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  • [Regurgitation] Hopefully this baby will make it.

    I purchased a cute little Albino Boa a 4 1/2 months ago at a Reptile Show. It was the first time I'd ever been to this show. I got a really good deal on this little girl.... or maybe I didn't.

    When I first got this girl, she was "fatter". Now she looks like a skinny malnourshied worm.

    The first time I fed her, she was slow to take it, but she took it. She kept it down with no problems.

    10 days later, I offered her another meal. She ate it quickly and seemed like she was very hungry. Unfortuantely.... 1 day later she regurged.

    I waited 2 weeks to offer her food again. This time I offered a pinky mouse. Again, she at it quickly. She seemed like she was starving!!! Unfortunately, a few hours later... she regurged.

    This time I raised the temps a bit. I allowed her 3 weeks to recover and then offered her the smallest pinky mouse I had. She tore into that pinky like she'd never eaten before. Unfortuantely, the next it was regurged.

    Now, this was the "3rd" time this girl had regurged. I wasn't sure what to make of it. Her temps were great. The humidity was perfect. She got fresh water daily and I saw her drink frequently.

    I opted to wait "4 weeks" and then offer her food again. She wasn't as quick to take it, but she did. She took longer than normal to get it down. Obviously, she was getting weak. She got the pinky down, but....

    Yeah, she regurged again!!!

    This time I knew this was a problem that wasn't going to go away on it's own. I opted to try another method to try and save her.

    I waited "2 weeks" and then I "tube fed" her. She only got 3/10 of a cc. That's about 3 drops of food. I was expecting to see the fluid regurged later, but this time, she kept it down. I gave her another 3/10 cc feeding about 4 days later. She kept that down as well. I continued to see her drinking frequently. She passed a "very small" urate and some fluids from time to time as well.

    I gradually got her up to a full 1cc of food at a feeding. I was giving her these feedings "every 4 days". She gradually got stronger. She's becoming more active.

    Then, I realized that she'd never deficated!!! Not a single time in 4 months!! I know she had, at least, 1 meal she kept down. So, there should have been "something"!!

    Today, I got the answer to "why". Why she's been regurging and why she hadn't deficated.

    She had an intestinal obstruction. She wasn't constipated. She was obstructed. Apparently, the breeder I got her from, kept her on "paper". Not newspaper, but that paper bedding that's used for hamsters and other rodent types.

    She had ingested some of that paper. It was "blocking" the exit. She was impacted pretty badly too. She never looked like she was large in the rear, like she needed to poo, but aparently she did.

    She's a skinny little worm now. I'm hoping she can make it back from this. I hope to offer her some "real food" tomorrow. I saw her drinking again and being more active than I've seen her be in a very long time. She's not out of the woods yet, but at least now... there's hope.

    Here's that skinny little worm.





    Here's that obstruction that was trying to kill her. You can see the grey paper, that's the bulk of what she passed. Then you can see that brown part, that's the fuzzy mouse she ate that first week. Then you can see she pass a nice blob of urates too.





    So, even though I got this girl for a "very good" price. It's been a ordeal trying to keep her alive.

    So, the next time you're at a Reptile Show, be sure to ask what substrate they use "before" you make the purchase. It could save you a "LOT" of heart ache.

  • #2
    Re: Hopefully this baby will make it.

    Good luck Linda! At least she is in great hands. Keep us posted. She sure is beautiful.

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    • #3
      Re: Hopefully this baby will make it.

      Hope he's okay now and will start eating on a regular basis.

      Gotta be careful with choice of substrate. These are NOT mine fortunately but a couple situations I ran across recently and your issue reminded me of these....

      Here's a baby boa that ate a paper towel. Not sure if he regurged it or passed it, but it was in him for 7 days. Fortunately he's okay:




      And here's a Green Tree Python that ingested a paper towel as well, unfortunately about a week later he died trying to regurge it:

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      • #4
        Re: Hopefully this baby will make it.

        I wish you the best of luck the albino is very cute. I can't see the rationale behind using a paper towel, if for no other reason they don't absorb liquid very well just soak and stay damp.

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        • #5
          Re: Hopefully this baby will make it.

          Yeah - I don't often hear people of using paper towels for Boas. But for GTPs, since they stay perched most of the time and even eating while hanging from their perch, some keepers use paper towels because it holds water and can help to increase the humidity.

          But I'll never risk it. And I think the above case is convincing some to change their ways.

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          • #6
            Re: Hopefully this baby will make it.

            Did she pass the obstruction on her own or did you have to help somehow? Good to hear she is on the mend she does look very skinny, it's unnerving to me as a new keeper how much her skin sinks in at the base of the neck/head area. Good luck bringing her through this, though I doubt you need it much.

            Mat.

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            • #7
              Re: Hopefully this baby will make it.

              Originally posted by jvarner View Post
              Good luck Linda! At least she is in great hands. Keep us posted. She sure is beautiful.
              Thanks,
              I'm going to do everything I can to see that she makes it. I think passing that mess is a good sign. I think the worse part is over.... Hopefully.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: Hopefully this baby will make it.

                Originally posted by Hunglikeafruitbat View Post
                Did she pass the obstruction on her own or did you have to help somehow? Good to hear she is on the mend she does look very skinny, it's unnerving to me as a new keeper how much her skin sinks in at the base of the neck/head area. Good luck bringing her through this, though I doubt you need it much.

                Mat.
                She passed it on her own. I never knew it was there, until she passed it. I have a feeling that the tube feeding helped. It gave her "some" nutrition and extra fluids. She was seeming like she was getting a "little" stronger prior to passing it.

                She's actually skinnier than the pictures show. You can actually count "every rib" in her little body. She'll be eating pinky mice to start, but hopefully she'll keep them down. I'll be feeding her smaller food items for a few month.....Then, if she's looking better, I'll move her up to something a little bigger.

                I don't think the breeder knew what had happened. I never told him either. I kept telling myself that it was something that "I" was doing wrong. Next time, I'll find out what substrate was used before I buy. Of course, this probably doesn't happen that often, so most people don't even think about these things when choosing substrate. They just use what's "easy".

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                • #9
                  Re: Hopefully this baby will make it.

                  Originally posted by Fireproof View Post
                  Hope he's okay now and will start eating on a regular basis.

                  Gotta be careful with choice of substrate. These are NOT mine fortunately but a couple situations I ran across recently and your issue reminded me of these....

                  Here's a baby boa that ate a paper towel. Not sure if he regurged it or passed it, but it was in him for 7 days. Fortunately he's okay:




                  And here's a Green Tree Python that ingested a paper towel as well, unfortunately about a week later he died trying to regurge it:

                  Yeah,
                  You've got to be very careful about the substrate you use. I've used paper towels in the past, but I always removed them for feeding. Now, I only use paper towels until they lose their umbilical cords. Then I put them on paper liners or news paper.

                  I've heard of too many stories of boas eating their bedding or other objects that are in the cage. I read a story about one that ate a heating pad..... Not sure how that could happen, but it made the news.

                  With any luck, my girl will be fine. She's already much more active and acting like she's hungry. I'm going to wait until tomorrow to offer her food. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that she'll keep it down.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: Hopefully this baby will make it.

                    I haven't heard of that happening until now. I will be sure to keep this in mind in the future. She should be fine after she gets a couple real meals through her system. I'm glad she was able to pass it.
                    http://www.iherp.com/topshelfmorphs

                    http://www.facebook.com/boidsohio

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                    • #11
                      Re: Hopefully this baby will make it.

                      Oh my gosh! That's such a sad story poor little thing, I can't imagine suffering like that and not being able to say anything. That's good you found out why. How did you get her to pass all that mess? Good luck, I'm sure you will be able to nurse her back to health. She's lucky someone like you purchased her though, or she may not still be alive.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Hopefully this baby will make it.

                        WOW Linda good job with nursing her along. I can't believe she was able to
                        pass that mass of "paper bedding". I'm surprised it didn't just suck the life
                        out of her intestines and turn into a complete blockage.

                        I believe the syringe feedings added enough moisture to her stomach
                        to allow her to break that thing loose.

                        Its a good thing you went that route !!

                        I hope she'll do well for you Linda.

                        Lar M
                        Boas By Klevitz

                        sigpic

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                        • #13
                          Re: Hopefully this baby will make it.

                          Thanks,
                          I'm hoping she'll be fine. She's seems to have more energy.

                          I have a feeling the tube feedings helped a lot.

                          It's just the formula that's in the Ball Python Manual.

                          It's a jar of chicken baby food, the strained/puried stuff. A jar, the baby food jar, of pedialite, 1/4 teaspoon vegetable oil (I used olive oil), and a Tums. I'm guessing the Tums was for calicum.

                          I was surprised when she kept it down, but I was glad too.

                          I think I shouldn't have waited as long as I did before I tube fed. Still, I was trying to see if the regurge would resolve on it's own. The tube feeding was a "last resort". I don't think that anyone, unless they have prior experience, should tube feed their own animals.

                          Fortunately, I've had experience with many different types of animals with the tube feeding part.

                          I'm hoping for a full recovery. I'll update as she progresses.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Hopefully this baby will make it.

                            good work linda she lucky to have you she ll probably be you best friend because of it.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Hopefully this baby will make it.

                              Wow. What a mess. I'm glad you were able to keep her going until the problem became clear. I think that she will probably be fine now from what you have said. I know that I would have lost her in a similar situation. Thanks for sharing your experiences.

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