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Old 03-23-03, 11:29 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Thumbs down Seeking advice on cornsnake regurgitation

Hi! I just posted a newbie thread in the intro forum in case you're wondering who the heck I am.

I recently took in a rescue corn snake. She is 8 years old, 5 feet long, and only weighs 272 grams (skinny as a rail). The former owner told me that she's a proven breeder and after her clutch of 20 eggs last year, she started occasionally regurgitating and occasionally refusing food. Since that time she lost a lot of weight.

I took in the snake 4 weeks ago. She's had a clean fecal exam from the vet, eaten three meals of 1 adult mouse each, and regurgitated the last mouse she ate. WOW is that ever nasty!

So I'm seeking input on what could cause regurgitation if we've (mostly) eliminated parasites. I haven't had a complete blood panel done yet, but it's on the checklist for figuring out the problem. Just saving the money for the test - they're *expensive* here.

She is housed with a male corn (her proven breeder mate) in a large glass tank (3'wx2'dx18"h). They have several hides and a gradient from about 76F (ambient) to 90F (basking). Humidity in my herp room is about 40% all the time.

tia for any comments or advice! She's the little one in the picture.
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Old 03-24-03, 02:02 AM   #2 (permalink)
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Could be stress from being housed with another snake.
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Old 03-24-03, 08:46 AM   #3 (permalink)
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So, she kept 2 down, but barfed on the third one? How often is she fed? Weekly? Once she chucks, you gotta give her some time off before offering food again, to allow the gut flora to reform. Trying to rush it will only make the problem worse.

The two most common causes are low temperatures and handling too soon after feeding. Parasites (crypto) can also be a cause, but seem to have been ruled out here, along with temperature (what are the nighttime lows?).

Another possibility is constipation, does the snake in question go regularly? Can you feel any lumps in the snake's lower 1/3 of the body?

Other less obvious possibilities include obstructive lesion of the digestive tract, either inside (e.g. foreign body ingested or inspissated (thickened) stool) or outside it (abscess, granuloma [a mass or nodule of chronically inflamed tissue with granulations that is usually associated with an infective process] or tumor). Injested toxins can also cause regurge.

Is the regurge blood tinged? If so, gastric erosion and/or ulcers could be the cause. Endoscopy may be required to detect same.

Hope some of that helps...
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Old 03-24-03, 10:04 AM   #4 (permalink)
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ya like try givin her soem tiem to herself without her mate around
because he might be stressing her out and like is it really loud around her cage if it is try making it quiter because thats stressfull and then like J riley said give her some time befor offering her more food. good luck there really prettym the big one nice colors and the smaller one is cute
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Old 03-24-03, 12:17 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally posted by J_Riley
So, she kept 2 down, but barfed on the third one? How often is she fed? Weekly? Once she chucks, you gotta give her some time off before offering food again
Yep, weekly feedings, and yep, she tossed 3 days ago and I'm not going to feed again until next weekend.

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The two most common causes are low temperatures and handling too soon after feeding. Parasites (crypto) can also be a cause, but seem to have been ruled out here, along with temperature (what are the nighttime lows?).
Well I didn't handle her after the feeding that prompted puking, but I DID leave her in her feeding tub overnight which is a little cooler than her regular tank. Nighttime lows in my herp room are about 72F-74F. I doubt crypto, as the male she lives with is huge and healthy.

Quote:
Another possibility is constipation, does the snake in question go regularly? Can you feel any lumps in the snake's lower 1/3 of the body?
She pooped the first time for sure, but I'm not sure she's pooped from her second meal. I'll give her a little massage this afternoon and a warm bath.

Quote:
Other less obvious possibilities include obstructive lesion of the digestive tract, either inside (e.g. foreign body ingested or inspissated (thickened) stool) or outside it (abscess, granuloma [a mass or nodule of chronically inflamed tissue with granulations that is usually associated with an infective process] or tumor). Injested toxins can also cause regurge.
Excellent, thank you for the possible suggestions!! I will talk with my vet about these and get back to my research.

Quote:
Is the regurge blood tinged?
No, just mucousy (which led me to believe it was parasites). I didn't take in the regurged mouse for testing of saliva, which is on my list of troubleshooting if she regurg's again.

Also I will work on setting up a cage for her to seperate her from the potentially stressful male (I've been thinking he's big enough to eat her anyway). Lastly I'll mention that my herp room is nearly dead silent, aside from crickets chirping and water from the bio-wheel in the aquarium trickling down. Noise is definately not a factor up there.

Thanks so much!
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Old 03-24-03, 12:19 PM   #6 (permalink)
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P.S. to Nicky, eh I think they're alright lookin' but I prefer normal corns over amelanistic "snow" corns. Color morphs don't do a whole lot for me.

I might keep the big male permanently, he's very mellow and would make a great outreach snake.
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Old 03-24-03, 01:36 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Well, this sounds like some vet detective work is in order. My corn never has hurled in his 2+ years and his temps at night routinely get down to 70, still...yours perhaps is a little more sensitive...

The positive thing is it kept two down, I would wait, like you suggested, to feed her, then get her back in the tank for overnight and see if it makes a difference.

Find out from the previous owner if they feed in cage, perhaps she ingested a bit of the substrate and it's causing her gastric difficulties.
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Old 03-24-03, 02:41 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I would think the most obvious thing here would be to seperate your snakes. (Unless you already did and I missed that) before you start taking tests, etc.

The simple fact they live together might be stressing her out. Sure she might have been fine before but maybe the other snake is bothering her. Snakes are in fact solitary animals and some just don't like living together. I would seperate them right away.

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Old 03-25-03, 09:34 PM   #9 (permalink)
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One feeding per week in good enough to go with. The snkes could also have a parasite.

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Old 03-25-03, 09:56 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Hmmm, she never had regurge problems before she laid her clutch? It's a slight possiblility that she is calcium-deficient since laying her eggs and so she doesn't have nice smooth muscle motion in her gut which is causing occasional regurge. It's a simple blood test that would find that out, so if your vet is doing other studies in his detective work, ask him to add a serum calcium level to it.

My guess is cohabitation stress though, possibly combined with parasites.
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