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Adult not eating, .. searched, but not finding anything that helps right now.

Kaija
02-05-2009, 10:37 PM
Alright, here's my problem.. I adopted my first corn from someone who didn't know a lot of details.. (his son was shipped to Iraq and he had to find a home.. ) I was told he ate a week before we took him in and that he fed frozen/thawed.. but he didn't say what size.

I have tried everything.. scenting/braining/cutting in half.. I've tried both in normal enclosure (as he had never been fed outside it before from what I was told), and separated .. I have the heat as high as it will go, but cannot put another under tank heater as I've had 3 cracked tanks from it.. (he's had several bad sheds.. the only way to keep the humidity correct is water bowl on warm side (this keeps the humidity between 30% and if I spray as well 50%).. he goes in.. comes out wet and the tank cracks.. not sure why) I've used a submersible thermometer (or whatever it was called) but can't seem to get an accurate reading.. it says it is between 75 and 83.. but the snake pulls the thing out every time, so.. it's hard to say if that is always the case. I got him in the middle of November.. so it's been about 4 months now.. I see nothing else wrong with him.. we've tried both handling between and NOT handling between attempts.. and I only attempt feeding once a week.. even went 2 weeks a few times.

I finally even broke down and bought a live feeder.. he killed it easily, but left it alone. I've tried different sizes/colors.. even tried rat pups ..

he only seems stressed when I try feeding in a separate enclosure. Mostly he just tries to get out.. he has broken the top off the feeding box several times.. He shows interest, but just not enough to eat it.. I am not sure about weight, but it doesn't seem like he's lost much.. I think he stopped for the winter.. and now breeding season.. (as he's actively trying to get out.. and seems restless.. which I've been reading on here a lot dealing with the desire to breed).. My problem is.. I don't know how long to wait before I panic.. I read one post that said 5 months.. It's getting there. Two days ago while I was handling him I did hear a slight sound when he flicked his tongue, but I don't think it was really anything.. (as he was right next to my ear I think it was amplified.. not quite a whistle more like the tongue sliding over the lip.. ).. not heard before or since..

No idea about age.. the father said he bought it for his son last year as a hatchling.. not even a possibility that he's correct on the age. I think he was just distracted at the time. (It's the one in my avatar .. he's far too long..and not that thin either.)

I actually called the vets office several times, but the person at the desk never knows and the snake vet is never there when I call.. (guess he only comes for appointments)... my problem is.. at $50 for the visit I don't want to make an appointment then be told.. that's normal wait a month and come back then.. .. I was told he'd call me tomorrow.. but they've said that before. (and that is the only vet that takes snakes within a days drive.. there is another listed on a herp site.. but they take everything BUT snakes)

The second snake I took in from someone else eats just fine.. (actually.. I had to put it on a diet as the previous owner fed way too much and the snake is now "squishy".) So, It's not that the feeders are bad.. (and I don't buy them all from the same place.. so all have been different)

In case it matters:
The snakes are not housed together..
The non-feeder is in a 55 gallon long tank.. and seems to enjoy it.. he stretches himself out.. peaks his head out when someone enters the room.. even comes up to the glass if you come near.. not aggressive at all..

Oh, and he did poo twice in the time I've had him, but that's it.. (as he hasn't eaten, I'm not terribly surprised by that)

Kaija
02-05-2009, 10:43 PM
And in case it helps (as the avatar pic is tiny) here he is about at probably the 3 month point of not eating
http://i8.photobucket.com/albums/a37/kaijawitch/DSCF0073-2.jpg

RobbiesCornField
02-05-2009, 10:48 PM
1) Is the UTH stuck on the tank? Because if it is, and the heat is all the way up, it's probably heating the glass to 100 degrees. You need to get a thermometer/probe that you can set directly on the glass. The glass probably cracks because the glass is so hot, and the water is nice and cool when he gets out. That's probably why he's also spending time in the water. There really is such a thing as too hot. Please get a thermometer with a probe you can put directly on the glass (or a temp gun), and remove the heat mat from the glass. It'll burn/cook your snake.
2) For the bad sheds, make him a humid hide. This can be done by using a nice, moist substrate, such as sphagnum moss, and putting that in a hide on the warm side.
3) Have you called every vet in the area to see if they take herps? Sometimes they're not listed, but if you call another vets office, and ask if they know of anyone in the area that has a reptile vet, they might give you the number. That's how I found the ones around me.
4) As far as the feeding goes, I would keep an eye on him. It's highly doubtful that he was brumating, especially if the temperatures were way up. You can try African Soft Furred rats (some people have very good luck getting problem feeders to eat with them). Or, you could also do a search for "feeding tricks" and try some of those. What works for a hatchling just might work for an adult.

RobbiesCornField
02-05-2009, 10:49 PM
Just saw the picture. Are you sure he's a boy? "He" looks almost gravid!

Kaija
02-06-2009, 12:44 AM
yeah, he is a he.. had him probed twice by two different people..

The under tank heater was not getting that hot.. when I used it I was barely hitting 70 (used the correct thermometer for that.. problem is I can't keep it there as he has no problem moving it.. and short of gluing it in place it won't work) .. The Heat lamp is all the way up.. (the strip thermometer says it's over 90, but the other thermometer says it is nowhere near that.. and as the strip one is fairly close to the lamp.. it is unreliable.. I've also felt the substrate when the strip says it's too hot.. it's not.. The one that goes down below the substrate says mid 70's to mid 80's depending on the time.. but as I said.. it won't stay in place as the snake doesn't like it there..

Kaija
02-06-2009, 12:49 AM
And as for vets.. yes I have called.. There is one about 7 hours away, but the reviews by snake owners were not great.. This one has good reviews.. and is less than 20 minutes away.. (Good reviews for snakes.. but also dogs.. and it is the ONLY vet that takes emergency after hours calls.. everyone else sends you to another vet 2 hours away.. and that one does not take snakes.. so if you have an emergency with an exotic you are pretty much screwed) My problem is only that it's hard to get the one that works with snakes during their open hours.

bitsy
02-06-2009, 08:25 AM
The under tank heater was not getting that hot.. when I used it I was barely hitting 70 (used the correct thermometer for that.. problem is I can't keep it there as he has no problem moving it.. and short of gluing it in place it won't work) .. The Heat lamp is all the way up.. (the strip thermometer says it's over 90, but the other thermometer says it is nowhere near that.. and as the strip one is fairly close to the lamp.. it is unreliable.. I've also felt the substrate when the strip says it's too hot.. it's not.. The one that goes down below the substrate says mid 70's to mid 80's depending on the time.. but as I said.. it won't stay in place as the snake doesn't like it there..

With both a UTH and heat lamp on maximum, I'd say your fastest route to a quick fix is to buy a thermometer that works. A UTH on full will get over 100 degrees in less than an hour, and a heat lamp can easily hit 120 degrees. He's spending time in the water, shedding badly and refusing food, because he's way too hot. The only way a UTH will crack the base of a glass tank, is if it's getting too hot.

I really think you have some duff equipment. If I were you, I'd ditch the heat lamp immediately. Buy a new UTH, a new thermostat and a new infra red thermometer (which you can use when you want and won't get shoved around by the snake). It'll still be cheaper than the vet visit.

Being overheated for any length of time can cause neurological damage. It's worth considering starting from scratch with the setup.

And bless him, looking at the size of him, I don't think he'll take any immediate harm from missing a few meals.

MyLittleGuyCyrus
02-06-2009, 12:30 PM
I know you are trying to not stress the guy out, but he sounds like he likes water, so regarding the shedding issue...you should try and give the guy a bath. After blue but before shed. I had terrible sheds with my snake. On his last shed (a week ago) I decided to try something different. After he got out of blue I bathed him everyday for about 20 minutes in a sterilite tub (shoe box size) in about a 1/2 inch of water for about 20 minutes. I did this everyday until he shed (which was three days) and I had an awesome full shed for the first time! I tried everything first...the humid hide (which he hates), spraying the viv, I even rolled up wet towels and laid them around the perimeter of the viv.....nothing, until the baths! Maybe that may help!

nrfitchett4
02-06-2009, 11:24 PM
I'd have to agree that the temps are way too hot. 75-85 degree glass will not crack from water being on it. I built 2 rheostats that I found directions on the forum and both are turned almost all the way down to maintain temps in the mid 80's. One tank has a 10 gallon heating pad, the other has a 1-5 gallon heating pad and even that one reached 116 degrees! So I would start with building a rheostat and also maybe removing the heat lamp or if you need the light, replace it with a cfl that emits almost no heat. Then see how he does.
It is not suprising the humidity levels if it is overheated in there.

Kaija
02-25-2009, 09:27 PM
Well, I have rechecked temps.. I was not incorrect.. the temps were exactly what I said.. (as I also was feeling it by hand.. if it were that hot it should have been unpleasant for me to touch..)

I did end up bringing it to the vet.. a few days after I posted last I noticed he had dark circles forming and his head was looking sunken.. The vet found nothing wrong.. he saw no issues with my set up.. (brought pics as well as had him check several key pieces of equipment that I brought with me) .. He tube fed him.. and gave fluids.. not cheap.. but it worked..I was told to wait about 10 days to try again... he took food from me last night with no problem.. (I didn't even do any of the cutting/scenting stuff.. just a store bought f/t mouse) Called the vet to let him know and he said he thinks it just got used to refusing.. just needed to jump start him..


Not sure who it was that mentioned that a few meals wouldn't hurt.. but to answer that..
Yeah, I know.. a few.. however 5 months is more than a few.. and that's just from the time I took him in.. I was told he was fed the week before I got him, but for all I know they decided to rehome him because the guys parents couldn't get it to eat either.. (the previous owner was deployed.. and it's been with his parents).. I wasn't that worried until the 5 month date was coming.. (now, my second was over fed by it's previous owner.. that one would eat everything if it could.. )

It's been a chaotic month for me, but all the stress went away when he took his food willingly yesterday.. a rather impressive strike even. .. so, that is done.. (and I did mention in the original post, his last shed was perfect... so, I had already fixed the humidity problem.. ).. Now, just have to keep him eating.. Michigan winters or not.. and keep the second one on a diet..

Now.. I'll be thrilled to stay away from the vet for quite awhile now.. (at least for them.. with spring coming the dogs have to go anyway)

Chip
02-25-2009, 09:51 PM
Something isn't adding up here. I regularly keep hot spots in my dragon tanks at 120-125. The lamp and heat mat are in exactly the same spot. I've thrown BIG ones in right after a soak and they dig the substrate away (Yesterday's News) and lay their fat, wet bellies on it. No way a wet corn cracks a glass tank unless it would fry an egg! I'm so sure about that, I'd be willing to test it with a valuable reptile. I think your temps may be lots hotter than a thermometer shows. This is an instance that a temp gun would shed a lot of light.


Edit: missed the last post before I composed mine... congrats on getting a meal in him!