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Thread: Boa Deaths

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by boidae View Post
    I have a question about the "toxic rat" what do you mean by this and how dos it become toxic?? Are they killed bij somthing toxic ore are they frosen defrosted and frozen again??

    Ts i don`t know but do you have mites in your colecction??they could spread a decies carried by blood and infect other snakes just by having a drink on one sick snake.
    I think the rats in question are probably not cooled and frozen rapidly enough, if they arent the fatty rat species...... Poor quality control in some of the larger feeder companies are to blame... they contract out several small breeders and have no control over their processing and packing operations.... I've gotten rats from Rodent@$# before that smelled like they were dead for days... and had to throw them out.... even had a large hungry female retic turn a batch down..... when that happens you know they're inedible....
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  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by truss View Post
    this might help you. big mike wrote this and its on his site.

    http://www.basicallyboas.com/whats_new.html
    kksaito, I'm sorry for your loss.

    On the link above: I don't think it's a good idea to feed obese anything to boas, but I don't know how this could cause death in the short term. I know a local guy who feeds his boas baby pigs (talk about fat ) and doesn't have any problem even with his Guyana group which aren't known for having an iron gut. Maybe the fat is different...I dunno.? I think the key to the problem in the link was when he switched suppliers - and I obviously can't be certain of that either...

    Sadly, I have read several cases of death in which the supplier named previously was involved. I don't know for certain that this supplier is at fault, but it sure causes concern.

    Getting a boa to reach it's full potential requires getting many little things correct and these things can vary somewhat for any individual boa. A proper diet doesn't fall into the ''little things'' category...for this reason I raise my own feeders. I don't particularly like this part of 'keeping' as the feeders are far more work than the snakes, but I consider it a necessary evil. This necessary evil cost me less money and sure helps me sleep at night knowing exactly what is going into my snakes diet...

  3. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by PanamaRed View Post
    Steve I edited your post because it had business names in it. I don't want to get sued over finger pointing, but folks can read between the lines..
    No problem! Sorry about that - I will make sure I keep the names out from now on. What happened to Kenny had me a little upset so I guess I twisted the knife a little too far. I will clean it up from now on.

    Steve - sdi

  4. #14
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    It's all good Steve..
    Ed Lilley
    www.constrictorsnw.com

    Check my available snakes at this link:
    http://www.reptileinsider.com/classi...panamared.html

    I rejoined facebook... I don't feel good about it...



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  5. #15
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    I've been using that supplier for over 14 years. I've never had a problem.

    I use the warm water method of thawing my rodents. The rats go from the freezer to fed in just over an hour.

    I don't understand why others have had problems, but I don't see a need to change my rodent supplier. I'm very happy with them.

    I'm sorry for those that have lost boas to toxic rats, but I'm still wondering how they became "toxic".

    Could it have been the thawing method? I know some people will allow a rat to sit out for hours, before it thaws and it's fed off.

    I guess it might not be the rats at all. Maybe it was somthing in the food the rat ate. Prehaps the rats weren't allowed to digest what was in their stomaches before it was killed and frozen.

    All I know is I've purchased, at least, 10,000 rats/mice in the past 14 years. Never had a problem with any of them. Who know, maybe I've just been lucky. I just think if a "toxic" rat is suspected, prehaps the "rats" should be tested.

    That's the only way to know if it's the rat, the way it was thawed, or what the rat might have eaten.

    I'd be willing to guess it's more likely "bad rat food" that made the rats toxic. Rats can eat "anything", but can boas eat/digest anything a rat ate??


    BTW that's not the only supplier I've heard that may have sold "toxic rats". So, the problem isn't from a single source. I've heard of snake keeper, that bred their own rodents, that have sold off excess rodents that have also had that "toxic effect". That's why I believe it's more likely the food eaten by the rat and not the rat it's self.

  6. #16
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    I am so sorry to hear this news.
    Truly a sad situation to be placed in.
    I am looking forward to seeing the results of the necropsy.
    As for the Toxic Rat situation...........it has happened to us all..........unfortunatly..........................but we are here to live and to learn............and hopefully not repeat the same mistakes twice.
    I am a boa addict
    http://jadeboa.com/

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by SFG.D View Post
    I've been using that supplier for over 14 years. I've never had a problem.

    I use the warm water method of thawing my rodents. The rats go from the freezer to fed in just over an hour.

    I don't understand why others have had problems, but I don't see a need to change my rodent supplier. I'm very happy with them.

    I'm sorry for those that have lost boas to toxic rats, but I'm still wondering how they became "toxic".

    Could it have been the thawing method? I know some people will allow a rat to sit out for hours, before it thaws and it's fed off.

    I guess it might not be the rats at all. Maybe it was somthing in the food the rat ate. Prehaps the rats weren't allowed to digest what was in their stomaches before it was killed and frozen.

    All I know is I've purchased, at least, 10,000 rats/mice in the past 14 years. Never had a problem with any of them. Who know, maybe I've just been lucky. I just think if a "toxic" rat is suspected, prehaps the "rats" should be tested.

    That's the only way to know if it's the rat, the way it was thawed, or what the rat might have eaten.

    I'd be willing to guess it's more likely "bad rat food" that made the rats toxic. Rats can eat "anything", but can boas eat/digest anything a rat ate??


    BTW that's not the only supplier I've heard that may have sold "toxic rats". So, the problem isn't from a single source. I've heard of snake keeper, that bred their own rodents, that have sold off excess rodents that have also had that "toxic effect". That's why I believe it's more likely the food eaten by the rat and not the rat it's self.
    I have a friend who uses Rodent*** exclusively aside from some large food items he gets from a local farmer to feed his retics. He even feeds his tiger bateaters which are the only ones in the entire world (unless someone else is hiding something) food from this company. I tell him he is crazy for using this company and he swears up and down they are the best source out there. He has never had a problem with this company either. I am sure there are others who feel the same way.

    My first and most direct experience was with my inferno pastel female that ate a "zucker" rat. Thanks to Big Mike for posting on his website about this because it gave me something to present to Rodent***. They told me they had revamped their supply chain and the "zucker" rats were a thing of the past. Needless to say I have not used them since this incident. A couple months ago I was at my aforementioned friends facility and the topic came up because I started razzing him again for using Rodent***. He had me look at his supply and guess what I found......"zucker" rats......about 8-10% of his supply.

    All it takes is one negative incident that could have been prevented and I am out. I produced the boa Kenny lost so this is now two negative experiences I have been involved with, not to mention the countless others that people have reported. Like you I bought thousands of rats from this supplier before it happened and all of a sudden I was left with a collection that needed food asap. It is not the greatest feeling to trust your supplier, find out that multiple people had the same preventable problem, have to find another source on the fly and trust that they will supply you with quality rats.

    I don't know what is making them "toxic" either. Could be the food, the thawing method, packaging method, the type of rat or a number of other factors. All I know is a lot of people have had, and are continuing to have problems. You are correct, Rodent*** is not the only company reported to have this problem. I would guess more than 9/10 times they are the source though.

    I really do not intend to offend you because you have had a great experience with them, a lot of zoos use them and countless hobbyist/breeders use them. You clearly have experience with reptile husbandry based just your statement about how long you have used this supplier. Your opinion is valid based on your experience. I know I base my opinions on my experiences and I am reluctant to change my mind on something without strong evidence to back up that change. However, I can't deny the experiences of myself and others. I do think it is important to "air things out" though. Topics like these should not be censored. It is not good for the hobby to have topics like this, or inbreeding swept under the rug. Even when the topic becomes redundant it should be discussed because this is not the first or last time this discussion will be held.

    This is what the forum is for so I hope I did not come off too aggressive or in a way that was upsetting to you. Typing can be dangerously impersonal so please excuse me if I offended you.

    Thanks,

    Steve - sdi

  8. #18
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    By the way Kenny I'm really sorry you had to go through this.I wouldn't wish
    this problem on anybody or their Boas at all. Especially good people who try
    their best to keep their Boas healthy and clean.
    here are some Links to other posts about this issue for anyone with questions

    In my case I can only speculate what causes these issues

    Links below
    Fat Rats?

    What causes a boa to loose pigment...

    My post within that thread

    Well I need to make a post about this subject. I've been holding off trying to gather as much information as I can. Gathering info on this subject as it relates to my problem has been very slow and hard to do. There appears to be no real research into this area. So I feel I must relate my finding and feelings about this subject.
    Last Summer was very bad hard summer for me. I lost many extremely important boas that were just ready to go this season meaning right now. One was actually ovulated having been breeding late into the summer. The last fem I lost had very mature follicles in Sept and was on schedule to breed and produce now. The others were all mature and would have bred this season also.
    My vet could only give hard facts about Necropsy reports bacteria. Proteus Bacteria ,Klebsiella Bacteria cultured back in extremely high numbers,that high of numbers indicated the problem Pseudomonas cultured back in higher but not extreme numbers in couple cases. No inclusion bodies were found in these cases. She couldn't make that direct link that said yes some rat had bacteria or extra fat that caused this. Why because the rats that caused problems were already digested or gone . Plus I don't believe the science exists yet for such conclusions. No scientific trials for a vet to read and make related conclusions etc...
    In three cases rats were regurged,then it took quite some time before symptoms occurred in all but 1 case. She died with in 4 days of feeding. So it was hard to make a correlation initially for me. It soon became apparent to me that it was some how food related. Because cages were clean ,water was clean. Boas housed separately except in two case of breeding. Swabs of cages and dishes showed clean. Fecal samples showed many problematic Bacterial situations for many Boas.
    Well I've done some research very hard to obtain good info on this subject. I've talked to Brian(ARS). I also spoke with Stefanie from BasicallyBoas while at Tinley.Plus she and Brian(ARS) mentioned Chris N and his preferences in Rats & mice.
    So here it is I'll try to be short. I can't say with full certainty that the Rats I fed my Boas which caused the loss of very close to $30,000 worth of Boas were indeed heavy on Bacterial numbers. They might have been,I will never know as they the rats are gone,LOL
    I use very strict procedures when thawing and feeding. Making the process fast as possible. Which means several thaws of batches of rats. I feed, then thaw some more, feed etc...
    The feedings that caused My problem occurred over a very short period of time only a couple weeks really less. Once I started to tie this problem to my feeders. I stopped feeding those particular rats and all large rats. I couldn't be certain at the time exactly what was happening. I felt it was related to my feeders, I just wasn't sure how it was related.
    What I do know and still looking into is this. All the Rats that appeared to cause the main and most serious problems were all Black or Black and white and larges except 1 case of a medium white rat that was a very thick medium. None of these rats however were bigger then Large size. No even Jumbos or what usually causes problems XX Jumbo or XXXXXJumbo. These XXX Jumbo type Rats that cause problems for people fall into the category of "Zucker Rats" Mike @ Basically Boas covers this subject at his website.Zucker "FAT" Rats are actually a Recessive trait rat. I also believe the FAT Zuckers are sterile and only Het to Het breeding can produce these "FAT" Rats. Ryan also posted about this earlier in this thread.
    So what I also found is Zucker type Rats as well as Black Hooded Rats are used in many Scientific trials that have to do with Obesity, Hypertension, Diabetes and other fat related issues. So these types of rats have extremely high fat levels in them. I don't believe this problem is reserved to just the Homozygous forms of Zuckers but also hets then also the Black Hooded Rats.
    So as we are all starting to find out many possibly all Boas have digestive systems which do not tolerate fat very well.So when our Boas consume too much of this fat from these types of rats something bad can happen. I believe it gums up their digestive track and causes a bacteria bloom . Which in return can cause Bacterial Sepsis and possibly other serious internal issues. If caught soon after ingestion it maybe possible to administer Amakacin to counter act the problem. All though in the case of many Hypo Boas especially, it brings them down quickly. They can go into a really bad awful shed. That when it comes off leaves ulcerations on their skin and bleaches out their color ,then death can occur. In some case the Boas don't even get to shed phase they just die with in 4-14 days in severe cases. For some reason it seems to be tougher on fems rather than males,both can die from it.
    From my conversations Mike & Steph (Basicallyboas.com) have not actually cleared using their names but in light of Mikes research on fat rats I don't they will mind . So from talking with Steph at Tinley Park they will not order anything that's not pure white.With another guy won't mention his name haven't cleared it with him.He will not use anything black or black and white this also includes his mice. The Mice situation I'm still looking into but I believe it can be a factor as well with mice.When Brian(ARS) puts down different types of rats he notices a difference in the residue left inside the killing chamber. With the Black Hooded and Zucker type Rats there is a really oily sweaty residue left inside the chamber. Not so he says with his white rats. He also explained to me that Chris N and Mike & Steff buy only White Rats with Chris wanting rats and Mice of all white color.Brian said its no problem for all python species to eat any of these fatty rats. He said Boas seem to be affected in some cases. So he has put me on a list so I will only always get White Rats and mice.This info is too late for me and some of my Boas but at least I'm beginning to understand what probably occurred. I also believe that possibly some even pure white rats are somehow affected with higher fat levels also. Maybe from some type of interbreeding with Hooded or zuker rats. Hard to get to the bottom of it all. Many Rat providers get rats from these science facilities Taconic | Smart Solutions to Improve Human Health and or Harlan - Animal Research Laboratory - Contract Research Services. These rats have not been used in any scientific research,they aye overstock so to speak. Alot of info is on those websites,not enough though.
    So I will never order anything but pure white rats and mice from now on.For some time I was scared to feed my Boas as I wasn't clear on exactly what was happening. I now feel I've made some good correlations to Fat content and this problem as it affected me and my Boas.
    . . . . Lar M

  9. #19
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    First let me say sorry for your losses
    2nd I thought that python's didnt have the problem of eating the fat rats?
    Everything i have read says that they dont have have a problem eating them
    But you say you lost some GTP's,How many GTP's died?
    Im just wondering i dont deal with pythons, But you can never get enough info
    Steve
    C.E.R.

    Quote Originally Posted by kksaito View Post
    Hi,

    I just lost my prized boa and have submitted the body for a necropsy today.

    I have lost 6 animals in 5 months (Boas and GTPs). Symptoms were regurging, stop feeding, waxy stools for week before passing, Others seemed fine till they behaved oddly by seeming to try to purge rectally before having seizure type flailing and twisting before dying almost instantly. One developed neurological problems for weeks before having to be put down for a necropsy. The results of that necropsy was bacterial septicemia (blood poisoning) and pseudomonas and salmonella was found in the heart blood samples.

    My fears of IBD were dismissed, thankfully. But now I have to address the the next issue which I have been told sounds like toxic feeders. All were fed from the same feeder supply. My posts on another site regarding this were pulled so you may know who I have purchased my feeders from.

    I want to ask if there are others that have had similar issues and can dispute or support these suspicions.

    I will post the findings of this latest necropsy and I look forward to any and all responses to this post.

    Thanks in advance.

    Kenny

  10. #20
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    More info on fat rats here:

    http://www.basicallyboas.com/whats_new.html

    The thing that has me worried is rumor of some of the rodent suppliers buying in Lab surplus rodents. I don't know if any of this is true or not. What is lab surplus? Are they animals that have been tested on?? Because thats not what I'm looking for.

    Another thing to think about is prices.. We all want a good deal right? Well What about companies that make the cost of rodents super cheap, seems like a great deal, but then you pay $100 for shipping and you come to find out they ship the box of rodents ground, and not express... Their shipping charges were more like $35-40 for ground.. So you paid say $1 per rat and got 50 rats, shipping only cost the company $40 but you paid $100, so the real cost of the rats were $2.20 each plus shipping not $1.. Not as good of a deal as you thought...
    Ed Lilley
    www.constrictorsnw.com

    Check my available snakes at this link:
    http://www.reptileinsider.com/classi...panamared.html

    I rejoined facebook... I don't feel good about it...



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