My hearts broken. (Trigger warning)

Just got back from the vet and it looks like Diana probally has advanced cancer. Poor sweet girl is only 6 years old and i planned on having her companionship for decades to come. The vet believes it will most likley be terminal but wants to do a biopsy so we know for sure on Thursday. I told her i would let her know tomorrow, i just cant think about it right now.


Oh my goodness I am so, so sorry!
Make sure to make good memories with her now that you know, maybe consider saving some of her sheds to make jewelry as well.

I hope that she has a long time left with you :heart:


Oh my goodness im so so sorry… i know what that is like. Make sure to take all of the pictures you can right now. Get someone to take pictures of you and them and you can get it printed and framed. Make shed jewelry, spoil them with enrichment and food and love. And it will give you something to hold onto when they’re gone, and make their last moments great. She is very pretty. :heart: and she looks happy. No matter what, that’s what counts.


Thank you @cmills @auriea. Im still in complete shock about everything.
The vet said that theres a small chance it might be a fungal infection causing the masses and growths on her spine, but even then with how advanced it is the prognosis dosent look good. She will be greatly missed. Until her time comes naturally, or her quality of life diminishes to the point i have to make that choice for her, she will get all the cuddles.

She would lay like that for hours!


I am so so sorry to hear that, she seems like such a sweetheart. I hope you two get in all the snuggles and that her remaining time with you is filled with rats, good memories and all of her favorite things


Oh, I’m so so sorry, @rdurha1 . Diana is a beautiful girl. It’s terrible to face such a harsh diagnosisn for such a loved creature. There is no easy way, it’s a gut lunch, a head strike, a heart blow. I know that you’ll be cherishing her companionship for as long as you have her with you. You’ll cherish her time with you forever.

Everyone’s experience is their own, of course. Ido want to say that it helped me so much when I lost my Aria last year to have this community. Not everyone understands the connection we can have with these animals. But everyone here does. Best wishes, hugs and I’ll say some prayers.


Oh man, I’m so very sorry to hear that. :cry: It’s never easy to get that sort of news about an animal we love, but it seems even more unfair when they’re still so young. She’s a beautiful girl. Hugs to you (and Diana).


Thank you again everyone. Your completely right, this community is awesome. There are not many people that know/understand what our legless pets mean to us, and how attached we are to them.
With that being said I have decided to have the biopsy done. Diana goes into surgery on Thursday. Hopefully 5-7 days after I will have some more definitive answers.


Best wishes that she’ll get through the procedure well. Fingers crossed for a hopeful prognosis.


I’m sorry to hear about Diana. I have had 1 retic and 4 boas with tumors over the years.

The retic lived for about 1 year after I noticed the lump. Had a 1 pound tumor removed from him. He started to get better for a few months, then went downhill, and the tumor came back. I had him put down as he lost a lot of weight and would not eat.

Three of the boas passed away within 4 to 6 months after seeing the lump.

The fourth boa is still doing fine and seems healthy. Rose was born in 2013, so she is 11 years old now. I found the first lump on her in 2018 when she was 5. Now she has around 10 lumps. She still eats and poops fine, and it seems like she is in no pain for now. So she will just be a family pet until she stops eating and looks to be in bad health.
She is very tame, so it will be easy to see when she is in pain.

I do take her out once in a while, but for the most part, I leave her alone. Don’t want to stress her out. She eats like a retic and is over 6 feet, and I would say around 20 lbs.


Thank you @tommccarthy, your imput means alot to me and that is a lucky beautiful girl you have there.
Diana has not ate now for a month and a half and with the bumps forming on her belly i really dont know if she will ever again. Im thinking ill try to give her a small rat in about a week so she can heal up some first. If she still refuses to eat i really don’t know… I feel like im in some ethical hellhole and their is no right answer, i love her and dont want to let her go, but the real question is do i love her enough to know when to let her go??
The vet said she is in perfect body condition right now, so i figgure that gives us a little time still together at the worst. She mentioned that we can tube feed her if i chose to do so and that there are medications to control her pain. But is that the right thing to do for her? Is that ethical or just me being greedy??? What would all of you do in this situation?


This whole situation just sucks so bad. Even more so that she hasn’t been eating.

At this point it is a total ethical dilemma. Me personally, assuming that everything we know as of now is confirmed by the biopsy, I would let her keep doing her thing and just make some memories with her and just give her the best, most comfortable time as you can to prepare yourself. After a month or two, it is going to be time to say goodbye. It allows for you to have time to mourn and say goodbye while also not letting her suffer for too long. It also just doesn’t seem right to tube feed. She is an adult boa and another month shouldn’t be hurtful for her to go without food.


@logar thank you, thats what i was thinking. It was so hard to sign a DNR for her surgery today.


You’re right, it’s a hellhole. It’s such a heavy, hard, hard thing. I’m truly sorry. Your love and care is so clear in your posts. Nearly everyone who loves and keeps animals will experience something similar at some point. It’s never easy, not ever. I have also struggled with the uncertainty you describe.

Many animals hide their pain. A snake doesn’t have the range of facial and body expressions some other creatures have, making it even harder to assess how they’re feeling. Not eating may or may not indicate major discomfort. We don’t want them to suffer needlessly, but we don’t want to say goodbye. I know you’re awaiting answers from the biopsy (today’s Thursday, thinking of you about that). I’m not there, and no one can tell you what to do, but since you asked, I’d try to assess how she’s behaving compared to how she behaved previously. Is she still moving around in her enclosure in a similar manner, hanging out in her usual favorite places? Does she behave as usual when you get her out? Is she still drinking normally? As long as those answers are positive and her body condition remains decent, I would try to support her and keep her going. As those answers change, it gets harder.

Tube feeding is a tougher call for me. I’ve done it when animals are in recovery, and I’ve assist- and force-fed babies who wouldn’t eat. But those were animals for whom this was expected to be a brief phase in a normal life.

With my own beloved animals in the past, when they were having many more bad days than good days, or when all the days seemed bad, I knew it was time to say goodbye. Rarely, a major crash made the decision easy. Pain management is a good thing, in my opinion. She is definitely to benefit from that after the biopsy. Veterinary understanding and research about the importance of pain control has come a long way. There’s a balance with animals recovering from injury or surgery, as they don’t understand that moving around as usual can cause harm so taking all the pain can actually lead to problems. With other causes of discomfort, I don’t see a downside to pain control as long as the medication is well tolerated.

I’m truly sorry for all you and your dear Diana are enduring. :blue_heart: :pray:


@rdurha1 If you know her as well as I think you do, you will know in your gut when it is time to let her go . Trust me. It doesn’t take a facial expression to understand what your gut is telling you. Period.

You love them in life but the last and greatest gift of love you can give them is to let them go when it is time for them to graciously go and not you want to selfishly hang on to them. Will it be excruciating? Heck yeah it will be! But that’s the price you pay for letting a precious animal worm its way into your heart. Will it be worth the agony? That’s a no brainer. Will you do it again? Of course! Will it get any easier? Nope!

Is it worth it each time? You’d better darn believe it! God bless you sir…….:pray:


Just got a call from the vet, they said she did great!!! I get to pick her up in a few hours!!!


Aww my loopy baby!


It’s such a a tough situation. Personally, if it were one of my animals, I’d enjoy my time with them for as long as they still seem to have a good quality of life. Once they got to the point of needing tube feeding and pain meds, I’d like to think that I’d be strong enough to let them go. Tube feeding and pain meds are one thing when used during treatment for a condition where recovery is possible, but I’m not a big fan of such life-extending measures for terminal conditions. It seems like it’s just staving off the inevitable, and adds unnecessary stress for the animal.

But that’s just my opinion. Ultimately you just have to do what you think is right. As @caron said, you’ll know when it’s time. Trust yourself to know that you love her enough to do right by her. You’re the one who knows her best, so I think you’ll know what the right decision is and when you need to make it. :heart:


February 17th update.

Diana is recovering well from surgery. Yesterday she blead a little bit from her incision site I believe from moving around, but it dident last long and no sign of bleeding today. She is much more active and alert today with the anesthesia finaly wearing off. I believe she is responding well to her 50mg/ml tramadol suspension once a day. ( I am also learning how difficult it is to get a 6ft boa to open her mouth when she doesn’t want to!!!).
I have noticed she is exhibiting a much more normal respiratory rate and is moving around her enclosure more then she has in the last few months. With these observations i believe that the opioid medication is providing sufficient pain management for her at the moment!

Thank you all for the love and support you have shown us. I think I have decided to use this thread to document our journey going forward. My hope is that sometime in the future what I have learned and observed has worked / not worked for us in our case might be able to help someone in the future.

I end todays update with a snoot pic!


Absolutely ADORABLE Diana snootie bootie! I am so sure others will benefit from this thread. God bless you and “The Big D!”:pray: