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THIRSTY, SHY, HIDER~NEED SUGGESTIONS!

OkeeteeMom
12-06-2010, 04:09 PM
One of my 3 corns is a shy little 2010 girl named Cassandra (http://www.cornsnakes.com/forums/album.php?albumid=1022).

This girl hides all the time. She's never been seen perusing her Viv.

I always offer her water before feeding and she always takes about 30-40 gulps when I do that. I never see her drink otherwise, even though she has two water sources strategically placed in her Viv.

Her first three feedings went well, but she has refused the last two feedings, which is odd. These are as many details as I can offer you...

11-13 ~ 1 large mouse pinkie
11-21 ~ 1 large mouse pinkie
11-26 ~ 1 large mouse pinkie
12-01 ~ Refusal
12-05 ~ Refusal

Her Viv Before:
She is definitely the 'hider' of the 3 snakes I have. Even though I've never seen her perusing her Viv, I have seen a worm tunnel from the bottom of the Viv. I have her in a 20 gallon tank (yes, I know that's huge but the Mister wanted it) with 1.5-2" of Aspen, lots of hides, a humid hide and 2 water bowls (pyrex dessert bowls) which may be too tall for a shy snake. So I think she may not have been able to recognize her water sources. The floor of her Viv averages 83F. I use heat mats and all three snakes are hooked into the same T-Stat.

Her Viv After: Let me know if this sounds like it makes sense...I just now took out more than half of the Aspen, so she's now got a lot less between her belly and the heat (about 1/2" or less), and I replaced her water bowls with 2 jar lids. I placed them both on the glass so she can't miss them if/when she comes out of her coco/hide. Then I covered the hide places with fake ivy so she wouldn't feel so exposed because of having less substrate.

I think Cassandra is shy in seeking water and proper temp areas. I'm now understanding much more from personal experience how different each snake and each situation can be. My snakes are in the L/R because that's where our woodstove is. They're across the room from it. BUT, I think because the Aspen was so thick it may have only hindered her heatwise. I also noticed that after her 3rd feed it took her a few more days to poop and then the night before her 2nd refusal, she pooped again. So in my mind that appears to be a heat related digestion issue.

I know it's not easy to help when you can't see what's going on, but I'd like to hear what you have to say. Let me know if my rationale regarding Viv changes makes sense.

I contacted the Breeder and he was very nice in trying to help me. Now I'm coming to you to see what kinds of ideas/suggestions you might have.

EDIT ADD: Aspen was returned to Cassandra's tank via popular consensus ... ;)

Jessicat
12-06-2010, 04:58 PM
Honestly, I think you're lucky to have two young snakes you DO see often! I didn't see my first corn for probably the first year I had him.

Corns are naturally shy, and especially in a larger tank, it seems pretty normal that Cassandra wants to keep to herself a bit. It sounds like you made the right step though in adding more coverage. Fake plants may help her feel more comfortable.

You could also cover the viv with a towel to make the insides darker. I have always seen my snake more in tubs than in glass vivs. I think this is because tubs (especially in a rack) are darker.

I think it's a mistake to remove aspen. If she likes burrowing, let her. Be patient, and eventually you will see her more often. You've only had her for about a month. Some snakes need a long period of adjustment before they will show themselves to you.

Also, where is her viv? Is it in a high traffic area? If so place it in a calmer area, and you might just see her more often! Cassandra is most likely exploring her viv.. she's just probably doing it when it's dark and quiet in the room she's in.. and when you're not there.

As far as the refusals.. she might be stressed out. Wait a little longer between food offerings. Wait a week at least, even though it seems like a long time. Snakes can get stressed out when they are offered food too many times and can start associating food offerings negatively. It perpetuates the problem for longer than might have been necessary.

Pick up some NutriBac (http://www.cornutopia.com/Corn%20Utopia%20on%20the%20Web/-%20TOOLS%20PRODUCTS%20herp%20Cornutopia%20corn%20s nakes%20cornsnakes.htm) from Kathy Love (or wherever else you can find it), to help restore essential micro organisms to Cassandra's stomach the next time she eats.

I hope some of that helps! Just remember to be patient and give Cassandra time. She deserves it!

bitsy
12-06-2010, 05:55 PM
I rarely see any of mine drink but if I dunk their snouts in their water on the way back into the tank after feeding, they do tend to drink - and they can drink long and hard. They've never shown any signs of dehydration. I think it's just a reflex reaction rather than a sign of trouble. I'm sure mine just drink overnight.

As for not seeking the "proper" temp zones, most of mine hang out on the cool side all of the time. Some of them even when digesting. It's a personal preference. As long as she has lots of hides (which she does), then she'll be able to move between them as she sees fit. There's no way of forcing them to thermoregulate - you just have to provide the best facilities and trust that they'll do it for themselves.

It honestly sounds like the drinking thing is normal and that you've provided all the right conditions for thermoregulation.

The only thing I can think to ask is, did the refusals start when she went into the big tank or has she been in there all along? Apart from that, I can't shed any light. I agree that if she's a hider and she uses the aspen to tunnel, then that should be encouraged. 1.5-2 inches of aspen won't be enough to seriously block the temp, so I think it's safe to put it back as it was.

Nanci
12-06-2010, 06:58 PM
I would put the aspen back as it was. Is it possible she is refusing because she is blue? And I wouldn't give the water a second thought. If it's there, she can find it. If you are worried, and it makes you feel better, when you put her back, put her into the water. Then you know she remembers it.

OkeeteeMom
12-06-2010, 07:00 PM
Her last shed was 11-20-2010

Pal-O-Mine
12-06-2010, 07:45 PM
I have noticed the smaller and younger the snake, the more they hide. The older they get, the more brave they get about being seen. I've had Wishbone for about a year now. She went from a tiny baby I NEVER saw to a juvenile who will now stick her head out the "window" of her skull when I knock. She's out a lot more now that she's bigger.

Devon

Nanci
12-06-2010, 07:46 PM
(I love teaching snakes to come out when you knock!)

OkeeteeMom
12-06-2010, 08:03 PM
Knock-knock...LOL

Thank you Jessicat, Bitsy, Nanci and Devon.

I put all of the substrate back in and gave Cassandra my blessing...go forward, find water and eat at your next feeding. We'll see what happens.

carnivorouszoo
12-06-2010, 09:41 PM
while it does seem fast for another shed, sometimes they surprize us. My Shade shed twice in a little less than 4 weeks once, and when we first got him Scarlet shed 3 times in the first month. We understood why he did, he came to us from a place that kept him with as little humidity as they possibly could because some pet shop guy said all snakes live in the dessert and need it dry. He had also been on sand, co-habbed and only fed once a month. He was a year old when we got him and was the same size as the hatchlings you see at petsmart. How long have you had this little one? When she last shed was it complete? If it was broken at all and any stuck, perhaps she is getting ready to shed again to get rid of the irritation a stuck bit might be causing?

OkeeteeMom
12-06-2010, 10:24 PM
Hi CarnivorousZoo, I don't know if you were able to click through on her link, but we got her on 11-02 and she was leading up to a shed. She had a clean shed on 11-20. I know I've read in this forum (I think Nanci posted it somewhere) that baby snakes can shed every 3-4 weeks.

I also put towels up on each side of her Viv today, so as to block a bit of side distraction and any potential chilled air/drafts. And since I rearranged all the substrate today and fussed about her Viv, she has been out and perusing for the past TWO hours!

rexracer
12-06-2010, 11:19 PM
Sounds like she's on her way to working up an appetite!

danielle
12-06-2010, 11:35 PM
Being that she is shy and refusing food twice in a row I wouldn't make any more changes for awhile and let her be. Also consider leaving her overnight with her food and feeding late right before everyone in your house is about to go to sleep and all is quiet. I know it's hard not to peak but some snakes are just shyer than others, and many do relax as they age:)

In my experience snakes will find their water and not dehydrate as long as it is there, and also will burrow or not depending on how much heat they need. All of mine get 1-2 inches of aspen and while some choose to burrow others never do and everyone digests fine. I even have 2 that are ALWAYS on the cool side no matter what,lol

danielle
12-06-2010, 11:36 PM
I meant peek like in as to look, and not peak as in the top of a mountain. I need my shineh back:(

OkeeteeMom
12-07-2010, 11:29 AM
Sounds like she's on her way to working up an appetite! Wow, I hope you're right!

Being that she is shy and refusing food twice in a row I wouldn't make any more changes for awhile and let her be. Also consider leaving her overnight with her food and feeding late right before everyone in your house is about to go to sleep and all is quiet. I know it's hard not to peak but some snakes are just shyer than others, and many do relax as they age:) In my experience snakes will find their water and not dehydrate as long as it is there, and also will burrow or not depending on how much heat they need. All of mine get 1-2 inches of aspen and while some choose to burrow others never do and everyone digests fine. I even have 2 that are ALWAYS on the cool side no matter what,lol
I have done the overnight with her on the second refusal. I hate seeing those pinkies die for nothing, you know?

I meant peek like in as to look, and not peak as in the top of a mountain. I need my shineh back:(
Yes I know what you meant, lol. Ya' gotta' get another shineh...they're so worth it, huh?

OkeeteeMom
12-11-2010, 10:25 PM
YAY...Cassandra ate tonight! I popped the head off a frozen pinkie and heated both body & head in HOT tap water (in a baggie). I handled Cassandra a little longer before feeding, this time. She spazzed out at first, but with the longer handling seemed to calm down considerably. AND, when I presented her with water, she took fewer gulps than usual. I guess after my last rearrangement of both her water bowls, she must have found them in her middle of the night, super secret stealth ventures.

Okay, I feel better now and maybe someone else will be helped by these posts in the future. Thanks all, for the support. ;)

bitsy
12-12-2010, 08:31 AM
That is excellent news! Well done.

ratsnakehaven
12-13-2010, 11:30 AM
YAY...Cassandra ate tonight!


Congratulations!

Maybe your corn is slowing down, because it's winter. Maybe it won't eat as often as it did before.

Terry :shrugs:

OkeeteeMom
12-13-2010, 11:35 AM
Thanks Bitsy and Terry...you may be right.

Frenchy89
01-17-2011, 05:29 AM
Cassanda isgunna be fine w u as a mom dont worry u are an excellent mom

OkeeteeMom
01-20-2011, 02:13 PM
UPDATE: I've learned to 'relax' a bit more regarding my scalebabies, yet I still want to thank you all for your valuable input. Thank You!

My little Miss has been 'surfacing' quite a bit these past few days. She appears to be either hunting, but more likely trying to escape. She lives above Big Cat (who himself appears to be trying the escape! lol).

Jessicat
01-20-2011, 07:55 PM
I knew she'd come around eventually!

Also, looks like you have a really nice set up going on.

OkeeteeMom
01-20-2011, 08:12 PM
You were right, Jessicat! Thanks for your words.

And she does have a sweet set-up...she's spoiled, but doesn't know it!

MysticExotics
01-20-2011, 08:19 PM
I just love Cassandra! She's so beautiful!

OkeeteeMom
01-20-2011, 08:22 PM
Thanks NWH! She's a real sweetie. Nothing like Big Cat...he almost always rattles his tail and spazzes out. LOL

MysticExotics
01-20-2011, 08:24 PM
I love when they rattle their tails! So cute! :)
Where did Cassandra come from again?

OkeeteeMom
01-20-2011, 08:27 PM
Graham Criglow of StrangeCargoExotics (http://www.scexotics.com/home.html)! He's been wonderful to work with.

WingedSweetheart
01-20-2011, 09:24 PM
Lovely snakes! I really like seeing everyone's scale babies. They don't have to be the most knock out example of their morph or anything like that. I find something lovely in each and every animal. But your babies are really beautiful.