Snake Won't Eat-When to Worry?

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Snake Won't Eat-When to Worry?

Post by Mlet » Sun, 04 Feb 1996 04:00:00



My ball python has not eaten since Oct. 14th.  I've had him for 3 years
and he's never gone off feed for this long.  I've tried live rats, thawed
rats, freshly killed rats, and tried various times of the day.  He doesn't
seem to be losing weight, but I don't have a scale to weigh him with.
What is the opinion out there on how long it is safe to let a snake go
without eating before more drastic measures are taken?
 
 
 

Snake Won't Eat-When to Worry?

Post by Melis » Tue, 06 Feb 1996 04:00:00



writes:

Quote:
>He doesn't
>seem to be losing weight, but I don't have a scale to weigh him with.

If he is no losing weight or mass, is not getting wrinkly, is otherwise
alert and active and is acting completely normal other than not eating,
I don't think I would worry about it just yet.  You might want to try
smaller killed mice instead of rats and see if that makes a
difference...and
make sure that the temps in his enclosure haven't inadvertently dropped
with the super cold weather we've been having across the US lately...

MelissK

Melissa Kaplan

 
 
 

Snake Won't Eat-When to Worry?

Post by Nathan Ten » Tue, 06 Feb 1996 04:00:00


Quote:

>My ball python has not eaten since Oct. 14th.  I've had him for 3 years
>and he's never gone off feed for this long.  I've tried live rats, thawed
>rats, freshly killed rats, and tried various times of the day.  He doesn't
>seem to be losing weight, but I don't have a scale to weigh him with.
>What is the opinion out there on how long it is safe to let a snake go
>without eating before more drastic measures are taken?

Well, there are snakes, and then there are ball pythons.  I believe the
unofficial record for a fast with no ill effects (by a ball) is 27 months.
I wouldn't worry for quite a while longer.

It's pretty common for balls to go off-feed during the winter.  If you're
in a climate that gets dry during the winter, that may explain it by itself;
balls come from regions where "winter" means "the dry season", and I think
they base their seasonal cycle primarily on humidity and only secondarily on
temperature.  So you might be able to get him feeding by misting his enclosure
regularly for a while.

Failing that, there's a long list of suggestions in Philippe de Vosjoli's
ball python book.  If you're not in California, try a gerbil (kill it first!),
gerbils being a primary prey item for wild balls.  Try a fuzzy hamster (my
ball pythons have always thought hamsters were some sort of delectable candy).
Leave the snake overnight in a bag with a prekilled food item (put the bag
*in* the vivarium, or you're liable to wake up without a snake).  Stand on
your head and beg the snake to eat; it can't hear you, but your friends will
be amused.  Repeat all the above.  First and foremost, don't worry, and don't
resort to force-feeding until a lot more time has gone by and you've gotten
lots of advice on the subject.  In all probability, spring will come (really;
even back east, it will) and the snake will go right back on-feed.

Best of luck,

        NT
--
     Nathan Tenny                    
     Qualcomm, Inc., San Diego, CA   You should avoid yourself.

http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~ntenny/