My Red-tail (boa) just ate and it has a small bulbous area of its belly sticking out...looks like someone's small finger pushing it out from the inside. I've never seen this before with any of my snakes after eating so I'm a tad worried. If I had to guess, it looks like the head, or an appendage of the rat is at a weird angle. It ate the rat head first, but it constricted the rat in such a way as it may have broken the rat's neck. Any thoughts? Thx.

Robert J. Salvi, Ambiance Acoustics
http://www.ambianceacoustics.com
San Diego, CA USA
(858) 485-7514
This is entirely normal. My redtails currently have significant lumps after eating several rabbits. Feed that bad boy. lol snake lady
Thanks...and it *is* being fed a hearty diet. I just inherited this snake just over 3' in length from a neighbor's daughter who recently decided she was scared of it (from lack of handling). After only two weeks in my care, the boa is now a pussycat, albeit one that chases prey around the cage like he/she hasn't been fed in months! Best of all, he/she seems to get along great with my BPs so it's one big, happy snake family. :-)

Thanks again.

Robert J. Salvi, Ambiance Acoustics
http://www.ambianceacoustics.com
San Diego, CA USA
(858) 485-7514
Boas are my favorite snakes. They are big gentle babies when well fed & handled on a regular basis. My oldest girl will be 29 yrs old in July. She is beginning to show her age. I know that the day is coming when I will lose her & it will indeed be a big loss. I have other boas but Bugsy will always be #1. She is laying stretched out on the sofa with her head in my lap surrounded by our Chihuahuas. She had a fatty tumor removed this past year & I was so scared that she had cancer but luck was on our side.

May your boa bring you as much pleasure as Bugsy has brought me! One word of caution, I wouldn't expose my boas to my balls because they are from different parts of the world & therefore carry different pathogens. A South American snake doesn't have any natural resistence to an African snake's pathogens & vice versa. Good luck & happy herping! snake lady
29y/o, WOW! If Bugsy had decent ears, she'd probably come when you call her name. Can you teach her to fetch...? :-) One can become quite attached to a pet of 30 years.
I had a Red-Tail back in the 80's Shira and she was sweet, a good eater and pretty. I was sitting on my patio one summer evening with her wrapped around my neck when she decided to climb a lamp cord to a flood light. I took a pic of it and would scan and share it, but I think it's with my ex so we'll leave it at that.
RE: pathogens...good point. When I had Shira, she shared a cage with Balls, a Burm and a Retic. None were ever sick and they got along fine. That's not to say pathogens are a non-issue, just that I haven't encountered a problem yet (knock on wood). Perhaps prolonged communal captivity of different species will eventually lead to an adaptive immune process for them? I will say this though, snakes seem to be communal and enjoy the presence (and security?) of other similar snakes.
Herping is certainly a fun hobby and especially rewarding when signs of apparent affection develop from what most might consider, unconventional, indiscriminate pets. Besides, when I decide to go for a walk around the neighborhood with my big male BP wrapped contently around my neck, it does draw attention. .

Robert J. Salvi, Ambiance Acoustics
http://www.ambianceacoustics.com
San Diego, CA USA
(858) 485-7514
I have other boas but Bugsy will always be #1. She is laying stretched out on the sofa with her head in my lap surrounded by our Chihuahuas.

Has she every tried to make a meal out of one of the chihuahuas?
One word of caution, I wouldn't expose my boas to my balls because they are from different parts of the ... doesn't have any natural resistence to an African snake's pathogens & vice versa. Good luck & happy herping! snake lady

Also, isn't a boa quite a bit larger than a ball? Maybe it could accidentally harm a smaller snake.
I remember a post where someone had kept a burm, a retic, a boa and 3 balls together in one cage. One of the balls was a baby and ended up getting crushed to death by the burm
Here is some pics of a ball that ate a ball and died and a boa that ate a ball and then regurgitated. Mixing species is never good and even houseing same species together has its risks.
"Has she every tried to make a meal out of one of the chihuahuas?"
If Bugsy had ever tried to eat one of my precious pups I'd never again expose her to them. All interactions are well supervised. I'm sure Bugsy's attraction is their warm body temps (102F). I don't believe that snakes form a deep relationship with other snakes or mammals including humans. A well fed snake is hesitant to try new foods. If Bugsy showed interest in dogs I would be constantly bitten as my dogs are always with me & I'm sure I suffer from doggy odor.

A snake that's kept too hungry will eat anything that moves as demonstrated by the skinny ball eating its own kind as well as the skinny boa eating a ball python. In fact many large dealers that I've visited commonly have snakes eat one another. They buy in large amounts of snakes. More than they can feed. The ones that sell early in the season are healthy but often after being over here for a few months they're so hungry they will feed on each other.

As to the parasite issue most snakes can live with many parasites for years before they cause problems. I wormed a ball bought at a pet store. The owners had it for about 10 yrs. It passed hundreds of small worms. I also wormed a 12+/-year old boa that had a tape worm that had grown to over 30 feet. Both of these animals had stopped eating, were dehydrated & anemic. snake lady
Impressive pics. I've once kept a RTB for 3 months together with GTPs, that were neiter half its size, but no one was eaten. One of the small GTPs once shot down on the boa and grapped and strangled it, fortunately I was present and nothing happened. I don't know if this behaviour was a matter of territorial action, hunger or some other kind of feeding reflex, none of them had been in contact with mice.
Needless to say that after this event both species were housed in different vivs.
Anna