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Author Topic: Snake won't eat. Help please  (Read 1521 times)

Offline Jade Ravenwing

Snake won't eat. Help please
«: January 23, 2009, 10:42:55 PM»
I have a baby Rosy Boa and I got her the day after christmas. The pet store said she was a champion eater but not only will she not eat frozen mice but the completely ignored the live mouse except for nudging it a few times. We had to end up freezing the poor baby mouse to keep it from suffering any longer. -feels bad- Dead mice are one thing, a squirming baby is another.

I read something about snakes not eating in the winter, and the only other thing that I think would be bothering her would be some sort of illness.

So anyone know any techniques or anything? We might take her to the vet tomorrow, but that'd be a lot more on top of the 300 we payed for her and the cage and stuff.

 
        

Offline Hiccuped

Re: Snake won't eat. Help please
«Reply #1: January 23, 2009, 11:00:43 PM»
I have a baby corn snake, and so far he hasn't had any issues, (Knock on wood..).
But I read in a few books that you could try braining the dead mouse..

It also might be because it's winter and she may be trying to hibernate?

Offline Rat The Unloved

Re: Snake won't eat. Help please
«Reply #2: January 24, 2009, 12:33:52 AM»
He can go awhile before his health is in any danger.

First: You need to have the food smell as foody as possible. Frozen or live, it needs to be warm, and "mousey". HE also needs to be warm. Jiggle it a LOT on a feeding stick.

Second: Brain the dead prey... i.e. it's gonna need to bleed. Blood = yum. Jiggle it a LOT on a feeding stick.

Third: If he starts to lose weight try a live, or freshly dead gerbil. They usually go nuts for 'em.

Offline Drug

Re: Snake won't eat. Help please
«Reply #3: January 24, 2009, 12:54:44 AM»
You are heating the mouse, right? lol

And like Rat said, you have to jiggle it alot in order to make it look alive. It takes patience, and he might not take it that day; but don't give up on it.

I know the vet costs alot of money, but what people don't realize is that if you want the best for you pet; you HAVE to go. Even if there's nothing wrong with it, it doesn't hurt for the vet to take a look and perhaps give you way better advice than anyone else could possibly give. A check-up is always a very good thing even if there's nothing wrong.

If you have anymore concerns, PM me and I'll try to help out.

Offline Jade Ravenwing

Re: Snake won't eat. Help please
«Reply #4: January 24, 2009, 01:04:51 AM»
@Rat
We've tried soaking it in chicken and beef broth. So rather smelly. And we use no feeding stick... the pet store said to put it in another tank with the mouse and leave it alone. >>

Blood... ew... Don't think my mom would allow that but... would be worth a shot.

As for the gerbil, nuh-uh. Wouldn't be able to get its jaws around it. It's small enough to be on Pinky Mice.

@Drug
Yes we were heating the mice up. My mom even tried soaking in chicken and beef broth.

And the alive mouse squirmed and jerked a good bit, right under the snake's nose even. Snake wasn't interested.

And we're prolly gonna take it to the vet this week. :/ Hope my little Rommie doesn't die. That'd suck. >>

Offline Jade Ravenwing

Re: Snake won't eat. Help please
«Reply #5: January 24, 2009, 02:46:45 PM»
She's gotten a few wrinkles, don't know if that's loosing weight though.

And no, she's breathing just fine, so I don't think it's that.

Offline Jade Ravenwing

Re: Snake won't eat. Help please
«Reply #6: January 24, 2009, 05:49:59 PM»
No. She hasn't shed recently either. When we got her the skin was tight like you'd think a healthy snake's skin would be. She also has a few patches of rough scales.

And I thought it was bad to help peel skin off because of the way a snake's scales are.

Offline Drug

Re: Snake won't eat. Help please
«Reply #7: January 24, 2009, 10:36:32 PM»
Annnd baths are good 'cause it could be a slight case of dehydration too. So a bath would be nice to give either way. :D

Offline Jade Ravenwing

Re: Snake won't eat. Help please
«Reply #8: January 24, 2009, 10:56:02 PM»
Ah. Might take a look at the forums. Thanks

o.O It's a desert snake... I don't think they regularly take baths... and we spritz it with water every now and then... though seeing how it swims would be cool. xD

Offline Skink

Re: Snake won't eat. Help please
«Reply #9: January 25, 2009, 10:46:37 AM»
We've tried soaking it in chicken and beef broth. So rather smelly. And we use no feeding stick... the pet store said to put it in another tank with the mouse and leave it alone. >>


Well that might be why your snake didn't take it! When he says smelly, he means super mousey smell. Chicken and beef might smell like food to us, but not to a snake. Rodent smells like yummy to a snake, not soup. Pre-scent the room by leaving the mouse, thawing under a heat lamp (don't microwave it) or alive in a box, for a good half hour or more before. Keep it out of sight though, or your snake could strike the glass and hurt their noggin' :( The scent gets the snake a bit excited and hungry, and can make the feeding response strong and quick. Especially since it hasn't eaten! Keep offering food often even if they don't take it so they have a chance, and like Rat said, try gerbils if nothing else. But I would try a different mouse that hasn't been soaked in people food first. Sometimes snakes that take gerbils might not want to go back.

Another good forum to try is http://www.ball-pythons.net/forums/index.php which covers more than just ball pythons, they cover all herps.

Loose, wrinkley skin usually does indicate weight loss, especially if you know the last shed was perfectly fine. There's also a number of other things that can bother your snake like:
A hide that is too large. Yes, this is possible. They like to pack in tightly. Try adding some newspaper to the hide if you think this is the case!
Bad temperatures or inadequate heat variety. They should have a warmer and a cooler side, so they can thermoregulate. A snake that can't thermoregulate or is not at a comfortable temperature at all will become very stressed and will not want to eat!
Blood flow: Have her work out a bit. Fill a tub with just enough luke warm water for her to swim in a day before you feed. Excersize is more important for snakes then a lot of people realize, because blood flow is an important aid in digestion, and a stationary snake might be having problems with its last meal if it doesn't see much move-about time. Holding the snake around your shoulders or wrapped around an arm doesn't count as excersize!
Bad humidity. This can be an especially large problem if you are using heat lamps instead of under tank heaters to keep your snake warm. It sucks the humidity right out of the enclosure! If nothing else, add another hide with damp sphagum moss inside it, and try to keep it moist with a spritz of water now and then. Only the moss! A snake might be stressed from no humidity but too much humidity can be even worse.
Too much activity: a snake that is handled too often, especially right after it's brought home, or a snake that is in a high traffic area of the house could become far too upset to want to eat.

That's all I've got and it's pretty basic, all-encompassing snake stuff. I'm not sure about rosy boa specifics but all of those are worth a try :)
« Last Edit: January 25, 2009, 10:52:17 AM by Paint »

Offline Rat The Unloved

Re: Snake won't eat. Help please
«Reply #10: January 25, 2009, 10:46:06 PM»
Yeah, as Paint said I mean "Mouse stink", not human-food.

Gerbil feeding is a LAST resort. For the reasons Paint stated. However, if that's what keeps the snake alive, then that's what ya gotta do.

I used to have a green iguana that went off his food. For a while I had to force feed him... I hated every second of it, but it kept him alive long enough for him to -start- eating again.

Offline Jade Ravenwing

Re: Snake won't eat. Help please
«Reply #11: January 26, 2009, 05:43:16 PM»
Well my mom got a vert appointment for tomorrow. I hope it goes well. :/

As for the bath idea my mom is dead set against it since its a desert snake. There's supposed to be low humidity but we keep a little water dish in the corner and spritz it every other day. It has two hiding places. Sometimes it tunnels under the rock under the heater (not exactly a lamp since it doesn't put off light), and under a log. It can also tunnel through the bedding and has done so before. The living room might be considered high traffic... and loud... :/ I did want it in my room since people don't constantly walk by... but nooo, had to be in the living room, and lately we haven't been handling it much.

She said she also tried many different ways of thawing, feeding, soaking in broth, not soaking. -shrugs-

And I don't think I want to force feed my snake...

So I guess we'll just see what the vet says eh?

Offline Jade Ravenwing

Re: Snake won't eat. Help please
«Reply #12: February 25, 2009, 10:43:08 PM»
Just thought I'd update this so anyone who's wondering can know.

The snake died. >>

She had a siezure a little while ago and we found her dead a couple nights after. The pet store is going to another one in though. They refunded our money and when they get a new snake in we can go in and they'll show us how to feed it.

Offline Skink

Re: Snake won't eat. Help please
«Reply #13: February 25, 2009, 11:38:07 PM»
holy crap that poor thing... what did the vet say about it?

I'm hoping it was something already wrong with the snake and not your husbandry, but please be sure to go over your research a little more before bringing another in to your home. I wish you the best of luck with rosey #2 ;) After reading this thread a bit ago I looked in to them and they're super cute. It would suck to lose one, let alone 2

 

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