My Python won't eat

Discussion in 'General Reptile Discussion' started by Dustproof, Sep 22, 2015.

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  1. Dustproof

    Dustproof Not so new Member

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    Hi all,

    I have a 3yo Stimpson Python that hasn't eaten for 5 months, she seems in good condition but I am getting concerned. Each time I try to feed her she starts to shake and wants to strike at me, she got me once, so I use a rubber glove now just to save a little blood on my part.

    Since using the glove she seems a little less aggressive, she took a Pinkie mouse but dropped it after holding it for a while. Before she went off food, she was taking day old chicks, she also shed which wasn't complete, she only has a little left now. She has a heat mat with her hide over it, I have also put a heat fan with 35w globe, it seems a nice temp in there but she is still not eating.

    I have a male Stimpson who went off food for a month, he started eating again but not so enthusiastically so I put that down to Winter. I am giving him food every two weeks and check to see if he is attracted to my hand on the on the outside of the enclosure. All he has for heat is a tile with a heat mat under it, I keep a thermometer fixed to it and keep the temp at 30 to 32 deg.

    I am just getting concerned and don't like the idea of forced feeding, I am sure she would not like that. If this is the only option, she will need to go to the Vet. We have a good one that is the Vet for the Reptile Park who has a great interest in Pythons.

    I am a newby so any suggestion would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks
    Noel
     
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  2. twistedFrog

    twistedFrog <span style="font-weight:bold;color:#810040;">Desi

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    I have never had a stimmie but I have heard from people that have them that it is not uncommon for them to go without a feed for a very long time sometimes even up to 9 months. They usually come back into feeding mode towards the end of September and through the summer months. You did not mention where you are located, will help others to better answer this for you. You said she seems in good condition, not losing weight? So should be fine. Wait for one of the seasoned stimmie members. They will have a more complete answer for you soon.
     
  3. Wokka

    Wokka Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    I wouldn't worry about your stimmie not eating this early in spring. Could she be gravid?
     
  4. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    OK, a lot of questions, as they occur to me.
    How long have you had your pythons?
    Has your 'aggressive" python always been that way, or only since it went off its food?
    Has it gone off its food before?
    How long has it been in this enclosure?
    Are the two in together?
    Initial thoughts: most, if not all snakes go off their food over winter. A lot of keepers don't even feed their snakes at all in the cooler months. Move the hide off the heat mat. Your hide should be away from the heat source. If it is in good condition, don't be concerned at this stage.
     
  5. Dustproof

    Dustproof Not so new Member

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    I am located on the Central Coast NSW, the weather is warming up at present but my house has been pretty cold, that is why I installed the fan heater.
     
  6. PythonLegs

    PythonLegs Very Well-Known Member

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    Heat fans are rubbish as they suck all the humidity out of the air and lead to shedding problems, as well as moving the heat all around the enclosure and destroying the gradient.
    Have you tired just leaving the mouse after she's struck and walking away? Might just be shy.
     
  7. Dustproof

    Dustproof Not so new Member

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    We have had her for 2 years, she is usually very placid, after she has been aggressive she can be OK again in an hour or two. She has always been a good eater and we moved her from Mice to Chicks she has been fine. She has been in the enclosure for about a year old, it was bought new, it has a UV light and the light in the fan heater. The male is in a Glass enclosure with just the heat mat and UV light. We have separate enclosures for them because we don't want them mating, we aren't into breeding them.
     
  8. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    I missed that about the heat fan. Very true. And antaresias are not the best shedders at the best of times.

    - - - Updated - - -

    Has she pooped after her last feed?
     
  9. Dustproof

    Dustproof Not so new Member

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    She pooped a week or so ago, I figured that was just a hang over, this is when I tried her on a pinkie mouse just to see if she would take it. The heat fan was designed by the owner of the Australian Reptile Park, I thought it would warm the air inside the enclosure.
     
  10. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    Has she gone off her food since the heat fan?
     
  11. Wokka

    Wokka Well-Known Member APS Veteran

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    Fan heaters dry out the air and make it difficult to achieve a suitable temperature gradient. I would think a pink mouse is not worth feeding to a 3yo stimmie. If she was on day old chick she'll handle an adult mouse
     
  12. Dustproof

    Dustproof Not so new Member

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    I put the fan heater in to try and warm the enclosure to get her to eat, it is not the cause of her not eating. We are trying a chick tonight, so we will see what happens.
     
  13. cement

    cement Subscriber Subscriber APS Veteran

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    Another coastie!
    I'm here on the coast too, and we are about to get hammered with bad weather, its cooling down right now. If she's not eating over the past week then she may not until we get our nice weather back.
    Its all about temperature dustproof, and ambient temperature is just as important as having a basking site. In your house at the moment you are probably looking at having an ambient temp that goes from as low as 10 degrees, to a high of 14-16 degrees. So depending on the size and the insulative properties of your cage the heating element (heat pad or light or whatever) may not be warming the cage enough and therefore she is just too cold to eat.
    Dont worry, things will warm up and she'll be back feeding no worries. If she's not losing condition and you can't feel ribs, then she's fine. Petes a great reptile vet, but I don't beleive you need him yet.
     
  14. hulloosenator

    hulloosenator Active Member

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    A few tips ....

    I havnt even tried to feed my snakes for 5 months .... you dont need to feed them over winter.
    Throw away the fan heater........ the incomplete shed skin is telling you that it is too dry.
    You dont have to heat the whole cage .... just one side , so the snake has somewhere to go when it is hot as well as when it is cold.
    Remove the hide off the heat pad.
    And , pink mice for a 3 yr old ???? and straight onto day old chicks ????? as in chickens ???? ( KFC type chickens )...... mmmmm ???
    There is a few good books around about keeping pythons in captivity .....do yourself a favour and ask Santa to get you one.
     
  15. twistedFrog

    twistedFrog <span style="font-weight:bold;color:#810040;">Desi

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    Yeah me too Cement, I am down low near the Woy, where you at? And I am hearing that storm brewing outside as I type.
     
  16. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Some Stimson's only eat for a few months every year, and survive perfectly on 4-5 mice during that time. If it was feeding fine with the setup you had previously, it will feed in the future with the same setup. You'll just cause a problem by trying to adjust the enclosure because YOU think it should be feeding at this time of the year. When they stop feeding, whether it's seasonal, hormonal or whatever, their metabolism changes to accommodate the reduced food intake. If you start to do things like upping the temps to try and get it feeding, you'll cause it to use more stored energy than it should be, and you'll throw the metabolic balance out.

    It's perfectly normal for adult Stimson's to spend 6-8 months not feeding in the cooler months, even when we keep them warm (they MUST have a cool place to retire to at this time to allow their metabolism to slow) so attempts to prevent this may do more harm than good. Also, it's best to leave them alone at this time, and significantly reduce handling.

    Jamie
     
  17. twistedFrog

    twistedFrog <span style="font-weight:bold;color:#810040;">Desi

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    This is why this forum is so critical to the best interests of the animals we keep. A seasoned professional chimes in with exactly the right advice, from many years of experience, knowledge and down right forthrightness to share that knowledge. thank you Jamie, the world is a better place because people like you are open to sharing their knowledge. And why because the welfare of the animals is the priority, may karma give back to you in spades!!!
     
  18. Dustproof

    Dustproof Not so new Member

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    I tried to feed her again but still no good. Should I move the Hide off the heat mat? I fear that she might not go looking for heat and she gets so cold, she has always been on the heat mat.. Sorry, but I am wanting to do the right thing by her. My male is very happy with his hide on the heat tile. It looks as though the female is going to shed, her skin has gone a milky color so I guess we will see soon enough.
     
  19. pinefamily

    pinefamily Subscriber Subscriber

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    As mentioned above in this thread, move the hides off the heat sources.
     
  20. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

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    Read post #16 again...

    If the snake chooses the cool part of the enclosure, it will because that suits the animal at that particular time. Stimson's Pythons come from a very wide range in Australia, and much of it gets extremely cold in winter. Frosts would be common in much of their range, they just find somewhere to shelter from damp and cold draughts, but the animals themselves get VERY cold - this is normal for them. If they choose somewhere cool in the enclosure and become less active, you should just leave them alone until they commence a "normal" routine again. Constantly disturbing them at this time of the year when they are still (by choice) largely dormant will lead to other health problems, respiratory infection being the most likely. One thing, if you keep the temperatures up, or force the snake to remain too warm, you will likely cause it to have shedding difficulties if the separating skin dehydrates and sticks to the new layer underneath. I would put a range of hides in different places in the enclosure (no reason why you should have only one) and let the snake chose where it wants to be. It knows better than you what its needs are.

    Jamie
     
    Last edited: Sep 28, 2015
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