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Neo hasn't eaten in 5-6 months, please help

Discussion in 'Carpet/Diamond Pythons' started by koshde, Jan 13, 2006.

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  1. koshde

    koshde New Member

    Hey everyone,

    I'm new to posting here. Sorry if I'm not posting in the correct spot but there seems to be the most python activity here. I know this is long but letting you guys know what the history is might help you help me. Here it is:

    I bought a jungle carpet python back in March of last year. He is 4-5 years old. I have him in a 60 gallon tank(I think its about 18x48 inches or so, maybe 18 inches tall too). After the initial move in phase he took about a 6 weeks to start eating(only after I built him a cardboard box to hide in). He was eating pretty regularly for several months, maybe 7 jumbo rats total. Then he went into breeding season which I guess is normal for him not to eat for a while. So I thought no big deal. That was back in late August 2005.

    When he was eating he used to actually come out of the box when he smelled the rat heating up(use frozen ones and defrost them in hot water) but it was like he was getting lazier and lazier and by the time he actually came out he was interested but wouldnt strike it. I think the rat lost heat and he possibly wasn't percieving it as food. A few times I tricked him into striking by flashing my heat source light behind the rat and that got him to eat. Like I said though, this was when he WAS eating before late August 2005. Probably 3 months later I thought he was ready to eat again when he started striking at the rat again. However, since he didnt come out of his box and I was holding the rat out in front of it, he tried to strike it several times but he didn't realize the hole in the box was too small to strike through. So the cardboard took some strikes and he lost interest.

    Naturally I built him a new box with a giant hole for him so if he didn't want to come out of the box he could still strike from it. That didnt seem to help though because he still wouldn't eat. However, this was during the winter and turns out my roomate was keeping the house pretty cold when I was gone so I think Neo wasn't getting enough heat. The average temp in his box was probably 71ish. This was in late Nov and December.

    So I went out and bought a 150watt heat lamp and set that up for him(I have a dial where I can adjust how strong the heat lamp will go up to). I think he liked that because he actually came out of his box and was laying under the lamp for several days. I put the lamp partly over his box hoping it would help heat him up some and he wouldnt have to come out if he didnt want to. After a few days of warming up I tried to feed him and nope. He seemed somewhat interested but it didnt last too long.

    Well right before I left for a trip(on it now) I built him a whole new setup with a smaller box again with a small hole. I was thinking, well he obviously liked the first box because he was eating then. I am going to try and feed him when I get home in a week(girlfriend is too wimpy to do it for me) but I am very worried he still won't eat. I know pythons can live without eating for a very long time, some even up to 2 years but obviously he needs to eat and Im starting to get desperate.

    So if anyone has any ideas I will try anything at this point, Im about to just stuff one down his mouth.

    Thanks for any help in advance.
     
  2. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Hello,

    All of the changes made between swapping the hides in addition to the temps have likely stressed him out some.

    I would suggest an Under Tank Heater for his basking spot hide. This will keep his hide on the warm end comfortable and constant.

    Do you offer a hide on the cool end as well? I am guessing that the temperatures and the stress have contributed. I don't own a CP so I am only going on what I have read.

    BTW, welcome to the HC Network!
     
  3. Lyn

    Lyn Elite Member

    Welcome and hope your snake starts eating. Good luck. Lyn
     
  4. koshde

    koshde New Member

    You are probably right about him being stressed. He also seems to be particulary vulnerable to stress, poor guy. When I made the 2nd box, he must have been in that one for a good 3 months without eating though. There was no change to his environment during that time.

    Right now, in the new setup, he has a hide on the cooler end(a big shoebox). I was hoping to lure him out of his box once in a while to soak up some heat from the 150 watt heat source. This time around I didn't use the under tank heater because it fell off about a month ago. I guess the adhessive glue they use on those isn't the greatest. Instead I have his shoebox on top of another one that I burried. So his hide spot sits up pretty high in the cage with the substrate sloping up to it.

    He has been in the new setup for about a 10 days now. He started off sitting under the heating light then snuck over to the shoebox on the cooler end and has been in it ever since. I have his water bowl on top of the shoebox. Should I try and change something or would it be better to let the setup sit for now and hope for the best? I think the shoebox is a little small for him because my girlfriend was saying he kind of pushed the side out.

    Thanks for the welcome.
     
  5. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Hello,

    If the hides are not adequately sized, that too could be stressing him. If he doesn't feel secure in his enclosure, he is going to be continuely stressed.

    I would upgrade his enclosure setup so the hides are of good size. (Even if they are a bit too large for him.) Its better to have room to move around than it is for him to not have enough room and force himself into a spot that is too small. He would likely be uncomfortable.

    Personally, I like to use belly heat with my snakes. It offers them the ability to use the heat at any given time. If you are using a "lamp", the snake has no source of heat at all at night except for the ambient temperatures of the room he is in. (You are turning the light off at night right?)
     
  6. koshde

    koshde New Member

    Ok, thanks for the advice. I will redo his cage when I get home with a bigger box for him. I will make one on the warm side and the cool side of the cage.

    Actually the heat lamp is on all the time. Am I supposed to turn it off?? Recently I've actually had the white light on most of the time too. During the winter I was trying to get as much heat in there as possible and according to the digital probe keeping the white light on was helping by a few degrees.

    Thanks for the help by the way.
     
  7. Bighill_Reptiles

    Bighill_Reptiles Elite Member

    try and give him a darker cage my lights go on at sun up and off as sunset a good size hide on both ends will help a good sturdy branch to climb with sone fake plants around it so he can bask and still feel comfotable .I would close in the sides and back of the tank with some sort of back ground weather it be just paper or some thing nice looking mack him feel at home and a good big watter bowls a must carpets like the watter
     
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