Miss Julia and Mr Cuddles .... the rat attack and the rescue


Mr Cuddles' PTSD , lost nose and the big and scary rat attack....An employee of the AWS was contacted via fb in Feb of this year. A Boa had been bitten by a rat and was badly injured. Rico (the employee) went out to collect the snake. We were all shocked at the extent of the damage. 47 bite wounds to the body and the nose was missing. He also had mouth rot and a lung infection. The then owner had not spotted the infection and because the snake was ill, he wouldnt eat. Someone had advised him to feed a live rat. Cuddles had only ever eaten dead rats before. Perhaps, had he been healthy at the time, he might have taken the live rat. Long story short, the rat given to him without supervision made mincemeat of him. Rico initially kept him and medicated as per vet instructions. The owner signed him over officially as he realised the snake would be better off in our care. Rico had applied for a job with the SPCA wildlife unit and their inspectors are not allowed to keep exotic or wildlife as pets. Cuddles needed a home. He was still a long way from recovered. I chatted to my sons about it and they agreed to let me bring the snake home. At first I was creeped out but quickly learnt to handle him and to continue with his treatment. He still sees a vet (from time to time) as his lung has not responded to the antibiotics. All else though has improved dramtically ...... but it's been a long haul. He has shed twice (the first shed was assisted), the second shed he did beautifully on his own. His nose is healing and the mouth rot is clear. He continues to be soaked in F10 and nebulised from time to time. He still wont eat rats (dead) so is tube fed with Hills AD. I handle him daily for short periods as does my youngest son. The eldest has no interest. We respect that no matter how tame he appears to be, he remains a wild creature. He is not used to do 'shows', but I speak of him and use his story for educational purposes. I am by no means a reptile expert, but I have done my best by him and will continue to do so. It's been an interesting learning curve. I applied for a permit with Nature Conservation the moment I knew I'd be taking him on permanently. I obviously hope for full recovery at some point but was told by the vet that it will take months for him to heal properly...... - Julia Evans Gordon's Bay Animal Wellfare