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  • Pet Store Purchase

    I know I should have bought my boa from a breeder instead of a pet store, but as soon as I saw the conditions this pet store's snakes were living in, I couldn't help myself. Fred (as I've named my Colombian Red Tail) was in a 10-gallon tank with three other red tails and a reticulated (<-did I spell that right?) python. Are these normal conditions for young snakes to be kept in? Anyway, I am taking Fred to the vet tomorrow to have him checked out to make sure he doesn't have any diseases, but I am very nervous about his well-being (as he is my first snake and I don't want to lose him). I hated to support the pet store industry (as I would never buy a dog or cat from them) but I saw poor Fred in the store and I couldn't resist. My main question is, are most pet stores not good places to buy reptiles? What are the chances that Fred could be sick? :'( BTW I love this site and I think it will be EXTREMELY helpful for me.

  • #2
    Re: Pet Store Purchase

    i dont know what part of the country you are from but here in jersey pet stores are absolutely disgusting. snakes are kept in dirty enclosures with very limited heat. it sounds like the store you bought your snake from is no better, keeping boas in the same enclosure as a reticulated python is just asking for problems. taking your snake to the vet is a very good idea this way you will know the overall condition of your snake (this should be the first step anytime you buy a new snake). so to answer your question pet stores in my opinion are definitely not a good place to buy a reptile. the chances of your snake being sick really depends on the conditions your snake was kept in as well as the health of his cage mates. if any of your snakes cage mates were sick there is a good chance your snake could have caught a number of things from the sick animal, especially from use of the same water bowl. mites, which are little blood sucking pests, almost always seem to be a problem when buying a reptile from a pet store and are notorious for the spreading of disease from one snake to another. regardless of whether or not your snake is found to have mites i would purchase a bottle of provent a mite for the future. hopefully you wont have to deal with any of these issues and your vet visit be a good one. keep us posted.

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    • #3
      Re: Pet Store Purchase

      :PThanks for the reply--I took Fred to the vet today and he's fine. The only thing the vet said I needed to immediately was feed him--he looked really skinny to her. I had already tried to feed him a thawed rat pinky but he wouldn't eat it, so I called the pet store and guess what? They were feeding him live prey. So now I've got to get him eating something he's not used to....
      I'm going to try the chicken broth thing that I read about in the forum, hopefully that will work. :P

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      • #4
        Re: Pet Store Purchase

        How old is this snake and size again ? If it is young enough that it actually should be eating a rat pinky.. then by all means go ahead and feed it live np. Rat pinky to me = newborn rat btw. The rat will not be able to harm the snake at all. Just make sure it is a young rat that is actually a pinky type one is all. Most will feed rodents at this age/size as live btw. it entices the snake's appetite and ya can switch it over to f/k or f/t once the snake's feeding regime is ongoing np. With the snake being underweight, you need to get it feeding at this time. Worry about the switching off live later.

        OH and YES most pet stores are nightmares in the way that they keep reptiles as you have discovered.

        hey damien... provent a mite huh ???
        There is another product that is the same active ingredient ya know..just a different label from what a lot of us have seen. There's actually quite a few of us who use it also.. We just don't pay $20 a can for it like PAM costs.

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        • #5
          Re: Pet Store Purchase

          yes lorrie i was know of that product you are speaking of and i have also used it, however i prefer the product i have mentioned in this post.

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          • #6
            Re: Pet Store Purchase

            Lori,
            I tried the chicken broth method, and Fred didn't go for it--so I'm going to get him a live rat pinky tomorrow. Hopefully he will eat that. Oh, you asked about his age? I called the pet store for some information on him before I took him to the vet, and they told me he was about 1 year old--yet he is only 22 1/4 inches long, which tells me that he is just a baby. The list of false information they keep giving me goes on and on--they told me he would grow to a maximum of four feet. Thank god I did research on red tails before I actually purchased Fred (I knew going into the purchase that he would get quite larger than four feet, so when they told me that I just smiled and nodded ;D, stupid people). They also had no shedding records for him (they didn't bother to write this information down). Also, I have called them three times and been told that his last feeding was on Jan. 13, Jan. 14, or Jan. 24. So eveytime I call them it is a different story. >

            The point of this rant is for other newbies like me who might be reading this before they get a snake--DO NOT buy from a pet store!!!

            Sorry to those of you who already have read a million stories like mine--but I plan to post a picture of Fred soon, and when you see him you will probably understand why I had to buy him !

            Oh, and except for not eating, Fred is doing quite well--he loves his hideaway (he couldn't go in the one at the pet store because the other three red tails that were in the tank were bigger than him and were all under the hideaway, and the python (which was a LOT bigger than Fred) sat in the basking area, so poor Fred had to sit at the cold end of the tank out in the open :'(). He is getting tons of love and attention and is just an all around great guy.

            Thank you to Lori and Damian for your advice and help.

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            • #7
              Re: Pet Store Purchase

              Yep that sounds like most pet stores. Its sad but at least you got tha little guy outa there. ;D There is no way he would be a year old and only 22 inches, that is a newborn. Like the others said make sure he/she eats.

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              • #8
                Re: Pet Store Purchase

                First thing. Not all pet stores are bad . But ...... some are totally disgusting , to the point of cruelty .
                When I first got into reptile several years ago . I learned from some good folks at a reptile specialty store . For the most part you can tell when they know what they are doing or not . It sounds like you have a good handle on when they are trying to shine you on or not . Be sure that you know as much info on what you are buying as you can , and you'll do fine
                As for the feeding probs. Just be patient and keep trying . Maybe try feeding him in a darkened container some times that helps my new guys feel a little more comfortable.

                good luck with your new boa .let us know when he eats .
                later ,
                Dan

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                • #9
                  Re: Pet Store Purchase

                  HI,
                   Be sure and review the care sheets, check your temps and humidty are exact. free care sheets for your pc thanks to CLay ;D
                  [ftp]http://www.redtailboas.com/[/ftp]
                  ps add shortcut to your favorites I ve bought two snakes on this page in the last year.. hehe
                   Good luck,,, i have bought a couple pet store snakes a little more trouble and expense than the breeders, and them vet visits make it more expensive.
                     Its all part of that learning thingy.. :P
                  that cutie in da pic under my name came from a petsore here in VA. my first boa, except for the mites and worms she had she's doing  great  now ..... yeachhhhh.them pesky little mites...
                     doug
                   

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