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Snakes/Red Tail Boa Eye Problem


QUESTION: Hi I'm Fred,I have a year old Red Tail Boa.And today I notice that his left eye were swollen.It just happen today and he was just fine before today well appetite and nothing wrong.And also I notice that he indicate incoming shed,which show dull skin and cloudy belly.Please I'm really need your expert advice and my RTB means a lots to me.Thanks!

ANSWER: There are a few reasons the eye can be swollen, I have a argentine female who has both eyes swell right after a shed and it usually is gone in a day or so. I would need a pic to be able to tell you how serious it is. Do you check him after every shed to make sure there is no retained eye caps? this can also cause swelling of the eye. Without seeing him all I can really tell you is if it goes away within a week after he sheds then I wouldnt really worry, I would check for eye caps and thats it. If it worsens or does not go away after a shed then He needs to be looked at. I would give him a good soak in luke warm water at least once before he sheds. Just fill the tub up enough to cover most of his body and let him sit in it and soak for a while.

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QUESTION: Forgive to be bother you again,I still have a few questions that need your help.Because I never face a problem like this.
1.Should I feed him as usual?
2.Should I take him to a vet as soon as possible?
3.Is his eye problem will threat his life?
4.Is there anything I can do to cure him or reduce his sickness?

What are you feeding? If you feed pre killed or frozen then yes, offer him food as usual. If you feed live then no I would try switching to killed or just not feed till he has healed. Which also makes me wonder if you feed live if he may have gotten scratched by the rat. If you feed frozen or killed then again, I would try keeping him on his normal feeding schedule. If he does not eat, his eye gets worse or it seems to be causing him serious discomfort then yes I would take him to a vet. Typically I raise my snakes temps by 2-4 degrees anytime they have an issue and keep a good watch on them and if they show signs of healing in a few days I generlly leave them alone. If not then I take them to a vet.
  Be sure you dont bug him to much, I wouldnt hold him at all till he is healed except to soak him when he starts going blue for shedding. But just watch him, give him some more heat ( if you dont have a way to measure your temps then just watch the snake, if he refuses to go on the hot side then its to hot for him) and if he is getting worse in the next couple days take him to a vet. Personally if it was one of my own snakes I would just let them be till they shed if their eye and behavior remained the same, but if it worsened I would for sure take them in.
   Without really looking at him this is really all I can give you to go off of, I wish I could be more help to you and him. But you know him and his behavior better than I do so like I said, just watch his eye closely for any puss, more severe swelling or bleeding and watch his behavior. If he refuses food or seems lethargic then take him in right away.Also if you have never had him at a vet before take the time now to find a actual reptile vet...your typical dog and cat vet will have no real knowing of the snake or whats wrong with him and will just guess as to what his illness may be and how to treat it.  


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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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