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Q: Red Tail Boa, wheezing or hissing? can't tell :/
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I purchased a beautiful Red Tail Boa at a reptile expo at the beginning of this month. I've noticed when I'm handling her, I hear faint whistling noises coming from her. Now I'm not sure if she's wheezing due to a respiratory infection, or if she's hissing, or neither. I have a vet appointment set for her on tuesday, but any suggestions on here would be much appreciated!

I know it may be hard to give advice without actually hearing the animal, but any help you could offer would be wonderful Smile

Points: 150
Topics: Respiratory
Tags: Boa, Hissing, Wheezing
Species: Boas > Large Boas > Boa constrictor constrictor
Administrative: Show/Hide

Member Comment 4/23/2011 4:16:24 PM


Make sure  her hot spot is warm enough  ( not to hot )  give her a lite misting  once in a while  and keep an eye on here 

Member Comment 4/23/2011 4:35:07 PM


I have one boa who whistles once in a while when I have him out and has pretty much since I got him over two years ago. I nicknamed him "puff" lol. I usually hear it best when he's crawling around my neck near my ear. He's never shown any other respiratory signs, and his temps are good.

If it's a hiss, it should go away once you have her out for a bit. Hissing is usually accompanied by a puffing up of the body to appear larger as well. My guess is it's probably not hissing.

It could be the first sign of an RI. Your vet could tell you more, however at this early stage I'd just try raising the temps a bit and mist her, as Doom said.

Member Comment 4/23/2011 5:26:43 PM

Sonja K. Reptiles

Agreed - bump her hot spot to ~93 and up the humidity some.

Accepted Answer 4/23/2011 6:33:58 PM


I have a boa that "talks" (Rozy) when you get him out he will huff and puff like the big bad wolf and then he simply sits on you shoulder and whispers in your ear. Ffffffffffff

Definetly check your temps and keep an eye out for excessive saliva. Time for a vet if you see major drool or any bubbles. Other wise you may have a "talker" too.

Member Comment 4/24/2011 12:39:25 AM


I had a talker too. Retics will do the same sometimes. Usually not RI related, however I agree, bump up the temps and humidity (a little) and just watch for bubbles and saliva and open mouthed breathing. Vet visit worthy for sure with those symptoms.

Author Comment 4/25/2011 8:41:20 PM


thank you all :]

yeah i've been checking everyday for saliva and bubbles, and she doesn't have them. I'm guessing maybe just a talker like you said lol. I'm misting her and raised temps and humidity also. Her appointment is tomorrow, so hopefully all turns out well, and if not then at least i caught it early on, as she's showing no other symptoms of RI.

Author Comment 4/26/2011 11:20:49 PM


I took her to the vet today and she's perfectly healthy :] The vet also thought that she is just a "talker" lol. Thank you all for your advice!

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