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Old 01-10-17, 08:08 PM   #1 (permalink)
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boa mouth issue questions/photos

I was asked to take a look at a snake recently which has been showing some odd behavior. This was a snake which was basically abandoned. At the moment, I believe it may be going into shed, but there's some behaviors it's shown which are odd.

Mouth is kept slightly open and it will occasionally hiss or gasp, it's hard to tell which.

It'll partially submerge it's head in it's water bowl and a few times it's been taken out of the tank, water running out of the mouth.

Currently the skin appears very loose on the snake which makes me think it's badly dehydrated.

Here's a link to some photos of the snake, primarily the head and mouth area. Sorry about the quality, the photos looked way better on my phone when I was taking them.

Unfortunately, the local vet who is really knowledgeable about snakes isn't available, so if this appears to be serious, I think the snake will probably be euthanized.

Here's the photos I took. https://www.dropbox.com/sh/70d60nc4k...H_MWOhVva?dl=0
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Old 01-10-17, 09:07 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: boa mouth issue questions/photos

Poor thing. I'm sure some knowledgeable people will chime in soon. Hope it gets well soon.
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Old 01-11-17, 01:17 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: boa mouth issue questions/photos

As far as the water running out when you pick it up, that's quite common if you pick a snake up right after they take a long drink. I'd imagine even more so when it's missing part of it's face/part of its face is deformed.

The boa is currently in shed and very dehydrated like you said. Judging by the shape of the mouth it is either currently battling mouth rot or did in the past.

It's very possible it also has an RI from what you describe.

That one tiny eye is a bit worrisome...I've seen some amazing eye recoveries but it's possible that eye has been completely lost judging by how deflated and small it is.
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Old 01-11-17, 08:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: boa mouth issue questions/photos

What causes mouth rott?
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Old 01-12-17, 09:00 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: boa mouth issue questions/photos

The nose looks occluded in the picture and it does look like the snake is going into shed. When the nose is closed up, the mouth can do odd things. It would explain the open mouth gasping as well as the distention, although that isn't as commonly seen, especially to that degree. IF it's in shed as it appears, I would let the snake shed and have another look and perhaps post more pics once it does.
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Old 01-12-17, 01:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: boa mouth issue questions/photos

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Originally Posted by jossh27 View Post
What causes mouth rott?
Typically poor nutrition. Improper husbandry can also be to blame. It is, however, pretty treatable when caught early enough. I agree with the rest of the folks; let the newbie shed, and see how he does after shed. If he has an RI, the vet can prescribe some antibiotics. Just make sure his temp gradients are sufficient, and he's got ample humidity. I'd let him be for awhile too (less handling, unless it's absolutely necessary), so that he can acclimate to his enclosure and fix some of the "sick" he came to you with
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Old 01-12-17, 03:03 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: boa mouth issue questions/photos

I talked to the people who actually have the snake, it's going to the vet today to be checked out. I'd have posted sooner, but I've been on airplanes since last night. I'm hoping for the best, but expecting the worst. I should be able to find out in a day or two what the vet finds.
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Old 01-12-17, 03:47 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: boa mouth issue questions/photos

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Originally Posted by GyGbeetle View Post
Typically poor nutrition. Improper husbandry can also be to blame. It is, however, pretty treatable when caught early enough. I agree with the rest of the folks; let the newbie shed, and see how he does after shed. If he has an RI, the vet can prescribe some antibiotics. Just make sure his temp gradients are sufficient, and he's got ample humidity. I'd let him be for awhile too (less handling, unless it's absolutely necessary), so that he can acclimate to his enclosure and fix some of the "sick" he came to you with
More often nose rub than poor nutrition in regards to damage to the face/mouth leading to mouth rot...but poor nutrition/stress can be attributed to causing almost every health issue there is.
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Old 01-12-17, 07:23 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: boa mouth issue questions/photos

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More often nose rub than poor nutrition in regards to damage to the face/mouth leading to mouth rot...but poor nutrition/stress can be attributed to causing almost every health issue there is.
Agreed. I just threw that out there because it looks like the previous humans didn't provide enough care in the way of nutrition and husbandry.
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Old 01-17-17, 01:58 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: boa mouth issue questions/photos

Well, I found out today the snake had to be euthanized. Vet determined RI as well as mouth rot and some other health issues. Snake was too far gone to save from what I was told. At least it's not suffering any more.
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Old 01-17-17, 05:55 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: boa mouth issue questions/photos

So sorry to hear that But at least someone was willing and gave it a possible second chance at a new life. RIP little boa.
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Old 01-17-17, 10:24 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: boa mouth issue questions/photos

Sorry to hear that. Reptiles can definitely hide a lot of ailments so whenever I see a snake in that shape I always worry the worst...at least it's no longer suffering, as you said.
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Old 01-18-17, 03:56 AM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: boa mouth issue questions/photos

RIP little fella, at least no more pain or suffering.

This is why I always say RESEARCH your animals before buying them. I researched for 5 months before I felt confident enough to get my first snake, but people don't listen.
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