What are the pre-shedding signs to look for in a juvenile spotted python?!

Barry

Not so new Member
To be totally honest here , I’ve had a hatchie childreni python not eat for 3 months out of the egg before I had to assist feed. It survived, and now eats voraciously. Don’t be so concerned about timeframes as I’m pretty sure in the wild the little guys don’t start eating straight out of the egg.It was a very healthy hatchie out of the egg and probably the only reason it survived, but it is an example of how hardy some snakes are. Don’t think 2 weeks without food is set in concrete, I don’t think many breeders out there will tell you all their hatchies started eating at 2weeks
 

antaresia2021

Not so new Member
He's not a hatchling though. I've had him for 2 months and believe he is near 4 months old. He's still young and is now on his 3rd week without food I'm getting very very worried. I've tried almost everything. Since buying him he has been eating with 2 week intervals. But now it's the 3rd week. He's not growing and doesn't appear to be shedding, I don't know what to do!
 

CF Constrictor

Well-Known Member
3 weeks isn't long even for a young python. I know it's easy to stress about it when their so small , but as long as the temps are ok , there is fresh water available and he has good places to hide , just be patient. Just a thaught, have you changed anything in his enclosure since he last ate , or is there any chance there could be something bothering him you may not be aware of, like a curious cat watching him when your asleep for example. Playing loud music near by can create vibrations through the floor that could stress him out too. Good luck.
 

antaresia2021

Not so new Member
The only thing I have changed was adding wood-chips behind the cool hide, in the corner (taking up less than 1/10th of the space), as I thought that perhaps it would be beneficial for shedding or otherwise? (Don't know if that assumption was far-fetched or ridiculous).

And even if, like you say, that 3 weeks without food for only a few-months-old spotted isn't something to get overly worried about; what about shedding? He hasn't shed in the two months I have had him and I don't know the date of his last shed before that. I understand that shedding is accompanied by growth and that if he hasn't been eating he's obviously not been growing, but I still don't know why he would go hungry for so long when I've been occasionally offering food in a variety of ways to see if he'd go for it.

All I know is that, while he hasn't been eating, he still moves around daily - but I can't tell if he's getting thinner (I know I should be wary of his spine becoming visible as that's indicative of a very low weight, unhealthy snake). While I take this as a good sign, there's also the fact that whenever I open the cage he tries to creep over the edge - here I'm not sure if it's because he's just curious or unhappy with his enclosure. He also moves between the cool and warm hide so I hope that means he's comfortable with the temperature.

But to be completely honest, the 3 week gap of no food (and overall eating with 2 week intervals as a young snake) is really worrying me. Sometimes, he would rest in a weird position and I have a moment of freaking out because I think he has died. I often see him drinking but he has never submerged himself in the water (as far as I'm aware), and I change the water as often as ever second day, at the latest, once every 4 days. I also want to mention the fact that he's been rubbing his face on various surfaces including the floor (is this a shedding thing or a problem, because he's been doing this since I brought him but increasingly more now).

Please help because I'm really worried that he's losing weight, becoming unhealthy, or worse, on the verge of death.
 

antaresia2021

Not so new Member
I can't see any black dots on him (which is what I looked for when I thought mites were the problem), there aren't any mites in the water either. Is there a better way that I should inspect him for mites because I'm only half-sure of what to look for or how?
 

CF Constrictor

Well-Known Member
If he is moving around , trying to climb out of his container, i doubt hes on the verge of death. Honestly , if he is behaving normaly , drinking and dosn't appear under weight, i don't think hes in trouble yet. Rubbing their faces is how they start removing their old skin so give it a bit longer.
 

antaresia2021

Not so new Member
But he's been rubbing his face, sticking his nose through the air-holes (for what looks like scratching) for weeks now.
I also reposted by concerns on herphelp with photos in case the photos would help. In one of them he's even trying to climb out like I said he would
 

CF Constrictor

Well-Known Member
Is there any chance he,s got something stuck in his mouth and is trying to remove it, i realize it may be difficult to tell but have a close look if you can. Mites can be difficult to see on the snake , they get under the scales and drink the snakes blood , like a tiny ticks. Have a close look around the snakes eyes , in their labial heat pits on both sides of their upper and lower jaws , under the chin and around the neck. You can also take everything out of his container clean it then line the floor with plain white paper , add a water bowl and something to hide under and leave him over night . Next day , have a close look on and under the paper . If he has mites , you will see them quite easily.
 

antaresia2021

Not so new Member
Thank you! I will definitely do that and get back to you If I do detect any mites.
I know this next question might be a little stupid, but the paper's sharp edges won't be a danger to him will they?
 

antaresia2021

Not so new Member
But also, wouldn't have my current substrate - paper towel - also have made the mites easy to detect because it is white? Or is paper the go-to because it's textureless?
 

CF Constrictor

Well-Known Member
No , paper towel or toilet paper would work ok ,the texture may make it easier for them to hide but you should be able to see them anyway.
 

antaresia2021

Not so new Member
Then I'll just do a thorough search of the enclosure tomorrow, and check around his eyes, chin and neck. Thanks again for all the help!
 
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