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  • RI and bad shed

    Hi everyone,

    I have to tell you how enraged I became yesterday when I went into a pet store and looked through their reptile section. I noticed that they had RTB's, all babies, all around 18 inches long, and approximately 12 of them. They were asking $170 per snake which I found to be a little unreasonable based on what little knowledge anyone that worked there had. I asked what appeared to be their "Reptile Specialist" how old they were and he replied "I think they are six or eight months old." I asked what they were being fed and he said he didn't know, he would have to ask his uncle. (This is a local pet store). I continued to look at them all and noticed one that was having a tough shed, it was coming off in more pieces than a jigsaw puzzle!! > I asked if he planned on soaking the snake to help with it's shed and he gave me a quizical look that said "Huh?" without saying a word. I then noticed a snake that I could only see it's body and tail, it's head was behind a log. I really liked the color on this snake and the saddles were very good looking, very small and spread out. I asked to see it and he pulled it out for me. As soon as it came into view I wanted to smack this kid upside his head, and then find his family (who I gathered owned the store) and smack all of them upside their heads as well!!!! This snake was blowing bubbles, had a slimy mucous all over his mouth that started to dry and seal his mouth shut, his throat area was completely swelled up and you could hear him weazing, trying to breathe from a mile away!! cwm23.gif cwm23.gif cwm23.gif

    I didn't even bother to ask him why it was still in the cage with the others because I would have got the answer in the form of "What?" followed by a big tilt of the head and a look of "Duh!" So rather than going off on this kid, I told him that the snake is showing many signs of R.I. and it needed to be isolated and treated immediately. He didn't know what to do first. I asked him if he would like my help because I have experience with these animals and have two of my own, he was happy I offered! We went into the back room and set up an enclosure to house him in. While I did this, the snake took a nice warm soak in some water to try and loosen the mucous around his mouth. Once his habitat was finished I pulled him out and took a cotton swab and gently wiped his mouth, the mucous immediately stuck to the swab and I got so much of that crap off it looked like an Ogre had sneezed everywhere!! cwm8.gif

    His mouth was clean and he was able to flick his tongue with no trouble now, but his weazing was still very bad. I told the young idiot, I mean MAN, that he needed to get it to the vet ASAP. I called my herp vet and made the appointment for the next day. Apparently they have NEVER had a sick reptile and had no need to know of a qualified herp vet in case of such an incident. I informed the young idiot, I mean MAN, that the temps needed to be higher and the humidity down to help until it could be taken to the vet.

    It is instances like this that give all pet stores, whether local or chain, a bad rap when it comes to the care of it's animals. I had a hard time biting my lip as to what I really wanted to say to this family about the way they cared for, not only their snakes, but all their animals. I saw a turtle in a wire cage!! What the he!! are they thinking!? I had to leave there after I helped with the snake or else I might have said or done something I would probably regret.

    I hope that if anyone else in this forum works at a pet store, you at least utilize this forum, and many others like it, to learn as much as possible about the animals that are in the store being sold. They deserve, at the very least, the very best care and treatment!!

    Sorry if I ranted and turned this into a book, this is just something that really bothers me!

    Jeff

  • #2
    Re:Ri and bad shed

    Hi Jeff,

    Glad you were able to help out. Trust me you are not alone when you want to just smack these people up side their heads. There is a local pet shop by my house that I deal with for certain items and I also supply them with mice and pinkies. They have 4 girls that take care of the snakes, lizards, frogs, and turtles and all the mamals. Their knowledge of retiles is very low. So much so that the owner vents to me when one of the girls call him to check on a snake and by the time they tell him about it, the snake is so far gone, not much can be done. I have this system worked out with him that when I stop in, 4 times a week. I check his reptiles and bring anything to his attention. I have helped the clean up RI with some of their snakes, made sure they are using Provent a mite on all bedding, and a range of other things. Just like you, no pay, just helping the reptile. Thing I hate is I always get given the snakes that are just about dead. Some make it, some don't..

    Keep up the great work Jeff..

    Steve

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    • #3
      Re:Ri and bad shed

      Steve,

      Thanks man. It just gets under your skin when people let their animals get in such bad shape, even more so when all they are trying to do is make a few bucks off them!!

      Jeff

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      • #4
        Re:Ri and bad shed

        Jeff,

        I really wish they would have some type of pet inspectors here in NY that would visit pet shops and check the condition of the animals and bring along their fine books.. And remember this is coming from a guy who doesn't like big brother in any of my business.

        Steve

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        • #5
          Re:Ri and bad shed

          good job doing that.....people at pet stores no NOTHING they may even pretend they do...i go to pet stores every weekend and see awful things..like the other day i went to a pet store they had about an 7-10 foot green andaconda in a really big cage type thing somthing you would find at a zoo it was really nice but the point is they had NO heating sources i guess couse that the snake soaked all day they thought he didnt need anything but that made me mad..then i went to petco saw a snake there that was shedding AWFUL and came back a week later still shedding it was pretty sad....hopfully things will change in the future NOT..hehe..but anyways good thing you did fonzy

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          • #6
            Re:Ri and bad shed

            If you do a follow up on this guy, keep us posted. I'm a sucker for a happy ending..LOL
            Steve

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            • #7
              Re:Ri and bad shed

              I plan on checking in on him, I know my vet personally and I think I'll give him a call today to see how he is. Who knows, I may just buy this guy and talk the owner down on the price since I helped him out!! He'd stand a better chance living in sewer than he would staying in that pet store!! -JK- I'll keep you all posted!

              Jeff

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              • #8
                Re:Ri and bad shed

                I know how you feel I went into a local pet store about two weeks ago and was looking at a RTB CURLED UP, ON, AND AROUND A HOT ROCK!!! Background temp a chilly 67-70 degrees couldn't tell it was one of those cheapy chop plastic sticker thermometers. I asked to see the RTB and when she pulled him out his whole belly was scared up and had some new burns on it. When I asked the lady " What happened to his stomach?? (keep in mind I'm playing dumb)" She says ohh he just had a bad shed that will go away with his next shed. At this time I say. NO, thats were your wrong this Boa is burnt. Those are burn marks and scars from him wrapping up, on, and around that hotrock. Then I told her your temps are to low in the cage. This boa needs a steamy 82-85*F
                ambient temp and a hotspot at about 90-95*f and for the love of god take that hot rock away. I explained to her that if he has no other heat source that he will lie on that rock all day even if hes burning himself. Then I told her she should make him an appointment ASAP. I felt bad for the little guy. Good job though with the RI boa. For those of us who have a vast knowledge of Boas should share are wealth and do what we can to help educate those around us who don't know. THATS WHY I LOVE THIS FORUM!!!! THANKS CLAY THE NEW SET UP ROCKS!!!

                -jAySoN-

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                • #9
                  Re:Ri and bad shed

                  Hi,
                  Its a tough world in pet stores for the Boa's I tell my close friends to only buy from a boa breeder and not support the sick boa stores.
                  I even order feeders on line to prevent them from getting any of my money.
                  I have called the local animal control on one pets store and have actually improved the quality of life for the feeders that were in a small cage in such a large numbers the were canibilizing each other.
                  They were also trying to sell a wild caught east boxie and this really got them in big trouble here in VA. If the owner or the sales rep is a rock call your local animal control yes they destroy lots of dogs and cats people don't want but many of them care about the quality of life of all animals even rats. here in VA its againts the law to knowingly sell diseased animals ..

                  DOug

                  psps this store is inspected frequently by animal control now for quality life issues and animal husbandry,, I dropped by one day asked the owner what happened he said some a-- h--- turned them in to state ... hehehe

                  geeze its hard not to laugh when you hear that..

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re:Ri and bad shed

                    I don't know if I'd be able to keep a straight face!! :-X

                    Well, the good news is I called my vet on the snake and he told me that it was in the early stages of RI, but it was nothing too serious as long as the proper steps were taken to make sure it wouldn't get any worse. I went by the pet store yesterday to check on him and he looked much better!! The pet store had totally changed the set up they were housing all their snakes in. They incorporated UTH in all the cages and began misting to keep up the humidity to the proper levels. The little guy that was sick is being kept in the back room, isolated from the others, and is doing much better. He is actively feeding, and his throat isn't swelled up anymore.

                    The owner actually asked me if I wanted to work there part-time! I told him I couldn't because of my other part-time job. I didn't feel like smacking him upside his head anymore because he at least made the effort to correct the problem and I truly think he feels bad enough that he didn't know enough information on how to care for some of his animals. He told me that he ordered some more exotic animals to try and vary what animals are normally found in pet stores. He admitted to me that he didn't do the proper research to know how to take care of them.

                    Here's the good part. ;D He told me that I could have any of the boas (normal RTB) for helping him out. I think I am going to set up one of my cages and take in the one that I helped. I will let you know how it goes.

                    Jeff

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                    • #11
                      Re:Ri and bad shed

                      Hey Fonzy,

                      That is great. Let us know if you do take him.. Its about time we heard a happy ending to a bad pet store story. Hope the store keeps changing for the better..

                      Steve

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                      • #12
                        Re:Ri and bad shed

                        I just wanted to let everyone know that I did in fact go back to the pet store and took home the RTB that I helped. The owner was very friendly and thanked me again. He even asked me to stop in often!! I talked with him for a while, he turned out to be an O.K. guy, just not extremely knowledgeable with all of his animals. I told him about the forum as well as other forums, he said he was going to check them out. Hopefully his animals will be better cared for now!

                        Jeff

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                        • #13
                          Re:Ri and bad shed

                          8)Aawwww thats awsome Jeff, keep up the good work bud and keep us up todate on how that baby is doing, is it still battling the RI??

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                          • #14
                            Re:Ri and bad shed

                            It's mouth is all clear and it doesn't blow bubbles anymore. I've got the temps up to 95 and 85 and dropped the humidity to 40%. The only thing I'm keeping an eye on is the slight weezing he has. If he continues to get better the way he has been, I'm confident that it will all clear up. I'll let you all know how he does.

                            Jeff

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                            • #15
                              Re:Ri and bad shed

                              Hey Fonzy,

                              Congrats on the new babys.. Glad things are clearing up.. Share some pics when you can..

                              Steve

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