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  1. #1
    Registered User invictusa's Avatar
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    Detetcing Parasites on Feeder Mammals?

    I humbly admit I do not have the moral reservations of feeding live feeder mice to my herp, however, I definitely do not want feed my little guy an infested meal.

    What can I do to detect external parasites on each life stage of the feeder? (If possible a reference to photographs of common external feeder parasites would be excellent.)

    Is there an inexpensive preventative treatment which would harm neither the feeder before being ingested or the herp as he commences to ingest?






  2. #2
    Subscribed User Frognut's Avatar
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    Re: Detetcing Parasites on Feeder Mammals?

    I don't think you'll find many of the snake lovers feeding F/K or F/T over a moral issue -- circle of life and all.

    Primarily it's done for the protection of the snake. As the snakes take larger prey - the risks to the safety of the snake when fed live becomes stronger.

    I'm sorry I can't help you on the parasite issue - I use F/T (which by the way, I am way too squeemish to try live... -- don't have a problem with it for others except the safety of the snake).
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  3. #3
    Elite Member Dragoness's Avatar
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    Re: Detetcing Parasites on Feeder Mammals?

    Reptile Relief is a common reptile mite treatment spray, and is safe to use on everything, the snake, their food, cage, accessories, water dish, etc.

    The active ingredients (Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate - 2.1%
    Undecylenic Acid - 0.5% ) are found in medications and other products (including perfumes, cosmetics, etc) that are produced for human consumption. It will be good at eradicating invertebrates such as ticks, mites, fleas, etc that might come in on mice or other feeders.
    My name is Jen.

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  4. #4
    Elite Member Dragoness's Avatar
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    Re: Detetcing Parasites on Feeder Mammals?

    You will want to convert your snake to F/K or F/T soon. Larger prey can do more damage. King snakes usually aren't picky eaters, so it should be relatively easy. In addition to being safer (no risk of injury, and drastically reduced risk of disease/parasite transfer) it is also cheaper (In addition to avoiding Vet bills, the rodents themselves are also cheaper. I have a large-ish collection and save over $1300 a year buying frozen vs. live.) Also, frozen rodents keep longer without needing fresh food or water, and do not stink.

    All it takes is one good bite (and you cannot prevent it if you are feeding live) and your snake is injured, blinded or dead. My former vet (before I moved out of state) used to keep a collection of rodent-killed snakes he had seen, all pickled and in jars in his office. Most of them were colubrids, but he had a few boas and pythons too.

    Don't underestimate the survival instincts of rodents. They can and will fight for their lives.
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  5. #5
    Registered User invictusa's Avatar
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    Re: Detetcing Parasites on Feeder Mammals?

    Thank you all for your advice. I will attempt again to feed "frozen" despite my previous failure.

    1.) I have tried danglin' the recently thawed little guy with feeding tongs to show movement in a heated area separate and/or hidden from my snake's habitat.

    2.) Ive left the little guy sitting pretty for an extensive amount of time.

    3.) After 8 days of hunger strike; I have already repeated steps 1 and 2 at least thrice before successfully feeding little guys that can wiggle on their own.

    What advice can you give me for feeding a food that has been chilled out?

    Does anyone want to respond to the subject of this thread?

  6. #6
    Elite Member Dragoness's Avatar
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    Re: Detetcing Parasites on Feeder Mammals?

    Quote Originally Posted by invictusa View Post
    Is there an inexpensive preventative treatment which would harm neither the feeder before being ingested or the herp as he commences to ingest?
    Quote Originally Posted by Dragoness View Post
    Reptile Relief is a common reptile mite treatment spray, and is safe to use on everything, the snake, their food, cage, accessories, water dish, etc.

    The active ingredients (Dioctyl Sodium Sulfosuccinate - 2.1%
    Undecylenic Acid - 0.5% ) are found in medications and other products (including perfumes, cosmetics, etc) that are produced for human consumption. It will be good at eradicating invertebrates such as ticks, mites, fleas, etc that might come in on mice or other feeders.
    Quote Originally Posted by invictusa View Post
    What can I do to detect external parasites on each life stage of the feeder? (If possible a reference to photographs of common external feeder parasites would be excellent.)
    Unless you intend to do 3 fecals on every live feeder you do (to examine for internal parasites) and comb it's fur with a fine-tooth comb (to check for external parasites) there is really no faster or easier way of checking live feeders that I know of (short of breeding them yourself, and thus being assured of the quality of the animals by means of regular care of the colony to make sure none carry such parasites.)

    Panacur is a broad spectrum de-wormer, but I do not know the dosage for rodents.

    As to tricks for getting a picky snake to eat - 8 days is not much of a hunger strike. these guys can go weeks without food (even the young ones!). If he is being picky, let him get hungry. Don't feed for 2 weeks. Then offer a rodent that has been thawed to room temperature. (Did that for my female Ball Python, Milks Snake, Brazilian Rainbow Boa)

    If he seems interested (lots of tongue flicking, etc) jiggle it to make it look alive. (This works for my Central American Boa.) You may need to feed late at night, or turn off all the lights, as I do wit my Central American Boa. He will not eat during "daytime."

    If he doesn't take that, try warming it up. Short of microwaving it, there are dozens of safe methods for this, including the oven. Turn your oven on to the lowest setting, and let it run for 5 minutes. Turn it off and let it set for 5 minutes. Put your rodent in for 2-3 minutes (Larger rats take 5 minutes) and when it comes out, it will feel warm to the touch, like a live mouse. (Did that for my Male Ball Python.)

    If that fails, get a small live feeder (the smallest you think he will take) and as he is swallowing that, poke the nose of the frozen one into his mouth. (Did this for my Jungle Carpet Python.)
    My name is Jen.

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  7. #7
    Elite Member missabrat's Avatar
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    Re: Detetcing Parasites on Feeder Mammals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragoness View Post

    If he doesn't take that, try warming it up. Short of microwaving it, there are dozens of safe methods for this, including the oven. Turn your oven on to the lowest setting, and let it run for 5 minutes. Turn it off and let it set for 5 minutes. Put your rodent in for 2-3 minutes (Larger rats take 5 minutes) and when it comes out, it will feel warm to the touch, like a live mouse. (Did that for my Male Ball Python.)
    This worked great to change both my very picky corn snake and ball python over from live to f/t, now they both take dinner without an issue.
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  8. #8
    Elite Member KrokadilyanGuy3's Avatar
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    Re: Detetcing Parasites on Feeder Mammals?

    I've had sucess with chicken broth.

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  9. #9
    Registered User invictusa's Avatar
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    Re: Detetcing Parasites on Feeder Mammals?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragoness View Post
    8 days is not much of a hunger strike. these guys can go weeks without food
    You were right. I starved the little MBK to the point of wrinkly skin and he/she went right for it. Though it was steamed and thawed and allowed to sit until a safe temperature it was in a rigormortise fetal position as it was swallowed legs first and sent to the stomach. It looked as painful as passing a bladder stone as it bulged in that same C shape to where it is being digested now.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dragoness View Post
    try warming it up
    Those were some interesting ways of heating frozen little guys I never thought of. I would certainly never microwave them. I have a George Foreman grill but I don't think that would work any better than the microwave. I have one of those 2 cubic feet toaster oven's so I suppose I could try baking the little fellers like some of you suggest but considering how I can't toast bread in that thing without turning it into something unrecognizable I think I will just stick to steaming the little guys. They say broccoli is most nutritious that way anyways.

    Thank you all for your help.

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