- dull scale coloration
- opaque blue eyes
- loss of appetite
- defensive behavior
- wrinkled skin (looks alarmingly like severe dehydration)
- shedding skin to accommodate growth or weight gain/loss
Like other reptiles, Dumeril’s boas shed their skin regularly as they grow. A healthy Dumeril’s boa should shed its skin in one piece, with everything coming off all at once. As they prepare to shed, the scales will loosen, and you may notice its eyes turn blue and opaque about a week beforehand.
Provide a large water bowl for soaking and if you do not already have a moist hide prepared, fill the warm hide with moist sphagnum moss. This will facilitate a successful shed (skin coming off in one piece). The snake should not be handled until after shedding is complete, and you should not attempt to remove the shed yourself.
If your Dumeril’s boa is having a hard time shedding, create a homemade humidity chamber. This can be constructed with an appropriately-sized plastic bin (with a few holes in the lid) and a warm, wet hand towel placed inside. If possible, place the bin on top of a heating pad (regulated by a thermostat) set to 85 degrees. Once the chamber is warm enough, place the snake inside. If you’re using a clear plastic bin, cover it with a towel to reduce stress. Keep the snake in the chamber for no more than 1 hour, then return it to its enclosure. The remainder of the shed should come off within 24 hours. If not, repeat the treatment.