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  • [Feeding Issue] Regurgitated Rats - NASTY!!!!

    Ok, so I had the "privilege" of cleaning up a regurgitated rat yesterday.

    First off, I had to where a **** paint respirator (like the real ones) just to get with 15 feet of it. That is THE WORST SMELL I have ever smelled in my 34 years of life. I emptied a bottle of smell good stuff and lit candles and I still couldn't get rid of that stench in the house yesterday. Just straight up nasty.

    Satan himself couldn't produce Poo and vomit mixed that would compare to how horrific that stench was.

    Ok...lol...now that I have vented lets get to the question!

    She ate the rat almost a week earlier. I have been feeding her the same size rats for about a year now and I think this one may have been a bit too big. I buy what I always do, I think maybe this one just weighed more than past rats.

    Normally after she sucks them down, she has the lump and it settles after about a day. For whatever reason, it didn't settle and I noticed how bloated she looked. I was worried this might happen. Well it did.

    What is protocol after something like this happens? I've never had this happen and don't even know what to postulate or ponder or do. Do you wait days,weeks before feeding again? Should I be concerned?

    After I gave her a bath and put her back in the enclosure, she went straight for the water dish and I watched her drink up a a lot of water for about 10-15 minutes. I think she was like washing her mouth and rinsing her throat because of the acids I assume.

    I can't believe she didn't pass out and die having to smell that nastiness in her enclosure!![emoji854]

    Short tail Bolivian, 4 years old if everyone's wondering.



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    Jason
    0.1 Bolivian BCA-Granite
    1.0 S. Brazilian BCA-Flare

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  • #2
    Re: Regurgitated Rats - NASTY!!!!

    Don't feed for 2 weeks minimum. A month would be safe. She needs time to build up more stomach acid. Then feed her a size or two smaller than normal just to let her get used to it again. Up to your judgment on how much smaller you should go.

    How long ago did she poop? When Buddy didn't poop for almost 3 weeks, I was concerned about feeding him because it looked like there wouldn't be any place for the food to go if he didn't poo. lol

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    • #3
      Re: Regurgitated Rats - NASTY!!!!

      Protocol: do not offer any food for at least 3 weeks, to give her stomach time to regenerate her digestive enzymes & proper hydration, otherwise she'll regurge again (most likely) & it's very bad for her, never mind
      your breathing, LOL. Seriously, multiple regurges can kill a snake, so be patient & wait a good 3 weeks, and feed only a small rat...and I mean only a SMALL rat (or even just a weanling rat).

      The rat you fed her may have been too big, too old (going bad already) or had some other contamination that caused this...or all of the above. Consider trying a different source for feeders, not all are good quality.
      And don't feed such big meals, it's not a contest & many snakes are being over-fed on overly-large & fatty old breeder-rodents which are hard to digest & poor nutrition for the snake. You owe her an apology...

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      • #4
        Re: Regurgitated Rats - NASTY!!!!

        Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
        The rat you fed her may have been too big, too old (going bad already) or had some other contamination that caused this...or all of the above. Consider trying a different source for feeders, not all are good quality.
        And don't feed such big meals, it's not a contest & many snakes are being over-fed on overly-large & fatty old breeder-rodents which are hard to digest & poor nutrition for the snake. You owe her an apology...
        The size she has been eating is just bigger than the girth as the care guide recommends. Haven't had any issues for last 4 years.

        Ever since she has been eating these bigger guys, I only feed her once a month as to not over feed.

        Is it better to do 2 smaller meals in a month vs the meal that fits her girth?

        I wasn't aware that the older rats were not good on the nutrition.


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        Jason
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        • #5
          Re: Regurgitated Rats - NASTY!!!!

          Another reason she may have upchucked this meal is that she's going into shed...you might watch and see (just to help answer the question of why this happened?). I assume you checked the cage heat also?
          I have to agree with you that a rat that's been digested for a week & then 'shared' is as gross as smells come....LOL!

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          • #6
            Re: Regurgitated Rats - NASTY!!!!

            Originally posted by Noelle7206 View Post
            Another reason she may have upchucked this meal is that she's going into shed...you might watch and see (just to help answer the question of why this happened?). I assume you checked the cage heat also?
            I have to agree with you that a rat that's been digested for a week & then 'shared' is as gross as smells come....LOL!
            She just finished up a shed this past weekend so I don't think that's it.

            I forgot to answer the poop question. She pooped earlier yesterday morning (partially) because it wasn't that much. She pooped a little more during her bath....which is normal for her in warm water. Never fails.


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            Jason
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            • #7
              Re: Regurgitated Rats - NASTY!!!!

              You might also try adding snake 'pro-biotics' (like *Bene-Bac reptile*) to her next meal, it should help. The easy way to add a powdered substance like this to a prey item is to pry open the rodent's mouth and add the
              powder into the oral cavity, then close the rodent's mouth...your snake won't know the difference. (sprinkling in ON the outside of a moist dead rodent is ok too, but most of it falls off by the time it's swallowed)

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              • #8
                Re: Regurgitated Rats - NASTY!!!!

                Agreed on the probiotic. You can find NutriBAC for sale online at TheBeanFarm.com.

                I would wait 4 weeks before feeding again and offer a small weanling. Wait 3-4 weeks, offer another small weanling, and if that goes ok then go back to small rats.

                Double-check your temps as well, if a thermostat failed and your snake isn't warm enough to digest that can cause a regurge. Similarly I've found that my boas will avoid areas that are too warm (and for some, even 92*F is "too warm"), so if you have an overheating UTH and your snake has no other heat source, that's also a problem.

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                • #9
                  Re: Regurgitated Rats - NASTY!!!!

                  Good point on the possibility of the UTH being TOO hot, bcr_229! Here's hoping there is no hurry to size up future meals either, I'm pretty sure "once was enough" for the OP, ROFL!

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                  • #10
                    Re: Regurgitated Rats - NASTY!!!!

                    Just throwing in with what has already been stated. Wait a long time, feed smaller items for a couple/three feedings. I thought I was going to lose my Arab male, he regurged twice and by following those protocols, he made it through.

                    Also, double and triple check heat as improper temps will trigger a regurge easily. Good luck and keep us posted.
                    http://berkeleyknebel.wix.com/mississippimorphs

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                    • #11
                      Regurgitated Rats - NASTY!!!!

                      Originally posted by bcr_229 View Post
                      Double-check your temps as well, if a thermostat failed and your snake isn't warm enough to digest that can cause a regurge. Similarly I've found that my boas will avoid areas that are too warm (and for some, even 92*F is "too warm"), so if you have an overheating UTH and your snake has no other heat source, that's also a problem.
                      Little update, after the re-gurge I had to throw away the tub I had her in because it was just nasty.

                      I put her back in her enclosure until I could find time to get a new tub. During her time in the enclosure, I fed her a small rat (almost 4 weeks after incident). She took it down fine and kept it down for several days. She started "rubbing again" on stuff in enclosure because her skin still irritated from unknown issue. I obviously went and got new tub right away and set it up.

                      I had her UTH on a timer the first time I moved her to a tub because it was the only way I could control the temp properly without a thermostat. (the one I have in current enclosure is wired into the cabinet and it's too much to rip it all out to use on her tub for a temporary situation.) I basically set timer for small amount of time on and same amount of time off. Allowing the pad to heat up then turn off to cool down.

                      before I placed her in the new tub setup, I plugged everything in and started to do heat gun readings on the UTH to check temps etc. everything appeared to be just right. I was getting readings of high 80's directly on the pad at its peak.

                      I left for work next morning and temps were good. I got home and the ambient temps were 88 in the tub, which is really warm considering the room temp is 72.

                      when I did the heat gun over the UTH I was getting readings of mid to high 90's....she was not on the side the UTH was, because it was obviously too hot. I obviously removed her right away.

                      I immediately remembered the issue of regurgitation and this post about heat being too much. I also recalled, that I never used a heat gun to monitor the surface temps of UTH (the first time I moved her to the tub, before the re-gurge).

                      I was wondering why the heat would jump up like that when I had it on a timer. And I monitored the heat before putting her in there to make sure I didn't screw this up.

                      The tub is laying in our living room in a corner on the floor covered up. After I took her out I checked the timer and It was actually OFF when I got that reading in the 90's.....

                      I started thinking about it and realized that the plastic tub and the carpet with padding underneath was actually trapping and retaining heat. Over time, this would cause the "base temp" to increase every few hours and get warmer and warmer as time goes on. I moved the tub and could feel the floor having a very warm feel to it confirming this thought.

                      I made quite a few adjustments on the timer doubling the amount of "off time" and decreasing the "on time" allowing the retained heat from the carpet below to escape more.

                      I am very happy to report that the ambient temps are now around 74-78 constantly and the UTH is only reading about 89 as its hottest point. I check the temps several times a day now to make sure I don't have another issue like this until I can get her back in the enclosure again.

                      All that to say: I think the regurgitation was a direct result of the improper temps for sure. I was not being anal about the temps over time and I wasn't using the heat gun to measure the first time around, thinking I had everything "about right". I can honestly say I did not after this experience.

                      It most likely had nothing to do with the rats being too big or contaminated. As I have said before, she has been eating same size rats for many moons and I have always gotten them from the same place.

                      Love this forum.

                      True lesson learned on this! Thank you very much for this input and the whole situation seems to make perfect sense now.

                      Also good report is that she has kept that small rat down now for almost 2 weeks and has been doing rather well!

                      [MENTION=19219]bcr_229[/MENTION]

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                      Jason
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                      • #12
                        Re: Regurgitated Rats - NASTY!!!!

                        So glad to hear you've got it figured out. Just goes to show you why snakes MUST have different temperatures to thermo-regulate themselves. Only THEY know how their digestion is going, what they need & when.
                        It used to puzzle me why I'd see snakes that I'd just fed actually preferring the cool side at times, but obviously, too much heat is as bad as too little. And glad you realized that heat builds up (even if you didn't intend
                        to "insulate" the cage) as that could have resulted in tragedy (like your snake injured from excessive heat, or even a fire).

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                        • #13
                          Re: Regurgitated Rats - NASTY!!!!

                          Originally posted by thesignguy21 View Post
                          I was wondering why the heat would jump up like that when I had it on a timer.
                          Because a timer doesn't shut it off when it reaches a certain temp. The UTH will continue to heat up until the timer shuts it off.
                          Originally posted by thesignguy21 View Post
                          It most likely had nothing to do with the rats being too big or contaminated.
                          I was gonna say that I don't think size was the issue. It didn't sound like you were feeding obscenely large.
                          Originally posted by thesignguy21 View Post
                          Also good report is that she has kept that small rat down now for almost 2 weeks and has been doing rather well!
                          Good to hear!


                          -Sean in NoCal
                          “Americanism means the virtues of courage, honor, justice, truth, sincerity, and hardihood – the virtues that made America.”
                          -Teddy Roosevelt.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Regurgitated Rats - NASTY!!!!

                            I personally think they rat was spoiled. All of my snakes have eaten stuff that made them look like they ate a football and then they slowly slither into their warm hides. A couple days later and the lump is gone and they are back out. Your tub definitely wasn't too cold as it was dangerously too hot actually so again I think it was a bad rat. Anyways, good to hear she ate and held it down.

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                            • #15
                              Re: Regurgitated Rats - NASTY!!!!

                              Originally posted by Pandorasdad View Post
                              Because a timer doesn't shut it off when it reaches a certain temp. The UTH will continue to heat up until the timer shuts it off.
                              Replace the timer with a thermostat so your UTH doesn't overheat again.

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