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Need help!

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  • Need help!

    We have a Red-Tail Boa, about 2-years old and 4.5 feet long. She's usually sweet to handle unless she's shedding or hungry, at which time she sometimes strikes when handling... so we don't.

    Anyway, something wierd happened tonight. We got ready to feed her, but she started striking at the glass whenever anyone got near it. (Let me correct that. Although she is striking whenever anyone nears the glass, we saw her strike the glass twice when both my wife and I were seated at the other side of the room.) We finally did offer her the rat, but she's ignoring it and staring out the glass lashing her tail. Twice, after numerous strikes at the glass, she remained ready to strike with her head and the forward part of her body actually hovering in the air. She stayed that way for more than 10-minutes each time. The behavior seemed more like defensive behavior than anything else.

    This has never happened before. We're worried on two fronts. First is the abrupt personality shift. Second is her jaw, which appears to be out of shape. Her head looks... well, puffed up is a fair description. Especially her lower jaw. We don't know if that's damage from stiking the glass or some other malady which is the cause of the behavior.

    She was due to shed two weeks ago. Her eyes turned briefly cloudy and then cleared, which is what usually happens just before a shed. But it never happened.

    We need advice, and we welcome any you have to offer.

    Matthew A. Givens
    Montgomery, Alabama

  • #2
    Re: Need help!

    Sometimes it can take a bit longer until the actual shed for a snake. Just wait a bit and see is all. Is the snake hydrated correctly ? If not try a soak and see oif that helps at all.
    On the jaw thing. Most likely the snake did that when it struck the glass is all. This usually heals on it's own btw. Might want to check the mouth to make sure no broken teeth though anyways.


    • #3
      Re: Need help!

      What about the repeated striking at the glass?  She's always been an even-tempered snake before, so why did she suddenly get so violent?

      And the long-shed wait isn't a problem, I just included it because I figured it might affect temperment.

      BTW, we left the dead rat with her, and she began eating it about 5-minutes after we shut off the lights and went to bed.  (I forgot something and had to go back out front.)  We'll wait a few days to see if the violent striking behavior continues, but we're very concerned about it.


      • #4
        Re: Need help!

        When Boas go through a shed their sight is reduced alot because of the old eye caps. I imagine that when your Boa sheds the temperment will go back to what it used to be. Boas will usually get a bit defensive while going through a shed. When my Boa goes through a shed she gets defensive and hisses at me when I try to pick her up to soak her, but after she sheds her temperment goes back to normal.