View Full Version : Picking up a pair of rescues, advice?

Picking up a pair of rescues, advice?

11-14-2010, 06:02 PM
On the 23rd I will be picking up a pair of corns that have been co-habbed their whole lives and fed pinks, fuzzies and hoppers their whole lives. These poor snakes appear to be fat. I need advice on how to handle them.

First I do not want to continue to cohab them. How bad will being seperate affect them?

Second, they are 4 years old and look bigger than my 3 year old who eats adults. They are used to being fed ALOT. Like 3-6 feed items 2-4 times a WEEK or so. How long should I NOT feed them and should I work up to adult or just go to that size? They ARE FT fed so that is a giant relief.

I have no interior stairs and the outside stairs on not safe 1. because of all the spaces they could get away through if I am not careful and 2. because it is so cold so exercise advice and when to start would be great. These are my first FAT rescues. My first ever snake, the 3 year old I have, was underfed. He was being fed once a month :( so he was easy to straighten out.

I will be taking their first defs in for a parasite screening so no worries there. Also they are used to being kept at about 70-74 degrees in a basement, I keep my house at 78-83 and have my snakes at room temp with no issues, will being warmer like this be a shock? Will it affect how long to wait to feed them?

I am attaching the pics I got of them. They are an 07 male Amel and an 07 female snow. I would love to be able to breed the female come spring but NOT at the risk of her health so anyone who has saved a fat female and later bred her please tone in with how you evaluated her to decide it was safe to breed her.

Last question, as they have been together and have bred in the past (but I have not been given details on how often eggs came or if they hatched) what are the chances she maybe gravid this late in the year? I have only bred once, so am unsure how to tell if she might be? And should I just go ahead and assume she is to be safe?

All advice is greatly appreciated.

11-14-2010, 06:29 PM
I asked for advice on iherp (bad idea I know) before I got the pics of the snakes, I was going off the description I was given by the soon to be former owner. The replies I got were that 1. No way are they fat eating pinks, fuzzies and hoppers in the quantities I gave as often as I said. 2. take them to a gym. and 3. No way fat snakes ever breed. Funny because the owner told me she has thrown away eggs every year since they were 2. Twice this year. I'd just really like to know what to do to help these guys. I am going to go run a search for fat snakes on here and see what I get. . . :(

sacr3d bl0od
11-14-2010, 06:35 PM
OH WOW did they just eat in those pictures, and when you get them slowly go down to a healthy feeding schedule if you say they eat that many times a week the first maybe 2 weeks go to 3 mice or whatever you wish to feed them then just work from that like i feed my snake once every 2 weeks but i feed him 2 or 3 mice

11-14-2010, 06:37 PM
I read/was told that giving them a swim will help with the exercising part. They look fat to me, so whoever says they're not is wrong in my opinion. I've only had one rescue who was fat (and he died not too long ago). I won't give you advice on that part seeing as he died. Don't know if that was my fault or not. Separating them probably will make them less stressed than more stressed. That's all the advice I can give for now, but others will be able to help far more.

11-14-2010, 07:18 PM
Thanks :) I was thinking of starting them off with an adult and 4 days later a hopper for a few weeks then drop the hopper, and after a few more weeks go to one adult every 10 days and after a few more weeks an adult every 14 days or so.

The person who said there was no way they were "that fat on that diet" had not seen pics yet. I just got and put up those pics both here and there so I could show people what they looked like. I litterally cried for 10 minutes for the poor snow. I plan on having them slither around my living room for 10 minutes one day each week to start. Then when I drop the hoppers I will up it to twice a week, when I go to every 10 days feeding I will up exercise to 3 days a week, and so on. Does that sound good? I think I will put off the swim for a little while when I am sure they are doing well.

Again thank you for your replies it helps alot and I am glad to hear that seperating them should help too. I kind of figured it would but had to ask to be sure.

11-14-2010, 07:21 PM
Separating them will do nothing but good things for them. It will in no way stress them out. Also, warming them up will also not shock them so no worries there.

They could indeed be that fat being fed pinkies/fuzzies/hoppers that frequently if the food were RATS. I don't think they could get that fat on mice, but who knows. If they were kept in something very small and never got any exercise it's possible.

That snow is VERY overweight and has what appear to be at deposits on her back end? At least that's what I'm hoping that is. I would feed them one mouse every 3 weeks and weight them every week, try to get them down to a normal weight. The amel is chubby, but not super fat so he/she could probably be fed once every 2 weeks or so.

I would not breed the snow yet. Especially if she's proven to breed with the amel before, she may have retained some sperm. I would wait and see if she does lay before breeding her, and I would indeed wait until her weight goes down. I don't know how being very overweight would affect a gravid snake, but I'm sure it's not healthy.

Those poo snakes. :C I'm so glad you're taking them!

11-14-2010, 07:25 PM
I just had someone say that she isn't fat, she is retaining a clutch?? I plan on taking them to the vet the day I pick them up. So . . .should I just straight out cut them back to every 3 weeks with an adult mouse each time to start or slowly cut back? I do not want to shock their systems at all.

I am told they are currently in a 55 gallong tank together but they rarely come out. They won't say if they were feeding mice or rats just that they are frozen thawed. I really wish I could get to them sooner but I had to pay all my bills and move so I am bust until the 23rd GRR!

I did not plan on attempting to breed until April IF she passed a health evaluation so thank you. I will for sure watch for a possible third clutch. This is a major learning experience for me I assure you.

11-14-2010, 07:35 PM
See, I thought it might be retained eggs too but I wasn't sure. Since it's only in her back half like that it is possible. I didn't wanna say anything and be wrong, but if someone else thinks that might be the problem then I think it would be worth a vet visit. It really does look weird to me and not healthy at all.

It is ok to cut back their food right away, you want their bodies to have to use some of the fat they have stored up. I guess you could also just offer much smaller meals like you were going to do, but I don't know what kind of schedule would be appropriate with that method.

sacr3d bl0od
11-14-2010, 07:36 PM
ya if they havent been handled much, just slithering on you or floor just slithering in general gives them some of a work out, but just remember dont drastically change the diet slowly even though you most likely know this lol.

11-15-2010, 12:38 AM
I got the owner to send me pics she JUST took so here is how they look right now. These poor guys!

sacr3d bl0od
11-15-2010, 01:10 AM
That is horrible, i cant tell if the albino/snow has just ate or not!

11-15-2010, 01:54 AM
Yeah, seriously get the snow to a vet. When you get her, see if you can feel indivudual eggs inside of her.

11-15-2010, 08:36 AM
Also, you might consider (after taking them to a vet) getting an aquarium thermometer and letting them swin in 80-84 degree water twice a week. They will hate it, and try to climb out. And don't leave them alone in there, but take a book in with you. It could help them alot.

11-15-2010, 08:56 AM
The good thing is that you found them and they are coming to live with you! I'm sure you'll feel a lot better once your snow (in particular) has been seen by a reputable herp Vet. I'll let those who are better experienced guide you in feedings.

11-15-2010, 09:51 AM
Thanks guys. She is deffinitely going to a vet. I found one there in the same town I am grabbing her at, it would take an hour to get to mine and I just don't want to wait that long. They said they would have not problem faxing anything they get on her to my regular. I have never had a vet tell me something like that, usually they want you to keep seeing them. I hate that I have to wait another week before I can get them.

11-15-2010, 10:25 AM
I would be worried indeed about retained eggs, though it does not look like a row of jammed eggs. Maybe there is too much fat around it to show the egg shapes... I hope you'll get her through! I would fed no more then a small adult mouse every 3 weeks, I don't see why the reduction in diet should be introduced slowly, she needs to loose weight, that's all that counts. And indeed, exercise! I have used a rack for drying clothes to exercise a somewhat fat corn. Just put the corn on it and let it explore it.

11-15-2010, 03:18 PM
May I ask a newbie question? If the snakes are fairly overweight, would it work to just not feed them for a while? Since snakes can go a while without feeding, wouldn't that be a way to get some of the extra fat metabolized? Just wondering....

11-15-2010, 04:05 PM
I'd sooner give them sparing tiny meals than fast them. I've seen few snakes that fat. Cage them separately right away, no issues there. I'd weigh them upon acquisition and keep a close eye on weight. Brumating couldn't hurt unless the female is egg-bound. I think you could "feel" for that, even as fat as she is. Give me a call if you need, I don't know if posting my personal number publicly is a hot idea, so PM me if you want it.

11-15-2010, 06:22 PM
May I ask a newbie question? If the snakes are fairly overweight, would it work to just not feed them for a while? Since snakes can go a while without feeding, wouldn't that be a way to get some of the extra fat metabolized? Just wondering....

Actually if they don't eat at all their metabolism will slow a lot and then their bodies will start to eat itself, problem with that is the body eats muscle first. At least it does in people. I can only assume it is the same in animals. I want to trim her down not accidentally kill her. Feeding one adult mouse every 3 weeks with lots of exercise should do the trick. Not to mention not eating at all could damage her liver.

11-15-2010, 06:44 PM
I actually agree with you on that Carnivorouszoo. I've read stories where 400+ pound people have starved to death because of a stupid doctor's advice. It would make sense to me that the same goes for other animals. Though, reptiles are radically different from humans. :shrugs:

11-15-2010, 06:45 PM
Nooooo a body will use up all of the fat stores it has, and only once the animal is completely out of it will it start to use up muscle. If the body is using muscle as fuel, the animal is completely emaciated and close to death.

11-15-2010, 06:57 PM
in the meantime, losing all of that fat and having hunger pains, that animal/person would in excrutiating (sp?) pain while all of that fat is being lost. I second that cutting down to smaller meals and NOT starving the creature are the way to go.

11-15-2010, 07:42 PM
Nooooo a body will use up all of the fat stores it has, and only once the animal is completely out of it will it start to use up muscle.

No. The body is never "out" of fat cells, or even low. In humans or reptiles. Adipose tissue under a slide will show very large, light in color fat cells in a reptile like this. Starving the animal isn't going to be the quickest (or most humane) route to trimming them up. Very small meals at longer than usual intervals will; part of the idea is that the hungry snake will be roaming the cage also. Although, I'd wager some permanent damage has been done and they will never quite be what they should. I'm stunned that a snake has double clutched and can still be this obese. Honestly, I'm surprised that she could produce viable eggs at all. Those photos made me sad.

11-15-2010, 08:02 PM
I talked to Chip on the phone, and after getting off the phone with him a good friend of mine who works for my regular vet came by unexpectedly. She said a phone call would not do. She had gotten my email with the pics of these two had shocked her. She begged me to say I had altered the photos to be funny. Then she explained how explained how expensive it would be to care for them and to only get them if they were free. I wrote to the owner and told her I could only take them if they were free on the advice of my vet. I hate backing out when I say I will do something. Until I started asking about their sizes I honestly thought the female was gravid and that I'd get eggs with my new snakes. Then it slowly became painfully obvious she is not pregnant. Until I spoke with my friend and Chip I had high hopes I could help them. I showed my husband the up to date pics (the first are actually kind of old and no way a female is gravid that long without being eggbound) and he put his foot down. We have to think of the snakes in our care when considering new ones and if I had sudden high vet bills I could not afford to buy feeders if I was in a pinch. So very saddly, unless the lady changes her mind and offers them free, I am passing on this pair. It hurts me to walk away. I love corn snakes and this is just awful but I can not develope tunnel vission just because they need me. My other pets and my kids need me too. Man, where is the winning lottery ticket when you need it?:cry::cry::cry:

11-15-2010, 09:13 PM
I don't think anyone here could not respect your decision. I wish the best for the snakes, but even for free, you were doing that woman a favor.

11-15-2010, 09:16 PM
I can't believe people can treat animals like this. Unfortunately it seems that this kind of abuse is only frowned upon when it happens to mammals. I don't think that groups like the ASPCA even blink when it's reptiles. I hope someone can help these poor snakes.

11-15-2010, 09:29 PM
Personally I have done rescues but I will no longer keep peoples mistakes.

Best thing to do, if you get these animals, Dont feed them for a month. i would go ahead and put them in brumation if they are other wise healthy.

11-16-2010, 02:49 AM
I think they won't burn fat in brumation, snakes barely loose weight in brumation, so why would that work?

11-16-2010, 09:56 AM
The idea would be to kick start their metabolism after they warm up. Per our conversation, they had been fed 2-4 times a week as long as this lady has had them. It's pretty much all a moot point now, as they current owner is demanding money for them.

11-16-2010, 09:54 PM
Good News! Maybe. She could be blowing smoke to make me go away :shrugs:

The owner says she looked up fat corn snakes and was shocked that hers were worse than any she found photos of online. She swears she will start feeding every 2 weeks giving small adult mice one each. She says she will also try to handle them more. Saddly when I tried to convince her to seperate them she stopped talking to me. Seems she is set on co-habbing. But I got her to take a couple of fair to good vet's info. I hope she takes this all to heart and does better for these snakes.

Thank you all for the support.
If anyone happens to live near St Louis planning to be in KC for Christmas let me know if you can do a transport for me lol. I know someone with two snakes that are healthy that I want but can not drive across state lol!

11-16-2010, 10:54 PM
Perhaps you could purchase them, then give them to rescue that can give them medical care?

11-16-2010, 11:00 PM
Maybe the owner will learn her lesson the hard way when that female dies obese and eggbound.

11-19-2010, 09:55 PM
Vicky: I'm afraid she flat out said she won't sell them to me because I don't like co-habbing snakes. I plead with her to buy Kathy Love's book and gave her two links for places she could get it. I hope she does.

Susan: I dearly hope the female is not eggbound. But I am realistic and am waiting for an email from her pleading for me to just take the male because the female died.

11-20-2010, 09:40 AM
Okay, so how bad is a little white lie? Can't someone buy them and say to the current owner, "Oh of course I'll house them together"! and then do what needs to be done? :D

11-20-2010, 10:23 AM
I was going to do that until I realized how much would need to be done and I am not in a possition to do what may end up being needed. She never advertised online so anyone contacting her about them would have to explain how they found out about them and that would cause her to turn them away. Because the source of info would have to be me or the mutual friend that had contacted me. I think she may have realized that the majority of snake owners will seperate them and she really feels they are like two lovers who will mourn to death if seperated. She kept saying they had to stay together because when it came down to it they only have each other. If she ever advertises them I hope someone can get them with saying they will keep them together then do what is right, but I think they are most likely going to die from lack of propper care. I feel really bad that I can not afford at this time to take it on and could not get them from her, but she refused to give them to me without asking money that could have gone to their care.

11-20-2010, 11:07 AM
I am so shocked I actually fell out of my chair. I got an email from her just a few moments ago asking me to just take them because her job wants her to work more! I'm working out the details to pick them up!

11-20-2010, 11:15 AM
Great you get to be able to rescue them! :)

11-20-2010, 12:40 PM
I'll let you guys know if I feel egs in the female once I get her. I figure I'll give her a laybox just in case and make sure she doesn't spend too much time in it.

11-20-2010, 12:45 PM
best of luck with the two :D

11-20-2010, 01:35 PM
I am so shocked I actually fell out of my chair. I got an email from her just a few moments ago asking me to just take them because her job wants her to work more! I'm working out the details to pick them up!

WOW! That's the best news!!!!!

11-20-2010, 10:49 PM
I feel so retarded. Ok I am getting them Tuesday morning, but I just re-read through all of my contact with her and I made a mathmatical error that is classic me. They are not 4 years old they are THIRTEEN! They hatched in 1997. How long do corn snakes live? All of mine are under 4 so I had not worried about it before. Now my head is spinning a little. 13, wow. The oldest pet I ever had was a black lab adopted from a shelter when she was 7 she died at 11. Any special care beyond the diet and exercise I should take into consideration?

11-20-2010, 11:00 PM
If it makes you feel better, I have a 22 year old corn I got on Craigslist for $20 a while back. He's in terrible shape. I should call him Humpback instead of Socrates. As far as I know, I don't think there is any special consideration you should take with them. I'm no expert though.

11-20-2010, 11:33 PM
The good news is that they should have a longer life than a canine would...20-25 years on average. So at least ya have several years to enjoy them. Kudos to you for rescuing them. :cheers:

11-20-2010, 11:45 PM
22? 20-25? Wow. . .I am seeing my other snakes in a new light now. Thank you for the info. If you could hear me speak these words rather than read them my voice would be soft with awe and new found respect on a higher level than I had for them before. Wow. . .

11-21-2010, 12:03 AM
Oh yeah, they live pretty long lives when properly cared for. I am so happy that you're getting them.

11-21-2010, 12:19 AM
I'm glad she realized it wasn't fair to ask anyone to pay her for snakes in poor health. I have advised her to sell the setup to get some money back from the investment and I will be quarantining the pair in my room in tubs then when my rack-thing is completed they will be put in their own spots in it along with my 08 Amel and my 09 Ghost.

11-22-2010, 07:54 PM
That's terrific news. Please let us know what happens with them!

11-22-2010, 08:36 PM
Look at it this way, carnivorouszoo (sorry I can't remember your name! it's been a long day...) -- at least, however long they have, they will live comfortable lives with proper care. I have adopted several geriatricats knowing I wouldn't have them long, a few years at most, and NEVER been sorry. Sad when the time came, but not sorry. I adopted a little stray I found, took him straight to the vet and was told he was 15 years old or older and had bad kidneys. I had him 9 months before he died in his sleep. He died warm, safe, loved, with the best care I could possibly give, instead of dying on the street. It was enough.

You could have these guys another 10 years, with luck and blessings from your higher power. It's worth it. Good for you for taking them!

11-23-2010, 03:18 PM
They're here!

And the female doesn't seem as bad as the photos made her look. Plus its just fat, no sign of eggs at all. :dancer: Thursday marks 2 weeks since they last ate, I decided at the beginning of this month to start weighing, photographing, measuring and evaluating my snakes the first of each month. Then using that info to decide feeder size, frequency of feeding, and mapping out a schedule to handle everyone. This works out with my feeding everyone on the first and then by the schedule I draw up each month, so Thursday I will feed these two a hopper each. Maybe fuzzy. They will be fed 2-3 times a month and handled a lot to help them get healthy.

The male is close to 5 feet long and weighed in at 963 grams. The female is closer to 4 feet 6 inches and weighs in 693 grams. The male does not look as bad as the female, but they both need work.

Thing is I am unsure what a healthy weight might be for them. So, how do I know they are at a good weight?

Here are the pics I took of them before setting them up in their new seperate vivs. Amel is the male and is an Amel het Anery, the female is a Snow. I know the male is het anery because the lady I got them from said all of their babies have been just like the two of them. The male's name is Ixxi and the female is Issis.

11-23-2010, 03:20 PM
WooHoo! Let the healing commence. ;)

11-23-2010, 04:24 PM
Hooooray! Just make absolutely sure there are no eggs in that girl.

11-23-2010, 04:45 PM
I'll keep feeling her, but at this time I feel no eggs, she is not as fat as feared either, I can feel the pressure of my individual fingers through her as I check for eggs, when I first saw her I thought there would be so much fat that I wouldn't be able to do that. Trust she will be watched.

11-23-2010, 06:02 PM
I hope the lady looses the fat, and that it is not as 'stubborn' as the more common small fat hips.

11-23-2010, 08:37 PM
As for the healthy gram size, I think you should just watch to see when they are proportionate to their lengths. I don't think you can really say "This snake should be 500 grams and this one 600 grams." Your best bet is to get them to slowly drop the weight and see where they settle on adult mice, when ready. This is my educated guess anyway. Pretty good, huh?

11-23-2010, 09:28 PM
Yeah, that is kind of what I was thinking but the only stupid question is the one not asked right?

11-23-2010, 10:08 PM
Right! I'm really glad you were able to get them.

11-24-2010, 08:09 AM
As far as how much should they weight, here's my thought...You know how with people, much of the time we don't say, "I have to weigh ***". It's more like "I want to look good and fit into a size ** again"? I believe that's the analogy you can apply to these two. I think both are definitely going to lose a good amount of fat and tone up, but of course it's going to take a bit of time. Even if the female ends up with 'hips' as a deformity so to speak (I learned that about my 'hip-y' snake from Kathy Love), she'll be in much better physical condition than she is now!

I think this is a win-win situation all around.

11-24-2010, 11:15 AM
:D deffinitely win win. Thee girl passed as egg free at the vets and parasite free for both. The male is out of hiding right now and the girl was out last night looking around. I do worry about them escaping though, they are huge, not just in the way of fat either, never seen such long snakes (I live a sheltered life lol)! They got out of the travel bin on the way home even though I had it clamped so I have like 10 lbs of flour on top of their stacked tubs lol. A multi size rack is in the works!

01-17-2011, 02:00 PM
I'd love to see an update with pix on how these 2 rescues are doing...hint, hint, wink, wink, nudge, nudge :p

01-17-2011, 08:40 PM
Issis Died. I just posted. . . .

01-18-2011, 08:50 AM
Issis Died. I just posted. . . .
Sorry to hear that. Props for making the effort. Most wouldn't with a snake in that condition.

01-18-2011, 10:48 AM
Issis Died. I just posted. . . .
I'm so sorry. Where is the post?

EDIT: Never mind, I found it. (http://www.cornsnakes.com/forums/showthread.php?t=108262)