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Old 01-14-21, 12:55 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Spotted Python Won't Eat

My 6-month-old spotted python has now been refusing to eat for nearly a month now, and I am starting to get worried.

She went into shed shortly after she last ate, and had a bit of stuck shed which required a bath. Since then, she has completely refused to eat.

I have switched different food items, from mouse fuzzies to pinkies, and used the trick where you place them in a container with the food and cover it for a time. I have fed her both during the day and at night, trying to figure out what could be off.

I make sure not to attempt too often, I had tried feeding her every five days like I usually would before I did a full week with her tank covered and hardly even going into the room she was in to see if she just needed more time, but she is not interested in the mouse even then.

I'm getting worried since she is only 6 months old and is very small, and she needs food more often than adults, and what little I could find said that snakes that young can go a month before it is a big problem. Should I be worried? I don't think she is too skinny, but she is not interested in what I offer and I'm worried if she keeps this up. Is this something I should be concerned about? What else should I do?
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Old 01-14-21, 10:33 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Spotted Python Won't Eat

Although I don't work with spotted pythons, I do work with the closely related Stimson's pythons, so hopefully I can offer a few thoughts.
It's common for adults to eat less during the winter. However, a six-month-old should normally be eating at every opportunity. Assuming that the snake is well established and normally feeding well on frozen thawed rodents, I'm going to guess that the issue is one of two things- presentation or temperature.
At feeding time, are you teasing the snake into striking the rodent, or just dropping it in the enclosure and hoping for the best? What is the temp of the thawed rodent?
What is the temp of the enclosure's hot spot? If it's too cold, the snake may not eat. 95f isn't too hot, as long as it has a cool area to retreat to.
If you can provide some additional info about how it is housed and fed, that may give us a solution.
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Old 01-14-21, 10:57 AM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Spotted Python Won't Eat

Quote:
Originally Posted by Herpin' Man View Post
Although I don't work with spotted pythons, I do work with the closely related Stimson's pythons, so hopefully I can offer a few thoughts.
It's common for adults to eat less during the winter. However, a six-month-old should normally be eating at every opportunity. Assuming that the snake is well established and normally feeding well on frozen thawed rodents, I'm going to guess that the issue is one of two things- presentation or temperature.
At feeding time, are you teasing the snake into striking the rodent, or just dropping it in the enclosure and hoping for the best? What is the temp of the thawed rodent?
What is the temp of the enclosure's hot spot? If it's too cold, the snake may not eat. 95f isn't too hot, as long as it has a cool area to retreat to.
If you can provide some additional info about how it is housed and fed, that may give us a solution.
I usually tease her and move it around and such. I have hand tremors, so all I really need to do to make it twitch is hold it in the tongs. Lately since she has refused to take it, I leave her in her little deli cup with it sitting in there in the hopes she takes it then, as that had worked when she was unsure about moving up in sizes. Her hot temps are about 86-90, and I often heat the mouse up in hot water after it thaws, but she had taken room temp often in the past. She was a really good eater then just tanked.

She has four hides in a 20 gallon bin, with fake plantds and a log for clutter. She is on paper towels for substrate, and her humidity usually ranges between 50-70%.
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Old Yesterday, 10:09 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Spotted Python Won't Eat

I would try bumping up the heat a little bit. I would also ensure that the mouse is heated to around 90f. A heat lamp works great for this, but don't let the rodent overheat.
When you feed, take care not to move or disturb the snake. Let it remain in the hide, and jiggle the rodent in front of it. Let it ambush the mouse. I find that my Stimmies respond to various teasing techniques- touching the mouse to the anterior third of the snakes body, particularly the neck, works especially well. Sometimes, pressing the rodent gently to the snakes nose will stimulate it into opening the mouth, and grabbing it. You may have to experiment a bit.
Once the snake grabs the mouse, I like to jiggle it just a bit more, to emulate a struggling rodent, and to encourage the snake to coil and consume it.
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Old Yesterday, 11:05 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Spotted Python Won't Eat

I'll do that, and I'll make sure not to disturb her too much. She likes to hide under the paper towels of her hide, but I should be able to get her without too much disturbance.
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