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Rescuing a boa

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  • Rescuing a boa

    Hi there everybody!

    I have at this time a ball python(still small) and a cornsnake.
    I am lucky enough to have a girlfriend who doesn't mind me having them.

    In fact she has a friend who is a vet. This leads into why I have joined the forum. This friend has in her posession a fairly large male snake (6') that was rescued from the pound or humane society. Our pounds here don't accept snakes, so I'm not sure how it got there.

    At first my girlfriend thought it was a large ball, but it would have to be an exceptional ball to be 6', I think.
    The vet believes it to be the same breed as her red-tail boa.
    I haven't seen him yet, I will this Sun. I will take pics and post them to see if you guys can help with an ID.

    The poor thing is dehydrated and malnourished, with the beginnings of mouth rot. Luckily, being a vet, she has tested him for internal parasites and other diseases, and he is healthy in that respect.

    She knows we enjoy the snakes we have and has offered for us to take this guy in. I would love to as I have always wanted a boa.

    The questions I have are:

    1) Could the mouth rot be passed on to my other snakes?

    2) Anyone have tips on getting him nourished and rehydrated?

    It will be a little while still until we can take him, during which time I will be studying up on these guys like a madman.

    I refuse to keep an animal without having it set up properly, and knowing what needs the animal has.

    After all, what would be the point of rescuing it if it's just going back into the same neglected situation, right?!

    Any info or advice you guys may have, I'm all ears.

    Thanks in advance, and if this is posted in the wrong place, please just let me know.


  • #2
    Re: Rescuing a boa

    When my bp was little, he became extremely dehydrated. the vet here in town injected him with fluids1X a week for 3 weeks. However during the first visit, the vet said it would be suprising if he made it thru the nite. well suprise! after just one injection, and a 1 hr soak, the following day it was like a new snake, he looked remarkably better and recovered rapidly after that. so it might be worth a try. The vet said it was a saline fluid to start the rehydration process. He also injected some vitamins and a general antibiotic- as he was so dehydrated, that the vet was unable to draw any kind of bodily fluids to test for bacterias. It might be worth a try.

    Good luck,


    • #3
      Re: Rescuing a boa

      Ok well yes the mouth rot can be passed on... But all you have to do to provent this is to keep it away from the other snakes... I would not let them be in the same room... And wash your hands before and after every time you hold any of your snake while the one is sick... You should do this any way...
      I just herd about this rep. electrolytes that you can get... You will have to search aroud for it but I would get some.... If you can not find it then just get non flavored gateraid or pedealite. Read the ultamate care guide on the home page of this site... I will repeat READ THE ULTAMATE CARE GUIDE ON THE HOME PAGE!!!!!
      Also get in personal contact through instant message with lori... She will be able to walk you through the rest of the problems... Now one thing to look for right when you get this snake is retained shedd's on the head or tail... may even be on the hole body... This is somthing that you will run in to quit offten on dehydrated snake that have been neglected...
      Well good luck..
      Eric aka...Red


      • #4
        Re: Rescuing a boa

        Oh ya you can put the pedealite in the water for it to drink and then you can soak the snake in the stuff to it will make the hydration process a lot easyer... Now even though this snake may be starved be vary carful in giving it food start small and then work up to what it should be able to eat... also you should let it be for a couple days after getting it before feeding...
        Eric aka...Red


        • #5
          Re: Rescuing a boa

          Ok.. GREAT! That your willing to take in this snake..Even better that you have a friend lined up that is a vet too. As for the ID of the snake..Post the pics and we'll help out np with ID'g it for ya.

          with the beginnings of mouth rot. Luckily, being a vet, she has tested him for internal parasites and other diseases, and he is healthy in that respect.
          Question for you.....Is this vet friend actually experienced with snakes at all or not ? The one thing that has caught my eye in the above statement that you made is the part about there being testing done and nothing found of a microbial agent at all from such....YET the snake has MR you say ? That does NOT compute at all really to me. MR in itself has a microbial factor in it. Usually there is one of the following associated with it.. Stomatitis.... Ecoli, Pseudonomas, Strep..and/or the like. Please tell me exactly what methodology was utilized for the testing the vet did to come up with the negative results you were given. There are many different venues for testing and if not done specifically..something may have been overlooked that I could tell you to have her do for the snake to insure the results you were given are correct. Regardless of all that though..
          Do you know what are the causative factors for the MR for this snake ?
          Now for the MR... Basically do the following...[ NOTE: Time for me to REALLY write this on a care sheet arghh..]
          **Clean the snake's mouth out DAILY..Twice even if you can. Use any of the following to do this. hydrogen peroxide OR Listerine. Use a cotton tipped applicator to do this. Just work very carefully inside of the snake's mouth so that you do not damage any of it's teeth while doing this at all. Take note that if the MR is at a certain stage it could have damaged some teeth already and they will be loose and could fall out or have already fallen out possibly. There sometimes will be bleeding when debridimating the snake's mouth also. Don't freak over that..Unless it is gushing is not a problem you need to freak over at all.
          **The snake needs to be rehydrated ASAP. Best way is to place into a soak in a mix of 50/50 pedialyte or gatorade [ no need to waste your $$ on some new fangled product listed for herps for hydration at all]. Make sure that the snake does NOT have any RI going on at all prior to soaking it also! Soak for about 20 minutes at a time about 2-3 times per day. Make sure that the liquid is no more than about 1/2-1/3 the height up the snake's body also. You do not want to drown the poor critter at all. ALSO Place 100% pedialyte or gatorade in the snake's water bowl for it to drink. BTW.. Don't bother with any of that sq hydration crap. It usually does not work as well as this method and will cost you more money to do also...AND will cause more stress to the snake..Something the snake definately does NOT need atm. Also if the dehydration is REALLY advanced, then it may need to be tubed some liquids also. Let me know exactly how bad the snake is in this area too.
          **The snake needs an antibiotic due to the MR. Basically two choices here. Baytril or Amakacin. Amakacin has a VERY high degree of causing dehydration in snakes. Therefore do NOT use this one at all. Baytril can cause some dehydration also for the snake. Baytril is the better choice for the anti for the snake for the MR. Do NOT give any anti until the snake has been rehydrated also !
          **Malnourished hmm..?? OK.. To what degree is this going on with the snake ? Describe it FULLY please. First thing is the snake will most likely NOT eat any food due to the MR at all. So I wouldn't even contemplate offering any prey to the snake at this time at all. Secondly, the snake is dehydrated ..Giving it prey to eat could cause secondary problems for the snake healthwise due to this possibly. Again..YET another reason to forego offering any prey to the snake at all just yet. Depending on the snake's level of malnourishment and the extent of the MR etc... It may be feasible to tube the snake some nutrients for the malnourishment. Give me more info on the level of this and I can let ya know if it needs this done or not also.

          Here's some other info for ya also...

          ** Do NOT tube any dog food into the snake at all as a form of nourishment. This is NOT acceptable and could even harm the snake possibly further. Some vets will do this the ones that have not a freaking clue on reptiles/snakes at all and think they do.
          ** YES, The MR can be passed on to other snakes/reptiles . Wear gloves when working with this snake due to this and WASH>>WASH>>>WASH...I don't have to mention quarantine at all ..Do I ???

          Posted in the wrong place ?? YUP..LOL So I am moving it into the health forum atm. { NOT the rescue one as the issue here is the health of the snake actually  ]

          Here's my email...
          [email protected]
          [email protected]


          • #6
            Re: Rescuing a boa

            OH ..Where are you located exactly ??


            • #7
              Re: Rescuing a boa



              • #8
                Re: Rescuing a boa

                Just an update here...Josh was not able to place an update on the forum for some reason at all. He sent me a few emails and related the following also in them>>>
                He is not going to be getting this snake in now. A lot of his questions he was asking of the vet were not being directly answered and that sent "red flags" up for him for one thing. I also invited him to stick around the forums and learn more about RTBs as he does still want to get one, but not until after they move into a larger home later in the year. He says he will stick around. Now we just have to figure out why he can't post in the forums at all ???