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Old 09-26-18, 06:19 PM   #3 (permalink)
Join Date: Feb-2018
Posts: 210
Re: Jerkface is Trying to be a Vegan

Originally Posted by EL Ziggy View Post
I don't recommend assist or force feeding an animal unless it's a life or death situation but you know your snake better than I do...Try offering every 3-4 weeks and see if that helps. I'm a firm believer that the hunger always wins eventually. Best wishes with Jerkface .
Everything I've read says that force feeding is appropriate after significant weight loss and loss of body condition. I considered 10% of his body weight in 3 weeks, coupled with loose skin, a prominent spine and a belly starting to go concave, to be significant.

He lost 10% of his body weight after missing one feeding at the beginning of a shed cycle. He went into shed the day before a scheduled feed and didn't shed out until 11 days later for a total of 20 days between his last feed and his shed.

Are you suggesting that I should let him go 3 weeks without food, letting him lose 10% of his body weight each time? The fuzzies he can keep down are only 5 grams so he'd only be getting a net intake of 2 grams per feeding. That math just doesn't make sense to me and the constant gain/lose cycle can't be healthy for him. If he had had the reserves to safely go 3 weeks without food, he wouldn't have lost weight during the shed cycle.

Because his situation is so unique (even Dave Colling at Rainbows R Us is stumped), I've had to make a lot of this up as I go along. The learning curve has been absolutely unreal. Jerkface has never, since the day I got him, exhibited a normal feeding response. His name is "Jerkface" because he ignored live fuzzies long enough that they starved to death. He's a Brazilian Rainbow Boa, a species well known to voraciously strike at absolutely everything when they're neonates, and I've never once seen him strike at prey. I had to stop judging him by normal snake behavior a long time ago.

As I previously stated, it was not a decision I came to without a great deal of thought and data mining. I didn't want to force/assist feed but if I hadn't force fed him the first two pinkies, I'd never have gotten the NutriBACdf into his system and he'd still be regurging.

If he continues to keep his feeds down, gains a bit of weight and doesn't lose any weight during his next shed cycle, then I will work on his feeding response. I'm also planning to get another fecal sample in to the vet for testing.
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