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 Loss of Scales on Boa

She’s 2 years this month. Her name is Medusa (I didn’t choose it...) She was given to me because everyone else was too afraid to take her. I have an 125 Gallon tank with, usually, 2 50-75 Watt heating bulbs and a Heating pad. Down to one because we recently had a turtle dropped on us. -.- Most people I have met who have snakes said I was doing really well with her. And if something happens I’d really disappoint myself.

Now, I know a lot of people are probably going to say, "Y U NO TAKE TO VET?" But do realize we thought it was from mites, and so I treated her for mites a week ago.

A week later, I believe she’s still losing scales, but no where near as fast. And she’s not constantly trying to get out of her cage anymore, either. She’s just been sitting under the basking light, moving every so often to a new position. Is this because of the season change that she seems lethargic?

Unfortunately the vets over an hour a way and its 107 for an examine and consultation. And when I asked "What could be wrong?" the person who answered the phone said they really couldn’t say, the doctor would have to see it. I’m sorry, but I don’t really have that kind of money. I haven’t had the snake during this season change. I know I said two years, and most of that time she was with me, but I got this snake for free from a friend whose mom didn’t want it in the house cause it could get out. My house is cooler until I turn on the heat, but I’m trying to hold off. Think this might be the reason for her chilling under the basking. After touching/playing with her she acted normally, i.e. quick reactions, trying to climb, etc. And just last week I did clean the cage out before spraying the mite stuff in the tank as directed, but... I might have used too much on the snake itself cause I’m an idiot. I think come Monday I’ll see if I can find a local Exotic vet or someone who would see a snake that might be cheaper.

TL/DR: Am I over reacting or is this something serious?

09/25/11  08:41am


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  Message To: PenguBom   In reference to Message Id: 2238117

 Loss of Scales on Boa

There’s clearly some information missing here. When did she start losing scales? Do you have pics of her? What are you treating her with for the mites?

All that aside ...

Mites don’t cause animals to lose scales, malnourishment does. Also, how often was she trying to escape and how successful was she? She could have lost scales from those escapes depending on how she pulled it off.

Get rid of those bulbs and get a UTH. The bulbs are doing nothing for that animal. Boas themoregulate by raising or lowering their bodies to get warmer or cooler and a bulb does not give them the opportunity to do that since it is heat coming from above.

Technically, there is no season change as far as a boa is concerned right now. Winter and Summer are about the only things they register and we are still in Summer. Lethargy would be described as a bow laying in strange positions, failing to move when someone disturbs the cage, failure to flick the tongue and overall limpness throughout the body. A boa laying under a basking light and rarely moving is likely just cold because it has no proper way to get heat.

Not that I am doubting you, but I have a hard time believing the vet is that expensive. I’ve lived in and visited many states where I’ve taken exotic animals to the vet. and an exam, at most, was 50.00. The person on the phone is not legally allowed to tell you anything about what may or may not be wrong with the animal.

Anyway ... answer the questions above and I may be able to help you. Pics are a must.

09/25/11  07:47pm


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  Message To: ShadowAceD   In reference to Message Id: 2238177

 Loss of Scales on Boa

She started losing scales after she escaped one day, I’d say about 3 weeks ago (she escaped quite a bit). And I can’t really provide pics at the moment. I’ll see what I can do about that though.

A vet visit here for a dog is 75 bucks. I don’t know why its so expensive, but that’s just how it is in Ohio, I do not live in Cleveland I’m east of it.

The UTH you’re talking about is what I have.... and the bulb is made for reptiles, its a red bulb provides about 80 degrees under the bulb, but its a big tank and thus why I had 2.

The mite stuff I used is called Mite Off by a company called Zoo Med. The most I was told to do was not get it in the snakes mouth. And by your statement of Lethargy then she is not. She reacts normal to tapping on cage and anything like that.

When we’re talking about losing scales, she has lost patches that are light colored. She’s never lost scales escaping before.

09/26/11  05:08am


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  Message To: PenguBom   In reference to Message Id: 2238223

 Loss of Scales on Boa

Are the scales light colored of is she actually losing scales?

Mite Off is a waste of money. Your better of bathing the animal in Dawn Dishsoap, cleaning out the entire enclosure, "fogging" it with RID or Provent-A-Mite, letting it sit for a day or so and putting everything back in it.

You also need to soak all bowls and decorations in a diluted bleach solution with water.

09/26/11  10:16am


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  Message To: ShadowAceD   In reference to Message Id: 2238248

 Loss of Scales on Boa

I haven’t seen any mites since, and actually didn’t see any before the treatment. So no more mites as of right now, if we get more I will ensure I take in your advice. I did not believe mites were the cause for the loss of scales, but my fiance said she had read it on multiple sites.

The patches of scales are lighter then the scales around it. The sites said these patches would be extra sensitive. Idk if that’s true or not. But yes, they are discolored. What does this mean? Possible Fungi infection? Maybe my humidity is off and/or wrong?

09/26/11  04:38pm


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  Message To: PenguBom   In reference to Message Id: 2238287

 Loss of Scales on Boa

Do you know the background on this boa?

Do the washed out scales seem to increase with sheds?

This is not wholly uncommon and if the scales are actually there and just white, there are other explainations for it. Honestly, you really need to get a pic of it up here.

09/28/11  04:05pm


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  Message To: ShadowAceD   In reference to Message Id: 2238475

 Loss of Scales on Boa

By background do you mean where it came from?

I’ve known the snakes since it was 6 weeks old. I got it at 6 months, gave it back, then got it again and am keeping it. It is now 2 years old, so I know everything about its life.

I have pictures, I just need to find a cord to transfer now...

It recently has shed, unfortunately the shed wasn’t well as its very cold and dry and keeping it humid is a lil hard but I have turned on the heat, but the colors are actually returning (or that’s what it looks to be) they are not as dull as they use to be. They are almost to the pigment they were and I believe one more shed will return it to normal. Pics will be up as soon as we find the cord.

10/02/11  05:31pm


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  Message To: PenguBom   In reference to Message Id: 2239005

 Loss of Scales on Boa

I have a boa that is also losing its scales. Not just the ones he is supposed to be losing but all the way down to his muscles. I am very sad about this because I have had him for 16 years and have never had this happen. I have tried increasing his humidity but it doesn’t seem to be getting any better. I wish I could fix this. He has been such a good boa with a wonderful temperament. Any help would be appreciated.


02/04/13  11:01pm

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