Snake won’t go to heat mat

Discussion in 'Herp Help' started by Sarah Jane, Jun 3, 2018.

  1. Sarah Jane

    Sarah Jane New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Female
    Hi all!
    I’m new here but I’ve had my girl for around 2 years. She’s a jungle python.

    I have noticed this a bit lately; I just checked her temp and she is at 18 degrees, but her heat mat is on and she isn’t going to it. I don’t understand as it’s quite cold at the moment and I’ve read snakes shouldn’t go under 21 but I obviously can’t force her onto it. I’m just a bit worried! I’d appreciate any and all advice :) thanks in advance.
     
  2. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2017
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    738
    Gender:
    Male
    What temps the mat?is it it inside or outside the enclosure?
    How are you regulating it?
     
  3. Neil j

    Neil j Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2017
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    156
    Gender:
    Male
    I have the same worry some times. First you should make sure the heat mat is hot enough or not too hot for him. Try adding a hide over it.

    My jungle was sitting off his heat I placed him back over it and he hasn’t moved. I keep most my carpets in commercial racks. I do have enclosures but run heat bulbs.
     
  4. Sarah Jane

    Sarah Jane New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Female
    It sits at around 31-34 degrees and it’s outside the enclosure. I don’t regulate it because it’s never been a problem, it generally stays between those temps if not maybe going to 30 and I’ve never had this problem with her before!
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Jun 3, 2018, Original Post Date: Jun 3, 2018 ---
    Should also add that she does have a cool part of her enclosure as well.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Jun 3, 2018 ---
    There is a hide over it! It’s sitting at 31-34 degrees and she always enjoys that haha. She’s so adventurous I try and put her back in her viv and she will try and climb up my arm back out haha.
     
  5. Neil j

    Neil j Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2017
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    156
    Gender:
    Male
    I’d be taking charge of hot end cold end and ambient temps. perhaps even a different setup. Last thing you want is a sick snake.
    Location?
    Outside temps?
    Pic of setup?
     
  6. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Messages:
    587
    Likes Received:
    663
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Perth
    It is my belief that sometimes snakes will become secretive, for whatever reasons. When this occurs (and even if it does not) they should be provided with three hides in their enclosure - one at the cool end, one at the warm end and one at their determined preferred body temperature. This trio of hides is not hard to provide and can be very informative. With particularly arboreal species, small budgie breeding boxes make for excellent elevated hides. Given the opportunity to occupy one of three hides at different temperatures, if the occupant spends a significantly disproportionate amount of time at one end or the other, this is highly indicative that the temperature gradient is either too high or too low, and should be adjusted accordingly.

    Infra-red temperature guns are a technological advancement on the the traditional thermometer and so much quicker and easier to use. However, I would recommend the purchase of a reliable traditional thermometer or three as a backup and safeguard to ensure accurate readings of ambient temperatures within enclosures.
     
    Bl69aze and Neil j like this.
  7. Sarah Jane

    Sarah Jane New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Female
    I’m saving for a new enclosure as the one I have now she is getting too big for. Location is Queensland. Outside temps have been between 16-28. The lows generally at night. She’s thankfully not sick, still feeding, pooping and being her adventurous, curious self. I can’t upload an image because it is too large but I can use an imgur link. I apologise for the crappy quality as I took it tonight to show a friend how she wants to come out after she’s pooped.


    [​IMG]


    --- Automatic Post Merged, Jun 4, 2018, Original Post Date: Jun 4, 2018 ---
    Thank you for such a detailed reply! Temp gun was one of the first things I got when I got a snake :) I haven’t thought of the breeding box though! I wonder if she will fit into one. She hasn’t really become secretive though, she is always chilling on her tree. It’s that she’s not going to her hide which is on the heat mat that I’m concerned about!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 4, 2018
  8. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    700
    You probably don't need to worry if all other behaviours are normal as you suggest. There seems to be some fixed ideas that snakes need to be kept between certain temperature parameters. Certainly too much heat is very dangerous and can quickly kill a snake, but when it comes to cooler temps, they don't always do as the rule books suggest they should. To suggest that they shouldn't go below 21C is not realistic - snakes in the wild deal with far lower temps, even the tropical ones. The important thing is to offer choices to the animal, and if it has sufficient choices but still wants to go cool, then that's just the way it is for that animal at that time. At this time of year, many wild pythons will be hunkered down in cool but thermally stable hiding places, and coming out in the mornings for an hour or two to bask when it's sunny, then retreating for the rest of the day and night. A lot of keepers simply don't heat their animals at night at all, even in winter, and they don't suffer any ill effects. This pretty much mirrors what they encounter in the wild.

    You should try and provide hides which are just big enough for the animal to curl up in - they will feel more secure in a tightly confined space, and as Mike suggests, elevated hides are very good for carpets of all sorts, but once again, don't make it too spacious - it needs to be just big enough to accommodate the snake and not much more.

    It may also be hormonal. Snakes vary their thermoregulatory behaviour seasonally, partly because of the influence of the hormonal changes that take place in cooler weather, which leads up to their mating/breeding season at the end of winter.

    Jamie
     
    Neil j, Bluetongue1 and Bl69aze like this.
  9. Sarah Jane

    Sarah Jane New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Female
    See, that’s what I thought! But due to losing my last snake because of a ghastly RI we just couldn’t get rid of, I’m very anxious and over worry when it comes to her. Losing my last snake absolutely broke me and I blamed myself for a very long time until I was told some snakes are just born sickly. I hope that was the case and it wasn’t me, because I did everything I could. Anyway, I digress. Once I save up and move her into a larger viv (not absolutely dire at the moment) I will have a look into the small bird hide. I do fortunately know that they like to be comfortably cramped in their hides, feels safer for them, so I will keep that in mind when I have a look around.

    Thank you so much for your advice!
     
  10. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    700
    Respiratory infections, unless fairly advanced, are usually treatable, so there may have been an underlying cause for the fact that it claimed the life of your snake.

    Jamie
     
  11. Sarah Jane

    Sarah Jane New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Female
    She was at the vet every other week, antibiotics after antibiotics. She’d get better then it would come back. It was very stressful.
     
  12. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2017
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    738
    Gender:
    Male
    i guess that just leads to bad husbandry :s
     
  13. Prof_Moreliarty

    Prof_Moreliarty Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 10, 2014
    Messages:
    523
    Likes Received:
    275
    not necessarily @Bl69aze.. i also think that the op may be just overly cautious due to past experiences, if she is acting normally eating,crapping etc and has access to the correct temps she knows what she is doing and will regulate her temps when she feels the need not when you think she should :)
     
    Sarah Jane likes this.
  14. Bluetongue1

    Bluetongue1 APS Veteran APS Veteran

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2015
    Messages:
    587
    Likes Received:
    663
    Gender:
    Male
    Location:
    Perth
    That is a rather thoughtless comment to make Blaze. Having taken the animal to a vet who was competent enough to diagnose RI and prescribe an appropriate antibiotic, I think it is reasonable to assume that the vet would have also have discussed husbandry and what environmental conditions are required for a full recovery. Clearly, with the particular snake in question, this did not resolve the issue. As Jamie said: “…so there may have been an underlying cause for the fact that it claimed the life of your snake.”

    @Sarah Jane , It would not hurt to position a few makeshift hides, like muesli bar boxes, or the like, with just the end of the top removed for access, around the cage so you cover a good gradient of temperatures. Place some in elevate positions as well, making sure they are firmly attached. Then wait and see if it makes any difference.

    As Jamie suggested, it may a hormonal drive that has kicked. What comes to mind is that it is now mating season. Seeking out a partner and mating is something pythons can accomplish at well below preferred body temperature. In stark contrast, they need a considerably higher body temperature to digest a meal before it rots in their gut.
     
    Pauls_Pythons and Sarah Jane like this.
  15. ronhalling

    ronhalling Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Messages:
    1,425
    Likes Received:
    290
    Location:
    Port Macquarie NSW
    A hide does not need to be of commercial quality or even anything fancy, i have found over the years that for hatchies a toilet roll tube is all you need and for something like your a smallish terracotta pot with a chunk broken out of 1 side for an entrance makes a very nice hide, i have even seen people using an old shoe box with a rock on top of it so as to keep it still for their snakes. As long as they feel safe and secure you don't need to go to any great expense.

    [​IMG]
    ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°) -ronhalling-
     
    Bl69aze likes this.
  16. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    700
    That's a pretty unfortunate assumption to make when you know nothing of the history of the animal or its keeper. There is a viral infection (nidovirus) which is fairly common in snakes in this country and which causes recurrent respiratory infections:

    open mouth breathing
    gurgles and wheezes when breathing
    stomatitis (mouth rot)
    bubbles from nose and mouth
    lethargy
    anorexia,

    all local symptoms which can be treated with antibiotics, but which are persistent and recurrent, and may or may not eventually cause the death of the snake.

    I should say that the informantion I have on viral infections in snakes is included in a publication by Dr Shane Simpson ,(available for purchase online), Karingal Veterinary Hospital. He has been working closely with Dr Tim Hyndman of Murdoch Uni in Perth on the range of viral infections found in snakes in Oz.

    It's likely that some of the illnesses we see in snakes go undiagnosed fully because if you don't know what you're looking for, you're very unlikely to find it, and very few people will be prepared to spend a couple of hundred dollars testing a $100 snake.

    Jamie
     
    Prof_Moreliarty and Sarah Jane like this.
  17. Sarah Jane

    Sarah Jane New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 3, 2018
    Messages:
    8
    Likes Received:
    3
    Gender:
    Female
    No. It wasn’t.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Jun 6, 2018, Original Post Date: Jun 6, 2018 ---
    Thank you so much!
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Jun 6, 2018 ---
    Thank you! I didn’t think of that. I will keep my eye on some boxes haha.
     
    Bluetongue1 likes this.
  18. Bl69aze

    Bl69aze Very Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2017
    Messages:
    1,206
    Likes Received:
    738
    Gender:
    Male
    muesli bar boxes are great

    @pythoninfinite i understand theres infections that can cause these diseases, however where do infections come from? they dont just suddenly say "this is the snake im going to infect" - there has to be something that carried it, and came into contact. which would then be a quarantine/husbandry thing.

    I admit i worded my message bad, but i was in a grumpy mood after my cat woke me up and it was the first thing i saw was that "it kept coming back"
     
    Last edited: Jun 6, 2018
  19. Neil j

    Neil j Active Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2017
    Messages:
    152
    Likes Received:
    156
    Gender:
    Male
    Nindo virus symptoms include resp infection. I think it is believed it came from wild animals. It is devastating gtp collection overseas as well.
    --- Automatic Post Merged, Jun 6, 2018, Original Post Date: Jun 6, 2018 ---
    If I get another ri there is actually testing available locally. Not expecting to, I’m heating 24/7.
     
  20. pythoninfinite

    pythoninfinite Subscriber Subscriber

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2015
    Messages:
    967
    Likes Received:
    700
    From the info I have here, it's assumed that nidovirus is transmitted by aerosols (airborne droplets from infected animals), and because it doesn't necessarily kill the host animal, it is possible that otherwise healthy animals are infected when close to an infected but silently carrying snake. However, there are several different nidoviruses which are very similar but not identical. It is suggested that stress and other husbandry related issues may weaken the immune system of some animals that are carriers, which leads the infection into an active phase. This is conjecture though. So husbandry MAY have something to do with active infection, but it just may be that what would be fine for a healthy and uninfected snake wasn't sufficient to prevent a dormant viral infection from manifesting as disease.

    However it would be wrong to assume that nidovirus was the cause of a recurrent RI in the case of this snake - that, too, is conjecture - it may just be that the animal had another underlying weakness in its immune system. Not every animal lives a textbook-long life, and there are many reasons why that will be the case. Happens to humans too...

    Jamie
     

Share This Page