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 #2104423


Zeri~
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 My black rat stoppped eating

hello all. im new to this forum, but not to snake ownership. i have a 6+ foot female(?) black rat snake that i caught on a camping trip. i have had her for about 2 and a half years now and havent had any major issues with her.
She went on a hunger strike shortly after her capture (stress) but after a month or 2, she got accustomed and became quite a good eater, usualy eating a live mouse every 2 weeks. in the last year or so, her appetite had grown and she was eating 3 mice every 2 or 3 weeks.
now suddenly, about 2 months ago, she has stopped eating all together. it concerns me. she doesnt appear distressed or sick, and in fact seems VERY active. when i offer her mice, she seems interested at first, but then shies away from it, then promptly ignores it.
she seems to be in overall good health, is active, and i can still handle her. she hasnt changed really at all, neither has her enclosure. i cant understand her lack off appetite. She has an adequate hide box and always has a large water bowl available.

can anyone please give me advice?



12/13/09  11:55am

 #2105458


JackAsp
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  Message To: Zeri~   In reference to Message Id: 2104423


 My black rat stoppped eating

Was she a baby when you got her? Sometimes when they reach adulthood they’re suddenly more prone to fasting during winter/shed periods/etc than they were while they were still growing. They can also become more finicky about what time of day they like to eat. (Which could get pretty tricky with a black rat, since they aren’t as solidly diurnal/nocturnal as so many other snakes...)
Have you tried switching flavors? Sometimes a snake that’s not taking mice will go crazy for a small rat, for example. And she’s certainly big enough.



12/16/09  12:29am

 #2106354


Zeri~
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  Message To: JackAsp   In reference to Message Id: 2105458


 My black rat stoppped eating

she was full grown when i got her. she was wild caught, and i have no idea how old she may be or what conditions she may have lived in. shes very scarred up, so i suspect shes been in a few tangles with predators.
i took her out and inspected her closely a few days ago, and now i suspect she may have mouth rot. i havent ever seen it before, so im not really sure what it looks like. but she has some crusty scabby areas along the sides of her mouth. i havent noticed any ’cottage cheese’ like ive read about, but the scabbyness causes concern, and i dont really know what else it could be. she have been known to rub her nose raw on the top of the tank, and ive read rubbing can cause mouth rot.
plus a week or 2 ago her heat light broke, and it took me a few days to get her a new one, so she was in the cold for a few days. that might have added to the problem.
im trying to find a vet nearby who sees snakes, and isnt too expensive. i dont have the funds right now to have her looked at..
which is driving me crazy, cause if it IS mouth rot she needs attention right away. im still looking for a vet nearby, but in the meantime, is there anything i can do?
ill try to get a picture of her mouth, but shes hard to photograph. she doesnt sit still lol.






12/19/09  06:33pm

 #2106470


JackAsp
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  Message To: Zeri~   In reference to Message Id: 2106354


 My black rat stoppped eating

Main thing is find the vet. Sweat the bill later. They’re not going to come over and repo the snake if you’re behind on paying them. Installments or whatever are not uncommon. But meanwhile, yes, there are home treatments. The one that my own vet taught me was mix some Betadine (it’s an iodine solution) into warm water to get a solution the color of weak tea and use that on a Q-tip to gently wipe the problem area. I would also get an undertank pad and put a hide box on top if it, so she doesn’t have to rely on the light to warm herself. And as far as hide areas go, more is better. Given the option, they like to change hide-locations frequently. Experimenting with few different types/shapes/locations might keep her busy enough that she scrapes a the top less. Although it’s also possible that you’ll end up having to ditch the screen entirely and switch her to something like a large plastic-topped storage tub. Somebody on another site mentioned that Walmart has some good deals on artificial-Christmas-tree-sized ones right now.



12/20/09  01:27am

 #2106500


Zeri~
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  Message To: JackAsp   In reference to Message Id: 2106470


 My black rat stoppped eating

yeah your right, i can pay the vet later.
ill get her to one asap.
i never thought she might get ’bored’ with her enclosure, i have always kept it set up the same way. maybe i should move her hide box around.
a heat pad is a good idea too, i will have to get one online as my local reptile store has closed down. :(



12/20/09  10:35am

 #2106534


JackAsp
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  Message To: Zeri~   In reference to Message Id: 2106500


 My black rat stoppped eating

I’m not talking about just rearranging it to make it less boring. For some animals that’s a good idea to do sometimes, for others it stresses them. What i mean is: I’ve found that many of the more active snakes seem to like having a variety of hiding spots that they can switch around between. They’ll go one place for ten minutes, another for half an hour, another for two hours, sort of like how a cat will take one nap a day in each of about ten places. As weird as it sounds, with a lot of them you’ll actually see them more times a day if they have multiple hides to travel between than if they just have one. Plus, another hide is another secure place to go besides through the screen, so less reason to nose-rub. It’s not guaranteed to stop it, but it might help a lot. it’s not purely psychological, either. Having one heated hide and at least one that isn’t gives them more options to thermoregulate without feeling exposed, so there’s less physical complusion to actively seek out a new microhabitat.



12/20/09  12:31pm

 #2106815


Zeri~
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  Message To: JackAsp   In reference to Message Id: 2106534


 My black rat stoppped eating

hmm im not sure my tank is large enough for more hides. ill see what i can do tho. its always a possibility.
im working on getting some better heating options as well.



12/21/09  08:43am

 #2131357


CrotalusFan
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  Message To: Zeri~   In reference to Message Id: 2106815


 My black rat stoppped eating

I’ve had lots of black rat snakes, and still have some. I have had problems with WC Black rat snakes not eating. If she’s eaten for you already though, it may just take a little time.

The best thing to keep them on is newspaper, with a water dish and a good hide box. And keep them in a small cage, like a 28-32 qt. tub from Wal-Mart. Keep the temperature at about 73-75 at night and 80-84 during the day. And don’t handle her to much. They will normally eat in these conditions.

Hope this helps,
Jon



03/09/10  11:44am


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