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Questions: Not Eating.

Discussion in 'Corn Snakes' started by TitoAndKatt, May 14, 2009.

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  1. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    My roommate just rescued a TINY baby corn snake from Pet Co. He hasn't eaten for several weeks and it was either she brings him home, or he gets put down. Anyways, he has been tube fed by the vet while at the store. A local guy who does reptile rescue (for over 20 years now - specializing in snakes and Large lizards) gave us these two suggestions: appetite stimulant, and chicken. The appetite stimulant is this oil stuff that supposedly makes even the most resistant feeder hungry. He also said that if that doesn't work, to put out a raw chicken leg for a week or so, and rub the pinky all over it so that it smells like chicken, as snakes LOVE birds. Also, (s)he, who has been named Fresno, has very strange patterns. I'm not sure if she is a morph, or just a Very unique normal. Any input on getting her to eat and her morph? I will post pics in a few. (I have to take some first haha).
     
  2. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    her normal bands sort of fade out a bit and become more dense towards the back half of her body. I am not sure if it is because she is young/small or because she is a morph.
     

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  3. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    So it was hard to get good pics, but here's a verbal description if it helps any: in the front she has normal looking bands: white on red with a little orange/yellow dot in the center. Towards the back though the patterns change - and fairly abruptly too. Her back half the patterns are a bit more checker-y. Instead of being nicely spaced, her bands are pretty condensed with little yellow in them, instead it is mainly a red-white-red-white pattern that in some places is hard to differentiate from the checkers pattern on her belly. She is so tiny that I am not sure if the patterns there will spread out to become more normal looking as she ages, or what. Anyways, sorry I couldn't get better pics.

    Oh yes about the feeding issues: She is very active, and has been pooping fine, but still not eating. We have yet to try feeding her ourselves as we haven't had her long and she was JUST tube-fed the dya that we got her. Sorry about the drawn out post(s).
     
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Katt, the patternation is very different in the babies, so it may just be that..... if the animal is "going to the toilet", then there must still be food inside, is there any way you can get a "live" pinkie mouse and try that?
    Also, spell dya this way; D A Y. :) (Quote) "JUST tube-fed fed the dya we got her".
     
  5. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Thanks. And he does have "food inside," but that is because they have been tube feeding him. Also, regardless, as long as he has digested part of it he should be hungry, esp because he is (or should be) growing. We have yet to find a place to get live pinky mice. We can get live fuzzies, but that's about it and those are too big.
     
  6. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    You need someone who`s breeding mice, then they will probably let you have some of the pinkies, as far as having digested part of it, they usually wait `til digestion is complete, before eating again, (unless it was just a small item).
     
  7. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    Actually, there are several options you have. First, instead of rubbing RAW chicken opn the pinkie- try dipping it in some chicken broth. You can try "braining" the pinkie-that is to carefully expose the brain of the mouse(it sounds gross, but if that is the only way...). You can try putting the pinkie and the baby snake into a small brown paper bag over night(baby snakes are very timid and they may only eat ifn they know there is nothing around them to hurt them). If all else fails, you can try to encourage it to eat by gently prying open the mouth and putting the pinkie into it's mouth-sometimes the snake's natural instinct will be to swallow, if it does this carefully put the snake down and LEAVE IT ALONE! This is not the same thing as force feeding the snake as you are only putting it in the snake's mouth not shoving it down it's throat. Try these methods, maybe one will work for you. Remember to allow a few days in between each attempt so as not to stress out the snake or it may not ever eat.

    By the way- the snake looks to me to be a baby blood-red corn. I know it doesn't look that way now but as they grow older they get redder with each shed. It looks the same as mine did when I got mine, of course mine was a little pig and ate from the very beginning. Blood-reds are also known for being very finicky eaters.

    If all else fails Kathy Love is one of the top breeders in Florida, try going to her website: Corn Snakes 4. Hope this helps out.
     
  8. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Thanks! We will try that. MY roommate tried to get him to open his mouth already to put the mouse in like you said, but no luck. :( She found a live pinky and no luck there either.
     
  9. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Just be sure, all the temps and everything are correct? Can you list how its being kept? Sometimes the littlest tweek is all it needs.
     
  10. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi Katt, when you say no luck, could you not open the mouth, or did the snake just "spit it out"? obviouisly trying to open the mouth on such a small snake is difficult, because you`re trying not to do any damage... plus the snake becomes a little stressed if you try too much...
     
  11. Kendalle

    Kendalle Elite Member

    how long did you leave the live pinky in there? and did you take it out of its cage and things... maybe it just needs to be in the cage to eat right now and cover all the sides.

    I'm sure the little guy is stressed.
     
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Ok back up and regroup. You just got the snake. How long is "Just got"?

    If it is a recent acquisition it would not be unusual to be hesitant to feed. On top of that it is being pestered and attempted to force feed. This is quite stressful.
    Also depending how much it was being tube fed, it may just not be hungry. Since it is pooping then there is obviously something in its digrestive tract.
    You say it was being tube fed by a vet. Did the vet do anything else like check for disease or parasites or just start cramming food down it?
     
  13. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Sorry it is taking me so long to answer all of your questions: life has been a bit busy lately. By JUST I meant a few days at most before my original post. I don't think it is hesitant to eat because of stress of the move (not that I think that helps) simply because it was not eating at the pet store either. (For those of you who don't know, my roomate is a manager at Pet Co, and it was either us take the snake, or it gets put down, so naturally we took it). It's cage-mates at the store all came in the same batch, same age/size, and have been eating fine.

    As for whether or not the vet checked for other stuff, I am not really sure. She is a decent vet, and pretty much toe Only vet in town who specializes in herps. SteFan: no it didn't spit it out, we could not open it's mouth Period and didn't want to keep trying and potentially harm or stress him more.

    I don't know how long the pinky was left in there. This is my roomate's snake, not mine and she has been doing all of the care - I am just trying to help as much as I can. I feel so bad for the little guy/girl.

    I will post exact st-up later when I have the chance to go home and check temps, etc. It is in a 10 gal tank with a light for heat. It's pretty sterile right now: a hide, a water dish, and some moss for humidity. (Again - none of this is my set-up, and any advice on how to make it better is appreciated). It spends most of its time hidden in the moss, though I have found it under the hide - on the cool side - once.

    That said, I really don't know too much about cornsnakes or what their temps/humidity and set up should be so any advice, pics of a good cornsnake set up, ideas, etc are appreciated.
     
  14. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi Kitt-Katt, the temps. need to be around 80 to 85f. I`d personally just use newspaper as a substrate, as Merlin and myself have already mentioned, if the snake still has undigested food in it`s stomach, it probably won`t want to eat, also it needs to "settle down", you`re right about trying to open the mouth too much, it IS stressful.....If the animal hasn`t eaten in a few days time, I`d try opening the mouth again, try a cotton bud, these are quite soft, it`s very difficult when you`re trying to do this with such a small animal, if the worst comes to the worst, maybe you will have to try force-feeding.. ( as a last resort.) I once had to force feed a baby Tiger snake... but after the second time I did that, it started eating of it`s own accord....Good luck, I hope it works out!
    SsTeFAn
    P.S. you have to get the mouse into the back of the mouth, if you put it just in the front, it may not swallow...
     
  15. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    So we left Fresno alone for several days (about a week or two maybe I think? I don't know, I have been very busy, and time has been passing very slowly haha). Anyways, apparently someone suggested soaking the pinky in tuna fish water (you know, when you drain the can and all the yucky water comes out) instead of chicken broth or rubbing it with chicken. They said it works better? We did that, and left the (live) pinky in with the snake for several hours. We even covered the tank to give him some privacy and security. No luck. (S)he is being far more active though, exploring the tank and being more curious when out of the tank (which is not often) rather than hiding under moss the whole time. No luck getting him/her to open her mouth yet. I will suggest the Q-tip idea to my roomie. I think she pooped right before we tried to feed her the pinky though, so that is good, I am hoping maybe it's just not hungry yet... We don't want to resort to force feeding if we can avoid it because it has already been through that ordeal enough (by vet at the pet store) and as I said, we have yet to open the mouth.
    She is still really small compared to her old cage-mates that are the same age, but doesn't seem to be "sick" as far as we have seen yet. And as there has been multiple poops (maybe 2-3?) it's definitely not impacted... Right now I am just waiting to see if he gets hungry...
     
  16. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi katt, I really think the animal just isn`t ready to eat, as far as opening the mouth with the q-tip, it will be much easier if you can do it together... one opens the mouth, the other puts the food to the back of the mouth, ( you should do that, Kitty, because as I`ve already said, if it`s just at the front, the snake may well refuse to swallow...
    Good luck as always...
    SsTEfaAn
     
  17. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    Ya, we will probably try later, and right now we're just waiting until (s)he decides to be hungry. haha I'll keep you all updated.
    Oh btw substrate=reptile carpet, and temps are around 80-85. Can't really get it any lower than 80 because even with the thermostat turned OFF (no AC in our place - it's AK very few places have AC) the ambient air is 80. We're all dying. MUCH better than winter, but a bit brutal when you're used to the cold. haha
     
  18. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    Any news? I hope that Fresno is doing OK. I have never heard of using the juice from tuna, but if it would have worked, it would have been worth it. Instead of trying to open his mouth- you could also try to put the pinkie up to its mouth but then try using the pinkie's nose to open the mouth and then see if he will start swallowing on his own, sometimes this works also. Have you tried talking to Kathy Love? She may be able to give you better advice.
     
  19. TitoAndKatt

    TitoAndKatt Elite Member

    No updates yet. :( I went out of town for the weekend, and I guess Savvy (my roommate) tried braining a pinky and rubbing it all over one of our anoles so it smelled extra yummy. No luck. I haven't tried talking to her yet, I will see if I can get a hold of her this week maybe. I am usually in class and work all day, and with the time difference, I am sure she would not appreciate a late-night or early morning call. I'll have to try emailing her...
     
  20. David McConley

    David McConley Elite Member

    Yes, e-mailing her would probably be best and cheapest for you as she lives in Florida. Hopefully something will come about and it will start eating soon. I have faith in you guys.
     
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