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New Snake Owner. Think He's Sick

Discussion in 'Kingsnakes' started by Cleveland, Nov 19, 2013.

  1. Cleveland

    Cleveland New Member

    I purchased a baby cal king snake from repticon on Saturday. Today is Tuesday. I have a tank with a side heating pad. Aspen bedding and two hides. Temp on hot side is 80. Monday I was told is feeding day. He won't eat. (Frozen pinky). I think he's sick. He's opened his mouth a few times. Makes a sneezing like sound, tho I see no mucus. He hides, he crawls around, but he is not eating. I even cut the pinkys head open a bit. I have played with him everyday since I got him, so he may be stressed. But the open mouth, 80 temp and few noises worry me.
  2. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    So you're gonna wanna stop playing with him, because for him it's stressful. Give him a week of no handling and try feeding again.
    How are you measuring the temps and humidity?
  3. Cleveland

    Cleveland New Member

    I have a thermometer for temp. Nothing as of yet for humidity. I tried to open his mouth and look for mucus but his heads so small I'm afraid I'll crush it. If he was supposed to eat yesterday, is it cool to not feed again till Sunday? And no contact until then?
  4. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Ah! The thought of crushing his head is terrible!
    What type of thermometer do you have? Is it the stick on the glass kind or a little gauge? Or is it digital?
    He will be ohk skipping a meal, once he's settled he will eat like a champ I'm sure.
  5. Cleveland

    Cleveland New Member

    It's the stick on glass one. Not digital. I'm just curious why he's opening his mouth, making sounds. Everything I read seems like resp infection. But I'm sure he's stressed it's just hard not to play with him.
  6. mshrmheadcharge

    mshrmheadcharge Moderator Staff Member Premium Member

    Ohk, you should invest in a digital thermometer and hydrometer. The one you have is inaccurate and can be giving you the wrong temperature.
    You should also make an appointment to see a vet about the possible RI.
  7. Wyldrose

    Wyldrose Elite Member

    I would give him a couple days, the open mouth sneezing can be a sign that he going to shed. If you don't notice a skin in the next day or two I would book him in for a Vet exam.
    If he does shed leave him alone a week to destress. Pick up a proper thermometer walmart sells digital ones in the thermostat isle for ~$15. Knowing the proper temps is very important with snakes, they need certain temps to regulate body heat and to properly digest.
  8. OrchidPal

    OrchidPal Elite Member

    Also, you mentioned "side heat". Is your heat mat on the underside of the tank or against the side of the tank?

    My kings (& corns) prefer belly heat, so I have my heat mat stuck to the underneath of one side of my tanks. That way they can burro under the aspen to get warm. You may want to move it. It can be done carefully, though not recommended by the manufacturer. Then re-stuck to the bottom with a frame of duck tape.

    Good luck with your baby!
  9. Cleveland

    Cleveland New Member

    It's on the side. It's what the directions "preferred method" if tank is on solid surface. I'll buy a new one and put underneath if you think it's better. My thermometer may be off, but it's my first time owning one and I just don't get why he's not eating and doing the noises. How old are they on first shed? He's still small - well he's the length of the tank 10 gal I think but his head is so tiny.
  10. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    If the snake is as long as a 10 gallon tank it has already had its first shed. And several others.
    The heating pad on the side of the tank really doesn't do much. The heat should be on the floor where the snake is. And without a decent thermometer you really don't know what the temperatures are.
    Reptiles are basically heat driven. If the temperatures aren't right, they can't digest food, so they don't eat.
    And their bodies can't fight off illness.
    Right now your first priority is to get those temps right. You want a basking spot of 90 degrees.
  11. Thalatte

    Thalatte Elite Member

    OK here is a list of a few things you need to invest in in order to have a healthy snake: Digital thermometer/hygrometer with a wire probe (found at walmart for around $12), and a thermostat to regulate the heat pad temperature so it doesnt malfunction and burn the snake (look on amazon and they are about $25). Also dont buy another heat pad just slowly peel the one off the side of the tank. The only concern with peeling the heat pads off is if you bend them to the pint they crease otherwise they are fine.

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