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  • I just rescued a abused red tail

    O.K., I need a little help. I just rescued a 8 foot Columbian Red Tail, and it is in BAD shape. The cage that she was kept in also held a 12 foot reticulated python, and had an inch and a half of fecal matter on the bottom of the cage. It was in a damp basement with no light or heat sources of any kind. (She was so cold when I got her out that I thought she was dead until she started moving a little.) No water either. They told me that she hadnt eaten for 4 months becasue of hybernation, but you can feel many if not all of its ribs, so I think that they starved her for longer than that. She has battle scars all over her body where the other snake tried to take bites out of her. Her scales are also deformed from what looks like a past case of scale rot. (I've checked her over, and there are no present sigs of scale rot.)

    Ok, now for the probolem. She's starved bad, and still refuses food. I am worried about her, but she still is pretty active considering the circumstances in which she was held. I offer her food every day, but so far it has been of no avail. She's still not eating.

    I live NOWHERE near any kind of a herp vet. There is a man at a local pet store that has a lo of knowldge about snakes, but he refuses to see her because she is big. (He helped me take care the ball I rescued a while ago.) The vets around he area all wont even look at snakes, so I am pretty much on my own out here.

    I have gotten really attatched to it over the short ime that I have ha it. (It is really good with kids, and my little sisters and brothers can even handle her without her "freaking out".

    So, can anyone help me?

  • #2
    Re: I just rescued a abused red tail

    First of all, if you just got her, she may need to simply adjust to the new surroundings before she will eat. So at this point focus on getting and keeping the proper humidity levels and heating levels in the tank. Let her get good and comfortable before offering food. It may take a week or two before she is comfortable. Make sure she doesn't have anything else wrong with her. (ie: RI, Dehydration, mites, etc......) I would suggest not handling her much at this point either. She's probably pretty stressed out from the move and the previous surroundings and husbandry. After that point. Offer her food. Make sure that it is F/T, ensure that the rats are very warm, and try to keep as much of the Rat smell on the rats as possible. Hope this helps.

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    • #3
      Re: I just rescued a abused red tail

      She has battle scars all over her body where the other snake tried to take bites out of her.
      Are you sure it is not from rats...
      What is the husbandry stats in the cage the snake is in right now...?  temp, humidity, and what type of hide and so on and so forth...
      It was in a damp basement with no light or heat sources of any kind.
      Boas have no need for a light for there cage..
      Her scales are also deformed from what looks like a past case of scale rot.
      How do they look and where are the deformed scales on this snake..
      I live NOWHERE near any kind of a herp vet.  There is a man at a local pet store that has a lo of knowldge about snakes, but he refuses to see her because she is big.
      I ran into the same problem where I live...  What I did was made a deal with a guy that just liked snakes and didn't really know how to treat them...   To just sell me the stuff I needed to take care of my snakes....
      So, can anyone help me?
      Yes there is and her name is lori...  I have not seen hide nor hair of her for a couple days but if you e-mail her she probley will responed..  Here is her E-mail adress------mailto:[email protected]
      She is really good at this type of thing...
      Good luck...
      Eric aka....Red

      P.s. Oh ya what happend to the retic...??

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      • #4
        Re: I just rescued a abused red tail

        I checked her over thoroughly, she shows no signs of RI, but I know that she is dehydrated. I put a large dog bowl of water in her cage with her, and I've already had to refill it and it is almost half gone again. No mites. She doesn't like to be in her cage.... She'd rather be out if a cage, being handled. She's sitting around my neck as I'm typing this. (The snake was raised in a grade school in Texas, so it loves being held and just basically touched. When she got too big for the school to handle, they sold her to the man that I got her from. He said that he had had her for four years. I'm just hoping that he didn't treat her like that the entire time he had her.)

        There are a few places where the scars are definatey from rat bites, but there are also quite a few that are just too plain big to be from anything other than another snake. The deformed scales are on her underside, but there are also a lot of others that are on her back. The ones that are on her underide look lie the scales have kind of split in places, and on the top, they are VERY rough and irregular....

        Her cageis being kept at aroubd 85 degrees, with newspaper as a substrate until I can go to the pet shop and buy the specailty stuff that I use. (It's recycled newspaper shaped into pellets.) The hide box is simple, just basically a box that I had laying around in the house.

        As far as I know, the retic is still there..... It is very vicious and mean, but I think that they said somthing about having sold it to a friend. I'm going to call him in a few days and see if it is still there, and if it is I am going to have someone go take it.

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        • #5
          Re: I just rescued a abused red tail

          Well Here is a link to a page that has a snake that was big by a rat... I think you will see that no matter how big the marks are it could be a rat/mouse
          http://www.koalaskritters.net/livefeeding.html
          In fact if the guy had it this way when sombody was comming to get the things then I would put money on the fact that it has been abused ever since it has left that school...
          That bedding is great what is it called again.. I am always trying to recamend it but can never remeber the name...
          Here is a great link about what I think you should use a a hidi...
          http://proexotics.com/FAQ_answers_Hide_Spots.html
          Ok you can use this type of thing to raise the humidity in the cage as well it is greatest thing I have ran into other then a boaphile cage....
          Just soke the dish in water for a lil' while like a min. longer for higher humidity... then place in the cage...
          Oh ya what is the humidity in the cage... Humidity is a tie for number one thing that can screw up your boa... Make sure it is right around 60% I usly say a lil' higher is better then lower...
          Oh ya where is the snake... I may no sombody to get it and reabilitate it...
          Eric aka...Red

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          • #6
            Re: I just rescued a abused red tail

            I'm not for sure how to tell what the humidity in the cage is.... What do you use?

            I guess that those marks could have been caused by a rat... The markings are kinda far apart, and it looks like someone cut her with a knife, and my stepdad said that it looked like the marks that a snake would make.... It could be rats, though. We don't have a digital camera yet, or I'd send you a picture.

            I have no idea what the substrate is called... The store that I go to just advertises it as a reptile bedding.

            I called them tonight about the retic, and they SAY that they already got rid of it... I don't know wether to believe them or not....

            Thank you for your help! I really appreciate this....

            About a year ago, I bought a regal Python for 40 dollars out of the back of some guys truck, and it was starving, had a terrible case of scale rot on its underside, and biting peope and it was already 3 feet long and in a ten gallon cage. I bought it, even though I knew nothing about snakes... I wish that I would have found this website sooner.. It would have saved me a lot of trouble. (By the way, shes doing great now, she's over 5 feet long, and she's a happy healthy snake. She still hasnt bit me yet )

            I'

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            • #7
              Re: I just rescued a abused red tail

              thanks for the links, Red! They were awesome, and helped me out a lot !

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              • #8
                Re: I just rescued a abused red tail

                Go to wal-mart and get a digital indoor out door thermometer/HUMIDITY GUAGE. They are like 15-20$ and will make it so easy to keep it all going as planed... infact you have two snakes you say... I would get two... Belive me it works... come one guys tell fox here how great wal-mart really is... lol
                Eric aka....Red
                p.s. I have just told two different people to buy these I should get a deal from wal-mart...lol

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                • #9
                  Re: I just rescued a abused red tail

                  I'm going to go Monday to Wal-Mart. Thanks for the idea

                  Are there any way that I can elp her skin besides soaking her? Her newst growth is soft and smooth , like it is supposed to be, but about two feet above where her tail ends, the scales get rough, dry, and nasty feeling, and hat lastsup until her neck. her head is fine.... Is this becasue of the severity o her dehydration? I soak her once a ay, (as reccomended by a friend), and I keep her bowl filled... Is there anything else I can do? I heard that giving her Pedialite will help her. Is that true?

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                  • #10
                    Re: I just rescued a abused red tail

                    If she is Dehydrated, yes pedialyte will help. I would have to recomend that indoor/outdoor/humidity guage as well. I went out and bought one awhile ago, I'll never go back to analog!!! That works very well. Now if only I can teach my snakes not to press the buttons!!!! LOL!!! I get the thing to display what I want it to, wake up in the morning and instead of the two temps, it is telling the time, or instead of saying 86 F, it says 36 C (or whatever it corolates to in Celsius.) But other than that, the thing is great. What is the snake currently in, as far as a tank? There are different things you can do, depending on the type of tank, to increase the humidity. Untill you can get the snake healthy, I'd keep the substate simple. Like newspaper. It's very easy to clean up and to keep sanitaty. Plus no bugs!!!! It doesn't look as nice, but it does the trick and much easier to clean up after.

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                    • #11
                      Re: I just rescued a abused red tail

                      Right now, untl I get back to my home in Astoria, (I'm in a different town for the weekend), It's in a wire cage that I used when I raised my pet hawks and raccoons. It can't escape (It's a really secure cage.. If a raccoon can't figure out a way out of it, neither can a snake.) When I get home it wll probably go into a makeshift cage that I have sitting around. (It is a rabbit cage that has been converted into a snake cage.) If anyone knows of a good snake cage anywhere near Macomb, Illinois, I would be very grateful. I wasn't really planning on getting her whe I did, but the oppertunity arose, and I couldn't leave her like I found her.

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                      • #12
                        Re: I just rescued a abused red tail

                        Rats will nibble and continue to devour parts of the snake until something is done.  No matter how big the bites, they were probably more than likely caused by prey bites.  What size was the cage?  If it was a small cage, the deformed scales could also result from the snake being coiled or squeezed in one position for long periods of time.  You will probably have to offer smaller prey items and work from there.  The smaller prey items will also help keep the snake from regurging.  Due to the circumstances, it might take some time to get it feeding again. Do not offer prey everyday, this just causes stress to the snake.  Offer a prey item about every 10 days.  Soaking the snake is pedialyte is great for helping to restore hydration.  You should soak the boa at least everyday.  As for the husbandry of the ex owner and it being kept with a different species, there is no possible way to tell what ailments the boa has.  Where are you located, there is a site with a list of vets and their number and location, but I can't remember the link.  Even a long drive to a qualified herp vet would be the best idea in such a situation.

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                        • #13
                          Re: I just rescued a abused red tail

                          Speaking of Walmart, I work there, it's great having a discount and all. I use the digital gauges myself and I would recommend them as well.

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                          • #14
                            Re: I just rescued a abused red tail

                            Here is the link that he was speaking off. Very helpful link when you are in need of a herp vet.
                            http://www.herpvetconnection.com/

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                            • #15
                              Re: I just rescued a abused red tail

                              The cage that she was kept in was relativly good sized.. About 5 foot by three foot by by three foot.

                              That list was very helpful! I'm trying to locate one of them this week, and I'll take her over to them so that she can be checked out.

                              is there any kind of cream or ointment that I can put on her to help her with her skin? Besides soaking her?

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