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star gazing?

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  • [Behavior] star gazing?

    I have only had my nicaraguan boa for a few months. Lately she has started staring straight up at the top of her enclosure. She will only do it for a few minutes at a time. If I walk up to her enclosure she will move her head, look at me up, and lay her head normally. Even after a few minutes she doesn't go back to looking straight up. Could this be star gazing behavior? Everything I have read on it doesn't mention how long it should last. She eats normally. Actually she will eat any chance she gets.

  • #2
    Re: star gazing?

    Sometimes my boas crawl up to the top of their cages and just chill and they are fine.

    If you are worried about IBD you can try to put it on it's back and see if it can flip over. If it can't you have a big problem.


    • #3
      Re: star gazing?

      I tried laying her on her back and she flips over so fast it's like her back didn't even touch the ground. I was just worried because she doesn't rest against anything when she does stare straight up. I'll keep an eye on her though. Thanks!


      • #4
        Re: star gazing? boas totally have the staring off complex. It seems like they fall asleep like that.

        Stargazing is a symptom of a variety of diseases including respiratory infections and the like. It's normal for snakes to wander around and look around them, even looking up. If you notice your snake doing it for extended periods of time or very frequently, I would give them a thorough health check. IBD usually is something you can't miss when you see itm but not as common as you may think. The body doesn't just stare up but has a wierd, off balance, sort of awkward "feel" about it.

        Sometimes they do this because they're having trouble breathing. I'm not thinking you have a respiritory infection either, and it doesn't seem like she's trying to support herself against the glass enclosure. How far foes she extend her head off the ground? How much of her body is elevated when she stargazes?


        • #5
          Re: star gazing?

          She never sits very far off the ground. She is about 18 inches long and will stare with only an inch or two off the bottom of the cage. Other than that she seems like a normal, healthy little boa. She eats fine, is curious about everything.

          Sometimes she rests against the enclosure with her snout pressed against the ventilation holes. It's funny because she will then flick her tongue out the hole.

          She's great which is why I worry about her, I guess.


          • #6
            Re: star gazing?


            Apparently people are confused as to what "Star Gazing" is.

            It's not when your boa "looks up". It's when your boa is incapable of doing anything other than "looking up". It will seem like it's got a crick in it's neck and looking up is all it can do.

            If your boa has a neurological problem it will have a head tilt. It will look up constantly. It will not be able to slither around it's cage like a normal boa. It will do a "cork screw" motion rather than being able to simply slither around it's cage like a normal animal. It might have 1 pupil that's more dialated than the other. It will seem "confused" when you take it out of it's cage and will whip it's body wildly. It will have difficulty having a normal shed. It will lay on it's back for long periods of time and have troubles righting itself. It will refuse to eat and when it drinks it will have it's head "upside down" in the bowl. It will have a very slow/odd tounge flicking.... if you saw it you'd know what I'm talking about.

            Now, if your boa does these things... It definately has a neurological problem, BUT!!! Does it have IBD??? Not necessarily. Many things can cause neurological problems. Some of the things are, over heating, exposure to toxins, dehydration, bacteral infections, viral infections, head trama, oxygen depravation at birth, etc......

            The only way to know if your boa truely had IBD is when they do a necropsy and send off tissue samples for testing/examination. To truely get "accurate" results... then need to see the brain. Yeah, there's other organs that can be biopsied, but the brain is what's really needed. Sort of have to be dead to get that tissue sample.

            However, there are simply things that might cause a boa to look up from time to time that have "nothing" to do with any illness.

            If you have a light source, it might be simply staring into the light. If you have an overhead heat source, it might simply warming it's face. If you have in in an aquarium, it might simply be waiting for the food gods to drop a rodent into the cage. If you have it in an aquarium it might simply be keeping watch for any movement at the top of the cage. It could just be bored.... Not sure if "bored" is the right term, but if there's a boa equivalent to bored... then they can get bored.

            As long as your boa is eating/pooping/shedding/drinking and is basically acting normal... other than the looking up from time to time.. Then she/he is fine.


            • #7
              Re: star gazing?

              my RTB does this as well and for longer periods of time. Sometimes about 1 foot of his body will be up and pointed up. He seems to almost be sleeping or just thinking deep snake thoughts. I've done the roll over test, no issue there. And I've listened to the breathing, again, no mucus & no sound.