Rescued sand boa

So, we just rescued a handful of snakes. We have 28 ball pythons and a reticulated python in our collection. We rescued 5 snakes and one of them is a sand boa that the previous owner stated hadn’t eaten in a while. When I asked him how long it had been since he ate his answer was “way too long”. I am going to guess 6/7 months. The little dude is 26 grams and we are treating him and his rescue friends for mites. We are going Saturday to pick him up a live rat pinky as that is what my IG friends with experience have suggested. Someone has said that if he starts loosing weight and we cannot get him to eat that a pinky push may be needed. He does not seem under weight and is fairly active right now.

I have read that males tend to go on hunger strikes… how long do these strikes typically last?

My son has taken a special liking to the little dude. I am praying we can get him eating. I am also consulting a veterinarian because he has an odd bulge about a half inch behind his head. My plan is to get him eating regularly and free of mites then moving him from his quarantine enclosure to a 10g tank and aspen substrate, as I have read that sand (despite their name) is not the best for them as they can easily become impacted. For now he is in a 6qt tub 92 on the warm side and 84 on the cool side. He has paper towels torn into strips for quarantine bedding so he can still burrow but mites are easily seen and a bowl of water.

I guess I am really looking for any helpful insights that may not be readily on the internet for the proper keeping of these guys. I want to give him his best shot at getting back healthy and happy. They are so very different from balls and retics.

Thank you in advanced for any helpful info!

Photos of the peculiar little dude and his odd lump.


He is nowhere near needing force feeding or a pinky pump, don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. Get a weight on him now and monitor his weight regularly. Don’t become alarmed about the hunger strike unless he is actually losing significant weight. The lump is very concerning and should be your first priority. Also, does he actually have mites or are you just being careful?

Your IG friends are right about prey selection, a small rat pinky is usually the best option for sand boas that size. Sand boas usually prefer young rats to similarly sized mice.


Awesome info about the pinky pump… that is what a thought but glad to hear it confirmed. he is currently 26g. Vet apt Saturday, they are thinking it is broken ribs but want to see to be sure.

I have not seen mites physically on the sand boa. He has only been placed in a provent a mite treated tub.
The ball python we got with him had a dozen or so mites on her. She has been soaked and reptile sprayed.
The retic we got had a massive infestation on him. He looked like he was wearing eyeliner and you could visibly see them on him. He has been soaked twice over the past few days and reptile sprayed. We saw a massive amount dead coming off of him and sinking to the bottom of the water. He seems much better now as well.
we received all three snakes from the same person.

We have had to deal with mites before so we try to treat accordingly but not over treat as well.

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Sorry for the late update, all rescues are doing amazing. The sand boa has eaten consistently and shed in one good piece. The bump or knot on him is previously broken ribs from God knows what but is not effecting him at all.

The female ball python is a hoss and eats anything you put in front of her. She is also moody when in shed. She is the only snake we have that has drawn blood on my finger. Normally she is very sweet and friendly.

The reticulated python has shed twice with us and is a garbage disposal. All are free of mites and doing extremely well.