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Snakes/boa feeding while having RI


QUESTION: Hi,I have been battling RI with my boa the past few wks with antibiotics and vitamins.I had to assist feed her a pinky mouse lastnight.(Vet directed)I've had her for 3 wks,that's the first meal she ate besides baby food.Question is How often should I feed her pinkies?she's about 24 inches long,and the people I got her from were feeding her medium adult mice?Is it possible for this to be IBD even if the facility never had a problem wit IBD?

Jason and Pink

ANSWER: Hi Jason, I'm sorry your having issues with your boa. First off did the snake have any illness before you purchased it? If a snake has been on rounds of antibiotics and is under the proper heat it should clear up quite easily. I would switch to a different vet for sure. What are your temps at? Make sure your temps and hidity are all correct and bump them up a little higher than usual. It will help the boa heal better. I will typically put their hot spot at 85-88 degrees during the day and 82-85 at night while they are sick unless they show discomfort at this temp. You will notice ibd pretty easily, they will have bad sheds, won't eat or won't be able to keep food down, will star gaze and have terrible head tilt and wobble. If the snake has any of these do NOT touch any other snake and keep this one away from any others as it is highly contagious. A 2 foot boa should be pretty big around and able to eat a large mouse, our 2 foot babies are on small rats. Are you feeding it the same meals ( as in frozn thawed or prekilled) a snake that has eaten pre killed may not eat frozen thawed and vice versa. And they typically won't eat when I'll but keep offering and go with a mouse, a pinky is really a waste for a boa and force feeding can do more harm than good if you don't know how to do it. It can make them regurge it back up and make them even more sick.
      My advice is to just find another vet, raise the temps and humidity (put him on paper towels till he's better in a 15qt bin with a few holes on each side) don't put to many or the het will escape to fast, put 3 on each long side and 1-2 on the ends. And get a good heat pad. Alot can cause respiratory infections and stres by force feeding won't help at all. So do these few changes and see how he does in a week. I have never had a resp last this long and I'm thinking it may be your set up is to big for him and isn't holding enough heat or humidity. Let me know how he does.

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QUESTION: Hi,again. I've only gave her a 2nd round of meds,so far.I've never had any issues with this vet,I took reptiles in the past to him and was ok.She might not be quite 2ft.She arrived with the infection,and the facility said not to ship her back cause it would make her vet and the company did say to boost the temp to 90.She seems like she's fine with her enclosure.I didn't force her to eat,just got it to the back of her throat and she did the rest.How long does it take to completely heal?I heard a month?but I have been in contact with the facility.

ANSWER: Ok if it hasn't been a month yet give her a month, usually mine clear up in a week but I have had them go to almost a month. Typically I hit mne early enough to do a vicks vapor steam but don't try that on her this late. If your confident in your vet then that's fine. I was assuming it had been quite a while and nothing new was changing, some vets will do different treatments and one will work better than the rest. But stick this one out unless she seems to be getting horribly worse. For feeing still offer at least a hopper, a pinkie really won't do anything for the snake at all. As for the company or person you got it from, if they have a return policy I would demand that they refund you. If they have a healthy animal guarantee they can not tell you not to return the animal. Some places will tell you to keep them while sick and once past a certain point they will no longer refund you. I have seen it alot, I would tell them she isn't getting any better and with all the money you have spent on vet bills you want a refund. Because if she is not getting better the resp infection will kill her and you can't mail back a dead snake.
   Im sorry they are being such a pain for you, i say if your attached to her then keep her and wait it out. If not the person you got her from is not doing proper buisness and should have offered a new snake the second you told them she was sick. I don't really know the whole situation but I would demand a new snake because proper breeders ship correctly according to weather and they don't ship sick animals.

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QUESTION: Her enclosure is a 30x18x18 is this too big?

Our boas are typically kept in 15 qt bins till they are right over 2 foot, it's about a 10 gallon. Snakes thrive in small enviornments. Most people think they need a 100 gallon for their ball python but really more space is bad for them. It's harder to control temps and humidity. In my opinion her tank may be a little to large for her, especially while she is sick. I'd keep her in a 10 gallon till she's well over 2 foot. Not only will she have better heat and humidity control but she will feel more secure, will have better heat and humidity control and will eat better for you.


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Amber Barrett


I can answer any and all questions about snakes, whether its how to pick the right snake for your needs and wants, eating and temperature issues, health problems ( I can not give a diagnosis or make up for vetrinary treatment but can give options on what to do). I can also answer any questions on breeding snakes, what it entitles, what you can expect, I know quite a bit about any products for snakes and their husbandry.


I currently keep over 150 snakes, I keep everything from ball pyhtons, to retics to green tree pythons. I have been around them my whole life due to a family interest in breeding them. I have researched, purchased, and delt with just about every snake, product and issue you can run into.

Although I do not have a degree in herpatology, I have been around snakes my whole life and through books, research and life I know alot about them.

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