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  • Eye is cloudy, but just shed eyecap?

    I recently rescued an escaped boa my friend found (Tucson, AZ). He was dehydrated, but he's been given the ok by the vet and has been doing fine.

    When I got him, he had what both myself and the vet thought was a retained eyecap on his left side. He had a couple of unshed patches of skin, as well as his tail, so I didn't think twice about it. I've bathed him a lot, kept him humid, etc., and last night he thanked me with a beautiful, total shed, both eyecaps included...

    ...but his left eye is still cloudy. The best description I can give (I'm working on pictures) is that it looks like a cataract, if snakes even develop those. He's only a year old, if that matters. The eye in question isn't cloudy, swollen or dimpled, and looks completely smooth (not scratched, seemingly). I can see his pupils underneath, which look just like his other one.

    Any idea what this could be? He looks totally healthy otherwise and shows no sign of any illness or disease. The last visit to the vet and a homemade cage took this poor college student's wallet by surprise, I really couldn't afford another trip to the vet for another couple weeks, if it comes down to that.

    Thanks for any help,
    Basil

  • #2
    Re:Eye is cloudy, but just shed eyecap?

    Hello and welcome to the forum. As you will see this forum is a great place to ask questions and learn a great deal about your boa. Its hard to say with out a pic but, your boa could actually be partaly blind in that eye. Or could have had an injury prior that you didn't know about due to the shed. Is your boa slow to react when you approach him from that side with your hand? It could be a number of things. Try to get a pic up this will make it alot easier on us this way were not playing the guessing game..Good Luck

    jAySoN

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    • #3
      Re:Eye is cloudy, but just shed eyecap?

      8) Hello and welcome to the forums.. I agree with Jayson also on this, sounds like its maybe blind or like he said a old injury or maybe even a cataract.. Deffinately a pic would really help alot.... I think its great you took this boa in and is helping it..

      Comment


      • #4
        Re:Eye is cloudy, but just shed eyecap?

        Thanks for the welcome into the forum, and the advice. The... eh, responsiveness to reply and offer advice is much appreciated (I frequent kingsnake.com's forums, terrible really).

        I'll be sure to get a picture up. I'm sorry I forgot to mention this, but it just slipped my mind. He does flick his tongue crooked, slightly towards his bad eye. He flicks out of the right place in his mouth and everything, it just curves a bit. And I don't know if it's coincidence because I'm left handed and hold him as such, but he *may* prefer to face me with his good eye. Again, I hold him on my left arm stretched to my right, so that's how it ends up, but when I steal a peek at his left side to see the eye, I usually have to grab his head.

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        • #5
          Re:Eye is cloudy, but just shed eyecap?

          If your boa is protective of that eye theres a good possibility it did have an old injury that could have caused him some blindness in his eye...If your boa is pretty docile you can try this. My boa had an eye problem awhile back due to humidity problems( He had a dent in his eye) it was wierd but, to test his vision I took my finger and moved it toward the effected eye and if your boa can see okay he should move his head out of the way....move slow I don't want you to freak him /her out.

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          • #6
            Re:Eye is cloudy, but just shed eyecap?

            Hello Baz,

            Welcome to the forums...

            Like everyone has said above, its real hard to tell without seeing the problem first hand.. Now you said the eye looks foggy. Is it just the center or one small part or the whole eye? If their is a sight problem with your boa it could be from an injury like stated above, genetic problem, even long term dehydration could cause blindness or at least damage to the eye. Not picking on your vet, but if he thought it had a retained eye cap, he should have removed it in the office. Retained eye caps for too long can also cause long term damage to the eye itself. I would suggest you find a qualified reptile vet to give him a full checkup. Even with pics of the eye, it may not allow more then a guess. Many things can cause a snake to lose part or all of its vision. Diabetic snakes can lose sight just like any animal.

            Hope this helps a little... Please keep us posted how your boa is doing..

            Steve

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            • #7
              Re:Eye is cloudy, but just shed eyecap?

              i totally agree with steve on this get a liscensed reptile vet to take a look at that or at least a vet who has some expierience with reps so it can get taken care of right away.


              LEE

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              • #8
                Re:Eye is cloudy, but just shed eyecap?

                That's too bad about my vet. He came recommended by UA's pet clinic and the petshop/rodent farm I go to. In having kept kingsnakes and such, I've always read that a retained eyecap is no immediate danger if it's one layer for one shed. In retrospect, it's a good thing he didn't go at my snake's poor eye with tweezers. The vet told me to do the ol' damp pillow case trick, bathe him, etc., and that if he didn't take care of it on his own in a week or two he'd remove it for me. Of course, he went into his shed cycle the week I was going to take him back, and that brings us to today.

                I'm at work now, but I'll get those pictures and test his vision like bigmitch suggested. He's docile as hell, I doubt he'll mind.

                sclark, the entire eye is notceably blue-ish and clouded, with particular "fogginess" near the center. Even looking at it now I'd swear it was an eyecap.

                As for what's actually wrong with him, it could be anything. His eye shows no scratches (I held him so that I could see the reflection off his eye, it's glossy smooth, not bumps or dimples or signs of a physical injury), but he was out in the 100+ temperature in Tucson for who-knows-how-long. Now that he's in a comfortable environment getting proper care, what can I do for him? I mean, regardless of it's cause (genetic, past dehydration, injury, etc.), is there anything I would do other than let him put up with it? It doesn't seem to be getting in the way of anything. This is the only not-promising thing that's happened to him so far. He's in really good shape considering the ordeal he went through to get to me.

                Heh, the monsoons are moving through Tucson, and right after the storm it's twilight, mid-80's, humid... he likes to sit on the stair railings outside my apartment. And baths. I've got two other snakes (this boa would be my 10th snake if they were all still with me), and there's just something about him that makes him more personable than the others. Maybe it's the size.

                Anyway, side-stories aside, I'll get pictures this afternoon (hopefully I'll learn how to work the camera well this time).

                Thanks again for all your help, everyone,
                Baz

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                • #9
                  Re:Eye is cloudy, but just shed eyecap?

                  hey np baz welcome to the forums hope u stay around and learn just as we all do here u will find that this forum is the most helpful and caring forum out there at least i did the people here are great and they care and help find answers as u already know .


                  LEE

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                  • #10
                    Re:Eye is cloudy, but just shed eyecap?

                    Hi Baz,

                    Let me clarrify something. The vet could be OK, just doesn't sound like he knows much about retiles. Seeing an eye cap is not a real hard thing to do, and any vet should have removed a retained eye cap if he was sure that was the problem. Only takes 10 seconds to remove one with the right ointment. That is why i am guessing he is not that trained with retiles. That is a problem for vets all over. Most vet colleges do not teach about reptiles. As a matter of face I only know of one that does have a full exotics program, and that is Cornell in NY. So most vets even the ones that say the specialize in reptiles are self trained or have learned by reading and trial and error. I can't tell you how many different vets I have dealt with and basically had to tell them what to do.. Scarrey IMO...

                    It is true that a retained eye cap is not emergency, but remember the longer that cap is in place the greater chance it will harden, fuse to the next layer and insure both layers remain, could cause an infection, and even the least which just makes the snakes bad vision even worse and annoy the poor guy..

                    Not much more you can do for the snake except make sure temps and humidty are right. Try to find a more experienced vet to help. A pic may help, but I wouldn't count on it 100%.. An eye that looks blind could be a retained eye cap with an infection, so most will be guesses.. Post anyway, you never know..

                    All the best with your new baby..

                    Steve

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                    • #11
                      Re:Eye is cloudy, but just shed eyecap?

                      I agree that he could have taken it off, but he is a "specialist in reptile medicine", I waited specifically to see this guy because all the places and people I asked said that this was the guy to see. Also, I was very tight on cash and told him not to do anything that would cost extra money. I got just an initial examination, that's all. I'm just playing devil's advocate here because I was satisfied with the visit otherwise. I understand what you're saying though. I figure he offered to have it done in a week (when I would have money... I literally starved 3 days to take this bugger to the vet), and was just doing what I asked him to: nothing that would cost more money. Why picking off an eyecap (something I could just as easily had done) would cost extra money is beyond me. I will ask around to see what other people's opinions are on this guy, though, and if they recommend somewhere different.

                      You said that it could be a retained eyecap with an infection, but his last shed defintely has an eyecap. When a cap is retained, and one comes off, they both do, right? I mean, the bottom cap is what's connected with the rest of his shed, and if that came off I don't see how the old eyecap on top could have stayed on. Am I mistaken here? If I have his shed in front of me complete with eyecaps, doesn't that rule out the possibility of a retained cap?

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                      • #12
                        Re:Eye is cloudy, but just shed eyecap?

                        that sure does maybe the boa is going blind if the eyecaps are attatched to the shed and they are still there maybe he has a caderac problem or is just going blind not sure . keep us updated on the little guy and let us know how the situation is doing.

                        LEE

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                        • #13
                          Re:Eye is cloudy, but just shed eyecap?

                          Hey Baz,

                          Yeah normally if the full shed comes off you will end up with both caps if there was a retained one.. So assuming both eye caps came off as one part, I would start looking into the possible signs it may be blind, or another possible would be infection. You know that when a snake sheds, it excretes a fluid that seperates the old skin from the new skin. If you boa does have some type of an infection in that eye, it very well could start just under the outer skin. My biggest concern would be that if the boa is starting with an infection, it would need to be treated before the snake has worse problems or loses vision in that eye.. I would offer some assistance, but have no clue where your located..

                          Steve

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                          • #14
                            Re:Eye is cloudy, but just shed eyecap?

                            true steve

                            LEE

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                            • #15
                              Re:Eye is cloudy, but just shed eyecap?

                              Steve,

                              I'm in Tucson. Are you in AZ?

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