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How Long Can My Snake Go Without Eating?

Discussion in 'Ratsnakes' started by miranda200784, Jul 31, 2009.

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  1. miranda200784

    miranda200784 Active Member

    My six foot long grey ratsnake has now gone over six weeks without eating. She usually eats one mouse a week. Her tank is a bit on the cool side, as the weather is a bit cooler (and it's a glass tank), but this has not bothered her before. She has shed once during this period, and her eys are clouded like she is going to shed again. She seems to be drinking but is not very active (but she can be quite lazy anyway!) I've pinched her skin and she does not appear dehydrated and seems otherwise well, any ideas? Or should i stop worrying?!
     
  2. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    You stated the tank is a bit cooler due to the weather. Does this mean you are not using any type of heat source ? Please tell us more regarding your set up.
     
  3. miranda200784

    miranda200784 Active Member

    She just has a heat mat which is under substrate.temp is around 70-72 f, 22-23 c. There is currently no basking spot as it gets too hot too quickly, although the heat mat is only on one side of the tank, where the snake spends most of her time. Her huge water bowl takes up the other third of the tank with no heat mat. When i took her on two years ago, the heat mat was fixed to the wooden lid of her glass tank! I played around with heat mats and basking lamps, but it became too hot too quickly, so at the moment there is no light source from bulbs in there, just natural light.
     
  4. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    He NEEDS a basking spot. If its getting too hot then you need a lower wattage light. A simple 25 watt house hold bulb will do the trick. I have one on a 10 gallon tank in my house and the basking spot is 85. You have to give him the option. A 10 gallon tank is hard to get a heat gradient in. You may want to consider upgrading to a 20 long.
     
  5. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    70-72 F is way too cool for the warm side of the tank. That temp will seriously compromise the snakes ability to digest its prey. If overhead lighting is making the tank too hot you should get a thermostat/rheostat so you can adjust the temps. The basking spot needs to be in the upper 80's to 90 f. If you do not already have a digital thermometer I would suggest getting 1. Keep us posted
     
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    I agree, the temps are much too low, that will probably be why the snake`s not eating, as mentioned it wouldn`t digest the food or even want/be able to move much.... The all glass tanks are hopeless for retaining heat etc, is the room temp high, (that you say it gets "too hot"?)...
     
  7. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    I think she said with the basking bulb it gets to hot.

    Miranda, what IS too hot? Like the actual temps?
     
  8. miranda200784

    miranda200784 Active Member

    with a 40 watt household bulb it gets above 90 very quickly. It's a 40 gallon long tank (4 foot long by 1 foot wide,by 1 and half foot tall)
     
  9. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Then go down to a 25 watt bulb. If you can't find one at walmart.. i know petsmart sells night bulbs at that wattage. A few more dollars, but oh well.
     
  10. miranda200784

    miranda200784 Active Member

    many thanks for your replies. have now got ambient temp up to 77 with basking aroung 85, still not eating, but just passed rather large stool so wondering if she was perhaps a bit bunged up. Seems otherwise healthy, does not look emaciated or saggy. hopefully she'll eat soon and put my mind at rest. Is this a common occurance, and can they go a long time without eating without much detriment to their health?
     
  11. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    They can go a long time without eating.. Its not really good for them, but they can do it.

    Now that we have had a poop, give your snake a few more days, then try feeding again. Glad you got the basking spot up, it seems to be moving things along.
     
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Six weeks without eating to a snake is nothing! Many species fast for up to a year!
    The problem was most likely the temps. You fooled the snake into thinking that winter was coming and that it had to keep its gut empty to brumate. When the temps are too low they can't digest their food and going into brumation with food in the gut would kill them.
    Now that you have the temps back up it should resume feeding.
     
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