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post #1 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 06:45 PM Thread Starter
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Please help!

Hi, I am going to get straight to the problem. My snakes eyes is a bit messed up and I am extremely worried that he may be blind! I am a new snake owner, and I bought this red tailed boa in the summer, I did a TON of research to make sure he had the best care possible and would live a long life. Here is the story, I will try to provide pictures..

I was feeding my snake as I always do, but this time he didnt seem to be hungry. It was a live hopper that I put in his cage. So I decided I would give him a bit of privacy and I covered his cage because he always eats when he has privacy. When I uncovered his feeding cage, I saw the hopper was consistently going for his eye, and my snake would sort of twist his head around so the hopper would leave him alone, and the hopper would try to go for what it seemed like his eye. So I decided to take my snake out and that I would try to feed him another time. I assumed he was close to shedding so he wasnt hungry (his eyes turned milky the next day). So after his shed (which went fine) I noticed one of his eyes didnt seem to be quite like the other. So the first thing I did was google search what could be the issue. After coming to a conclusion of it being a retained eye cap, I had already thrown out his skin from his most previous shed. So I took him to where I bought him (PJS pets) and they agreed with me, and asked me if I noticed one of his eyes didnt come off in the shed, and I told them what I stated above. So they asked me to bring him in and one of the reptile managers tried doing the whole "tape over the eye" trick. It didnt seem to work at first, so then I tried bathing him and putting a Nutrafin Aqua Plus solution in his water, then attempting to get it off with a cue tip. This was assisted with consistent misting of the cage as well. With his "eye cap" not coming off, I brought him back and a new manager tried it. She seemed to be vigorously trying to use the tape method on his eye, and she did until a his eye filled with fluid. So then she got very worried and said that she wasnt sure if the hopper pierced his eye, and she wanted to stop using the tape and wait until next shed. So now I have him at home, and I just wanted to know everyones opinion. Did the hopper blind him? Did the manager screw his eye up permanently? He still has to shed, which should be right away, and he hasnt been eating at all since the incident of the hopper. Here are the pictures, thank you very much for reading and taking your time to help me!


In his bad eye, you can still see his pupil moving underneath the layer. Also, his bad eye doesnt 'come out' as much as his other, and that is why the manager stated the hopper may have 'pierced' it.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Einstein 002.jpg (57.3 KB, 6 views)
File Type: jpg Einstein 004.jpg (68.2 KB, 5 views)

Last edited by Tsoumpas; 11-10-2011 at 06:48 PM.
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post #2 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-10-2011, 07:21 PM
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you should bring him to an exotic vet.

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post #3 of 3 (permalink) Old 11-11-2011, 07:26 AM
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Firstly, you need to be feeding your boa previously killed food....not only is it less expensive and easier to store than live, it will not hurt your snake. I have seen boas killed by live food a few times, and scarred badly by live food hundreds of times. Bear in mind that when your boa reaches full-size, he/she will be eating 2lb+ rabbits...rabbits, rats, etc are strong, and have very powerful jaws and wickedly sharp teeth. Your boa might be fighting for his dinner, but his dinner would be fighting for its life, and all it takes is one lucky bite to put out an eye, sever a spine, or puncture a skull.

On to your snake's injury. Firstly, I do not trust pet shop employees as far as I can throw a house, and neither should you. Although there is a rare one that actually knows what they are doing, most are far more talk than actual knowledge and experience. It is quite possible that the reptile manager injured the eye whilst attempting to remove the cap. This is a very delicate thing to do, and I have never much liked the 'tape trick' for just that reason.

You could take him to a vet, but there is not likely a lot the vet could do. Currently, the good thing is that the 'injured' eye is probably not permanently damaged, as it sounds like it has some decent function. I would give it a few days, and see if there are any changes in the eye....if you see any signs of infection or degradation, I would then consult a vet. If there is no negative change to the eye, I would suggest finding a pillowcase that remains 'breathable' (usually something with a lower thread-count) when wet, and soak it in warm water, put the boa inside, tie it off, and leave him in a nice warm place for a hour...this may encourage the eyecap to come off. If it does not, try it again when he is next shedding. At that point, if the eyecap does not come off naturally, whilst the snake is still nice and 'humidified' from hanging in the wet pillowcase, you can carefully and gingerly attempt to loosen the eyecap with a cotton swab.

Incidentally, you do not need to add Aquaplus to your snake's drinking or soaking water.

G. A. Christian Bilou, Herpetologist
Aquarist since 1971
Director, Reptile Rescue Alberta (Est. 1994)

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