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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone. I'm back after a long absence. I need some advice please.

Our Boa Constrictor (we've had him since 2005) for the first time in his life regurgitated his rat. He was fed on Monday evening and, as usual, it was bang! Rat gone!

He regurgitated the rat a couple of hours ago. Looks like it's the whole rat although the rear part of the rat was almost black and partially digested, the shoulders and head still recognisable as a rat.

I have had a few of my older snakes regurge then die over the years and we lost our 20 year old Cornsnake a few weeks ago. That was purely down to old age. Our oldest snake is our Kingsnake who is approximately 21/22 years old.

You can imagine I'm very worried about my Boa so any advice on dealing with this would be appreciated. I've checked viv temps and they're ok. I heat the rats up in a baggie in hot water. I suspect that maybe (it was a large rat) it may not have been warm enough in the centre. The rat looked good as any mice or rats that don't look good instantly get binned.

I usually get the snake food from Pets at Home.

Our other Boa so far seems to be OK.

One thing we did do about 3 months ago was separate the Boas. They'd been together from the day we got them but due to their size and obvious dangers and the fact that I'm in my 60s now and not as physically able to handle them as I used to be (my husband died 10 years ago - the Boas were his) it got too difficult for my adult son and myself (he has his own health problems) to separate them at feeding time.
 

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No real explanation. It could be that the rat was old (I never by form [email protected] too expensive and it's not the first time people have reported regurgitation after feeding a D/F rodent from them). Could be something else, like you say, not defrosted enough. I give my boa 400g - 500g rats that are defrost at room temperature for 24 hours in a sealed tub to guarantee its fully thawed. Warming them up too quickly in hot water or on a radiator (in winter) can also cause issues.

Personally, as hard as it may be, if the boa's are becoming too much for you given your age and physical strength then maybe it's time to think about rehoming them....?
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No real explanation. It could be that the rat was old (I never by form [email protected] too expensive and it's not the first time people have reported regurgitation after feeding a D/F rodent from them). Could be something else, like you say, not defrosted enough. I give my boa 400g - 500g rats that are defrost at room temperature for 24 hours in a sealed tub to guarantee its fully thawed. Warming them up too quickly in hot water or on a radiator (in winter) can also cause issues.

Personally, as hard as it may be, if the boa's are becoming too much for you given your age and physical strength then maybe it's time to think about rehoming them....?
Thanks for the reply Malc. Rats were fully defrosted, it just seemed to take longer than normal to warm up. I've never put a rat on a radiator to warm it up.

I nearly did rehome my Boas a few years back but the "rescue" I intended to give them to, the person who owned it is now in jail for a very long time. My snakes had a narrow escape there. You may have heard about it as it was in a few of the national papers and because youngsters probably read this forum, I'll leave it at that. Let's just say,what happened was utterly disgusting.

I'd prefer to keep my snakes and now we have them housed separately, it has helped a lot. Handling one at a time is far easier than untangling two of them!

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe I will have to wait 2 weeks before attempting to feed my snake again to allow his stomach acid to replenish? I will also be looking for another source of snake food.
 

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Thanks for the reply Malc. Rats were fully defrosted, it just seemed to take longer than normal to warm up. I've never put a rat on a radiator to warm it up.

I nearly did rehome my Boas a few years back but the "rescue" I intended to give them to, the person who owned it is now in jail for a very long time. My snakes had a narrow escape there. You may have heard about it as it was in a few of the national papers and because youngsters probably read this forum, I'll leave it at that. Let's just say,what happened was utterly disgusting.

I'd prefer to keep my snakes and now we have them housed separately, it has helped a lot. Handling one at a time is far easier than untangling two of them!

Correct me if I'm wrong but I believe I will have to wait 2 weeks before attempting to feed my snake again to allow his stomach acid to replenish? I will also be looking for another source of snake food.
I would wait for a good two weeks, possibly longer. It wouldn't hurt the boa to go an extra week between feeds. Keeping them separate will make life easier
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I would wait for a good two weeks, possibly longer. It wouldn't hurt the boa to go an extra week between feeds. Keeping them separate will make life easier
That's what I really needed to know. I thought it was 2 weeks minimum. I do wonder if the Boas are missing each other though as they'd been together since the day we got them. I'm keeping a close eye on both of them.
 

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I had the exact same thing happen to me a few yrs ago. I kept 2 female boas together in a big viv & used to pull them out & feed in a rub. I came home from work 4 days after feeding & the smell when I walked into my house. I knew exactly what had happened.

I didn't feed her for 3 wks & put some Reptiboost down her throat twice just to replenish her enzymes etc. Then I fed her a small rat to make sure she wouldn't spit it back out. Then when back into normal feeding every 2wks after this & she was fine.

I put it down to it being a bad rat as I've had one of my Retics eat a bad rat, but luckily this time it went straight through her & came out the other end. That was a mess I can assure you!

I understand you probably won't be able to force some Reptiboost down her throat, so I would just lay off feeding her for 3wks & try again with a small meal. She should be fine 👍
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I had the exact same thing happen to me a few yrs ago. I kept 2 female boas together in a big viv & used to pull them out & feed in a rub. I came home from work 4 days after feeding & the smell when I walked into my house. I knew exactly what had happened.

I didn't feed her for 3 wks & put some Reptiboost down her throat twice just to replenish her enzymes etc. Then I fed her a small rat to make sure she wouldn't spit it back out. Then when back into normal feeding every 2wks after this & she was fine.

I put it down to it being a bad rat as I've had one of my Retics eat a bad rat, but luckily this time it went straight through her & came out the other end. That was a mess I can assure you!

I understand you probably won't be able to force some Reptiboost down her throat, so I would just lay off feeding her for 3wks & try again with a small meal. She should be fine 👍
I'm keeping a close watch on him as he seems to be very subdued but could also be coming into shed. He is about 17 years old so not a youngster. Our other Boa seems to be OK so it could have been a bad rat, yet it looked absolutely fine. I have a few snakes (mostly smaller ones) and if a mouse or rat doesn't look good to me, I bin it. I really hope he'll be OK as I've had him since he was a baby. He was actually my late husband's snake and the two were bought at the same time.

It's a case of wait and see what happens now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Sadly I have bad news. My lovely Boa, Zig passed away. We thought he hadn't moved for a few hours so checked him and found him dead. I can't believe my beautiful snake is gone. Never, ever will I buy snake food from PAH again.

RIP Zig :cry:
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Thank you all for your advice and kind words. Still can't believe he's gone. He was a much loved member of my family for nearly 17 years. I forget sometimes my snakes are getting old. We still have his brother and are keeping a very close eye on him but so far, he seems to be OK.

We buried Zig this afternoon and I wondered if the gall bladder had gone but there was no tell-tale signs of that having happened so I really don't know what went wrong but strongly suspect the rat.
 

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The only way to know for sure would have been to have the vet perform a necropsy. I bet that was a big hole that needed to be dug !
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
The only way to know for sure would have been to have the vet perform a necropsy. I bet that was a big hole that needed to be dug !
It was but my son kindly dug it. We buried Zig under our pear tree. Our oldest snake now is Nigel our Kingsnake. He's the marvellous age of 21. All except one of our snakes is age 16 or over so we know we will probably lose more than a few to old age in the next couple of years.
 

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I know it is sad but I am happy that your family owns snake for so long. Very often people get bored and snakes rarely stay their lives with one owner. I only just picked up a 10+ old year boa from a rescue center. Older animals are hard to rehome so I wished people would make sure they know how old those pets get before purchasing. Of course circumstances change and I am only talking about people that get rid of snakes because they didn’t realise how big or old they get.
Anyway. Well done.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
I know it is sad but I am happy that your family owns snake for so long. Very often people get bored and snakes rarely stay their lives with one owner. I only just picked up a 10+ old year boa from a rescue center. Older animals are hard to rehome so I wished people would make sure they know how old those pets get before purchasing. Of course circumstances change and I am only talking about people that get rid of snakes because they didn’t realise how big or old they get.
Anyway. Well done.
I know what you mean about older animals. 2 of my snakes were rescues (one passed away from old age earlier this year). I also have 10 cats - 8 of them are rescues. One of our cats had lived on the streets for a number of years and had been fed by kind people. She was about 12 when we got her. She's probably 16 now. Too many people get an animal, regardless of species and forget the costs involved, or they get a pet to keep the kids happy, the kids get bored and the parents don't want to know.

Also people who sell snakes (PaH springs to mind) who haven't got a single clue about the needs of the animal they're selling. Was in there a couple of years ago and of course I had to have a look at what reptiles they were selling. Family about to buy a Royal Python so I stood and listened. The absolute rubbish the assistant was telling the people left me gobsmacked. I stepped in. Assistant didn't like it but who cares? It was the snake's life that was at stake and the snake was more important than her hurt feelings.

Wish people would do research before they get an animal, any animal.
 

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Hi everyone. I'm back after a long absence. I need some advice please.

Our Boa Constrictor (we've had him since 2005) for the first time in his life regurgitated his rat. He was fed on Monday evening and, as usual, it was bang! Rat gone!

He regurgitated the rat a couple of hours ago. Looks like it's the whole rat although the rear part of the rat was almost black and partially digested, the shoulders and head still recognisable as a rat.

I have had a few of my older snakes regurge then die over the years and we lost our 20 year old Cornsnake a few weeks ago. That was purely down to old age. Our oldest snake is our Kingsnake who is approximately 21/22 years old.

You can imagine I'm very worried about my Boa so any advice on dealing with this would be appreciated. I've checked viv temps and they're ok. I heat the rats up in a baggie in hot water. I suspect that maybe (it was a large rat) it may not have been warm enough in the centre. The rat looked good as any mice or rats that don't look good instantly get binned.

I usually get the snake food from Pets at Home.

Our other Boa so far seems to be OK.

One thing we did do about 3 months ago was separate the Boas. They'd been together from the day we got them but due to their size and obvious dangers and the fact that I'm in my 60s now and not as physically able to handle them as I used to be (my husband died 10 years ago - the Boas were his) it got too difficult for my adult son and myself (he has his own health problems) to separate them at feeding time.
I didn't think pets at home did frozen foods any more? Look for a better supplier. Boas are lazy and slow digesters. Was he disturbed when he was pretending to be a log? It does happen with no ill effects naturally but I'd definitely keep an eye on him. A lot depends on how the rats were dispatched initially. If someone has thrown one in the bag that died in it's cage then it could cause problems. Apparently they have to be gassed humanely if being sold as a food. Perhaps some gas remained in it's system if it wasn't defrosted enough?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I didn't think pets at home did frozen foods any more? Look for a better supplier. Boas are lazy and slow digesters. Was he disturbed when he was pretending to be a log? It does happen with no ill effects naturally but I'd definitely keep an eye on him. A lot depends on how the rats were dispatched initially. If someone has thrown one in the bag that died in it's cage then it could cause problems. Apparently they have to be gassed humanely if being sold as a food. Perhaps some gas remained in it's system if it wasn't defrosted enough?
Sadly my Boa died (see post above).

I've kept snakes for many years and it's always been a strict rule never to handle them after they've been fed. So far, my other Boa (same age - got them at the same time) seems to be OK. Pets at Home still do frozen reptile food. Last year, before the lockdowns, they changed suppliers because it seems they had a problem, then later last year they changed back to the original supplier again.

Also worrying is they recalled their AVA range of dry cat food. My cats eat dry food as a snack in the afternoon and get their main meal of canned meat later at night. The AVA range has been recalled because it has been linked to Pancytopenia - a rapid reduction in blood platelets produced in the bone marrow and is usually fatal. Our cats only had one bag of the stuff and it turns out it is from the batch from the recall list. We nearly bought it a second time before it was recalled but decided to get Whiskas instead as our cats (10 of them) prefer that. So glad we didn't buy that second bag because it was just after that the AVA was recalled. Seemingly, the same cat food was withdrawn from sale in 2017 for the same thing. Suffice to say, I'm keeping a close watch on our cats as well as our other Boa.

There is a shop that specialises in aquatic fish and reptiles. I thought they'd gone away but I've just learned tonight that they've moved to bigger premises so will be going down there to get snake food from them. I've bought snake food from them a few times and it was good quality so now I know they're still here, I'll be getting my snake food from them.
 

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I didn't think pets at home did frozen foods any more? Look for a better supplier. Boas are lazy and slow digesters. Was he disturbed when he was pretending to be a log? It does happen with no ill effects naturally but I'd definitely keep an eye on him. A lot depends on how the rats were dispatched initially. If someone has thrown one in the bag that died in it's cage then it could cause problems. Apparently they have to be gassed humanely if being sold as a food. Perhaps some gas remained in it's system if it wasn't defrosted enough?
If you read the thread you would have seen that the OP snake has sadly passed away !

Secondly, AFAIK [email protected] still provide frozen rodents as food, but you have to ask for them as they are not kept in the store (at least not at my local branch). They used to buy from Monkfield's who are a large wholesaler in the UK, and as such any rodents sold as food would have had to have been culled under the UK guidelines, meaning humanely gassed using Co2. It's very doubtful that any Co2 inhaled by the rat as part of that process, if at all possible, would have resulted in the death of the snake.
 
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