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Old 03-06-17, 09:05 PM   #1 (permalink)
Dax
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Are my Hogs underweight?

Hi, new here! Sort of signed up looking for help.

I'll have pictures soon as I can (maybe tomorrow because my cam is dead)
But the story is, I was sick for a good few weeks in and out of the hospital a while back and wasn't able to feed my two hognose snakes. A family member would change their water but apparently couldn't handle feeding them mice which I later learned.
When I got back I thought they looked fine but realized after handling them for a longer period that most times I handled them they were puffing up in defense and once they calmed down they were significantly thinner. I only handle them to examine them and be sure they're doing alright and they've always been really hissy so I didn't bother stressing them out. I guess they puffed up when I picked them up and I never gave them enough time to chill out before putting them back down.
Dumb of me, but it wasn't a thought at the time.

I'm worried now that they're underweight and I haven't been feeding them enough for months. (weekly fuzzy/hopper mice)

Like I said I'll have pics up soon. But for now does anyone have any images of what a year and a half old hognose should look like? Or what a skinny hognose looks like, too?
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Old 03-07-17, 12:52 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Are my Hogs underweight?

Snakes are amazing creatures. They can go for long stretches of time without feed and be ok. Yes, they'll lose some weight, but with a steady diet will pick it back up. I wouldn't focus so much on the weight, but putting them back on a steady diet. If they are taking feed good now, they are on the right path.

Snakes that are used to being handled and then aren't handled can become stressed when that routine is changed. Sounds like you already know this, but try to slowly incorporate handling back into their routine, and limit it around feeding time so they won't get stressed and regurg.

I'm so sorry you were down for so long. It sounds like your health is on the mend now. Your snakes will mend with you...
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Old 03-07-17, 02:22 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Are my Hogs underweight?

I tried to get a picture of the male (female ate last night so I didn't want to bother her) but part way through he got hissy and I didn't want to bother him. Neither seems dramatically underweight and honestly it's only enough for me to go 'hmm'.

Female takes food like a champ even when she's in blue but the male has skipped his last two meals. He'll crawl out of his hide when I open the top but the moment I dangle the food near him he strikes at it like he's afraid of it. Any calmness goes out of the window.
I've tried leaving it overnight and he just lets it lay there.

Gyg you make a good point on handling! I've been consistent (consistently rare) aside from the time that I was sick. Is it possible just that time threw him off?

Thank you too! I feel much better now but it was a tough time
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Old 03-07-17, 02:43 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Are my Hogs underweight?

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Originally Posted by Dax View Post
I tried to get a picture of the male (female ate last night so I didn't want to bother her) but part way through he got hissy and I didn't want to bother him. Neither seems dramatically underweight and honestly it's only enough for me to go 'hmm'.

Female takes food like a champ even when she's in blue but the male has skipped his last two meals. He'll crawl out of his hide when I open the top but the moment I dangle the food near him he strikes at it like he's afraid of it. Any calmness goes out of the window.
I've tried leaving it overnight and he just lets it lay there.

Gyg you make a good point on handling! I've been consistent (consistently rare) aside from the time that I was sick. Is it possible just that time threw him off?

Thank you too! I feel much better now but it was a tough time


when you lay it out over night, do you split the head of the mouse?

This trick works for lots of people, try spliting the head open of the mouse, just a little and leave it over night. Hope this helps
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Old 03-07-17, 05:27 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Are my Hogs underweight?

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Originally Posted by jay's reptiles View Post
when you lay it out over night, do you split the head of the mouse?

This trick works for lots of people, try spliting the head open of the mouse, just a little and leave it over night. Hope this helps
There are some good YouTube videos on this: braining I think is the term, right? It's soooooo gross, but effective.
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Old 03-07-17, 10:44 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Are my Hogs underweight?

No I haven't, I'll have to try! (sure does seem gross lol but it's worth it)
I'll tell of my success or failure
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Old 03-09-17, 09:57 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Are my Hogs underweight?

Glad you are feeling better and I know your snakes will be doing better too. They are well adapted to periods of decreased food so just get back into a routine with them.

Braining a pinky is the only thing that makes me just totally gross out and feel queasy, but it does seem to get finicky snakes chowing down.
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Old 03-19-17, 11:33 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Are my Hogs underweight?

Well I've tried braining and it doesn't do anything for him. The hog becomes super stressed the second I place food in to the point where I thought he was going to musk or play dead.

I think in a few days I'll try just dropping the food in there discretely to see if that helps? Or maybe I should start handling him more regularly to get him accustomed..

I'd be less worried if he wasn't still growing
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Old 03-20-17, 12:09 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Are my Hogs underweight?

I'd honestly cut handling altogether until he's eating again, since handling may stress him and cause him not to eat.
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Old 03-20-17, 02:37 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Are my Hogs underweight?

I believe it's also good to try a smaller prey item to see if they will take that. So if you're feeding fuzzies, try a pinkie?
I'd cut handling as well.
Also, when you feed do you come in from above? If so, you might want to try dropping the mouse in at a distance and then slowly inching it forward [assuming you use tongs?]. Do you live in the hognose's natural habitat? My king reacts like this to food all winter and will only take food at a maximum of once a month when normally she will take food all the time, anytime, but she likes to pretend she's brumating and ends up striking, hissing, and running from her food when I offer it during winter. You may also try skipping a meal and just leaving him alone for that whole time period and then offer again and see if he'll take it. He's also not due for a shed right?
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Old 03-28-17, 11:41 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Are my Hogs underweight?

Still no luck at all, even with brained pinkys!
I live in a cold climate but their temperatures are proper. Can't imagine why he's suddenly going off feed.

No signs of a shed but I think he could be due for one as it's been a while. Would it be normal to refuse food a month or two before a shed though?
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Old 03-29-17, 03:44 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Are my Hogs underweight?

Maybe the non feeding and colder climate (They do notice even if you keep them warm enough) got him to brumate. When taken out of it could take them a while to start eating again, raising temp slightly helps usually. A year and a half is early for sexual maturing but definetly not unheard of or odd, could be a factor. I bought a hog that was still in the fridge when I picked him up, took almost a month before he became active. Another 2 weeks before actually foraging and eating. I can drop it in and he'll eat it at some point. Sometimes takes up to a whole day but eventually it's gone, just have to put it somewhere I know he passes by. Not all hogs like to be teased with food, some just need to be near it long enough. There's still a bunch of things to try, don't worry too much.
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