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Help! Carpet Acting Weird

Discussion in 'Carpet/Diamond Pythons' started by Katsura, Aug 13, 2012.

  1. Katsura

    Katsura Elite Member

    Okay guys, here's the issue. My new carpet python, Rorschach, has been acting defensive and refusing food. This started up recently, and I have a hunch of what's going on, but maybe you guys can see something I can't.

    She's a sweet little girl, I've had her for a little over a month now, and have fed her, or at least TRIED to feed her, four times since I got her. She's not super used to being handled yet, so she DOES get a little cautious and defensive when we reach into her cage, but after we stroke her a couple times and pick her up out of the cage she's fine and zooms around like a happy little snake. And with feeding, we didn't have problems the first three times we tried, and we fed her a mouse, a mouse, a rat, and we just tried another rat hopper last Wednesday (which is our designated feeding day), but she wouldn't eat. She's adjusted to her new home seemingly perfectly, and we keep the temps and humidity at their proper levels, always. Her water dish is always full with fresh water, she has two hides, a hot side, a cool side, and a 12h light/dark photoperiod. She made a nice poop on Wednesday, the day she refused food. And we try very hard to handle all the snakes everyday for a minimum of 15 minutes, but usually longer.

    But recently, she's been acting odd ever since that Wednesday. I reach into her cage and she gets defensive and won't calm down even after I stroke her for a minute; looked like she was about to strike me the entire time. When I moved my hand, she followed it with her head. I took her out and she seemed fine, but when I put her in the feeding tub to try to feed her again, she showed absolutely no interest in the hopper and seemed intent on getting out of the tub. (And before you ask, we feed live rats to our snake, which yes I know isn't the safest but... Anyway, I say this to rule out a warmth issue of the hopper.)

    So, I personally think she's shedding, but in all reality I have no clue. Knowing when ball pythons are going to shed is as easy as telling a burm from a retic. But with Rorschach (my carpet python) and Drake (my rainbow boa) I've absolutely no clue when they're going into the shed cycle. Drake shed the day before yesterday and we'd had no idea he was even shedding until it was over.

    What do you guys think? Is she shedding, or is something more serious going on? She hasn't been spending any time in her water dish..

  2. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    How long of an adjustment period did you allow her before handling her and trying to feed?
    since she is not accepting the live rats why not try F/T? as of right now I see no reason to continue with the live rats.
  3. SSThorn

    SSThorn Elite Member

    Sounds like she could be stressed out, I would give her a week to herself, do nothing but change water. Then try to feed her F/T from tongs (unless you trust her to miss your fingers). Also, in that weeks time, watch her colors. She might either darken a bit or lighten up a bit, and that could be your indicators for shed.
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I think the most likely reason the snake`s behaving the way it is is stress (you). You say the animal isn`t used to being handled yet, but you continue to handle? I also think you need to stop trying to feed live unless you want the snake to suffer a possibly serious injury.
    Can you put a few photos up, and just for the sake of it, the temps, etc? Thanks!
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    The "happy little snake is anything but!
    It's trying to get away from you!

    If a snake is not feeding, leave it alone! Sounds like you are over handling it and stressing it out.

    I think that you are answering your own question. The snake is defensive. It's not happy!
    It's possible that this is a reaction to an impending shed. I would advise leaving the snake alone until it gets back to feeding
  6. justor

    justor Elite Member

    Try feeding inside the enclosure also
  7. Katsura

    Katsura Elite Member

    Well, we gave her a week to herself before we handled her. And we don't handle her for 2 full days after we feed her. The room she's in has little foot traffic and I'm careful to mind the noise. I mean, we've had her for a month now. I'm not going to sit there and let my snake alone for a month or more, I mean I would like the hold her, you know?

    I personally don't think it's stressed, as she really has no reason to be stressed. However, I came to you guys for advice and I'll follow it. I'll leave her alone for a week or so to see if she sheds, and if she doesn't I suppose I'll cut back on the handling and see if that doesn't calm her down. Just kinda worried about her, we haven't changed our routine or done anything different since we got her and this started up recently, so yeah..

    And I can post photos, if you guys want, but you'll have to tell me what you want pictures OF. The snake, the enclosure, both?

    Thanks guys :)
  8. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi again, pics of the snake and enclosure would be good. There`s no doubt the animal is stressed by the handling, you need to work at the snake`s pace, not yours.
    You say you didn`t handle for one week when you get him/her? These are wild animals, just because they may have been bred in captivity for a few years doesn`t take away millions of years of evolutionary behaviour (you are a perceived threat)!
  9. mele

    mele Elite Member

    It's normal for a baby carpet to be a little fiesty. Plus one month is not a long time for him or her to adjust. The little guy is under stress. It's also common for carpets to refuse rats and prefer mice. Carpets will never be a laid back snake like a ball so expect the fight especially in the young ones.
  10. Katsura

    Katsura Elite Member

    Alright, I'll post some pics of her and her cage tomorrow. (I kinda have a busy day today.)

    I know that baby snakes (including carpets) are feisty - Drake, my baby rainbow, did nothing but strike and tag for the entire first week we had him, even though we only reached into the cage to change the water - so I know that her defensive behavior is normal. I also know that she'll never be lazy like a ball (it's one of the reasons I even WANTED a carpet python).

    I trust what you guys are saying, that's why I came to you all for advice and why I'm following said advice, it's just that personally I would be more inclined to believe it is stress related if she had been doing this since we got her, and she hasn't. And like I said, nothing has been different, so I dunno what's up.

    But yeah, like I said I'll get some pics and post them tomorrow to see if I'm missing something here. Thanks :)
  11. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Your snake is stressed out. You said in the first post you handle her at least 15 mins a day everyday...for a snake that has yet to adjust that is a huge problem.
    I wish you would reconsider handling her and give her proper time to settle in. It will make a huge difference in the long run. Patience will pay off.
  12. diehardislanders

    diehardislanders Elite Member

    Hey! Carpets are so cool!. I would suggest just leaving him be in his enclosure hands off for a while. Go buy some moss, and a rediculous amount of fave leaves that you can stick to the glass so he feels secure. Your snake will let you know when he is ready to eat. They will take food sometimes even if they do not feel secure, but if you let your guy fully settle in, he will show you when he is hungry and ready.

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