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New snake hasn't ate. Should I be worried?

Discussion in 'Snakes' started by illogical_Logic, Mar 18, 2020.


  1. illogical_Logic

    illogical_Logic PetForums Junior

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    So my last post about this hognose snake was asking how many times a week I should feed it. I realized I need to back track and figure out why she is not eating. I have had her for 1 week and 1 day. I have tried to feed her twice.

    Both times I took all her decoration out of her tank and place the feeder on a solid surface so it doesn't get any bedding stuck to it. Then I carefully dig out the snake and dangle the mouse in front of her.

    The first time she showed no interest and I left it in the tank overnight but she didn't eat it.

    I tried again today this time she got very huffy and started hissing and false striking at the mouse when I dangled it. I left it in there again but she buried herself and seems to have no interest.

    I maybe just overly concerned since this is my first snake and I have only had her for a little more than a week. Her warm side of the tank is set to 93 F using a thermometer and a heat mat so it doesn't drop below 89 or get above 94. She has plenty of substrate to burrow in (maybe a bit too much because I can never find her) she comes out by herself every once and a while though spends most of her time buried. She has a shallow water dish which is large enough so if she wants to soak she can. She also has a 5. uvb bulb providing a day/ night cycle.

    The next time I try should I just leave it in there and not dig her out to show her it's there? The breeders said she was eating unscented frozen thawed pinkies. They told me to try Friday and leave it in the tank if she didn't show interest. Then try again a couple days later if she didn't eat. If she doesn't eat by tomorrow I am going to ask them for advice.

    My only question is do I have a reason to be worried or is this normal for a new hognose snake? How long should I wait before I consider assist feeding?
    snake.jpg
     
  2. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    I wouldn’t worry yet. Hognoses can be notoriously fussy eaters. My male normally goes at least a couple of months over winter not eating. What I would do is stop messing with the enclosure, no taking out decoration as that will disturb her and make her feel vulnerable (and she won’t want to eat then). She’ll still be settling in after a week so I wouldn’t handle her until she’s eating properly (unless absolutely necessary). I would just leave the pinkie in next time, on something like a piece of kitchen roll so it doesn’t get too much stuck to it.
    You don’t need to get too concerned if they don’t eat so long as they’re not dropping weight, so I’d weigh her now and check in a couple of weeks, so long as she’s not dropping there’s no need to worry too much. Don’t try and feed too often as that will also stress her - just try every few days and leave her as undisturbed as possible. If it gets to weeks of no eating then look at options like scenting or braining.

    Tbh I never bother scenting with my hoggie now. I’ve had him 6 years and I know he’ll go off his food for a couple of months so I just offer and he’ll take when he’s ready! You’ll get to know her habits soon enough - it’s likely just because she’s settling in though.
     
  3. illogical_Logic

    illogical_Logic PetForums Junior

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    Okay, thank you for your input! I will try again this weekend without disturbing anything in her tank. Hopefully she'll accept it then. Also if I don't see her for a few days is that okay? I would normally try to find her once a day to make sure she was okay. Would it be better to leave her be and trust that she is okay?
     
  4. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    If you can, I would leave her. It’s always tempting with new snakes though as you obviously want to make sure they’re ok! But it can disturb them so maybe try checking on her every few days or every other day if you want to do it more often. Hoggies love to bury so it is normal not to see them all the time. Mine is almost always buried somewhere! When he pops out I know he’s hungry haha!
     
  5. illogical_Logic

    illogical_Logic PetForums Junior

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    Okay thanks! I plan to leave her be for the next few days. Only go in her tank to change her water. Come Sunday I will leave her mouse on a paper towel in her enclosure. I will post here saying if she ate or not! Thanks again.
     
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  6. illogical_Logic

    illogical_Logic PetForums Junior

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    Unfortunately she didn't take the mouse again, I will continue to try but I am going to contact the breeder. I may try braining next. Wish me luck!
     
  7. illogical_Logic

    illogical_Logic PetForums Junior

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    The breeder got back to me and said that I should try letting the rodent thaw at room temp instead of warming it under water since it may rinse off its natural scent they also said

    "When we offer our hognose snakes their prey items, we first try to entice them with tongs, but if they do not show any immediate interest, we leave the pinky in the enclosure with them until the following morning. Sometimes it is a good idea to remove decorations to feed to make it easier for them to find their prey item, but it may be worth it to try to leave the decorations, and try to leave a pinky in her enclosure undisturbed.

    One thing to keep in mind is that hognose snakes like to burrow, but they sometimes will come out when they are ready to eat or hunt. Monitor her behavior, and if you see her out and active, this may be a good time to leave a prey item in her enclosure with her.

    Sometimes with our really picky eaters, we will move them out of their enclosure into a much smaller and enclosed space with their prey item. Something like a large tupperware with air holes drilled into it would work great! The goal for this is to put them in a smaller space where all they have to interact with is their prey item. We have had success with this in the past."

    She was out yesterday so I quickly used the tongs to try entice her with the pinky and at first it seemed like she interested she was watching it and even seemed like she was going to strike, then she stopped and got really angry and through a hissy fit. So I left it in overnight, I'm giving it a bit longer before I remove it since I gave it to late yesterday. It was a small step she showed a little interest.
     
  8. illogical_Logic

    illogical_Logic PetForums Junior

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    I moved her into a smaller enclosure to hopefully make her feel more secure. She was in an enclosure that was rather large for her size I'm hoping that having her in a smaller home will make her feel more comfortable and help her eat. I've been doing lots of research trying to help her, it's been around 3 weeks since the day I received her.
     
  9. illogical_Logic

    illogical_Logic PetForums Junior

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    Unfortunately I took her to the vet today and it was discovered that she has severe mouth rot. The vet said there is strong chance that she won't pull through and I planned on treating her with antibiotics. I contacted the breeder to let them know what happened and they were very helpful I will be sending her back to them and they will try to nurse her back to health. I plan to take her back when she hopefully recovers, or pick out a new snake if she sadly doesn't. It was very hard for me since I got attached to her and really do care about her, wish her luck.
     
  10. Teddy-dog

    Teddy-dog PetForums VIP

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    Sorry to hear the news! Hopefully she’ll pull through ok for you!
     
  11. illogical_Logic

    illogical_Logic PetForums Junior

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    I really do hope so! The breeders have more experience and probably have more resources than me so I think sending her back was the right thing. I am going to keep in contact with them and will update whether or not she starts to get better.
     
    Teddy-dog likes this.
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