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Ground Snake Losing Muscle Tone

Discussion in 'Snakes - General' started by MadCheshire13, Oct 4, 2015.

  1. MadCheshire13

    MadCheshire13 Member

    tmp_24898-20151004_063917-1465132867.jpg tmp_24898-20151004_0638531176636303.jpg I rescued a ground snake a few months ago and up until recently he was shedding and felt strong when held. Yesterday he was a little irritable like he was about to shed again so I left him alone. Today when I went to check on him, he seemed different, no sign of shedding and he felt limp when I picked him up. I've been putting 2 ants a week in his home with him but there has been some debate on if he is actually eating them or not. He's from outside and they are the only things that would really fit in his mouth, the small crickets from the pet store are too big. His head is the size of my pinky nail so it's tricky finding food small enough. Does he just need more food or what? I heard that of they are older, they only eat once a week but we have no idea how old he is. Please help!
     

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  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The snake may be starving! I have never heard of them eating ants.
    In the wild they feed on small invertebrates, including spiders, scorpions, centipedes, crickets, and insect larvae.
     
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  3. MadCheshire13

    MadCheshire13 Member

    Do you know where we could find those? Everything in the pet stores is too big. Would he be better off outside? I rescued him from a cat.
     
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    You could get crickets from the petstore. Also could try earthworms from the bait shops.
    If you are unable to care for him he will be better off back where he came from.
     
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  5. MadCheshire13

    MadCheshire13 Member

    Thank you for the speedy response, I'm freaking out about my little guy. I'll stop by some bait shops, I got the smallest crickets the pet stores had and he wouldn't touch them, same with waxworms. Meal worms just bury themselves in his enclosure. Should I set up a separate container for feeding only? Also how many times a weeks should I feed him? He's my first snake if you couldn't guess Hahaha.
     
  6. DwarvenChef

    DwarvenChef Elite Member

    At that size I'd be looking to feed ever couple days or so depending on last meal size and how often he passes the poo.
     
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  7. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Wild caught snakes can be problematic when getting them to feed. Give us a rundown on exactly how you are housing it. Including temps and type of thermometer.
     
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  8. TJOHNSON722

    TJOHNSON722 Elite Member

    I wouldn't worry about getting the tiniest crickets and food. You could probably feed large. I think It's because he is wild. Give us a rundown of stuff. Please no handling right now. It may seem like no big deal, but he is very scared, irritated, etc because he is not used to captivity. Leave him for a while and make sure your keeping him in a quiet part of the house. He may also have a ton of bacteria or parasites that could be making him sick. With a wild specimen it's hard to tell.

    Give us a rundown of housing, etc. And we'll try to help as much as we can.
     
    MadCheshire13 likes this.
  9. MadCheshire13

    MadCheshire13 Member

    Ok, sorry I haven't been able to reply for the past couple of days. We ended up releasing him back into the wild, we were so worried about him we figured he may just be better off back out in the wild.

    One of the girls I work (who's had a ball for 14 years) suggested that if he was having such a hard time surviving in the wild when I rescued him twice, that perhaps there was something wrong with his brain and he was just defective.

    As for his habitat, he was in a 10 gallon tank with about an inch to an inch and a half of substrate. I used some of the dirt/gravel that he was used to from outside to minimize stress. There was also a few rocks for him as well as a hide for him although his favorite spot was under the water dish on the warm side of the tank.

    There is a under tank heater, he had a 75 watt bulb which kept the temperature between 87 and 91 degrees with 40 to 50% humidity. I only gave him bottled water because I didn't want the minerals in the tap water to potentially hurt him. He may have had tap water once when I unknowingly used the last bottle lol.

    When I noticed he was getting close to heading I would add and a secondary dish of water to increase in humidity to about 70% and that seemed to help him shed in one piece.

    For handling, I held him once or twice every other day for no more than 10 minutes. If he started to get agitated or squirmy I would put him back down and leave him be. same with shedding, I would only handle him if I was moving the water dish and he was in the way.

    After we released him though, I turned into a little girl and couldn't stop crying so I lost my little guy. My fiance actually took me down to the pet store and we ended up coming home with a baby corn snake! Her name is Alice!

    If Rumplesnakeskin was sick, I didn't want to chance anything passing on to Alice so I cleaned out the tank with a bleach solution and replaced everything in it.
     

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  10. TJOHNSON722

    TJOHNSON722 Elite Member

    Works been hectic, sorry.

    That's awesome. I also use the bleach solution to clean with. She looks pretty, if you ever have any questions just let us know.
     
  11. MadCheshire13

    MadCheshire13 Member

    Thank you! To be honest, I'm losing my confidence in owning snakes now. We got Alice on Monday the 5th from Petsmart and they said they feed her on Thursday one pinky with no problems. It's the 14th now and I still haven't had any luck with feeding her. She has the same setup that Rumplesnakeskin did only now with Aspen bedding but no luck with feeding. We inadvertently threw out the small container we brought her home in which we later found out from the store is ideal for feeding her in due to the small size.

    We've handled her very little to let her adjust, I tried feeding Thursday, Saturday and today with no luck. Petsmart has a 14 day return policy so we have until the 19th to take her back. I've been putting her into a separate small container to eat in, I've covered it with a small towel and left her be to eat in peace and still nothing. I've added pictures of the feeding container, now I just want to pull my hair put.
     

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  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Ok calm down. It's possible that the snake is fixing to shed. A baby corn will shed every couple of weeks! Stop handling completely and let the snake settle in. Are you taking the snake out to feed? My policy with new hatchlings is to set the tank up with only newspaper, no substrate. This allows you to feed the snake without worrying about it ingesting substrate. It also allows you to monitor wastes. Are you feeding live or frozen?
     
  13. MadCheshire13

    MadCheshire13 Member

    She's eating! :D Apparently Petsmart feeds her frozen pinkies in the morning & the girls tip was to wiggle it until she strikes. It took 10 minutes of wiggling but she finally went for it. She has a 10 gal tank with Aspen bedding and a separate container for feeding only in... an old Johnson first aid plastic box lol. Hopefully she will associate the first aid with feeding.
     

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