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Old 04-27-2007, 10:07 PM   #1
Exclamation Health problems in ETB - Help!


This is my first post on Fauna, but I've been lurking for a while. I have a pretty serious question about my snake's health, and I would genuinely appreciate any help given.

Back story (to give a history of this boa):

I've known Khan for 3 and a half years now. I work in a family owned pet store, and the owner purchased two boas. One died early on, and the other was having regurgitation issues (Khan). We worked through it, got him on a regular feeding schedule, and moved on. He then started - and still has - urate build-ups, that would get so bad he would have to be assisted. Beyond that, everything was normal (if you can say that :P).

Flash forward to today. His urate issues became so bad two months ago that he actually prolapsed. From that point on he prolapsed three more times. We were told to put him down, give up on him, etc. Instead, we tried - as someone suggested - to start doing tri-weekly showers with him. His next defecation was normal, with broken up, normal sized urates. It's really the first advice that has really helped us.

Through all the stress of it, he's started showing signs of what we think may be septicemia. My boss thinks that the bacteria that possibly caused it may have been around for a long time, but only now showing up because of all the stress of the prolapsing.

His symptoms:
- What looks like mild deterioration on the tips of his scales
- Some of the scales have actually been loosening and peeling layers off
- Pink-ish belly scales
- Hard to explain, but the texture of his scales feel different... they don't feel as smooth and "tight" as they should

Waiting for any advice/information you may have,
Old 04-27-2007, 11:28 PM   #2
Welcome to Fauna,,,,

Yeah it sounds like the boy has some serious problems, I tell you what would really help is some good photos of the current problem and some info on how he is kept IE type of cage and size, temps, humidity, what he eats and how often, ETC ETC. I've kept these guys since the early 90s so just might be able to help you out some with more info... Randy
Old 04-28-2007, 12:10 AM   #3

Sorry the pictures are so bad. My camera was dying and I was trying to get a few in before it lost the ability to function entirely. I didn't remember not to stand in front of the light source. -_-

As far as caging goes...

His temperature is anywhere from 80-85 in the hottest point, and lowers the further down the cage he goes. I was told that keeping him any warmer than that was bad for him. Do you agree?
Old 04-28-2007, 12:14 AM   #4

He eats once every 21 days on small f/t rats. He will always eat. ALWAYS. He doesn't like chicks very much, but he ate one for his last feeding because I told him to. :P

He has a 2% UVB that's programmed to be on for 10 hours every day. The humidity is something we struggle with, so it varies quite a bit. We mist him heavily in the early morning/afternoon, and let it dry out over night. He also has a humid air exchanger that we've been using, but are concerned that it was making him uncomfortable. He seemed a little weirded out by how humid it was, so we haven't had it on for a while. He gets about two showers with me weekly, to simulate more natural rain.
Old 04-29-2007, 10:48 PM   #5
Do you have any suggestions?
Old 04-30-2007, 12:11 AM   #6
The pinkish belly scales could be that he's just getting close to shedding, though those scales could be scale rot. Does look swollen above the vent.. Do you ever see him drinking out of his water bowl?? reason I ask is that a very few animals just don't like drinking from a water bowl on the floor of the cage... They will often drink from an elevated one I've used bowls that you can mount to the side of the cage in the past with animals like that and they would drink from it.. The reason I ask is that not drinking enough could be the cause of the impactions.

Hard to tell much about your cage setup from those photos. Here's what I'd do, get a large tub and set it up like the one in the photo with heat at one end and PVC perch down the middle(Rough up the surface of the PVC). The warm end should be around 85 degrees the cool end mid 70s cooler is OK. Put just enough water in to cover the bottom and don't mist him.. You can use an elevated water bowl as well. Watch to make sure he is drinking(yeah I know hard to do)

If you can get him out to exercise once a week or so, use something he can climb around on. Try feeding him smaller meals more often and if he'll eat them wet, soak them before feeding.

It's really hard to say for sure what is going on with your boy without seeing him but getting him in a tub will make controlling temp and humidity easier. Randy

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