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Old 01-28-19, 02:21 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Dumerils Boa Not Eating

Hi there,

I have an approximately 1 and a half year old Dumerils boa named Harvey. Iíve had him for about 6 months and he is the sweetest thing. He exhibits no signs that he is unhappy or has any sort of illness, but I just canít get him to eat. Iíve tried feeding him both frozen thawed and live but no luck. I have triple checked all of his temps and everything seems fine there. This has been such an ongoing struggle. He has eaten twice since Iíve owned him. That seems like such a long time to me, but I do know that it is not uncommon for snakes to not feed to spans of time and still remain healthy. I plan to grab a scale so I can really monitor his weight. Iím starting to get really worried about him! I have been looking into the option of force feeding. Is this something I should consider? Any help is appreciated!!

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Old 01-31-19, 12:41 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Dumerils Boa Not Eating

Welcome to the forum, Ashley! Harvey is probably undergoing a winter hunger strike. He should start eating again when the surrounding temps rise or when he decides he should eat.

Moreover, unless you're truly experienced with force feeding specimens, it's best to let a more knowledgeable person manage it. Force feeding should only be done when there are absolutely no other options left.
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Old 01-31-19, 02:47 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Dumerils Boa Not Eating

You definitely do NOT want to force feed. You don't ever need to force/assist feed any snake that already knows how to eat.
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Old 01-31-19, 03:19 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Dumerils Boa Not Eating

In order to give you any advice we need more information about how you keep your Boa. Size of the snake, size of the enclosure (length x width x height), temperatures hot spot/cool side/ambient, different temperatures during nighttime (?), humidity, what did you try to feed (mice? what size), when did you try to feed (morning/evening/night).

Acrantophis dumerili doesnít have a hibernation or brumation period, the temperatures drop during our summer for several degrees in southern Madagascar, but stay above 75 F on average during daytime.

We had a similar discussion right here some time ago. I found a citation from the German Wikipedia stating higher humidity for Dumerilís Boa, but most keepers keep them with a humidity around 70%.

High humidity for Dumerils Boas - Yes or no?
Force feeding is a last resort action. It stresses the snake, some will regurgitate the food after force feeding again. Anyway, this should only be done by an experienced person or a vet.
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Old 01-31-19, 03:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Dumerils Boa Not Eating

My juvenile Dumerils is a pain as well: he will go w/o food for periods, only defensively striking at the live pinky rats and not eating them, and then all of sudden he starts to gobble up everything in sight. No rhyme or reason, temps and humidity are always the same, only the food changes (from live rat to live rat). Drives me bonkers sometimes.
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Old 02-08-19, 12:58 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Dumerils Boa Not Eating

Dumerilís Boas are notoriously finicky eaters. What prey items are you offering? I spent 2 years battling with mine, and she would only accept food every 6 weeks or so, even as a baby.

Iíve recently discovered she only wants live weaned rats. I mean she POUNDS them! I have never, ever seen a feeding response in this animal until I started offering her live weaned rats. She wonít touch mice, dead or alive. Only rats. Or f/t chicks if sheís extra hungry. Many Dum keepers have success with quail, also.
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