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Discussion Starter #1
My boa constrictor has refused his rat for the past four feeds.

He had a number of mites on him and was treated twice with Frontline, unfortunately he still has a few.

What could have caused him to go off his food?

I've had him since he was quite young, I got him in 2007, he was a few months old at the time.

Could the fact that he's an albino have anything to do with it?

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Read this carefully:


The snake mite (Ophionyssus natricis) occurs throughout the world. So far, approximately 250 types of mites have been identified as reptile parasites. In snakes, O. natricis is by far the most common.

Under favorable conditions, these animals reach sexual maturity in just 3 weeks. Only a few days pass between the point in time at which the eggs are laid and at which the eggs are hatching. Life expectancy is about one year.

Amazingly, the larval form of mites, also referred to as nymphs, can remain in a kind of inactive state for up to 3 years in unsuitable conditions.
After each blood meal (up to 7 times), O. natricis lays 200 to 400 eggs. This quickly turns the enclosure into an exercise field of the mite army, and the snake becomes their source of nutrition. The transmission to humans is possible, and may cause purulent blisters on the skin.

Most of the time, these parasites reach the snake enclosures via prey animals, substrate, or plants. In our experience, an especially high-risk of obtaining mites is when acquiring new snakes. This is also one of the reasons why newly acquired animals should be placed in quarantine before integrating them into an established collection.

Mites embed themselves under the scales of the snake. They live off of the reptiles, which in a severe case can lead to anemia (lack of blood). A sign for this is a white mucous membrane (normal color: pink). Furthermore, the transmission of dangerous infectious diseases among snakes is associated with mites, since they do change hosts.
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