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Old 05-11-17, 12:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
Join Date: May-2017
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Corn snake refusing food after escaping

My 4 year old cornsnake escaped and was lost for about 10 weeks. I finally found him about 3 weeks ago.

Since he's been back he has been refusing to eat. He's more active than he was before he escaped - constantly prowling the viv looking for a way out so I don't know if he's just unsettled but unless he found something when he was out, he hasn't eaten for over 3 months.

I can now see a ridge where his spine in which I don't recall being present before.

He's always been a good eater other than when I first got him when he took about a month to start eating.

When should I start to worry? Should I take him to see the vet?
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Old 05-12-17, 03:34 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Corn snake refusing food after escaping

Have you tried offering smaller mice? I think 3 months should be enough for him to settle back, so, has anything about temps or humidity changed in the enclosure?
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Old 05-12-17, 05:43 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Corn snake refusing food after escaping

Vet won't be able to help him get back on food, and likely will just stress him more.

What are you trying to get him to feed again...?
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Old 05-13-17, 02:02 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Corn snake refusing food after escaping


Sorry he was lost for 2 months and found for 3 weeks so he's only been back for 3 weeks approximately.

He was on large mice prior to escaping but the shop only had small in stock when I found him so I've been trying with slightly smaller.

I've tried warming up the mice and trying to create a strike feed by dangling it about infront of him. I havnt tried braining it yet as that didn't work when I first got him and is so gross but maybe I should.

I've just bought him a new heat mat as the old one didn't seem to be working very well so I think he may of been a bit cold although I'm waiting a bit before trying to feed again.

Looking at him I don't think he looks particularly underweight. A friend suggested because he's gone from cold to warm he may think it's breeding Season hence the over activity which can also put them off their food?
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Old 05-14-17, 12:03 AM   #5 (permalink)
Join Date: Dec-2010
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Re: Corn snake refusing food after escaping

I had the same problem with my milksnake and probably would have brought her to the vet tomorrow, but i tried a new trick today a snake owner who works at the shop where i buy my feeder mice told me to try. It seems odd, but it worked!!! He aaid it was likely that she has fed at least once, had caught a live mouse, and decided she liked them better than the frozen we'd always fed her before. He said that now she knew what mice smell like, she wasn't considering the frozen ones to be mice to eat anymore. The frozen ones we buy at the store are washed before they are packaged. HE GAVE ME SOME OF THE BEDDING FROM THE MOUSE CAGE they keep their live feeder mice. He told me to thaw and warm the mice as usual, but then put the warm mice into the bag with the bedding, shake it up, then take the mice out with tongs, and feed them to the snake as usual. The frozen/thawed mice will have picked up the smell from the other mice from the bedding, and will recognize them as food and eat them. IT WORKED! He also said I could continue to get more bedding every week as needed, for free as they usually just throw it away away anyway. YES!!

That said, I wish you well, but am concerned that your snake - if that emaciated, may need veterinary help - as there may be more going on.
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Old 05-14-17, 01:47 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Corn snake refusing food after escaping

If it took him a month to eat the first time he sounds easily stressed and you've basically re-acquired a new snake again. He's been living somewhere else for over 2 months so it's new again. Depending on size of snake I'd get a live pinky rat or if you feel it's acceptable to leave a live mouse fuzzy and put it in overnight to be a very tempting food to eat when he feels safe. Sometimes I'm up late enough I can use something larger and keep an eye on them with as little disturbance as possible but I find if you get them started they often pick back up again even if you have to go with much smaller/younger food to be a safe, easy meal once or twice.
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