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Health Issues/Feeding Problems Anything related to general or specific health problems. Issues having to do with feeding problems or tips.

Reluctance/refusal to eat?
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Old 08-26-2018, 10:39 PM   #1
Reluctance/refusal to eat?

Hello! I'm new to this forum, and joined because (besides having a general love for corn snakes/reptiles in general) I've been having some issues with my pet corn snake.

I should mention before I begin that my corn snake is likely male, but I called it a she and I haven't been able to switch to calling it a boy xD he's never been sexed (I bought him from a pet store because I didn't know any better) but based on his behavior and outward appearance as a baby, we think that he's likely male. I'll try to use the proper pronouns for this thread but if I call him a she, that's why xD

Anyways, I'm a newbie reptile keeper, this baby being my first one. His name is Peppermint and I've owned him for more than a year and a half (will be two years this november). He seems pretty small to me compared to most snakes his age, but again, I've never kept reptiles so I don't really know. I don't have any friends experienced in reptile keeping/corn snake keeping either, so I don't have any reference point except the internet. He's a wonderful snake, never bitten me despite his poor eyesight, but now its easier to understand how I've never been bitten since his appetite has decreased so much ._.

For his first year, Peppermint was a very eager eater. Sometimes he'd start moving towards me just at the sight of my shadow moving or my tweezers, before I even had the mouse out! xD But it all changed around spring of this year. His appetite decreased and I started having to leave the mice lying in his feeding bin overnight for him to crawl out and eat on his own. But, while it was scary before I thought of leaving the mice for him overnight, once they started disappearing my anxieties were put to rest and I wasn't too worried. Every once in a while I'd try feeding him in his feeding bin again, and every once in a while he'd actually take one mouse from my tweezers (usually not both lol), but most of the time he had no interest. But that was fine; as long as the mice were gone in the morning, I didn't care (I feed him right before I go to bed). The original issues I believed stemmed from teen male snake hormones, as a fairly reputable breeder agreed with my findings - but since spring is now long over, I'm getting more and more concerned.

Unfortunately, lately its gotten worse. He started only eating one mouse out of the bin and now he won't even eat just one. I noticed he acted stressed whenever I put him in his feeding bin (more on that later) so I took it out and tried putting it in this little postal box as a secure hide. He didn't eat it. That weekend, I only got him to eat by putting the mouse on his body where he was sleeping, and he just ate it because it was there I guess. And after he ate that, he crawled into the postal box LOL for a while it became his favorite hide, but he hasn't been in it lately.

I was hoping just laying a dried mouse (so it didn't pick up any sawdust) on him would work for now until he starts eating better again, but so far it hasn't and it's been a week (I was gonna try feeding him one every few days instead of two on the weekend, it didn't work during the week and it didn't work today). I'd been feeding him half his regular diet (which I thought was too small to begin with - more on that later, too) and I'm worried that he won't be able to stay on feeding strike for too long and come out okay.

With that context out of the way, here's some information about his care and behavior. I'll let you know how I interpret behavior as someone who has tried doing as much research on this as I can, but of course please let me know if I misinterpret something. Just know that I am a firm believer that every animal is different (but not to like, a crazy extreme), so as opposed to "don't handle your snake at all" I would rather hear that "the behavior you interpret as being friendly is actually a sign of stress, and you should stop handling him". So please try to keep that in mind so I don't accidentally become rude and defensive ;^;

Caging: Peppermint lives in a forty gallon aquarium (bc i didnt realize the difference between an aquarium and a terrarium before it was too late -_-) with aspen substrate and three "hides". I say "hides" because he has a proper hide, the aforementioned postal box, and this wooden structure that he can curl up in. He also has a plastic tree that he sleeps around from time to time. The proper hide is on the warm side, the wooden structure is on the cold side. I have a bowl of wet moss meant for humidity on the warm side, that he would also use as a house if I let it get dry enough (and use for drinking if i get it wet enough, even though he has a perfectly good water dish on the other side of the tank). The plastic tree and postal box are in between the two sides. I can take a picture of his setup if anyone would like. His tank is very open, but he often sleeps outside of his hides, so I don't think he's too concerned about it.

Where I live, it's very hot and dry - southern california will do that to you. Because of this, we don't often heat the tank at night. We have a light we turn on during the day, which goes out whenever I go to bed. The heating pad is too hot for where we live but we recently added a power decreaser, so we can control how hot it gets. We still don't turn it on most nights because the heat tends to retain and I know corn snakes don't need it too hot. I noticed last night though that it was 80 on the warm side so I turned it on a low setting. I may need to increase the temperature on the warm side or I may need to give her a more regular day/night cycle, but I've been doing both of those the same way since last year. During the school year our day/night schedule is better since I have to go to bed earlier but I'm not doing that much different than I did last summer or even last school year. But if you think that could be the issue, let me know regardless! It's just not a recent thing is my point.

Another important thing I should mention about his caging - currently, his tank has wood mites. They're very small, and I know they aren't reptile mites because we've had them in some capacity for a while (however I don't know how long its been - I think it's been since the last cage clean, but I'm not sure, and I only ever saw one or two over the course of weeks until we put the white postal box in her tank, which makes them much easier to see) and I've never seen them on Peppermint. But I've heard the scurrying can be a stressor. The tank isn't swarming with them by any means - like I said, I can only ever really see them on the postal box - but like the temperature, let me know if you think this could be an issue.

I don't clean out his tank very often but I do spot clean regularly. I change his water every few days but usually offer him fresh water when I hold him daily (he doesn't drink out of his water dish even when its fresh >:U). I don't generally clean his hides unless he poos on them, which is really rare.

Handling/behavior: I think a lot of people are going to assume based on my "I hold him daily" comment that he's likely stressed from me handling. I do NOT want to eliminate this as a possibility, but this doesn't seem like the case from his behavior. I've seen him stressed before; such as in his feeding bin, or being held by my mother. He's only ever rattled his tail at me once before, but I left him be when he did that (that was also recently btw, but I disturbed him at an unusually early time for anyone to disturb him - I just wanted to check on him when I had to wake up early for something so I poked him to make sure he was okay, and instead of moving at all he just rattled his tail at me LOL). When I hold him, he usually curls up on my chest/next to my arm and relaxes. Sometimes he looks asleep, but a lot of times he just kinda looks around. Sometimes his tongue will flick out a lot (or, probably a normal amount) but a lot of times he doesn't stick it out too often. When he starts squirming a lot, I generally put him to bed as quickly as possible - both because I know he wants back and because I know if I dont, he'll poop on me xD

Speaking of poop, he hasn't pooped recently. I was holding him while typing on my phone the other day (and thus ignoring his struggles to get back to his cage) and I noticed he was about to poop, so I rushed him back to his tank but in the process he sucked the poop back into his butt. He only just barely was gonna start but he hasn't let it out since and that has me concerned. I'm wondering if the reason he wont eat is because he hasn't pooped yet, but I don't know if the fact that he hasn't pooped yet should be of concern to me or not. We even tried to get him to poop a few days later by letting my mom hold him with a towel, but instead of pooping he just decided that apparently he likes my mom now and also likes towels.

He's a very sleepy snake and doesn't move around too much. Maybe he's awake in the early hours when I'm not awake, but he's not a very active snake. In fact I'd say he's quite lazy, LOL. I should mention this is nothing new, and I don't think he's lethargic because he CAN become active, he just rarely is - but if you think this is a concern let me know.

Pretty much everything except the poop thing has all been going on since I got him. I haven't handled him for the past few days (it's been like, half a week at most though) to see if my handling was the cause of his stress, but he still didn't take the food today. I don't even know if his lack of appetite is due to stress, but I'm trying everything.

I should also mention that I'm currently feeding him fuzzie mice. I think he's ready to graduate to jumpers, but I tried looking at them at petco and they seemed to be the exact same size as the fuzzies?? and a lot of my fuzzies are borderline pinkies!! :/ I don't think he's ready for full-grown mice yet but graduating to a bigger size is my next thing I'm planning to try. I'm also going to peak at the jumpers at pet smart to see if they're any bigger, and maybe they'll have something in between jumpers and mice. If worse comes to worse, I'll try feeding fully grown mice - I'd rather him eat too much than die of starvation. His head seems too small for that but....I guess I've seen mice with their full fur pelts that are small enough for him (my friend had some small mice recently, NOT THAT I WOULD FEED THEM TO MY SNAKE they were her pets lol, but still)

I often drop the fuzzies accidentally on their heads and make their noses bleed, and if anything this makes Peppermint more revolted by them, so I doubt any sort of trick like that would help. I have a blood/gore phobia and I'm not braining the mice if it's not going to help him eat. I also cannot feed live or fresh killed. I'm happy to have a corn snake because they're not supposed to need that - I'd have to get rid of him if that's the case... Again, I have a blood/gore phobia, and I'm a rodent lover alongside a reptile lover. I can't intentionally kill something that I would gladly keep as a pet. I really, really love Peppermint and he means the world to me, so I really hope that isn't the case... But because the blood doesn't seem to help at all, I think it may not be the issue.

He has been acting nicer for longer in my hand since going on his feeding strike, but I don't think his appetite and behavior perfectly mirror one another. He's been hungry as heck before while being a good little noodle, and can be wiry even though he just ate. It's possible they're related but they don't line up exactly, and as I said before, he's always been a good snake. Now I can just hold him for half an hour or more instead of fifteen minutes, basically.

I talked about Peppermint being stressed in his feeding bin, so let me elaborate on that. He'll get really squirmy, trying to escape instantly when I put him in there (and escaping faster and faster every time I put him back; he's too long for the bin so I cant exactly keep him in there), and he physically turns away the mice I try to hand to him. Sometimes he'll inspect it but then he avoids it with all his might. He never has this reaction with me handling him, and when he gets even half as squirmy I know it's time to put him to bed. I think handling is not the issue but again I don't want to eliminate it as a possibility. Handling him is very important to me but his life is far more important to me than a week or more of handling, yknow? I'm desperate lol. But please just consider his behaviors before you jump to that conclusion.

Changes in cage: Besides the postal box, nothing major has changed about his cage recently. My mom said that Peppermint stopped eating (to this severe degree) around the time we changed the substrate/moss in his tank, but it's a brand of substrate we've used before and a new brand of moss, and as far as we can tell he has no issue with the moss. The substrate is of course aspen shavings, like i've said before.

Health: Peppermint hasn't shed for a while but her last shed was healthy. We've had her shed come off in a few pieces before (not flakey though), but we upped the humidity and lately they've been one piece. She shows no sign of any respiratory infections or bone defects as far as I can tell; I've never opened up her mouth to look inside but I see no mucus on the outside and she only yawns once in a blue moon, let alone keeps her mouth open to breathe easier. I don't know what "heavy breathing" can be defined as for snakes since this is my first one, but I've never heard wheezing but I HAVE seen her sides move pretty significantly. Again, the mites in her cage are not reptile mites. She's not currently in shed but if she was eating normal she'd probably be ready to, aha. I do handle her before 48 hours after eating but she's never regurgitated her food nor shown any signs of doing so. I also handle her in shed but I try to be extra gentle with her in case her skin can hurt her. She's never seemed particularly stressed by either action and handling while shedding wouldn't be an issue during this particular feeding strike as she hasn't shed in a while.

...gosh darn it, I was so good at keeping his pronouns straight and then I slipped up. I'm too lazy to fix it; I'm just gonna call it a her for the rest of this xD

Veterinary care: I have yet to take Peppermint to the vet for any reason because I have no interest in getting her sexed (I'm not a breeder and furthermore, am only allowed to have one reptile at a time) and I never thought a situation was desperate enough to take her to one. I'm a minor with an income limited to allowance and birthdays/christmas who has to pay for all their reptile care themselves, so I don't exactly like taking pets to the vet when I can help it. My parents would take her to the vet if need be even if I don't have the money, but I'd be expected to pay them back in full for it and I'm not about paying $100+ just for a vet to say "yeah your snake is fine, maybe you should handle it less i dunno, whatever I hope she eats soon kid". I also have not the greatest experience with vets and small pets; "we'll take small pets" doesn't mean they know how to care for them. I had a pet hamster whose suffering I paid $115 to prolong because I was a kid who wanted her to live through Christmas. She made it through Christmas but never recovered from the brink of death and I still feel guilty for making her suffer. The vet did his job, don't get me wrong (would YOU tell a 12 year old kid that their hamster is going to die and its better to euthanize them?) - but I don't want to do the same thing to Peppermint, especially when I don't even know if she's sick to begin with.

It may sound selfish of me to say all that, and well...perhaps it is. But I WILL take her to the vet if the vet can help her; I'm just not interested in taking her if nothing medical is going on or if the vet can't help her. If you know of any good free vet websites that could help me with Peppermint though, I'd be happy to copy-paste this all to them (or give them a TLDR since they're probably busy haha) and ask them what they think! I'm not saying I WONT take her to the vet, I just don't want to get "take her to the vet" and not be told why. I want to know how the vet can help and what may possibly be wrong. I just know how these threads tend to go, "stop handling your snake" or "go see the vet", and while I'll certainly take that advice if that's the issue, I want to be as thorough as possible with the care for my snake and I don't want to try treatments that come at a detriment to me and don't help Peppermint.


Anyways...I think that's it! I may be able to post photos or videos of her behavior, setup, ect, if anyone would like that. I think you can tell when a snake is stressed but as I don't have a healthy frame of reference, I myself can't tell if Peppermint is hiding it or legitimately isn't stressed. Besides potentially constipation, I don't think anything is medically wrong with her, but if you disagree then please let me know. Thank you for reading this far, and let me know if you need any more information!
Old 08-27-2018, 05:18 PM   #2
I have a few questions. How much does she weigh? How often do you feed? How are you heating the mice?

How are you measuring the temperature in the viv? And how cold does the room she's in get at night?
Old 08-27-2018, 06:11 PM   #3
Just for some info that may or may not help:
1. I have a 4 year old Male that stops eating every year around Christmas and doesn't eat normally again until April or May. He may occasionally take a mouse so I continue to offer food, but many times he refuses. He actually didn't eat a thing for a 6 week stretch, then ate 1 mouse, and didn't eat again for 5 more weeks. I freaked out a bit the first time, but I've come to understand this is typical of corn snakes, especially the males.

2. An otherwise healthy snake can live 6 months or more without food. So if your snake does not eat for several weeks, it's not necessarily a big deal or indication something is wrong. (Although it could be).

3. "Consistency is Key" for many reptiles. Constant changing humidity and temps can be problematic. I would think it would only be beneficial if you could come up with a way to keep the heat and humidity at or near normal. When somebody has a snake not eating properly, one of the top questions asked is: "What are the temps?" 82 to 88 on the warm side (opt for 85) and 70 ish on the cool side (I keep mine at 74). It stays this way morning and night, Spring, Summer, Winter, Fall.

4. There are some Medical Issues that could cause a snake not to eat as well. Internal Parasites, and other Digestive tract ailments. If everything in the cage is fine, then a trip to the vet may be in order.

5. And lastly, a lot of snakes will refuse food coming up to a shed. You stated your snake has not shed in a while. It could be maybe the snake is about to. I'm not talking about the Eyes getting cloudy or Blue. The shedding process begins a long time before that. Most snakes will hide a bit more before they shed. The entire process can be several weeks. I noticed in your descriptive post above your stated several times you feed more than 1 mouse at a time? Perhaps you are over feeding or under feeding? 1 Mouse of the proper size is what most of us do.
Old 08-27-2018, 06:14 PM   #4
I've tried measuring her weight in the past and felt that our postal scale didnt do her justice; she once went through a noticeable growth spurt and weighed the same afterwards, so I felt like it wasn't accurate. I can try again though, so I can more accurately figure out what size mouse she should be eating. I'll just have to put her in something smaller to maybe distribute her weight more accurately.

I used to feed her two fuzzy mice approximately once a week. And by "approximately" I mean "pretty much always once a week unless I forgot in which case I'd adjust accordingly but put her back on the same schedule the next week". I would heat the mice by soaking them in hot water (hot to the human touch, but not enough to cook/burn or anything) and let them sit from after dinner to when I feed her when I go to bed, which can be anywhere from 11 pm to 3 am. My mom's wondered if that was the issue, but we tried feeding her in less time yesterday (still a few hours though, like one or two) and it didn't make a difference. Letting the mouse dry out doesn't affect it either, and I don't know if scent could be an issue considering she doesn't care about if the mouse is bleeding or not, but I'm not sure.

We have one of those pet store thermometers (it came with our reptile setup kit we bought, which I'm sure I can find the exact name for if I looked) sitting on the ground near the hot end of her tank. It's supposed to be on the wall but it keeps falling off so we just leave it there lol.

The room she's in gets to be around 74 - 78 F, possibly lower but I don't think it ever gets below 70 unless we turn on her heater. I generally close the window around a half an hour to an hour (or more) before I turn off her light, so that it won't get any colder in the room. She's in the far corner from the window as well, but the 78 temperature is the temperature in the enclosed hallway (not where she is) and >74 is in the room she's in (but in the direct path of the open window) so... It's probably not 78 since the hallway is one of the hottest parts of our house, but it might not be as low as our other thermometer either, im not sure.

Also I should mention that I got her to eat a fuzzie last night I pestered her enough with it and she finally ate it. I'd rather not have to harass her with a mouse every night though because I can tell she doesn't enjoy it so my issue still stands, but at least I don't have to worry about her starving herself to death. (Well I'll still worry but XD)
Old 08-27-2018, 06:32 PM   #5
sorry, I posted that reply before I saw yours, karl mcknight! That one would be for nanci haha

1. it's very helpful to know that this isn't too uncommon of an issue! Considering this has been going on and off for a while, that may very well be what Peppermint will start doing. It's a shame because he was such a good eater as a baby, but as long as he doesn't starve himself (which I'm not as worried about as I am that he's in pain and I can't help him) I'll survive haha. Or he'll survive. I may or may not die of a heart attack every time he goes on feeding strike. But since he's only two years old, he's only just sexually maturing now; so the timing makes sense and, assuming he starts eating regularly....eventually, he should be fine in that case. That's basically what another person told me as well but I was concerned that this wasn't happening just in spring, so it's good to know that other seasons can be an issue as well!

2. Yeah, that's what I'm trying to tell myself haha, but I guess because I'm such a big believer in "thriving, not just surviving" I'm a bit paranoid about his wellbeing. I'm not too worried about him starving to death, I just want to make sure I'm doing the best I can and that I'm not overlooking something!

3. Ah I see. We do try to keep the temperature and humidity to a fairly consistent degree but that could still be an issue. I'll have to start monitoring that a little bit closer, just in case that could be the issue. "Consistent" to me and "consistent" to Peppermint may not be the same thing; we live on totally different planes since our perceptions are so different, haha.

4. Are there any other symptoms besides feeding strike that can indicate these health issues? Because if Peppermint has even the slightest indication of another symptom, I'll take her - but most diseases I thought had other symptoms that Peppermint doesn't really have. He's a very chill, sleepy snake but he's always been that way, even when he was a good eater, so I don't think he's lethargic.

5a. That could be a possibility! But it does kind of worry me since he's had a bad appetite for so long. His bad appetite started in spring, but like I said it did clear up since then, but he never fully got back to his old eating habits. He did shed at least once since spring, maybe twice but I'm not sure. Unless he had two separate, benign things causing two different feeding strikes that just barely overlapped, which may be possible.

5b. I'm feeding him fuzzie mice currently! So baby ones. Because he's not quite big enough in my opinion to be eating regular mice, but one fuzzie is too small. That's actually one thing I'm worried could be the problem, AKA the fuzzies are so small that Peppermint doesn't recognize them as food/thinks that they're too much work for too little nutrients. But the Jumpers at our local store don't seem any bigger, although we're going to look into it a bit more soon. I've done research on obesity in snakes to make sure I wasn't overfeeding Peppermint (because I am totally capable of doing that LOL that's why, back when he was eating better, I made sure to stick to a rigid schedule and consult the internet based on size/age/ect) and I don't believe he was ever overweight. I can tell since his current feeding strike that he's lost some weight, but I don't believe that he's underweight yet. You can just barely see a little bit of a backbone (I dont really wanna say spine bc you can't see that it's a spine, its just a lil ridge) now and before that wasn't very pronounced, however his body before never bulged out on the side or anything. He was probably on the fatter side before and on the thinner/normal side now, but I'm not sure because different people show different things as a corn snake being overweight/underweight xD all I know is I never saw any overweight snakes that matched him or any underweight ones that match him currently.
Old 08-27-2018, 06:43 PM   #6
as a rule of thumb, a growing snake can eat 10% to 13% body weight per feeding.

So if the snake weighed for example, 180 grams, you could feed a mouse weighing about 21 grams.

Once the snake is full grown, you'll cut back the feedings to a 30 to 35 gram mouse every 2 to 4 weeks.

And I would not rely on a postal scale to weigh a snake. Most of us use "Kitchen Scales" which you can purchase at Walmart, Target, Bed Bath and Beyond, or any place that sells cooking supplies and kitchen wares. A Kitchen scale typically used for weighing ingredients is perfect for smaller snakes such as corn snakes, and most of those scales weigh in ounces and grams.

I got my scale at Target and I think I payed 30 bucks for it.
Old 08-28-2018, 01:00 AM   #7
I see! I think it would be somewhere close to that with both fuzzies - she's not a particularly heavy snake - but I'll have to do some measurements!

And ok, gotcha! I heard every week to 10 days for adults but I guess it depends on the size of the mouse. If I can find a good scale to weigh her, I'll probably start doing that with her food too.

Oooh well, that would explain it! Well, the scale we use does measure in ounces (and point ounces, I think) but it's an old thing and I don't think it's made for something like Peppermint. I'll ask my parents about a kitchen scale in that case! Thanks for all the advice!
Old 09-09-2018, 04:43 AM   #8
Update: nothing good, but nothing like, super bad

Well, I kept meaning to update this last week but I have even more news now so sorry in advance for the lengthy update, haha

So I've tried feeding her twice (...I think) since my last update where, through slap-teasing, I got her to eat a fuzzy. She hasn't eaten since that day, and I feed her once a week, so it's been two weeks now that she's refused her food. I've also noticed that she's definitely loosing weight. However it's not at an alarming rate or anything; on a scale from 1 - 10 (1 being deadly thin and 10 being deadly overweight, with 5 being just right) she's probably about a 4, slowly creeping upon a 3. She's not a very big snake mind you, so missing meals and being spotty for so long makes sense that she's lost weight. After all, she was supposed to be eating two, not one. She's not in brumation or anything (idek if corn snakes go through that, but they shouldn't here in SoCal - I like it cold and all but it still only gets to high 60s at night in the room she's in, and that's during the winter - no way in heck we can do that during the summer!) because I've been handling her and she's active, too, so....yeah.

I tried slap-teasing her as much as I could last week to no avail, and she didn't eat it over night. I did the same thing this week but with a twist (the end result of which made me finally get the motivation to post again)

So, we had been planning to look into bigger food for a while now, but when we went to petsmart to check (they have transparent packages in the boxes, and the boxes are easily opened, so it's easier to check - if im not supposed to check inside the boxes, don't tell the employees who work there pls :P) but they didn't have any frozen mice at all. Like, none. It was weird. We went there again a few days later since we were in the area (the reason we didn't check for so long originally is that I got sick, and then my mom hurt her toe, so....we've been busy lol) and they still had none. Oh well. We went to petco and decided to get both an adult mouse and a hopper mouse. I still don't understand why there's no size between a hopper mouse and an adult mouse, but I tried picking out a big hopper mouse (by feel) and when I checked it out after opening the packaging it looked like a decent size for Peppermint. I tried feeding it to her immediate strike. But she didn't seem quite as quick to repulsion as she had been before, so okay, maybe she'd go for it? I tried some slap tease, putting it right in front of her, ect - I couldn't tell if she was somewhat interested but too lazy to strike, or if she was just groggy from the nap I had just woke her up from and was too lazy to turn away. I slapped her pretty good with it - that alone made me feel bad for her, LOL. And she refused to strike it, and just wasn't interested. I knew she could smell it - she acted like she would make a chomp a few times - but she wouldn't do it. I got frustrated and decided to try and force feed her. Fun fact: snakes have really good gag reflexes! Even with the taste in her mouth, she still had no interest - hell, she had even less interest. She even pooped on me (which I don't blame her for, but she got it all over my carpet, smh) and still nothing. I tried giving her some water beforehand and she didn't seem interested, although I will be changing her water dish once I finish writing this and before I go to bed. But anyways, I'm not strong enough to force that hopper all the way down, and she'd likely regurgitate it anyways - she's too healthy of a snake to be doing that to yet.

I think there's one more thing I should mention though. Earlier today, we moved Peppermint to a different part of our house - we switched her cage with our new hamster enclosure (yknow how we went to pet smart? well....LOL) because Peppermint is less distracting in my work room (where she's currently located). I definitely see how that would be a stressor, so if this was a one-time occurrence or she ate fine last week I'd give her a break - unfortunately it isn't, she didn't, and she acted about the same today as she has for weeks now. She's also been in my work room before, just never caged there. If it was a different stressor causing similar symptoms, I'd thank the lord (besides my lost money on the hopper anyways) - but I don't know if that's the case.

I've thought about trying to get the hamster's scent on me to see if Peppermint has any interest in live (I WOULD NEVER LET THEM ACTUALLY INTERACT BTW I mean I think the hamster would be more likely to try and eat Peppermint at this point, but uhhhh No those are two animals that you don't even want to introduce outside of their enclosures) but that would require a bite to the hand and I don't want to feed her live anyways. Like, unless I scent all my frozen mice from now on with my hamster's scent (which I would rather not freak out my already incredibly skittish hamster by rubbing dead mice on her - and idk how else id do it) that won't help anything except know how I can technically feed her. I don't want to rehome her but I can't feed live, so I'd have to talk to the vet about how to best go about that anyways. So for now I don't think it's worth it.

LATE ADDITION TO THIS SECTION, was about to post this when I just remembered - about a week ago I witnessed her rubbing her head on the rock-like decorations she has in her cage (her water dish namely) as though she was trying to shed. I still haven't noticed her go to blue yet though, and I haven't seen her do it very much lately. While I was slap-teasing her today, I thought I saw a flake of skin on her head, but it could've just been water from the mouse (it hadn't dried off yet after defrosting) and I didn't see it later. Still, if she does go ahead and just shed and finally get her appetite back, I'll be super happy - but ho boy will I be dreading the next time she starts getting ready to shed again ;-;


By that second-to-last sentence you're probably guessing I'm looking into visiting a reptile vet, and well, you're right. I'm getting legitimately worried at this point. I didn't want to visit a vet but at least visiting a vet will give us some Peppermint-centric tips and tricks as well as rule out anything legitimately dangerous. I need to do some more research into reptile vets around here though because I only want a specialist, and I need to work out how I plan to pay my parents for the vet visit because yikes. Dw, like I said before they'll still take her when she needs it - but I need to put money aside to gradually pay them back.

I'll also post some pictures of Peppermint's enclosure in a little bit on here to see if anyone here notices anything that I missed. Hopefully it's not too obvious - but at this point I've already forced a hopper into my snake's mouth (multiple times) only to have her not end up eating it, so my pride really can't be any more beaten and I just want her to start eating again lol. She has open glass on all sides which could be a problem, but that doesn't explain why she doesn't like eating in her postal box (which is very tight and dark) .... does it need to be even darker than one side exposed? I dunno, I'll let you all decide once I get some good pictures.

My mom pointed out that Peppermint seemed to stop eating around the last time that we cleaned her cage. Idk how true this is if im gonna be honest with you, but we decided we may as well clean out her cage tomorrow and see if that helps for next week. I know, poor Peppermint is gonna go through a lot this weekend...but we're trying everything we can at this point.

I'm also planning to set up a journal to monitor her humidity and temperature. As much as I hate to do that 1. because I'm lazy and don't check it very often, except when we make adjustments to her heating to make sure its working right - once it is, i dont keep an eye on it anymore, and 2. I have a sensory processing disorder that makes it really hard for me to write on paper because I hate the touch of it (ik, its weird) so....I'll either deal with it, or find a way to make it online, not sure which yet.

I'll throw in some pics of Peppermint so you guys can get an idea of what she looks like/how big she is too! I'll be back in a bit to link those! (I'll link those to my stash in my deviantart account because I'm not good at posting photos into forums lol)
Old 09-09-2018, 05:18 AM   #9

Here the pics are! I took a pic of peppermint next to her thermometer for scale, but my stupid phone camera auto-turned it and so now its sideways :/ her water dish only has sawdust in it after washing the mouse off when it fell into the sawdust and the hopper is currently resting in her postal box hide now. The thermometer currently reads the temperature as 80F and only varies a little from side to side, so im assuming since the pet store thermometers aren't the best that its an average of ~80F in her tank. Also she's not normally that shy but she's had a stressful day </3
Old 09-30-2018, 11:31 PM   #10
Good news - lil' Peppermint finally seems to be eating again! We tried a lot of different things but the thing that seemed to get her back into eating was putting her into a smaller cage - or, in our case, a tub. We also got a red light for her instead of a normal lightbulb but that didn't seem to change her behavior in the big 40 gallon tank she's in. The tub we have is approximately 20 gallons but it's really not meant for snake keeping lol. We may try to get her something nicer in the near future because her home is pretty make-shift and ugly now, but she ate her first meal in a long time yesterday so at least she's doing good! We've also got a proper thermometer to measure the temperature in specific spots now so that's good. We also found out that in her old cage, apparently her wooden hide somehow got infested with silverfish?? Which I can't imagine that was good for her! I don't know how they got there but we sprayed with Raid and of course are now letting it air out before we even think about putting it in her new cage. We also got a wooden log for her to be able to reach her basking spot better, but we have an even hotter basking spot in her new tub + the log doesn't fit |D oh well! I bought it from our local reptile rescue/store which also gave me free advice on what they thought could be the problem with Peppermint (surprise surprise - they were the one who suggested a smaller tank, alongside basking tho) so even if I don't use it, it still went to a good cause.

My only question is, is there any danger leaving a snake tub on the ground? This tub doesn't have an under heater btw (we have a brick that absorbs the heat from the light that's plenty hot enough) and the lamp is attached to our forty gallon lid, which is now positioned awkwardly but securely on a bin that's much too small for it (and held down by a bunch of books). But I'm worried it could become a stresser for her, since it is in a room that we walk through. She's in the same corner as her old forty gallon tank but we still walk over to her cage and stuff. We were cleaning up the house in other places so we didn't have a chance to move out the 40 gallon tank, just set up her new bin, plus we don't really have a place to put the thing... but if we need to move it to keep her happy I'll of course do it. But she seemed pretty enthused by the mouse in her new cage so for now she's doing good!

Thank you to everyone who tried helping me out in this thread, and hopefully I won't be back anytime soon! (or be back with better news, anywho)

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