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  • [Health-General] Swollen nose

    I noticed yesterday while feeding my boas face is swollen right behind the nostrils-definitely was not like this previously. I've got an appt for Friday but appreciate any thoughts on what it might be.

  • #2
    Re: Swollen nose

    Sorry about the terrible pics but thought flash would help see it better

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    • #3
      Re: Swollen nose

      It looks like an abscess. At least you are getting it looked into by a vet. Many boa keepers don't which can lead to sinus issues in the future. Abscesses with reptiles is different than with mammals. Mammals abscesses are soft and squishy but eventually build pressure to become uncomfortable. With reptiles it is hard and the pressure likewise builds. On the nose it can pinch off the nasal sinuses and cause mouth breathing. It will take surgery to fix it and it won't be cheap. Does anyone know how much it will cost for vet and antibiotics? I'm guessing between $700 and $1000. It will also take between a month to 3 months to heal.

      Has your boa been rubbing its nose on the edges of the cage excessively? My understanding is that nose rubbing is one of the more common reasons this happens.

      EDIT: Another member had a similar issue in April. http://www.redtailboas.com/f16/nose-...62/index3.html

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      • #4
        Re: Swollen nose

        One of my Tarahumaras had a very similar issue earlier this year. It was an infection that had hardened into a stoma? (not sure if that's the right word). She needed surgery to remove it, a few days at the vet for post-op care, plus some shots of antibiotics and anti-inflammatories for about a month afterward. I also put Vetericyn antiseptic on the surgery site.

        She did heal up fine and today there isn't even a visible scar.

        Cost was $650 for everything.

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        • #5
          Re: Swollen nose

          I 'second' the likely diagnosis of an abscess: the cost will depend on the vet, they can vary widely from one to another, & yes, often it's the result of nose-rubbing, so you want to try to eliminate the CAUSE as
          well as treating the snake, otherwise they may do it again. Maybe a larger cage will help?...or if the reason the snake wants out is to find a mate they can smell nearby, changing the location of their cage might
          be the answer...you have to try to sort out why the snake is rubbing their nose. Yours looks quite swollen for being so sudden...many are hard to see & enlarge gradually...any chance your snake hit the cage?
          It's like getting punched in the nose when they do that...more than just 'ouch', an abscess can result.

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          • #6
            Re: Swollen nose

            He doesn't rub at the cage that I've ever seen, I only have a few snakes and in that room many times daily but he did strike the cage door during feeding day, 3 feedings ago though so around the beginning of May. I feed him first now to avoid that problem. Unless he struck it when I wasn't around but there's no loose animals or traffic in there except me and he's not a jumpy snake.

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            • #7
              Re: Swollen nose

              Actually I wonder if the nose-rubbing is a symptom of the infection/pain, and not the cause of the problem. My Tarahumara rubbed before the surgery but hasn't since, and her husbandry has not changed.

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              • #8
                Re: Swollen nose

                I am currently saving for his adult cage also so he will be upgraded hopefully later this year to an eight foot setup.

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                • #9
                  Re: Swollen nose

                  I don't have any female boas either so don't think that is the problem.

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                  • #10
                    Re: Swollen nose

                    I sorta bet his problem started "3 feedings ago" when he hit the cage, & just now became more noticeable. It's good that you're on top of things, & seeing the vet soon.

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                    • #11
                      Re: Swollen nose

                      Originally posted by GoingPostal View Post
                      but he did strike the cage door during feeding day
                      It's a definite possibility that this is the cause of the problem. What is the cage door made of?


                      -Sean in NoCal
                      “Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood – the virtues that made America.”
                      -Teddy Roosevelt.

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                      • #12
                        Re: Swollen nose

                        Acrylic, it's a boaphile 421. I went back and looked at some pics from a few days after he hit the door and looks completely normal. He hit it hard though-left scratches in it. Last week I was working a ton but I also changed out his bedding so feel I would have noticed. But who knows. Little scared of the idea of snake surgery. Got to be embarrassed again when the receptionist asks my snakes name-um he doesn't have one? She sounds very disappointed in me. "Hmmmm I'll just put down snake #2 then".

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                        • #13
                          Re: Swollen nose

                          A member of my herp society doesn't name his animals either. He names them species then number. He doesn't own boas but an example would be "Imperator #4". The surgery isn't as bad as you might think. In this case it would probably be opening a small slit into the skin and letting the mass/puss come out as it is currently trapped. It might be possible they need to scrape away the surrounding skin to remove thickened flesh in the opening so it heals properly. This is not a surgery like anything related to the actual body of the snake. It takes time for these to show up.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Swollen nose

                            Originally posted by GoingPostal View Post
                            Acrylic, it's a boaphile 421. I went back and looked at some pics from a few days after he hit the door and looks completely normal. He hit it hard though-left scratches in it. Last week I was working a ton but I also changed out his bedding so feel I would have noticed. But who knows. Little scared of the idea of snake surgery. Got to be embarrassed again when the receptionist asks my snakes name-um he doesn't have one? She sounds very disappointed in me. "Hmmmm I'll just put down snake #2 then".
                            Ha! I don't name my snakes either, they name themselves.

                            The surgery is pretty minor. The vet made a horizontal incision next to the infected area, cleaned everything out, and then put the flap of skin back down. It's been a few months and you can't even see a scar.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Swollen nose

                              Well appt. went very good and quick. Took a good look in his mouth and aspirated the lump-it looks like there's nothing in there. Scale damage on outside. He got some cells and tissue that he was able to look at, thinks it's a hematoma and will go down on its own. Obviously if it gets bigger suddenly or changes bring him back.
                              I was surprised how relaxed the boa was, he took it all like a champ. Lungs are clear, everything else looks good. Weighs 7 pounds. $31 fee and 3.5 hours of driving later.

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