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Yearling can't keep his food in.... WORRIED TO DEATH

marinneli
10-23-2009, 04:07 PM
I have a problem with a yearling who is already on a thin side. It seems he can't keep F/T food in and ends up regurgitating.

Since he arrived to me in September I first fed him with F/T mice three times, and all three times he vomited. (I'm not 100% sure of the second one whether it was poo or vomit). I've kept long pauses between feedings and I've given reasonably small mice to him to prevent vomiting. But all that hasn't helped.

Fourth feeding was a live rat fuzzy. The rat was meant for another snake that hasn't been accepting F/T, but it didn't accept live rat either so I decided to give it to this thin vomiting yearling. I've noticed it's more likely for a snake to keep over sized food in if it's live/freshly killed. He ate the rat and FINALLY he was able to keep the food in. So I hoped he was now feeling better and would now keep F/T mice in too.

One week after the rat meal I gave him F/T mouse again. A very small one - just in case. But today I found out he had regurgitated again! So it seems that since the snake came to me he has kept in only ONE meal: the live rat. All other meals he has thrown up.

I'm getting very very very worried.
What should I do?!

Stars
10-23-2009, 10:17 PM
3 feedings since sept? You're waiting 15 days between feeding after a regurge right?!

Lennycorn
10-23-2009, 11:18 PM
Did you read up on kathy's message in the sticky on this fourm??

RobbiesCornField
10-23-2009, 11:46 PM
You need to find some Nutribac. I know Kathy has it for sale on her site, but I don't know if any places more local to you carry it.
Until you get it, wait about 10 days from date of regurge. Then slit the f/t fuzzy profusely.

I would definitely do a double check on his viv temps, humidity, etc. Good luck!

danielle
10-23-2009, 11:51 PM
He could have parasites hence his regurging maybe a vet check and forced fecal is in order to be safe. Its thats clear than nutribc like Robbie mentioned is a miracle so I would stock up. This is a dumb question but do you thaw the mice really well? Some snakes are more prone to regurge cooler meals maybe making it hotter? Good luck I wish I had better info, but a vet now can't hurt:)

stephen
10-24-2009, 12:55 AM
Since I would believe you know about temps and conditons,I would say your snake is sick. Take a stool sample to the vet.

marinneli
10-24-2009, 04:35 AM
This is what has happened:

- 14th sept. 1st feeding: F/T hopper. ---> 3 days afterwards regurge.

- 27th sept. 2nd feeding: F/T fuzzy or a small hopper ---> Thought he kept it in and the lump was poo, but I'm not so sure anymore...

- 4th oct. 3rd feeding: F/T fuzzy or a small hopper ---> 3 days afterwards regurge.

- 14th oct. 4th feeding: LIVE RAT FUZZY. I wasn't meant to give it to him, but as the other snake refused, I had to feed the rat to someone else. And two other snakes that hadn't been fed were deep in blue, so this guy was the only possibility. So I took a risk. And he kept it in. So I thought it was all over now and he's ok.

- 20th oct. 5th feeding: F/T fuzzy (just in case I gave him even smaller food). ---> 3 days afterwards regurge.



Yes, I've given the mice properly thawed and as hot as safely possible. That's what the breeder adviced me to do. Serve the mice hotter.

The temperatures are ok. I have several boxes lined up on top of a long heating mat, so the temperatures are the same in every box. And all other snakes are ok. Just this one keeps vomiting. So yes, I'm starting to suspect I've purchased a sick snake... :(

I can't get Nutribac anywhere. Maybe if Kathy would send me some via airmail or something...? I've searched and searched (even asked from England) but haven't been able to find the product. No one has even heard of it!

I'll wait another 10 days and try to get a live mouse or rat to give him freshly killed. Need to feed him with something to get the poo sample...

Can snakes be treated with the same parasite medicine as dogs and cats? How is it done? Inject the paste or pill inside a feeder mice? I don't think we have any "reptile medicine" in Finland...

diamondlil
10-24-2009, 07:11 AM
Can you get grapefruit seed extract from a healthfood shop? You can add it (very diluted, 1 drop to a litre) to the drinking water until you can get nutribac.
(Edit; can you move the sick snake right away from your others, into strict quarantine, just in case it has anything infectious)

marinneli
10-24-2009, 08:55 AM
Can you get grapefruit seed extract from a healthfood shop? You can add it (very diluted, 1 drop to a litre) to the drinking water until you can get nutribac.
(Edit; can you move the sick snake right away from your others, into strict quarantine, just in case it has anything infectious)


I'll go and ask for the grapefruit seed extract from local healthfood shops. I bet there is some available. I can't get Nutribac from any finnish petshops, but I've contacted Kathy hoping she might be willing to send me some...

I also read that a medicine called Axilur can also be used with reptiles. Axilur is for internal parasites. I need to call a vet and ask about the dosing. Will start medicating him first thing next week (if the medicine can be given alone without a mouse).

Quarantine (any stricter than already is) is a bit of a problem, but will do my best.

marinneli
10-24-2009, 09:15 AM
Oh yeah, and one problem is lack of specialized vets. There's only ONE reptile specialist in Finland, and she's in Helsinki. I can call her and ask for advice, but there's no way I can take the snake and go see her. I can't get any days off from work. :(

bitsy
10-24-2009, 09:17 AM
As the live rat fuzzy is the only thing he's kept down so far, it might be worth making future attempts with those, just to try and build him up a bit.

I can't imagine how it's any different in content than the f/t fuzzies - it would at least be useful to know if his successful feed was just a one-off.

marinneli
10-24-2009, 10:13 AM
As the live rat fuzzy is the only thing he's kept down so far, it might be worth making future attempts with those, just to try and build him up a bit.

I can't imagine how it's any different in content than the f/t fuzzies - it would at least be useful to know if his successful feed was just a one-off.


That's what I'm going to do. I've already put a "Live feeder mice and rats wanted" add to a finnish reptile forum. I wonder if live/freshly killed prey is for some reason easier to digest than F/T. I've once fed my other yearling with an over sized freshly killed mouse because she refuses F/T and appropriately sized live mice weren't available at the time. I was 99,9% sure she'd regurge because of the size of the mouse, but she didn't! So there must be some difference between fresh and frozen food...

marinneli
10-24-2009, 10:17 AM
Oh, and one thing just came to my mind!

Inside a live/freshly killed animal everything (including beneficial bacteria) is still alive. When a snake eats a live/freshly killed prey it gets live bacteria from the mouse's intestines. I remember learning that years ago when I studied animal husbandry - although it concerned cats, but I bet it's the same with snakes and other predators who eat their prey as a whole.

Buzzard
10-24-2009, 10:21 AM
Is the snake squeezing into any hide? This is the reason I ask. I have a snake that would squeeze between the lid of her cage and the top of the viv. After she ate, she couldnt fit. So she made herself regurge just to fit there. It took me about 4 weeks to figure it out. Then I moved her to a different enclosure.

You said it usually takes 3 days before the regurge. Is the mouse at all digested? Slitting (like others have suggested). Or try just pinkie heads 2 times a week, for a couple of weeks to see what happens. Obviously waiting at least a bit after the regurge. If you can try to get the Nutribac. It helps build back up stomach bacteria. Try calling the vet and asking if there is anything you can do for parasites from the house. He might be able to point you in the right direction, If it is parasites.

Good luck with the Yearling and I am sorry your having to deal with the situation.

Buzzard
10-24-2009, 10:22 AM
I did not know that about live food and bacteria... Very cool

marinneli
10-24-2009, 10:38 AM
I got a message from the breeder. He said this particular line is known to be somewhat weaker and more sensitive than others. This snake has had a past of regurging, but he got over it a few months before he was shipped to me. He has always had problems with bigger mice (bigger compared to the snake's size), so the breeder has fed him smaller.

The breeder believes it to be just due to the weakness and sensitiveness of the snake, and adviced me to stick with live/freshly killed prey to provide the snake the good bacteria he needs (just as I thought).

Also as the snake still accepts food (even F/T) very willingly I shouldn't worry.

The snake isn't hiding in any tight places. It's normally active, looks healthy (although thin), and is interested in food.

Buzzard
10-24-2009, 11:04 AM
Very cool, That the breeder knew the background. Hopefully It will continue to eat for you.

diamondlil
10-24-2009, 03:01 PM
I got a message from the breeder. He said this particular line is known to be somewhat weaker and more sensitive than others. This snake has had a past of regurging, but he got over it a few months before he was shipped to me. He has always had problems with bigger mice (bigger compared to the snake's size), so the breeder has fed him smaller.

The breeder believes it to be just due to the weakness and sensitiveness of the snake, and adviced me to stick with live/freshly killed prey to provide the snake the good bacteria he needs (just as I thought).

Also as the snake still accepts food (even F/T) very willingly I shouldn't worry.

The snake isn't hiding in any tight places. It's normally active, looks healthy (although thin), and is interested in food.
So, did the breeder warn you about this 'weakness' in this line before you bought? I'd be highly suspicious, quarantine strictly and get fecals done, because it just starts to raise the possibility of crypto to me.
Of course you should worry, each regurge weakens the snake, damages it's gut linings and I really can't imagine the breeder telling you otherwise.

marinneli
10-25-2009, 05:26 AM
So, did the breeder warn you about this 'weakness' in this line before you bought? I'd be highly suspicious, quarantine strictly and get fecals done, because it just starts to raise the possibility of crypto to me.
Of course you should worry, each regurge weakens the snake, damages it's gut linings and I really can't imagine the breeder telling you otherwise.


Well...actually he didn't tell me about this particular bloodline's "special features" untill I had the snake here, which I am disappointed about. The breeder on the other hand is very known and respected around the europe (and in USA too I guess, he's also a cs.com member)...so I wouldn't want to think he'd chosen not to inform me beforehand. Maybe he honestly thought the regurging was all over and I'd never face the same problems he'd had with this snake? Although I still would've wanted to know the truth about this snake's background.

Anyway, I'll put him in quaranteen...call a vet...take a poo sample if adviced to...give him medication against internal parasites (if adviced to) and feed him with live/freshly killed mice and rats.