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Q: Adopted Dumeril's Boa may have a Respiratory Infection
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Lola [DB-F-001]

So last week our family found an ad on craiglist for a beautiful Dumeril's Boa.  At a wonderful price too for a grown adult female!  I quickly jumped on it and inquired.  The owner sounded very knowledgeable and the snake was being taken care of.  So we agreed on a time and place to check out the snake.  One of the first things I noticed was distinct wheezing.  I am a first time Dumeril's owner but I did my research and I knew that a respiratory problem is common.  I immediately discounted the wheezing for stress.  Well my wife fell in love with this 5 1/2' beauty which we named Lil' Lola.  After careful inspection at home I noticed continued wheezing which raised major red flags along with what looked like a tiny clear bubble which went away about as quickly as it appeared near her lips.  Both nostrils were plugged and the wheezing continued.  After two nights of a dry and clean enclosure and increased heat, I noticed less wheezing but the nostrils were still plugged.  I was being optimistic and hoped that it was simply a couple of bad sheds which plugged her up.

On Saturday night I decided to try and give her head a little bit of a soak to see if it would relieve the nostril plug up.  The stuff got saturated and it looked gooey (technical scientific word).  It was opaque mucus, without a doubt!  I am confident that she has a respiratory infection, but my wife feels we can cure this with simple environmental changes.

How many of you feel we can get her fixed up with the enclosure change which we gave her already?

How many of you feel we need to take her to the vet?  What would the medical treatment consist of?  Are there other remedies we can accomplish at home to see if it helps before taking her to the vet?

How many of you feel I should ask the previous owner for compansation if a vet visit is in order.  He seems genuinely concerned and seems to have no idea that her nostrils were plugged or any wheezing.  Please share your thoughts.  Thanks

Attached Photos:

Points: 150
Topics: General Health , Respiratory , Heating
Tags: Adoption, Boa, Dumerils, Infection, Respiratory
Species: Boas > Large Boas > Acrantophis dumerili
Administrative: Show/Hide

Assisted Answer 11/22/2010 10:14:13 PM


I think you can ask for compensation, but are unlikely to get it. unfortunately, that's how most people roll. hopefully not, but you never know. it certainly seems fair to ask.

hmmm...I've "fixed" RIs in the very early stages a time or two with a hot-side bump of about 5F and keeping everything very dry for a bit, but never when the snake was at the point of crusty buggers and lots of wheezing. I *think* they're like people and can develop pneumonia without a lot of outward change in symptoms...I'd take her in. exam + meds = way cheaper than trying to fix a worse RI later.

Accepted Answer 11/22/2010 10:39:22 PM


Usually these things can clear up on their own... and I would see a course of antibiotics to be a last resort.....  Usually the environmental changes described by Aimee should get things on the right track.....  but keep an eye on it.... If it starts to get worse then I would seek assistance from a vet....  If they develop pneumonia, then you may be looking at nebulizer treatments which can be costly....   

PS.... is there just wheezing from the nostrils......  ??  or does the wheezing sound deeper??   best  way is to use a stethoscope of listen to the breathing if the snake has to open it's mouth to breath (ie plugged nostrils)          

Author Comment 11/23/2010 1:24:38 AM


Actually since we've got her she seems to be getting better.  Took her out tonight (even though she's blue) to see if she would stress out and wheeze and we heard nothing.  Cage is nice and dry and hot which it has been since the first night we got her.  It appears to be having a good positive effect on her.  We dabbed some drop of water on her nostrils tonight to see if any more "build up" would clear away.  It very well could have been bad sheds!  That would be awesome.  It was definitely nostrils.  It sounded like a loud exhale only.  I know the deep sound you are thinking of.  I remember hearing it distinctly now in a friend's snake quite a while back.  Definitely different.  She got another addition to her mansion tonight too...a new hide box!  She didn't have one before.  I'm crossing my fingers!  Thanks for the responses.  I would be interested in reading more opinions.

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