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  1. #1
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    Default Pinworms/transporting in cold !

    Hello all, there is a lot here as I am trying to be as descriptive as I can. Thank you.

    I have a 2 yr ish old Tarahumara Mountain Boa, I recently brought him to a reptile swap as I knew a vet came from about 90 minutes from where I am there every 2 weeks, he had some dry skin on the top of his head that he checked out and gave him a normal checkup, everything was good. We did a fecal sample and he tested positive for pinworms, unfortunately.

    He is eating, pooping, etc normally but he seems way overdue for his shed and seems to lose weight more quickly between meals than he used too. In a 4 day span he appeared to go from 772 grams to 583 grams, I was a little alarmed at first but he really didn't look or feel any smaller, wasn't acting any differently. I fed him that same day I weighed him and he ate just fine, let him digest his food for a few days and weighed him 6 days later....sure enough he is at 833 grams......so 772 grams on 12/13, 583 on 12/17, ate a 77 gram rat on 12/17 and on 12/23 he was 833 grams.

    He lost a few lbs between 12/23 and when I fed him next on 12/29 where he weighed 825 grams, fed him 79 gram rat, weighed 890 on 1/2. Haven't weighed him yet today but will in a bit here.

    He is in an AP T8 with a fairly constant temp of 60-70% throughout the enclosure and temps ranging from 85-90 on the warm side to 74-77 on the cool side from left to right. Aspen wood chip bedding.

    I am bringing him back to the vet I saw at the swap a while back who is going to take another look at him and provide me some medication. I live in Chicago where it has been below 0 to 15F for the last 3 weeks and will be about 10F when I bring him tomorrow morning. I need to know how to transport him safely in these very cold temps. 20 minute or so drive, I know to keep car warm but what do you all use to transport your guys/gals in frigid temps?

    Any advice on the pinworms would be greatly appreacited. I clean the cage very regularly, every 7-10 days as a full clean and spot clean thoroughly when I see poop/urate/urine. I'd say I'm OCD about it. Few photos of snake, enclosure and a snippet of my schedule of when I feed, how much he weighs, when he sheds, poops, etc.

    https://1drv.ms/f/s!AqOCHQW1MOLxhssxdOHvyd54TyTbwg

    Thanks!
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  2. #2
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    That sucks on the pinworms. I had a feeder supplier in the mid 90s who had a "great" feeder sale, I picked up a bunch of mice and gerbils from the deal only to find out they were all infected with pinworms and they didn't want to share the information with us, rather just planned to clear out their stock and reup their own supply. I don't remember what I ended up treating with since I've slept since then lol.

    Regarding transporting in the cold, I use basic storage bins, I like to put the snakes in small storage bins and then place those into a larger bin that has a couple towels in it to help insulate while going to and from the vehicle. While in the vehicle I use an inverter and an on/off thermostat with a strip of heat tape on each end of the larger tub to help keep them toasty.
    Randall L Turner Jr.
    RMTWGR

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Randysherps View Post
    That sucks on the pinworms. I had a feeder supplier in the mid 90s who had a "great" feeder sale, I picked up a bunch of mice and gerbils from the deal only to find out they were all infected with pinworms and they didn't want to share the information with us, rather just planned to clear out their stock and reup their own supply. I don't remember what I ended up treating with since I've slept since then lol.

    Regarding transporting in the cold, I use basic storage bins, I like to put the snakes in small storage bins and then place those into a larger bin that has a couple towels in it to help insulate while going to and from the vehicle. While in the vehicle I use an inverter and an on/off thermostat with a strip of heat tape on each end of the larger tub to help keep them toasty.
    Transported in two storage bin lined with towels and a hand warmer. He sat on that the whole way there and back haha, about 86 through the towel. Vet gave me fenbendazole and instructed me to give him 3 doses for 3 days in a row at .5 mL, 7 days off, 3 days on, 7 off, 3 on. He provided the first dose, I've done the last two. He kept everything down both times but the second time (his 3rd dose of 9) he was not having it and as soon as he felt some freedom from mine and my roommate's gripped he ripped away from us (likely before swallowing all of the medication) and I saw the smallest amount come out of his nostrils.....I am very scared I caused him some serious harm......I made sure to stay away from his airway when provide the medication but when he ripped away it may have bounced around in his mouth......I hope he will be okay.

  4. #4
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    I'd imagine he's fine if he's not shown any adverse reactions or behaviors since that happened. Good luck and hope he's all better soon.
    Randall L Turner Jr.
    RMTWGR

  5. #5
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    I know you don’t need this info now as you have already gone to the Vet. But for the future I use a cooler for my snake when I transport them. I put packing paper in the bottom of the cooler and fill a gallon bottle up with hot water and put the snake in the cooler with the hot bottle of water. I do sometimes put a towel in the cooler to help keep the hot water bottle from moving around. If you use a smaller cooler just use one or two drinking bottle for hot water.

    I see you live in the Chicago area here is a good Vet in North west Indiana that is about 50 miles from down town Chicago.

    Dr. LARRY REED
    WESTCHESTER ANIMAL CLINIC
    55 E.US 20
    PORTER IN.46304
    219-926-1194

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by McCarthyBoas View Post
    I know you don’t need this info now as you have already gone to the Vet. But for the future I use a cooler for my snake when I transport them. I put packing paper in the bottom of the cooler and fill a gallon bottle up with hot water and put the snake in the cooler with the hot bottle of water. I do sometimes put a towel in the cooler to help keep the hot water bottle from moving around. If you use a smaller cooler just use one or two drinking bottle for hot water.

    I see you live in the Chicago area here is a good Vet in North west Indiana that is about 50 miles from down town Chicago.

    Dr. LARRY REED
    WESTCHESTER ANIMAL CLINIC
    55 E.US 20
    PORTER IN.46304
    219-926-1194
    Thank you for transporting tip and recommendation on animal clinic. I ended up using 2 tubs, a larger and smaller one with a few towels and a heat pack. that kept one side of tub at 86.

    Small update:

    6 doses down, he is getting smarter and smarter each time. This time made it very difficult for me to get his mouth open but once I did he took down the med nicely. 3 more doses to get go next weekend.

    He is about 21 days off food - started meds in between feedings, then he went into blue on the 7 day break and shed, 3 more days of doses, tried feeding him 2 days later and he was somewhat interested in the food but didn't take. Trying again tomorrow otherwise he will have to wait until after his next 3 doses next weekend; however, he will be 30+ without food...

    Good news is, little to no weight loss since I started administering meds.....he had been losing weight pretty quickly between feedings because of the worms previously.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwburns32 View Post
    Thank you for transporting tip and recommendation on animal clinic. I ended up using 2 tubs, a larger and smaller one with a few towels and a heat pack. that kept one side of tub at 86.

    Small update:

    6 doses down, he is getting smarter and smarter each time. This time made it very difficult for me to get his mouth open but once I did he took down the med nicely. 3 more doses to get go next weekend.

    He is about 21 days off food - started meds in between feedings, then he went into blue on the 7 day break and shed, 3 more days of doses, tried feeding him 2 days later and he was somewhat interested in the food but didn't take. Trying again tomorrow otherwise he will have to wait until after his next 3 doses next weekend; however, he will be 30+ without food...

    Good news is, little to no weight loss since I started administering meds.....he had been losing weight pretty quickly between feedings because of the worms previously.
    Last 3 doses last 3 days, he is now on day 31 without feed as he hasn't taken twice since I have given him meds. He did did take a big poop after the second time I tried feeding him but then I was just a few days away from the 3rd dose of meds so I waited to feed. I am going to leave him be for a few days and try and feed him again then. He will be about 35 or so days off food and I am hoping he takes it.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by cwburns32 View Post
    Last 3 doses last 3 days, he is now on day 31 without feed as he hasn't taken twice since I have given him meds. He did did take a big poop after the second time I tried feeding him but then I was just a few days away from the 3rd dose of meds so I waited to feed. I am going to leave him be for a few days and try and feed him again then. He will be about 35 or so days off food and I am hoping he takes it.
    I have no experience treating snakes for worms but I can't imagine these treatments are good for gut flora, enzymes, what-have you. The worst thing that could happen would be for this snake to eat and then regurgitate. -I would not be trying to feed this boa until at least a couple weeks after the treatments are over as long as the boa looks to be of decent mass. If the boa has even decent mass I would be waiting a month or more.

    35 days without food is nothing. There isn't a boa in my care that has eaten since November of last year...some haven't eaten since October. -and none of them will be offered until April at the earliest (that's 120 plus days). I don't think it was on this forum but I posted a photo of a boa in response to someone worrying about their boa skipping a couple meals during winter...you couldn't tell from a photo and you wouldn't have had any indication in person handling the snake that it had not eaten in over 5 months.

    Granted, these are mature adults but any boa at age two would not be eating for a couple months here. Another factor here is where your boa's blood comes from (Tarahumara)...these boas along with Occidentalis experience a strong seasonal changing environment in nature and do well when experiencing seasonal change with a no feed in winter routine in captivity. I remember Gus Rentfro talking about a female Tarahumara boa that ate 12 rats a year and produced healthy litters consecutively.

    More...My female Occidentalis ate 3 times last year. She grew a couple inches at age 11 (or is it 12?), didn't loose weight, looks fantastic and feels like a steel pipe when you pick her up. The meals were 4lb rabbits but eating 3 times in a year and being of excellent health is hard for many people to get their mind around...even folks keeping boas.

    If your boa was in my care he wouldn't be eating this winter for at least a couple months and he wouldn't have eaten nearly as many meals as I saw on your chart. I tell you this because it's true but mostly to put your mind at ease...35 days is nothing for a healthy boa to go without food. I don't know what your boas physical condition is...but if he is of good mass I would leave him alone (no handling) change his water and wait...the only thing rushing a feeding at this time will do is add potential for a more series problem -regurgitation.

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  10. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by bns View Post
    I have no experience treating snakes for worms but I can't imagine these treatments are good for gut flora, enzymes, what-have you. The worst thing that could happen would be for this snake to eat and then regurgitate. -I would not be trying to feed this boa until at least a couple weeks after the treatments are over as long as the boa looks to be of decent mass. If the boa has even decent mass I would be waiting a month or more.

    35 days without food is nothing. There isn't a boa in my care that has eaten since November of last year...some haven't eaten since October. -and none of them will be offered until April at the earliest (that's 120 plus days). I don't think it was on this forum but I posted a photo of a boa in response to someone worrying about their boa skipping a couple meals during winter...you couldn't tell from a photo and you wouldn't have had any indication in person handling the snake that it had not eaten in over 5 months.

    Granted, these are mature adults but any boa at age two would not be eating for a couple months here. Another factor here is where your boa's blood comes from (Tarahumara)...these boas along with Occidentalis experience a strong seasonal changing environment in nature and do well when experiencing seasonal change with a no feed in winter routine in captivity. I remember Gus Rentfro talking about a female Tarahumara boa that ate 12 rats a year and produced healthy litters consecutively.

    More...My female Occidentalis ate 3 times last year. She grew a couple inches at age 11 (or is it 12?), didn't loose weight, looks fantastic and feels like a steel pipe when you pick her up. The meals were 4lb rabbits but eating 3 times in a year and being of excellent health is hard for many people to get their mind around...even folks keeping boas.

    If your boa was in my care he wouldn't be eating this winter for at least a couple months and he wouldn't have eaten nearly as many meals as I saw on your chart. I tell you this because it's true but mostly to put your mind at ease...35 days is nothing for a healthy boa to go without food. I don't know what your boas physical condition is...but if he is of good mass I would leave him alone (no handling) change his water and wait...the only thing rushing a feeding at this time will do is add potential for a more series problem -regurgitation.

    Firstly, thank you for this thorough post!! There is a lot of good info here and this does put my mind at ease.

    Secondly, I stupidly did not come back to check this forum after I posted my last post and then went ahead and fed him. The last time he didn't take, he had a very large, healthy poop the very next day, I had 3 more doses left so I waited until those were done and then waited another 5 days and then fed him. He took an 88 gram rat just as quickly as he normally does and has been digesting it inside his warm hide ever since. All seems normal. I will keep an eye out for regurgitating.

    Thirdly, the meds were not fun and he gotta smarter each time we had to adminisiter them but I noticed the last two he just kind of let it happen, almost to say "I know this is helping me but it still sucks, get over it" I have noticed since I have administered the meds he has lost very little weight, save 35 grams when he pooped. During his last 6 doses he only lost 9 grams over a two week period which is almost normally with how much he cruises around at night. Things seem to be looking up.

    Lastly, thanks for tip on not feeding in winter and I see what you are saying with Taras being from a climate where it will sometimes snow I understand why he might not be hungry in the winter months. I will be sure to slow/stop his feedings next winter. He feels as you described, solid as a pipe, very firm, calm grip when you're handling him. Seems very healthy outside of the pinworms which I am hoping I have eliminated, I have been deep cleaning his cage every 3 days since administering him meds and the meds seem to be working, need to do another fecal sample.

    Thank you again.

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