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  • [Feeding Issue] ok I need help, refusal 2 eat

    I got an albino rtb (22") just over 3mounths ago. She was eating great till she got a minor respitory infection. I immediately took her 2 the vet. She had an abscess in her mouth, after 2 weeks of baytril and swabing her mouth with betadine, vet said she is fine. 2 weeks after all that she doesnt want anything 2do with food. The temps and all that are good. Its been a month since she has ate and looks like she has lost some weight. I dont want 2 mess with her cuz shes had enough stress but should I try force feeding or what.

  • #2
    Re: ok I need help, refusal 2 eat

    I would not force feed yet

    if she has lost allot of weight and you normally feed her F/T...but now she is not eating

    Give her something with a heart beat(live) and feed her/him a pinky Rat nothing bigger....if she still wont take the pinky..try the smallest hopper mouse you can find(live).....The movement of the pinky just might not be stimulating her....and the movement of the hopper just might do it...

    if this fails weigh her and call your vet...see what he says....

    then you can force feed(If you know how)...

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    • #3
      Re: ok I need help, refusal 2 eat

      I dont feed her live, but the other night I left a small mouse in her enclosure overnight.(alive) it just ran arround, she did nothing. but ill try something smaller. I can see her get stress as she thinks shes getting more meds when I open her enclosure. Should I handle her so she realises im not coming to pry her mouth open anymore?

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      • #4
        Re: ok I need help, refusal 2 eat

        Have you tried lowering the food size? I wouldn't force feed the snake at all, missing one or two meals definitly doesn't warrant doing that.

        I don't have many ideas other than wait and reduce the size , try a pinky if nothing else, but definitly don't force feed it right now.

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        • #5
          Re: ok I need help, refusal 2 eat

          I wouldn't force feed at the moment this is what I would do.

          Firstly leave her 4 or 5 days with no disturbances at all, to give her time to settle. Then get a small tub, and by small I mean just about small enough for her to curl up into. Put her in there with a nice warm dead mouse, a couple of sizes down from what she was taking previous to the problems. Obviously make sure there are air holes for her. Put the tub somewhere warm and cover it with a towel so that she has complete security, then leaver her for 24 hours.

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          • #6
            Re: ok I need help, refusal 2 eat

            Ive tried the box thing, she doesnt acknowledge the food at all, I guess I just cover up her enclosure and giver another week and try again. How long can she go without eating and still be healthy @ about 22" L.?

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            • #7
              Re: ok I need help, refusal 2 eat

              OK,

              First of all, you need to "recheck" your temps. You've said they're "alright", but you didn't mention what they are. Since your boa got a RI, it's a pretty easy guess that "something" was "off". The main causes of RI's in Boas is either exposure to a sick animal or improper temps.

              You also haven't said what type of enclosure you keep your boa in. If it's a glass aquarium, those are harder to keep proper temps on. It's also harder to give them the privacy they need, especially after recovering from an illness. If it's a standard "professional" reptile cage, one of those plastic ones made especially for snakes/reptiles, those are much easier to keep at proper temps. They generally give the snake more of a sense of security. Unlike an aquarium that totally open. Do you use a CHE(ceramic heat emitter) or an UTH(under tank heater)?? Does your boa have proper hides?

              Being given Baytril and having it's mouth swabbed, daily, is a very stressful experience for a young boa. So, you have to "assume" your boa has been tramatized. Of course, it will be "leary" of eating. Giving it a live mouse??? That's not the best thing. After having an infection/abscess in it's mouth, the "biggest" food item it should be getting is a "live pinky mouse". They don't run all over the cage, they just sort of lay there. However, the heat and slight movement of this small food item will "eventually" entice your boa to eat. It could take several tries to get it to eat. "Force feeding is not the way to get your boa to eat!". If swabbing it's mouth out has tramatized it, just imagine what shoving a food item down it's throat will do to it!?!!??!?!?!?!?

              Just give it time. It was a good eater prior to it's illness, so it "should" go back to eating.

              If you can't get your boa to eat, within a reasonable amount of time, then you need to take it back to the vet. Your vet has the knowlege on how to properly give your boa nourishment, if it needs to be "helped" to eat.

              "NEVER" attempt to force feed your snake. You can actually kill your boa if you do it the wrong way. Your vet, if he or she is a reptile vet, will know how to go about giving your boa what it needs.

              Good luck with your boa. I hope it gets back to eating soon.

              BTW Pictures are always helpful. That way we can better see how "skinny" your boa is getting. That way, we can better advise you on whether or not it's time to take it back to the vet.

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              • #8
                Re: ok I need help, refusal 2 eat

                Just give her time...... Dont handle her.... let her recover.. and definitely don't try forcefeeding.... It's common for snakes to lose their appetites after a course of antibiotics.... It does a number on their digestive tract by wiping out lots of normal flora.....

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                • #9
                  Re: ok I need help, refusal 2 eat

                  Temps in daytime range from 85-88 on her warm side, humidity averages around 45-65%. She is in a glass aquarium with plexi covering 2/3 of the top with a screen lid. She has a uv light and @ night infared. no uth on this enclosure. Its not very big, but its big enough for her. Night temp is 80-83 on her warm side. I cant take pics without disturbing her as she is buried in the substrate(aspen). The reason why she got the infection- she was next to a window that my gf left open over night (i didnt know it was open). I mover her to prevent future accidents. But as soon as she comes out ill take some pics, thanx for all the info guys. Ill keep intouch.

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                  • #10
                    Re: ok I need help, refusal 2 eat

                    85-88 warm side... this actually what the cold(ambient) cold side should be at...Now you need a basking side of about 90 - 92 put her hide on this side and leave her for a couple days...also cover three sides of the aquarium for more privacy...

                    this way in the future if there is a drop on the cold(ambient side) then she/he will have the almost guaranteed 90-92 basking side...

                    Also its very important that you are taking the cold side temps about 1-2 inches from the ground...and the basking spot needs to be read on the ground....

                    also with such a fluctuation of 20% humidity..(45 to 65%) make sure you are misting her lightly everyday....

                    I think if you do all these things and just give her time to recover...she should come along

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                    • #11
                      Re: ok I need help, refusal 2 eat

                      Originally posted by SWOMPDONKEY View Post
                      Temps in daytime range from 85-88 on her warm side, humidity averages around 45-65%. She is in a glass aquarium with plexi covering 2/3 of the top with a screen lid. She has a uv light and @ night infared. no uth on this enclosure. Its not very big, but its big enough for her. Night temp is 80-83 on her warm side. I cant take pics without disturbing her as she is buried in the substrate(aspen). The reason why she got the infection- she was next to a window that my gf left open over night (i didnt know it was open). I mover her to prevent future accidents. But as soon as she comes out ill take some pics, thanx for all the info guys. Ill keep intouch.
                      Yeah,
                      She's too cold. As mentioned, she needs a warm end of 90/92 degrees. A warm end of 88 degrees will work, as long as it's a "constant" 88 degrees. The cool end should be about 82/85 range. The UV and Infraed lights..... Not the best to use. A ceramic heat emitter is a better choice. You should have a thermostat to make sure you maintain the proper temps. You didn't mention how big the aquarium is, but a 20 long is the "minimum" size you should have. That way you can insure proper temps on the warm and cool side. The humidity should be fine as long as you mist daily. As for getting sick from a "single night" of cold temps... It takes more than a single night. Chances are the lower temps you keep her at caused the problems. The open window that one night probably just made the symptoms more obvious.

                      Keeping a boa near a window is never a good idea. If the window is left open and it gets cold... Your boa will get too cold. If it's a sunny day and the sun shines in on the cage... You can litterally cook your boa. This can happen very easily if you have them in a glass aquarium.

                      Anyway, you need to get the temps up. Then give her a couple of weeks to get hungry. Then offer her a "live pinky" mouse. If she takes it, offer a frozen/thawed for her next feeding. Once she's taking food regularly, then you can up the size of her food. Just take it slowly. She's had a tramatic experience and she needs to recover in her own time.

                      If she continues to refuse food.... for more than another 4 weeks. It's time to take her back to the vet. She may not need any assistance, as far as the vet "feeding" her, but a second opinion from a quailfied professional is always the best way to go.

                      I hope your girl has a speedy recovery and is back to eating soon.

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                      • #12
                        Re: ok I need help, refusal 2 eat

                        I have a ceramic. Ill use it tonight. I mist her cage regularly, I have a rainbow boa so I know about the misting. She was trying to get out of her enclosure so I let her out to take pics.
                        Attached Files

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                        • #13
                          Re: ok I need help, refusal 2 eat

                          It wont let me post good pics, it has to be low quality I guess
                          Attached Files

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                          • #14
                            Re: ok I need help, refusal 2 eat

                            and why would a ceramic heat emitter be better than a infared bulb? (ill try to upload a pic from before she got sick. she was more fuller, her skin didnt "crinkle" up like it does when shes curled. She doesnt have parasites, none of my boas do, or have ever had a problem before.

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                            • #15
                              Re: ok I need help, refusal 2 eat

                              Originally posted by SWOMPDONKEY View Post
                              and why would a ceramic heat emitter be better than a infared bulb? (ill try to upload a pic from before she got sick. she was more fuller, her skin didnt "crinkle" up like it does when shes curled. She doesnt have parasites, none of my boas do, or have ever had a problem before.
                              She's a nice looking Albino.

                              Is she getting ready to shed?? That "could" be part of the skin "crinkle".

                              As for the ceramic heat emitter being better than the UV and infared bulb. Well, those give off "light". I don't know if Albino's "eyes" are sensitve to different types of light, but they could be. I believe that UV and Infrared lights "could" be harmful to their eyes. So, that's why I said the CHE would be better for her. I've never tried using those lights to see if it would, over time, affect their eyes. I don't plan on testing the theory either. I do know that if we, humans" look into the light given off by those bulbs, it can damage our eyes.

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