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RE: Richard Hoyer-Help! Rubber Boa stopped eating- was eating well!

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Posted by: RichardFHoyer at Wed Oct 6 01:43:22 2004  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by RichardFHoyer ]  
   

Eric,
First, remove the heat source as this is the reason your specimen is getting thinner as it is exposed to this external heat 24 hours a day, a very unnatural situation. With prolonged, elevated body temperatures, your boa has been using up its body reserves.

If the pinky mice were 2-3 grams each and 20 per month and if your boa had fed for 3 months, it would be in robust condition had the cage temperature been around 70 degrees during daylight hours and cooler at night. C. bottae can carry on all life functions at room temperatures with the possible exception of females in gestation.

Second suggestion is to place your specimen in a container with 1/4" of water. If it drinks for a prolonged period, then it was somewhat dehydrated. Elevated body temperatures from the external heat source can readily cause the boa to become dehydrated. If after a few minutes the boa does not drink, then she is probably hydrated but I would suggest you repeat the soaking routine every 4-6 week during the fall and winter months.

I have always tried to mimic what occurs in nature. It is common to have the species stop feeding in Sept., something that probably occurs in nature as well. A few years ago I was down to maintaining three boas. But due to some special projects I am working on, I am now maintaining 6 adults, 5 subadults, and about 17 neonates (newborn boas). Most of those juveniles have not taken a meal, the subadults quit taking prey in mid to late August, and most of the adults quit early as well with the last adults to take meals was on Sept. 19th. I did get a surprise 8 days ago when three neonates each took a meal. However, all of them have since refused all subsequent offerings.

No need to try force feeding as that is a last resort. Boas commonly do not take meals for a good number of days before shedding. You might try thawing a pinky and offering it beneath a hide. If the boa does not take the mouse after a couple of hours, re-freeze the mouse and simply allow the boa to go through the brumation (hibernation) period for a few months.

I suggest that you place your cage in the coolest place you can find from here until early to mid March and into April if you wish. If kept at 50 degrees or below (but above freezing) the boa will loose minimal weight provided it is kept hydrated.

Richard F. Hoyer


   

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