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RE: Richard Hoyer- Help! Emaciated, escaped Rubber Boa found!

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Posted by: RichardFHoyer at Tue Nov 9 11:28:34 2004  [ Report Abuse ] [ Email Message ] [ Show All Posts by RichardFHoyer ]  
   

Eric,
Put 1/8" to 1/4" of water in a gallon or quart jar and place your boa in the jar. Do this at a time you can watch the snake to see if it eventually drinks. If you do not observe the boa taking in water, I would then place the boa in gallon or quart jar with damp cloth where it can hide in the folds of the damp cloth. I would repeat the water in jar exercise once a day until you see the snake drink and would continue to soak her in this manner for at least a week to try and insure she has proper internal water balance.

A dehydrated boa has dry looking, often slightly wrinkled skin. Once they have proper water balance, the skin takes on a shiny (vs dry) look. A dehydrated boa cannot shed properly but with drinking an periodic soaking, they often will then shed.

In the snake's enclosure, provide the boa with a choice of two hides, one which is dry beneath it and one that has most substrate or moist moss under it so as to provide a high humidity situation.

I do not attempt to get my boas to feed during this time of year. If you have done so with your boa, then by all means, give it a try. However, this species will loose negligible weight during the 5 -6 month winter season if kept cool (at or below about 50 degrees F.) where they can maintain proper internal water balance. In the wild, boas remain under ground in relatively high humidity situations and since my cages may not be suitable in that regard, every 5-6 weeks I soak my boas in gallon jars with cool water during the winter time.

Not all boas make it. I once was given a boa found in Montana that had water available in its aquaria but was clearly dehydrated. I got it to drink with periodic soaking but after a month or so, it eventually died. Its lower intestinal tract was impacted with fecal matter and uric acid
that never softened so it could clear its lower intestine.

One of my son's collected some local boas while I was gone and one escaped. Perhaps a month or two later I saw it crawling out beneath some molding at the corner of our kitchen. Clearly dehydrated, I did what I mentioned above but in a couple of days it died as well.

Interestingly, I have found a few boas in the wild that exhibit signs of being dehydrated as well and some that obviously need to shed but with skin so dry that they cannot do so properly. In every case, when placed in a jar with shallow water, they drink, and drink ,and drink. With periodic soaking they then shed, sometimes with help. All have survived. Found one such female this past season that was gavid. Her first she was thick and stiff as if she had not normally shed for at least two cycles.

Perhaps there are others that can provide some alternative and even better suggestions.

Richard F. Hoyer


   

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<< Previous Message:  Richard Hoyer- Help! Emaciated, escaped Rubber Boa found! - EricWalt, Tue Nov 9 05:14:22 2004