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My CRT won't stop jamming her nose against her door.

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  • [Behavior] My CRT won't stop jamming her nose against her door.

    My Colombian red tail knows where the sliding doors on her habitat open, so she has been repeatedly pushing her nose against this area. The way the habitat is constructed, there's a space she can fit her nose into, and she's been pushing so hard she's making her nose take on a bent shape, that doesn't seem to be going back to normal. I have looked in her mouth, she doesn't have any broken or missing teeth, and she doesn't have an abscess. She ate fine yesterday. I did fill this area she can fit her nose into, with a piece of cardboard, but she still jams her nose against the door so hard that it hasn't made her stop. When I see her do this, I distract her, or take her out of her habitat altogether, because I know that's what she is telling me. But I don't want her to learn that nose rubbing (or bending) will get her what she wants.

    Her habitat is 2 feet wide, four feet long, 12 inches high, and she is just under 5 feet long. She has PLENTY of room in her habitat. I have room for a larger habitat, if needed, just not the funds for it at the moment.

    Is there an alternative way that I can make her stop this behavior? Should I be feeding her more often (she eats every three weeks)? Should we handle her more often, even though we do so several times a week? (At this point, she is being handled almost daily). Your help is greatly appreciated

  • #2
    Re: My CRT won't stop jamming her nose against her door.

    This might be a hunger issue...while over-feeding is bad for a snake (just like with us) remember that at 5' she is still growing & may do better with eating every 2 weeks. What size are you feeding her? (hard to advise
    you without seeing her) Also, what are the temperatures in her cage? Is there a thermal gradient, ie. a cool size AND a warm side? If not, she might be too warm & trying to get to the right (cooler) temperature.

    Apart from a bigger habitat (if that's the only issue), your best option for now might be more exercise outside her cage. You mentioned that you handle her several times/week, but for how long?

    It's important to minimize the nose-rubbing/pushing behavior...even if there is no obvious damage yet, there will be. Some people find that using those platforms ("trees") made for cats are enjoyed by their snakes to
    climb on...others have built "jungle-gyms" out of pvc or branches (& a little creativity). I found a heavy (super-stable) metal base in a thrift store into which I put a large tree branch (w/ many side branches) & when
    I am cleaning my snakes cages, they get some climb-time. In the past, I had a house where I could safely close off one room & let a snake out for exercise for a few hours...but be VERY safety-conscious, as they are quite
    creative about playing hide-&-seek or knocking things over. And depending on the kind of snake & your house temperatures, it may not be suitable. These are just some ideas....

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: My CRT won't stop jamming her nose against her door.

      Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
      This might be a hunger issue...while over-feeding is bad for a snake (just like with us) remember that at 5' she is still growing & may do better with eating every 2 weeks. What size are you feeding her? (hard to advise
      you without seeing her) Also, what are the temperatures in her cage? Is there a thermal gradient, ie. a cool size AND a warm side? If not, she might be too warm & trying to get to the right (cooler) temperature.

      Apart from a bigger habitat (if that's the only issue), your best option for now might be more exercise outside her cage. You mentioned that you handle her several times/week, but for how long?

      It's important to minimize the nose-rubbing/pushing behavior...even if there is no obvious damage yet, there will be. Some people find that using those platforms ("trees") made for cats are enjoyed by their snakes to
      climb on...others have built "jungle-gyms" out of pvc or branches (& a little creativity). I found a heavy (super-stable) metal base in a thrift store into which I put a large tree branch (w/ many side branches) & when
      I am cleaning my snakes cages, they get some climb-time. In the past, I had a house where I could safely close off one room & let a snake out for exercise for a few hours...but be VERY safety-conscious, as they are quite
      creative about playing hide-&-seek or knocking things over. And depending on the kind of snake & your house temperatures, it may not be suitable. These are just some ideas....
      Sophie is getting medium sized rats, 6 to 8 inches long, not counting the tail. She sheds regularly, 2 to 3 times a year. Her basking temp is 85, and her cooling spot is 75. Her humidity is 55%. She has a large water dish that her whole body can fit in, if she needs to cool down more, which she does sometimes. I don't have a water dish on her basking side, otherwise her humidity will sky-rocket to over 90%. (I have plaster walls in my home, that's why that happens).

      Sophie gets handled anywhere from an hour to hours max. For other boas, that could be excessive, but she's quite tolerant of it. I have a tool that I let her climb on and wrap herself around. She'll stay on it for a long while. I always watch her very closely, because she gets quite adventurous. A couple years ago, my mother took her eyes off Sophie, and she climbed up between the panels of her bedroom window. We had to take out the screen to get Sophie out! It was a stressful experience, to say the least. If I am sitting on my bed with her, I cannot let her go near my nightstand, otherwise she'll fling EVERYTHING off of there.

      I did some internet searches, to see what other things people have tried. One recommendation was putting colored paper over the door. Sophie had to poke her head out of her hiding place to see what I was doing. After about 5 minutes of that paper being there, she was peeking around it as if it's a solid object, not the door anymore. She's hiding again. I hope that will help remedy the issue.

      I'm sure you've seen after a snake has eaten, that their lower or upper parts of their nose get bent into weird shapes and eventually go back to normal. I'd hazard a guess that she she's been doing this rubbing/pushing behavior so frequently, that her nose hasn't had a chance to go back the way it was. I hope that provided can make her stop this behavior, that it will correct itself on its own. I'd like to avoid a stressful a vet trip (our reptile specialist is a lovely person, but Sophie gets agitated when handled by anyone other than myself and my mom).

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: My CRT won't stop jamming her nose against her door.

        My Burmese did that for several months. In her old cage, it didn't have a lock, but the doors were quite heavy. Imagine my surprise when I get a call from my roommate, saying "Your snake got out, and is slithering through the living room!" I ended up getting a new cage for her shortly after that, and she still tried opening the doors for a few more months. She's settled down now, I'm not sure why. Nothing has changed in her new environment.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: My CRT won't stop jamming her nose against her door.

          Originally posted by gamptff View Post
          My Burmese did that for several months. In her old cage, it didn't have a lock, but the doors were quite heavy. Imagine my surprise when I get a call from my roommate, saying "Your snake got out, and is slithering through the living room!" I ended up getting a new cage for her shortly after that, and she still tried opening the doors for a few more months. She's settled down now, I'm not sure why. Nothing has changed in her new environment.
          I sometimes believe that snakes (and my turtles, too) are too smart for their own good. This morning, one of my turtles climbed up on her basking dock and launched herself out of her tank. And I do mean LAUNCHED. She's lucky I was a few feet away and able to catch her so she didn't hit the floor. Sophie has been ignoring the spot where she was nose rubbing/pushing so far this evening, but, we shall see if it continues.

          I wonder why your burm gave up. How big is she? Because the larger snakes are, the calmer they are.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: My CRT won't stop jamming her nose against her door.

            Originally posted by theartbook35 View Post
            I sometimes believe that snakes (and my turtles, too) are too smart for their own good.....
            It's our job as "snake/turtle/lizard parents" to be sure we never under-estimate them. I'm very glad you were a good catch & there at the right moment.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: My CRT won't stop jamming her nose against her door.

              Originally posted by theartbook35 View Post
              I wonder why your burm gave up. How big is she? Because the larger snakes are, the calmer they are.
              She's approaching 7 and 1/2 feet, I'd say. She was only maybe 4-5 feet when she got out. She has calmed down in the cage...mostly. There are still some days when she just keeps roaming around and trying to get out, but it doesn't happen often anymore. But as soon as I open the door, she's zooming out, and doesn't really stop. It's pretty cool, I get down close to the door, and she almost launches out and up on to my shoulders.

              Comment


              • #8
                Re: My CRT won't stop jamming her nose against her door.

                Originally posted by gamptff View Post
                She's approaching 7 and 1/2 feet, I'd say. She was only maybe 4-5 feet when she got out. She has calmed down in the cage...mostly. There are still some days when she just keeps roaming around and trying to get out, but it doesn't happen often anymore. But as soon as I open the door, she's zooming out, and doesn't really stop. It's pretty cool, I get down close to the door, and she almost launches out and up on to my shoulders.
                That's about the size when a lot of red tails start to chill out.

                Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
                It's our job as "snake/turtle/lizard parents" to be sure we never under-estimate them.
                None of the things my turtles do, surprise me anymore. It's just funny to me, the way they orchestrate their escapes, such as climbing over the edge of the tank, or piling things up to climb on, and they have absolutely no idea what they will do after they escape. It used to be in the morning that they'd try launching themselves for food. Nowadays, IF they actually get out of the tank, all they want to do is run around randomly. If I could afford to make some ATBA's (above tank basking areas), to solve this, believe me, I would.

                I mean, I totally appreciate that Sophie knows where her door opens, and that she can understand that. And that she knows her behavior will get our attention. A lot of people think snakes are "dumb", and they are so far from it. What I mean by too smart for their own good, is that same intelligence in captivity can get them into a lot of trouble.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Re: My CRT won't stop jamming her nose against her door.

                  Originally posted by theartbook35 View Post
                  ....I'm sure you've seen after a snake has eaten, that their lower or upper parts of their nose get bent into weird shapes and eventually go back to normal. I'd hazard a guess that she she's been doing this rubbing/pushing behavior so frequently, that her nose hasn't had a chance to go back the way it was. I hope that provided can make her stop this behavior, that it will correct itself on its own. I'd like to avoid a stressful a vet trip (our reptile specialist is a lovely person, but Sophie gets agitated when handled by anyone other than myself and my mom).
                  Yes I have seen this...and what happens sometimes is that their teeth actually get hung up the wrong way & they may need a little help to get them free. Usually they do it themselves, with a yawn, but not always.

                  As was already suggested, you might try reducing her vision by covering that part of the cage with paper, etc. & I hope it works... our pets did not evolve with us (& our cages) in mind...how weird it must be to see
                  out & be unable to go where they please? I don't think snakes are 'dumb' either...I think many people under-estimate them.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Re: My CRT won't stop jamming her nose against her door.

                    Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
                    Yes I have seen this...and what happens sometimes is that their teeth actually get hung up the wrong way & they may need a little help to get them free. Usually they do it themselves, with a yawn, but not always.

                    As was already suggested, you might try reducing her vision by covering that part of the cage with paper, etc. & I hope it works... our pets did not evolve with us (& our cages) in mind...how weird it must be to see
                    out & be unable to go where they please? I don't think snakes are 'dumb' either...I think many people under-estimate them.
                    The paper seems to be working. She's ignoring the area where she was nose rubbing the most. She did let me check inside her mouth, to inspect her teeth, which look fine. Her nose is getting less and less bent every day, too.

                    I'd like to get her a larger house, but it's not an urgency at the moment. We recently moved to a new apartment, and the living situation is less than desirable so we have to move again soon. The financial expense of moving has to come first. Sophie will just be out of her habitat nearly every day until then...

                    Comment

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