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Vomiting Milksnake: Help!

Discussion in 'Milksnakes' started by wish22, Oct 15, 2005.

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  1. wish22

    wish22 Member

    I just got a milksnake (9/28/05). Although I am an experienced reptile owner, this is my first snake. The snake is a baby, about 13 inches long. I fed him a small pinkie (prekilled, defrosted) the second day I had him and he did fine. I fed him again a week later (10/6/05) with no incidents. On Thursday, (10/13/05), he shed earlier in the day (and seemed fine) and I fed him that evening. Today (10/15/05), he vomited 1/2 the pinkie. The pinkie appears digested up to its stomach, the rest of it looks pretty much the way it did going in. I read the article on the site, "Vomiting vs. Regurgitation" and plan to clean the enclosure and increase the heat. My question to you more experienced owners: Is this what you would do? More importantly: When should I feed him again? Right away? Wait a day? I am having extreme difficulty trying to find answers on this. Thanks so much for your help!
  2. DarkMagician207

    DarkMagician207 Elite Member

    i have three snakes that i've been keeping for about 4 years now. i know there are more out there with way more experience than me but i haven't had any problems feeding wise. it would help if you told us about the set up. what are the temps? does it have a warm side and a cool side? they need that in order to digest food. i would also wait about a week before feeding it again so that the snake and its stomach can settle down again. if you feed it too soon it may regurge again. i'm sure someone will be along that can help you more. good luck. :)
  3. Rich

    Rich Administrator Staff Member Premium Member


    Hold off on feeding for at least 7 days. This will give the snake more time to rebuild the gastric acids in his stomach. I would speculate to say that the shed had something to do with the regurgitation. Most snakes will refuse food during or right after a shed. Since yours ate it, I am guessing it may have been the cause of the regurgitation.

    Temperatures can play a significant role in regurgitations, so it is good to monitor them closely.
  4. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    I would disagree with the shedding speculation, since you said the snake shed before feeding?

    Since he's had a couple of good feeds for you I wouldn't be immediately worried. This is likely due to a simple factor; temperatures, an "off" pinkie,. did you handle the snake after feeding? Let us know info about the set up etc and we may be able to help you with a more accurate diagnosis.

    For now, wait at least 7 days, (up to 10) before feeding again, to let the snake's digestive system settle back down.
  5. wish22

    wish22 Member

    Thank you to all of you for getting back to me. I will definitely yeild to your advice and hold off on feeding. I will try this Thursday, which is his regular scheduled day. I think the temps were definitely a factor. When I went to clean the enclosure and the vomited pinkie, I saw the temp was only at 60 degrees and it was midday. I do have a heating pad under one half the tank, so he was hopefully warmer than that, but nowhere near where he should have been. We have relocated his tank to a warmer part of the house. As far as the set up, he is in a 10 gallon tank, astroturf bottom, cave for hiding, rock ledge for basking and a water bowl. The pad is on the outside bottom of the tank under the "cave" the ledge in the middle and the bowl on the "cool side". He did drink a great deal more than usual after the feed (usually he just calmly has a few sips and goes to his cave). This time he was gulping the water rather frantically. This pinkie was different from the others he had. Petco was out of the ones we had been bought previously, so I bought "Mice on Ice", which have a vitamin packet injected into their stomachs. I found it odd that the pinkie was digested up to the stomach and am wondering if the vitamins may have been too strong. Any other advice or comments on success/problems with these mice would be great. Thanks again for your help and concern for Heinz! :)
  6. wish22

    wish22 Member

    Hello again...I fed Heinz on Friday and he vomited his pinkie again on Sunday. The pinkie was digested in the identical manner as the first. When being fed, I thought he would be especially hungry, but instead, he smelled, licked and bit the pinkie a few times before he finally ate it and he didn't seem very enthusiastic during the feeding as he has in the past. At this point, I am going to try getting different pinkies and will feed him again this weekend. His behavior is otherwise OK and his temps are now normal. Any other advice on this problem or getting feedback on using Mice on Ice would be helpful...thanks!
  7. jacky

    jacky Moderated Status

    Be careful with the vitamins,as I have learned on this forum that too much can harm the snake.You don't really need additional stuff,just f/t seems to do fine.
    I had a baby corn snake for about 5 weeks and she regurged her food.I always waited about 7 days until I fed her again (feeding too soon after regurge can actually kill the snake,because of the loss of too much liquid from the body).
    As it didn't get better,I went to see a vet and it turned out that she had salmonellas and pseudomonas :( . The day I went to pick up her medicine she lay dead in her terrarium when I came back. :(
    I just want to say please be carefull and always wash your hands after having contact with your baby.
    I would suggest to go to the vet,better early than too late,like I have done.It usually is enough if you bring him a fresh stool sample.If you don't have one,bring the snake,because he can get the same stuff from inside the snakes mouth.Regurging the food could also mean something serious like those bacterias my baby had.
    I wish you all the best of luck and please keep us posted how your baby is doing :)
    By the way,what kind of milksnake have you got?
    I just had a thought;could it be that your snake baby is stressed out maybe of too much handling,or too much traffic in front of his enclosure?How many days after feeding did you handle him again? You shoul wait at least three days.
  8. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Repetitive regurging is not good! I strongly suggest you get that snake to a herp vet NOW! Its a strong possibility that it is suffering from a severe parasite load and the sooner you get it taken care of the better the chances for the snake to survive.
  9. jacky

    jacky Moderated Status

    Please let us know how he's doing.All the best for your little guy;good luck.
  10. wish22

    wish22 Member

    Just lost Heinz...any ideas on what went wrong?

    I am very sad to report that Heinz died this morning. I'm sorry I did not respond after the last posting. Shortly after, I got regular pinkies without the vitamin pack and Heinz fed fine. He seemed to be thriving and everything was going well until last weekend. He looked unusually thin, so I tried feeding him a few days early. He didn't eat, but he was very thirsty and drank alot, which was also unusual for him. I then tried to feed him a new mouse on his regular feeding day. He did not seem interested at all, but otherwise seemed active, so I thought I'd try again after a few more days. Last night, my husband and I were out and our boys reported that Heinz began "turning around and around like a corkscrew" and acting "strange". They gave him water, which he drank, and then vomited a "yellow liquid", but then seemed to settle down and seemed fine. My boys found him this morning curled up upside down and he had died. Does anyone have any idea what could have happened? I'm very unsettled about this and reluctant to get a new snake until I know what went wrong. Is it possible for snakes to have seizures? My husband said that he was "never right" where he vomited those pinkies...but that only happened on two occassions and with the special vitamin packed mice. Please share any similar experiences, ideas, etc. In the meantime, I am incredibly sad to have lost this baby snake, he was simply beautiful. :(
  11. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I suspect that the snake was infested with internal parsites. It finally became more than the snake could handle. I would not let that stop you from getting another snake. however sterilize the tank and all furnishings first.
    And first thing take a fecal sample to a vet for examinaation. Even captive bred snakes can carry parasites.
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