Keeping Reptiles Newsletter
  Issue 6 Vol 4 August 2009
Preventing Blister Disease in your Boa or Python In this Issue

While blister disease is a problem that can occur with many different species of reptiles it is especially common in boa constrictors and pythons. Blister disease is very preventable and can even be stopped if caught early enough. Knowing what to look for and what to do can help you to stop the disease in its tracks and can help you avoid having this disease harm your boa or python.Blister disease

The number one cause of blister disease in boas and pythons is filthy tanks were substrate is too damp. It can also be caused by keeping the snake in an environment that is too humid. In either case once your snake has started to develop the disease, if untreated it will almost certainly lead to the snake getting sick or even dying.

The first sign of blister disease is a pinkish to reddish appearance on the bottom most scales. These blemishes later become swollen and this will resemble a blister. If left untreated, the blisters will begin to fill with bacteria which can eventually make its way to the snake’s bloodstream.

Any boa or python that is suspected of having this disease should be put into a dry tank with fresh substrate and an appointment with a herp veterinarian should be made. The herp veterinarian may have to conduct several tests on the boa or python to determine how advanced the disease is and will then administer antibiotics to the snake as needed. A snake that receives medical attention early on usually stands a good chance of surviving the disease.

The easiest way to avoid your boa or python getting blister disease is to always make sure that the temperature in the tank is proper and that the substrate is never allowed to get too damp. Having a regular cleaning routine and sticking to it is the best way to ensure that your pet snake is always in a hygiene friendly environment.

Even if you keep your boa or python’s tank as clean as a whistle you should routinely check the snake’s underside for any abnormal coloring. This way, if your pet is ever exposed to blister disease you can catch it fast enough to ensure your snake gets the medical help it will need to beat it. Never delay in taking your pet to a herp veterinarian if you suspect it has blister disease as it is better to be safe than sorry.


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  1. Preventing Blister Disease in your Boa or Python
  2. Cane Toads in Australia Good Idea Gone Bad
  3. In the News
  4. Get Paid to write an article
  5. Tell Us What You Think
  6. Feedback and Updating

Other Issues

Other Articles & Resources

Cane Toads in Australia Good Idea Gone Bad

Sometimes an idea that sounds good to begin with ends up being a huge and sometimes costly mistake. This has become the case with the introduction of the cane toad to Australia in 1935. The foreign species was introduced to the Australian world because at the time, there were numerous beetles that were ravaging the sugar cane crops. What was to come was an ecological impact that is still going on to this day.

Large Cane ToadNot only did the cane toad fail in ridding the sugar cane fields of the beetles, but they have since spread so rapidly that they are causing mass havoc on the entire northern tip of Australia. The cane toads have put a major hurt on the wildlife of Australia as they eat smaller animals and they poison the larger animals that attempt to eat them. As of right now, there is no way to control the cane toads spreading and because they are so poisonous, they have no predator that can effectively kill them. Some local birds have learned to avoid the places on the cane toads back that produce the poison, but almost everything that eats a cane toad soon dies of heart failure. The can toad’s poison is so strong that animals that have just mouthed the toad have been known to die soon after.

Can toads can bread at any time of the year so there numbers are constantly on the rise. A big fear is that the cane toad is going to out-compete other species of toads for the better breading sites resulting in diminishing numbers of certain species that could eventually lead to overall extinction.

Humans are put at risk as well because the cane toad is found were human hygiene is bad and has been known to spread disease like salmonella. While the toad is now only in the Northern part of the country, its rapid expansion means an increased threat for humans with every passing year.

Scientists are now trying to come up with a way to control the spread of this invader and aim to eventually eradicate it all together. What started out as 100 cane toads being shipped from Hawaii to Australia in 1935 has turned into an unknown number of the pests spreading like wildfire in the country. Until scientists do come up with a way to rid the country of the toads, Australia’s wildlife and entire eco system will continue to be at risk and the country will continue to pay for a good idea gone bad.

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In the News

Chito and the croc

Python hunting for sport

Jurassic Airport

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