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Need your help Lori or Clay

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  • Need your help Lori or Clay

    I have another rescue on my hands. My friend who is looking for a boa asked me to stop by this pet store and look at the snakes they had. I saw a boa in a glass tank with nothing but a heat lamp hanging down. no subtrate, no water, no cover over the light bulb, nothing! First I was pissed, then I gained control and asked to see it and why it was living like that. he said he wasn't selling it, it hadn't eaten in months, and he was going to force feed it. he said he had had it since March 2002 it had eaten twice and then didn't eat again. It looked very small (about 18" long, 3/4-1" across),and very dehydrated, infact, it looks like a neonate to me. It passed urates while I was looking at it, which I thought could be a good sign (or not). It's tongue is flicking good, when I turned him upside down, at first he didn't turn back over, then he did. and everytime thereafter, he righted himself. he does raise his head way up straight and the kinda tips backwards, his belly is pink like he's well into shed, and at the pet store, he didn't wrap or hold on with his back part at all. I talked the pet store guy into giving him to me. I took him home, put him into a very wet aspen subtrait, and soaked him in some pedialyte (I didn't have regular so in desparation, I found pedialyte popsicles, so I figured at this point, I (and he)didn't have anything to loose). After about two hours he looked much better, he didn't look so dehydrated, and got really active (of course that could have been all the sucrose in the popsicles) and when I picked him up, he wrapped his tail around my finger and held on. This was last nite, and he is still alive today, ;D just as active, we are going to the vet who helped save my ball, in a few minutes.
    But, as I know you guys have aLOT of experience with Boas, I would appreciate any suggestions or help I can get. b26.gif
    thanks so much,
    Lisa aka Snakewife

  • #2
    Re: Need your help Lori or Clay

    Just a little update on the Boa. he has been to the vet. the vet said 50/50 chance. he is extremely dehydrated. :-[ he injected antibiotics and fluid, and fed him. we go back on Mon. for another fluid injection, and we are on a feeding schedule. He said at this point, it could be neurological or viral that hasn't been taken care of causing him to be extremely weak, and it could go either way. So its wait and see. :-/

    Lisa aka Snakewife


    • #3
      Re: Need your help Lori or Clay

      OK.. Could be a neonate [ though not anymore at this point] that the store owner got in and wasn't feeding....therefore hasn't grown in all this time either. Most pet stores won't bother with trying to get a non-feeder to eat at all. It's just not worth their funds and/or time for most of them at all.
      As far as getting the snake back on track.. Here's a couple of questions for ya..
      **What exactly did the vet "feed" to the snake ? If it has dog food in it.. don't allow it to be done again at all. Here's a mix that does work for malnourished snakes that can be used....
      1 raw egg
      4 oz pediasure [ any flavor is fine]
      8 oz of of an electrolyte [ gatorade/pedialyte/gerber infant]
      4 oz plain yogurt

      Mix it well and tube it to the snake at least every other day to start once per day. Just give the amount the vet says to..For that size snake I would go with about 5 or 10 cc. I go by other things with the snake that are going on also...So really couldn't tell ya which to use for this snake at all. If you don't know how to tube or don't have the supplies, then get them from the vet and have the vet show you how to tube the snake. there is no need for you to be going to the vet for them to tube the snake. It can be done by you np and at no cost also. On the mix..keep it refrigerated and also shake it, warm it up PRIOR to each feeding.
      **The snake is that dehydrated then it also needs to be hydrated through various methods simultaneously.
      ..Soaking in an elctrolyte fluid at least once per day. [ You can also use a 50/50 mix with water if ya want to]
      ...Provide 100% electrolyte fluid in the water bowl for the snake to drink from
      .... tube electrolyte fluids into the snake at 1 - 2 times per day
      ....electrolyte fluids that can be used are ;
      Gatorade any flavor [ NOTE that the colored ones will color the snake and it will go away after sheds etc np]
      gerber infant electrolyte : found in infant section of grocery store [ I use this one a lot as it comes in convenient 4 packs of 8 oz bottles also]

      Get the snake set into a proper husbandry set up as far as caging goes.

      Were any cultures done on the snake by the vet at all ?


      • #4
        Re: Need your help Lori or Clay

        I don't know the exact name of the food (don't have it with me) but is is a prescriction dog/cat canned food.
        I have him in a container with aspen soaked in plain pedialyte, 82 degrees,90% humidity. I have been tube feeding him about 6x day .4cc each feeding on fri. & sat. and 4x sun. same amount. he as gained moderate control of his head/neck. he can now lift his head without falling backwards. At first, his tail (actually about 10 inches) was limp, no muscle tone at all. he now curves it around and has some grip for short periods. and now hes starting to show that he doesn't like this tube feeding idea, and his eyes clouded on saturday evening so he'll prob. shed soon. but he seems to react poorly to temp. changes-being out of the container for more than 5 min. he cools quickly and muscle tone deteriorates somewhat, but not as bad as when I brought him home.
        I will try the food mix you gave instead. I didn't think the canned food seemed right, but at that point it was pretty desperate. I have also heard of Snake steak sausages, I thought this might be a better choice than the stuff I have, but I couldn't find them.
        the vet didn't run any test, he was so dehydrated there was no way to get a sample of anything, but is weight was 60 grams.
        The injections were an antibiotic, glucose, fluid for rehydration. I knew I should get the names of each, but I was listening so intently, I didn't think of it until after I had left.
        It's still touch and go, but I have a little more hope than I did friday, but with the lack of control of his head/tail, even if he makes it, I'm not sure if he will ever be completely o.k.
        And if he makes it to next friday, he will get a name (once anything gets a name in our house, it's there for life.)
        thanks for the help,
        say a prayer AND cross your fingers, this little one's gonna need both!


        • #5
          Re: Need your help Lori or Clay

          Hey Snakewife,
          I'm sorry to hear about your situation. I only have one boa and have only had her for a few months, but I've really fallen love with her. Hearing your story really upsets and angers me. I'd just like to say thanks to you and people like Lori who try to help these great animals when other people screw them up so badly. I just wish I had the resources to do the same...


          • #6
            Re: Need your help Lori or Clay

            I have him in a container with aspen soaked in plain pedialyte, 82 degrees,90% humidity.  
            OUCH! With the snake being in soaked aspen
            [ all the time ? ] One secondary problem I can see in the future for this snake to be happening is ...Scale Rot  ??? This is NOT a rainbow boa like a BRB right ? It is a BCI..BCC ..correct? The BCI/BCC can NOT handle wet substrate like what you seem to be describing the aspen the snake is on to be [ If I am interpreting it correctly that is ]. Even a short duration like a few days of such could lead to scale rot for the snake. [i]NOW..IF it is a BRB, then it will most likely nOT cause this at all. The BRB's do have a higher resistance to scale rot and can handle the moisture effect in their substrate like this np..usually.

            82 degrees,90% humidity
            Need some changes here also for the snake...
            Temperature.. Needs to be a gradient, even with the snake's condition[s]. Set it up at low = 82 and high = 88/90.

            Humidity : That's waaay too high for a BCI/BCC, especially one that is in this condition..IMO. Due to the dehydration, the humidity does need to be raised some..but this is like over-kill in this area IMO. Try taking it down to like 75-80%. The other things you are doing will offset the dehydration in combination with the humidity set like this.

            I don't know the exact name of the food (don't have it with me) but is is a prescriction dog/cat canned food.  
            I thought so..most vets that IMo are herp stupid/morons always seem to want to do this. Last vet that I had that suggested dog food feedings for one of the rescues I had gotten in.. saw any of my herps for the last time on that day..AND there was no tubing of dog food done for the snake either. The snake fully recovered with tubing of the above mix I gave you also   A snake's digestive tracting and nutrient requirements are different than those of a dog/cat..UGH. A sick snake like this one has certain requirements in it's feedings.

            1 raw egg Will provide some protein
            4 oz pediasure [ any flavor is fine] Will provide some needed nutrients
            8 oz of of an electrolyte [ gatorade/pedialyte/gerber infant] Will provide some needed hydration assistance
            4 oz plain yogurt Will provide an assist to the maintaining / establishment of the snake's gut floras that it requires for digestive purposes.

            I have been  tube feeding him about 6x day .4cc each feeding on fri. & sat. and 4x sun. same amount
            When you say tube feeding him in the above statement..EXACTLY what do you mean by that ? Do you mean tubing fluids or actual feedings ?
            Anyways... I would take the amount of times down per day myself. The tubing is stressful for one thing to the snake. It also is placing stress on the digestive tract of the snake too. The tubing is a needed venue..BUT the amount of times per day you are doing just may be an overkill and could promote problems for the snake as a result of doing the tubing this many times per day. I usualy tube no more than 4 x's per day with a snake. If the snake is being tubed both nutrients and hydration, then I still stay at a maximum of 4 times per day on tubing. For instance, if the snake requires bOTH nutrient and hydration via tubing..Then I would do at least 2 of the tubings for just hydration and the other two would be set taking the snake's over all condition into account. For example..
            A snake that is SEVERLY malnourished..I would place the remaining two tubings as nutritional ones.
            A snake that is minimally malnourished I would place 1 of the tubings at a nutritional one and the other at a hydration one. For a result of 3 hydration and 1 nutritional tubings a day for the snake.
            From what you have said about this snake.. I would probably go with the 3 hydration and 1 nutrition tubings per day for it most likely. If the snake doesn't seem to respond as quickly as would like to see from this ..Then I would upgrade the tubings for a few days to 2 and 2. Tubing the snake and how many times etc requires that ALL the issues going on with the snake be taken into account when determining the tubing schedule of therapy and what is tubed at each one also.
                I certainly wouldn't be tubing nutritional feedings to the snake 4 or 6 times per day every day either. That could lead to an overload on the snake's digestive tract for one thing and possibly a multitude of other "issues" to come about as a result of such also possibly.

            but he seems to react poorly to temp. changes-being out of the container for more than 5 min. he cools quickly and muscle tone deteriorates somewhat, but not as bad as when I brought him home.  
            Could quite possibly be due to the temp/humidity/soaked aspen husbandry that he is within and then removed from. Change all that and you most likely will see a change in how the snake reacts when out of the caging also.

            and now hes starting to show that he doesn't like this tube feeding idea
            NEVER said that he would like it at all.  ;D LOL I like it when it becomes more of a complicated task to tube them..It shows that they are gaining somewhat of a degree in the right direction on some of their issues actually..hehe


            • #7
              Re: Need your help Lori or Clay

              to start of with let me tell ya, he is feeling better, bit the @$%@$%& out of that vet! :
              he is getting ready to shed, hydration is incredibly better, and has gained 16 grams- up to 76 grams total now. and length is about 23 inches.
              I dropped the humidity down to 75. brought the temp up to about 85, because he got the injections I have not tubed in fluid, but his hydration looks way better. and after saturday, I regained my senses, (overkill seems to be a problem I have, for instance, one little snake turned into 6!) and I only fed him 4x nutrient, on sunday and only one on monday (along with the rehydr. injection) and I am going to follow your direction from here on.
              he is a bci. I have checked him real carefully for scale rot, so far o.k.
              I really hate not being precise and knowing exactly what to do, but I really am just learning as I go and praying that I am not doing more damage than good. And it's hard to find knowledgable people locally who share and understand my passion for these guys.
              Man, it was so much easier when I just had one Ball Python who was very healthy. ;D
              thanks so much for your help and guidance, if you can think of anything else, or if I left anything out, let me know.

              Lisa aka snakewife b29.gif


              • #8
                Re: Need your help Lori or Clay

                hey Lepoc,
                It's cool to hear of others who understand how one can love a snake so much.
                I never intended to have more than one snake. I did extensive research first, and decided what I would be best able to care for, got all the husbandry, selected the snake, and was happy as could be. then, I dunno what happened, I got another one, then people started asking me if I needed their old tanks, and well, ofcourse, you never know when you might find use for an old cracked tank right? (which makes it easier to bring home another snake, because you already have a place for it ) so next thing ya know, I have a house full! my kids start having them, my husband who didn't especially like 'em now has one, and now people are calling me "that snake woman". and people are asking me if I want their snakes. and its not a matter of being honorable or anything like that, I just have no self-control! I see a snake, I hold it, I think it's not being taken care of, I GOTTA take it home and love it. s23.gif
                And so here I am, fumbling around in the dark, hoping I'm doing things right, arguing with the husband about the meaning of "too many snakes" and why the 9 y.o. is taking a bath with snakes. s26.gif-atleast she understands!!!
                and I keep telling myself, I can always sell this one after he gets well, to recoop the expenses. (yah, like that'll happen!)-of course, I do have an extra tank just waiting for occupancy!! s26.gif
                I'm glad I am lucky enough to be able to get guidance from people like Lori and Clay who possess the knowledge I only wish I had.
                Good luck with your baby.
                I'll be posting updates about the sick one (I haven't named him yet, because once he has a name, he's part of the family, and I am trying to keep in mind that he could still not make it.)
                Lisa aka Snakewife b29.gif


                • #9
                  Re: Need your help Lori or Clay

                  Hi again Snakewife,
                  FYI, I have some pics posted of Nyssa in the pic forum...


                  • #10
                    Re: Need your help Lori or Clay

                    the baby shed last nite, if that is any indicator, it measured 28" long, not including the head. (which did not come off) curiously, the shed seemed very thick compared to my other snakes sheds, and he retained the entire head portion.
                    So, 28", 76 grams should give some indication of how skinny his is! my size 7 1/2 ring would fit around the thickest part of his body.
                    The good part was he is now wraping consistenly with his tail, and since he started out with no tail movement or muscular responce at all, this is just great improvement. and he can pee for distance! just ask my daughter! cwm27.gif
                    I have started him on the diet suggested, so I am hoping that will help,
                    On the down side, his strength seems to have deteriorated somewhat. He is certainly not as bad as he was when I got him, but last night, he seemed to have increased difficulty controling his head (it tends to fall back if he lifts his front end to high).
                    I am just hoping the dog/cat food didn't end up causing more damage than good.

                    Keeping my fingers crossed,
                    Lisa-Snakewife b29.gif


                    • #11
                      Re: Need your help Lori or Clay

                      It is good to here about people like you who go to such lengths to adopt and take care of snakes who have been so oviously mistreated.b17.gif Keep up the good work and good luck with the new boy!!! b16.gif


                      • #12
                        Re: Need your help Lori or Clay

                        Glad to see the little guy is doing better.
                        Just watch that headshed and make sure it comes off. Try to soak him a couple of times a day this might help it to come off.
                        Also you said you measured him at 28" did you measure the snake or the shed? Keep us informed.



                        • #13
                          Re: Need your help Lori or Clay

                          I had to measure the shed right after he finished shedding. I have gotten most of the shed of of his face, I still have about a 1/4 of the top of his head and one eye that hasn't come off, but it was really bizarre, as I said earlier, it was very, very thick skin. It felt like it was 3 layers thick. s7.gif
                          He also now has full use and control of his tail. thats a huge improvement. s1.gif And I have been using the food supplement that was suggested here on the forum, and it seems to be working wonderfully.
                          He now has a home, all set up properly, and seems to be much happier, with one exeption. a pattern has been established that everytime someone has gotten him out, it has been to hurt him-either by feeding, injections, or working the shed, so now, almost everytime I open the lid, he looks at me and opens his mouth (I think he's saying "yeah, remember the vet? cwm21.gif ). but I'm trying to re-establish a new pattern, with more cuddling less hurting, hopefully he'll understand soon.
                          He is now at 28 inches (shed) and 79.6 grams. ;D
                          tubing food about 10 cc 2X daily and 7 xx pedialyte 2X daily. Once his weight gets up alittle more I will drop the food down to once. And I would like to see a little more head control. He still lacks total control.
                          But I'm a little more sure he will live now.

                          Thanks to you, and everyone who are so supportive and helpful!

                          Lisa aka Snakewife b29.gif


                          • #14
                            Re: Need your help Lori or Clay

                            Great news just rember to let the eye cap fall off on its own. The reason I asked if you measured the shed is because it is not right. The shed tends to strech alot. The easeist way I have found to measure a snake is to find a wall cut a pice of string longer thatn your snake. Put the sting against the wall then put your snake against the wall. Snakes tend to crawl in a stright line next to a wall. I mark the string and measure.Try that and you will have better mesurement.

                            Glad to hear he is doing better.



                            • #15
                              Re: Need your help Lori or Clay

                              Just thought I would post an update on that little baby.
                              He ate his first fuzzy b2.gif
                              He is officially named: Bob

                              And that little bouncy ball thingy, that was me last nite after Bob ate, my husband is sure I have gone over the edge! ;D

                              If I can ever figure out what I am doing wrong with this scanner, I will have some pictures posted.

                              Snakewife (lisa) s7.gif