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  • weight loss

    I bought a red-tailed boa. It was a beautiful full-bodied snake when I purchased it, but in the last few months it 's skin has become loose and it's body feels soft. I don't know how much or what type of food it was fed prior to my purchase. It is a year old and about 3 1/2 feet long. I was feeding it rat pups and have now swiched to small adult rats. It is an agressive eater and even after eating a small adult rat and 2 medium mice (that I intended to feed to my python) it seemed to want more food. The fecal culture came back negative. Could it just be underfed? I am very concerned. I've read several books about boas but have found no information about loose skin. I have a large water dish so I don't think it's dehydrated. Please help.

  • #2
    Re: weight loss

    First let me welcome you to the fourm.
    Now this may seem like a silly ? but has the snake shed scince you have had the snake? Now if the snake is eating on a normal feeding cycle (one properley sized rat every 7 days)
    the snake is not beeing under feed. If you could post a pic of the snake myself or someone will be able to help you with this question.



    • #3
      Re: weight loss

      The right sized rat would be one that leaves a buldge in the belly of the snake... You can see the buldge.. It also would be about the same size around as your boa at the largest part of its body....


      • #4
        Re: weight loss

        If it has lost weight over the last few months then there definately is a problem. It could be health related or could be from a lack of proper feeding being done for the snake. From what you have said..I'd go with the improper feeding being the cause though. A 3 1/2' Boa needs more than just a rat pup to feed upon. Rat pups are nowhere near the amount of prey that a snake this size requires, no matter what it's girth is IMO. Basically a snake of this size would be feeding on either small/medium or large rats.. All depends on the snake's girth and just what you consider each sizing of the rodent[s] to be called actually too. Also the snake needs to be fed every 7-10 days at this size and prey also.
        Pics of the snake would help us immensely in helping you out with the snake as suggested previously also.
        Now you need to change the feeding regime of this snake for one thing and also need to rehab it a bit for weight loss also at the same time.
        To add weight back onto the snake in a healthy mannerism just do the feeds like this......

        1 prey item appropriate sized .....
        7 days later.....
        2 prey items appropriately sized or slightly smaller or 1 appropriate and 1 smaller...
        10 days later...
        back to top of this list starting with the 1 prey item again....and keep repeating this until the snake has gained adequate weight back.
        Once the weight gain is where it should be then go back to feeding just 1 [ or at times if snake seems excessively hungry you can feed two] appropriately sized prey items every 7-10 days time frame.