetite. Other than the food, he may be "getting old" or he
                may also have an unseen issue that bears further observation.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: 18yo BCC refusing to eat

                  Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
                  It's a bit like asking how long do people live
                  This exactly. There are 30 year old boas alive and kicking and some 8-10 year olds that were overfed and are at the end of their days. No way to tell with your specific boa without seeing an experienced reptile vet and getting some bloodwork done.
                  Previously jjurczyk



                  facebook.com/k1ssy

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: 18yo BCC refusing to eat

                    Got new rats. Still the same reaction. Guess another vet trip is needed. Bloodwork and X-ray hopefully.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Re: 18yo BCC refusing to eat

                      I'm sorry to hear that, but it is definitely better to be safe than sorry.
                      "An increase in reptile education can lead to a decrease in reptile discrimination." - Bebo

                      sigpic

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: 18yo BCC refusing to eat

                        Update: Went to see a guy who owns an exotic pet shop. He's been raising/breeding boas for 25+ years. To sum it up, he thinks my boa is dying of old age. He said he definitely has cataracts and isn't getting blood flow into his mouth issue. He said it was too white. Also mentioned that he was pretty dehydrated. Without actually saying it I believe he thinks it might be time to euthanize him. Out of curiosity I asked how they did it and he mentioned freezing. They (he and his wife) said it was painless but I definitely do not agree. For tiny reptiles this might be ok, but for large reptiles this has to be painful. The snake would be very much alive when ice crystals start to form in the cells... and that isn't pleasant at all. I found an article written by a vet explaining this very thing and sent it to them on facebook. Hopefully they read it and change their methods.

                        They referred me to a vet that has a decent amount of reptile experience so I went there last week. He said my boa definitely doesn't have cataracts, but has something onor just inside the eye caps. He doesn't know what it is, but it is seperate from the eye itself. He could see the eyes move but the cloudiness woud remain still. He said it could be an unshed cap but doesn't think so. He gave me some ointment to apply to both eyes to see if it clears up. He also examined his mouth and said it looked pretty normal to him. He did find an injury on his upper lip just left of the snout. He doesn't believe that would be causing refusal to eat. He gave him a shot of vit B to help produce more appetite. It may or may not help but wouldn't hurt. He also gave him fluids to help hydrate him.

                        He doesn't by any means think my snake is ready to be euthanized. Though he doesn't know what might be going on, he recommends keep trying to feed him. He said there is no signs of illness or infection and doesn't think it's worth doing bloodwork or xrays at this time. He said if he doesn't eat in a month or two that he could feed him via a feeding tube to get some food into him and then at that point move to bloodwork, etc.

                        I tried to feed him again tonight and he acted like he was interested, but still won't take it. He doesn't turn his head away as much as he has been, so I guess that might be an encouraging sign. I hope he sheds at some point even if he doesn't eat. Not sure that will happen though. I want to see if the cloudiness in his eyes are cap related or eye related. (Btw, his eyes have been cloudy for 2-3 months)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: 18yo BCC refusing to eat

                          Silly question but have you tried leaving the thawed rat in over night?

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: 18yo BCC refusing to eat

                            Originally posted by JrtheFreak View Post
                            Update: Went to see a guy who owns an exotic pet shop. He's been raising/breeding boas for 25+ years. To sum it up, he thinks my boa is dying of old age. He said he definitely has cataracts and isn't getting blood flow into his mouth issue. He said it was too white. Also mentioned that he was pretty dehydrated. Without actually saying it I believe he thinks it might be time to euthanize him. Out of curiosity I asked how they did it and he mentioned freezing. They (he and his wife) said it was painless but I definitely do not agree. For tiny reptiles this might be ok, but for large reptiles this has to be painful. The snake would be very much alive when ice crystals start to form in the cells... and that isn't pleasant at all. I found an article written by a vet explaining this very thing and sent it to them on facebook. Hopefully they read it and change their methods.
                            I would certainly hope so! Freezing used to be considered humane quite a while ago, but a few years back that changed. Thank you for helping to educate them.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: 18yo BCC refusing to eat

                              Hi there. First, I am glad you are not going to freeze your beautiful boa who is depending on you for help with whatever is the issue.

                              Second, I think that the first vet said a lot of wrong things, but trying him with live pink rats was not one of them. The live pink rats may very well be much too small but they may be the key to waking up your boa's appetite and start him eating normally again! Let him at one of two "cocktail sausages on legs" and he will probably snap them up and get his juices flowing for a later, bigger, deader meal.

                              (Remember that some vets just hate to "not know" what the problem is, and will likely invent stuff to tell you so they don't seem stupid or useless. Sometimes the stuff they tell you and give you is wrong. So you will get a lot of conflicting information (or misinformation) and your poor boa will stress, big time.)

                              Also, have you given your boa a chance to really soak in some three or four inches of water for a spell? Have it lukewarm and adding a bit of pedialyte will not harm at all and will help to rehydrate him. A dose of Benebac or other probiotic will do no harm either. And last, try a change of environment and some exercise.

                              Best of luck and thanks for caring so much for your boa! Keep us posted, please.

                              Comment

                              Working...
                              X