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boa injured by rat

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  • boa injured by rat

    I have inherited a red tail boa, good size, good hydration, good overall health. About a month ago, attempt was made to feed a large rat. Instead, rat attacked snake. Tail damage, is healing nicely. Head trauma is quite severe. Have started antibiotic treatment. Both eyes are invloved and upper part of mouth. Healing is starting, however, the soft tissue damage is severe and quite a bit of swelling is there. Both eyes are severely damage. The vetereinarian will remove the right one completely, not sure we can save the left. Can this snake live and what requirements will he need if he is completely blind? Any help will be greatly appreciated. The doctor I have is great, but has not dealt with blindness in snake of this size. Deb

  • #2
    Re: boa injured by rat

    UGH.. For starters I really hope that ALL feeds are not live now ! Seems no matter how many of us try to point out that this type of thing can happen.. people still insist on feeding live...ARGGHH Ok.. Done with my rant..
    As for the boa...YES, It can survive most likely. I just refered a snake over to lover-boid that is blind also, but I think it oinvolves just one of the eyes, that she adopted from it's owner.
    Now in relation to the upper part of the mouth's damage...are we talking the rostril area here or what ? If it is the rostril...and there is open wound damage to the area...a couple of things need to take place moving towards recovery.
    1. The snake MUST be on an antibiotic [ noted that this is the case already]
    2. A topical antibiotic ointment such as neosproin /bacitracin MUST be applied to the area that is affected. [ MAKE SURE THERE IS NO PAIN RELIEVER IN THE OINTMENT BTW!] This should be applied often enough to keep the area moist at all times btw. What's going to happen in this area is that the tissue will become necrotic, as long as it is moist with the ointment, at this point it will be mUCH easier to deal with. What will need to be done once this happens is that the necrotic tissue has to be removed. DO NOT attempt this if you do NOT know how to do it ! Your vet should know how to do this btw. I will NOT explain how it is done on a forum. Once it is done.. it is VERY important to continue applying the ointment. This area will either scar over big time or have minimal could vary once healed up.
    As for the eyes.. sorry but it doesn't sound good for the one and possibly the other eye from what you have said. The snake will have to learn to make an adjustment in it's life with the loss of site. Snakes utilize their tongues for just about everything they sense, so it should be able to compensate for the loss in sight by doing this.
    As for handling the snake, it is going to need to adjust to it's capacities now that have come about as a result of the live feeding. It will take time and patience, and YES you may get struck at and even bitten while dealing with this snake due to it's health situation.
    How large is the snake ? I can try and reach the person who owned the other one that is now blind in at least one eye to see if she can forward the treating vets information that treated her snake if you would like even. That may help your vet to help your snake to the fullest extent possible. Just leave your email here or contact me @ [email protected]
    Where are you located also? The other snake was in Cali.


    • #3
      Re: boa injured by rat

      Lori: yes we are talking about the rostril area. Even a amonth into it, there is no necrosis at this time. The original owners have done some with neosporin on this area, but it is quite involved. Todays visit with the doctor proved to be just what I thought about the eyes. Enucleation of both globes is scheduled for tomorrow. He was examined thoroughly today, and overall health seems to be good. He is around the 4 foot mark and girth is approximately 11inches. Lungs are clear as of today. While he is under anesthesia, we will examine the mouth area that are involved and determine more then. My concern is feeding. He is quite nice for what he has been through. I would like to provide for him a better future than his past has been. Any help is greatly appreciated. DEB


      • #4
        Re: boa injured by rat

        Enucleation of both globes is scheduled for tomorrow.
        That sux ! Hopefully he'll pull through np from it though. s12.gif

        Even a amonth into it, there is no necrosis at this time.
        Hopefully , with everything else that's going on, it won't get necrotic then. Sounds like there is enough to be delaing with already even. The last BOA that I had come in that had the rostril area "torn up" didn't go necrotic until like 6 weeks after initial injury though. BUT that one was being treated by a vet who seemed to have gotten his license for vet medicine from a dang cracker jack box IMO. By the time I got him it had already advanced to necrosis..UGH. The vet hadn't suggested the application of any ointment to the rostril area, nor had the owner knew to do such either. We had multiple removals of the necrotic tissue once we could get it to "soften" up enough to do such even..arghh.
        As for the feedings, try going with a smaller prey , that can make it "more comfortable" for the snake with what's going on atm healthwise maybe. I am sure that it is not a "comfortable" thing for him to be downing his prey at all in this condition to say the least. If it is uncomfortable, ya don't want him going off his feeds due to that even. It's better for him to take less in a quantitive nature than to have him go off feeds completely. he is definately going to need all the nutrients he can get during his recovery from what has happened thus far.
        YUP, The vet will be able to get a bteer "look" into what's going on with the rostril etc while the snke is under the anesthetic no doubt.
        Let us know what is found out and how he makes out in the surgery then also.
        I take it that you obtained this snake recently as a rescue/adoption then ?
        OH and also be prepared for him to NOT want to feed other than live if that is what he was used to also. AND on the other hand sometimes snakes will refuse feed alltogether once they have been bitten by a rodent too. Takes patience is all to get em feding again sometimes.


        • #5
          Re: boa injured by rat

          If you are able to get photos of the injured boa, I would like to have them posted here.

          As Lori stated, we can tell people our "opinions" over and over and it just doesn't seem to sink in. I think the more proof we have concerning "When the prey becomes the predator" will help everyone.
          To gain knowledge is good, but to share knowledge is wise

          -Best Regards
          -Clay English
          Founder 1998-2013


          • #6
            Re: boa injured by rat

            YUP Clay;
            I am still waiting to hear of the boa pulled through the surgery ok or what also..???


            • #7
              Re: boa injured by rat

              You need switch the Boa over to some form of Pre-killed food. Rather it is freshly pre-killed or frozen/thawed.

              Hope your boa pulls through the surgery


              • #8
                Re: boa injured by rat

                DO NOT FEED LIVE!!!!!!!!!! cwm23.gif