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I Think My King Snake Has a Problem

Discussion in 'Kingsnakes' started by Lampropeltisgetulacalif, Mar 9, 2011.

  1. My California King Snake over the past year has started to slow down, and refuses to eat live mice like it usually did before. I know thats not good to do. Over the past few months she has seemed to get weaker. Just a little over a week ago I fed her a mouse and she still has not pooped. Soon after eating she fogged up and started the shedding process and its bean about 6 days since she fogged up and she still hasn't shed yet. She is around 10 years old. Could she be dying?:( I know that they on average only live to be 10-15 years old. So she is right around there. Please let me know what you think is going on.
  2. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    Hi, can you please tell us the temps/humidity etc that you are keeping her at, have there been any changes besides her eating habits?
  3. I have been keeping her in temps around 70 degrees I dont have a hygrometer in the cage so I'm not sure. other than her eating problems and the shedding problems not much else has changed. she has also gotten really weak,
  4. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    Well, that's probably your problem..with temps too cold, the body can't digest the food properly and eventually will get weaker and weaker.. They need to get to a warm end where the basking spot gets to at least 90!

    Heat her up and she will feel better, her metabolism will be better and she will get stronger!
  5. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    How big is the cage? Hygrometers are very important, without the proper humidity, they can't shed.

    And there isn't a reason they NEED to have live prey. Frozen/thawed is just fine, and in fact safer.

    Like Kat said, get a warm side and a cool side going. They need heat to properly digest.
  6. i have her in a 15 gallon tank for her. and i will start getting that stuff. I have another king and he is in the same setup and he isnt having any problems whatsoever he is actually really active
  7. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    If you get the temps up you might be surprised, he may even be more active than before! Their bodies don't work right when it isn't warm enough, they can't heat themselves up like we can. Digital hygrometers are pretty cheap at like gardening stores(like, 10 dollars) and it shouldn't be too costly to bump up the heat. Heat really is the number one thing when it comes to keeping an animal healthy for as long as possible!
  8. Okay thank you.
  9. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    How long have you owned her?
    I agree with the temps, definitely not warm enough....with such low temperatures and continuing to feed her, food will rot in her gut before it is digested, she needs belly heat (under tank heat source) and a daytime heat as stated between 84-90 degrees on the hot side and 70-75 degrees on the cool and night time in the 68-72 degrees and humidity between 40-60%

    How big is she? a 15 gal seems kind of small to me, my corn is in a 40gal and could use more room.
  10. 15 gallons was just a rough estimate im not quite sure what size they are. they are those plastic like cages with the sliding glass doors. They were given to me, so im not sure. She is about 3 3/4 feet long. I have had her in colder temps to try to hibernate her in order to breed her and not once has she acted like this. Also today i found that there was some kind of gunk just under the flap of her butt. the real name just slipped my mind. And there was what appeared to be dried up blood. I have had her for approximately 7 1/2 years. And if it helps she is on aspen, we recently changed from bark, i think the bark was from zoo med but im not quite sure that seemed to be really dusty. When i got her she was probably 2-3 years old
  11. FantasticDamage

    FantasticDamage Well-Known Member

    Raise the temps but get her to the vet. If she's not acting like normal medical attention is a must. Additionally, if you are seeing blood in the like in her vent opening that is also another sign to take her to a vet.
  12. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Not good. There isn't a plastic cage out there that is big enough for these guys. Go to the store and get a 20 gallon long tank at the minimum.

    Just because your snakes have been alive for the past 7 years, doesn't mean their care has been right. No fault to you, its just time to do a little bit more research.
  13. teach920

    teach920 Subscribed User Premium Member

    Actually, with this comment:

    I am wondering (and HOPING) that it is possibly one of those cages that have the 2 sliding glass doors on the front of it...they are made of a hard plastic-type material, and come in various sizes...some of which would indeed be large enough.
    It would be helpful to give measurements for the cage you have, so that we would know the actual size.....Either way, the temperature does need to be increased, and as stated, if she has been having the dried blood, a Vet Check would be a great help.
  14. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    I am wondering if maybe they have a Vision type cage?
  15. Thank you for all of the suggestions. I got a heat pad almost instant improvement. I feel like an idiot:D I am planning on getting new cages.
  16. schlegelbagel

    schlegelbagel Frog Lover Premium Member

    Glad the heat is helping. Now pick up the rest of the stuff and get the proper temps dialed in. You will see a much improved snake.
  17. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Don't feel like that. Sometimes all it takes is a little tweaking to fix a situation.
    At least you came to us with your problem,...
    and listened.;)
  18. missabrat

    missabrat Elite Member

    Amen! We all have made our fair share of mistakes, Love it when advice is taken and improvement shows!
  19. dylanaxel55

    dylanaxel55 Member

    i would highly suggest bigger tanks i have mine in a 40 long and he is only about 4 months. big cages provides more activity and allows them to fully extend and prevents respiratory infections.
  20. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Tank size has no relationship to respiratory infections! That has to do with conditions in the tank.

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