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  1. #1
    Registered User KingWheatley's Avatar
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    My Corn Is Struggling with Starvation

    So maybe some of you remember my cute little ghost corn... Sora.

    A couple months ago I started noticing part of his food being barfed up. I thought perhaps it was a weird poo but when I took it to the vet they confirmed Sora was barfing up his food.

    He said that I should decrease the prey size a bit. Or keep downsizing until Sora digests properly.

    So for the next month or so I started feeding smaller. Smaller. Still the same thing kept happening. I got a weight scale and got super specific with the weights of the pinkies even.

    I returned to the vet and he told me I went too small now. "Far too small. It's odd he won't keep them down. Are you handling him a lot?"

    I hardly reach in there any more. I stopped changing his water out everyday to every other day. Change his paper towel bedding even less frequently. I even tried to extend feedings to every other week even.

    I haven't touched him as much as I could help... (accidentally bumping him when getting something that wasn't him out or something of the like)

    So he said try specifically baby mice at the Fuzzy stage (3-4 grams) no more no less. At that point it got hard to tell what size to give him because he's so skinny. He specifically told me to watch him eat. See how he swallows. Explained how he SHOULD eat and gave me hints to look for...

    Well so basically it's like he forgets he's eating it because he stops swallowing it and it's sitting there in his esophagus. Not even in his stomach. So I brought that up.

    So then came the questions of where I got the Corn... which breeder. And I explained the little mom/pop pet store I got him from... and he looked at me and said.

    "My best guess is that he was born out in the wild and found."

    But he's a "Ghost Corn?"

    Or, he said he has a birth defect preventing him from swallowing. It's common for animals, even humans, to have very weird mutations or defects due to inbreeding...

    Can someone please double check this Vet? In part I'm trying to help my little guy but I don't want there to be "nothing I can do."

    But I guess this is a huge heart heavy type of lesson to mind where you're getting your new pet buddy from...


    Herp Derp


  2. #2
    John1982's Avatar
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    It's important to really space out feedings, as well as downgrading size, when you're trying to overcome a regurge issue. You need to give them time to rebuild the gut bacteria that aid in digestion and if you feed too big or too often, it can easily become a slippery slope to death. If you're fellow is so weak he's having issues simply swallowing now, you'll probably need a bit of luck if he's to pull through. You should generally skip a meal or two after a regurge before feeding a smaller prey item and then give them plenty of time to digest and see how it goes. If all's well, you can usually get back on a normal routine after a couple of feeds. Since you're now dealing with a chronic regurge issue, you'll want to slowly build back up, keeping meals small and spaced out until you're sure his digestion is able to keep up with the intake. Sounds like your vet was on the right track with downsizing prey but other than that, it doesn't seem like he was very helpful. Wait 2-3 weeks and get some nutribac(probiotic for reptiles) to include with your next feeding. If he gets it down, don't feed again until he(hopefully) poops and/or another 2-3 weeks pass. After that, I'd keep prey small and meals every 10-14 days for a while. Work on getting his digestive system back on track and then you can start rebuilding his strength by slowly increasing prey size and feeding frequency. Make sure you have a proper temperature gradient to aid in digestion.

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  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran GenePirate's Avatar
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    You can always get a French gauge feeding tube (8 Fr/ch or 2.8 mm), a 5 mL syringe, and a small bag of Carnivore Care. That will keep him nourished til you find a better vet.

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  6. #4
    BPnet Lifer wolfy-hound's Avatar
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    I second what John said.


    Your vet probably should have had you hold off on feeding for long enough to let the corn's digestive tract recover, then had you feed a small prey item. If you are feeding him right after he's regurging(as in not waiting for a couple weeks), then it's like giving a human a burger right after they barfed from food poisoning. It's coming right back up.

    The nutribac stuff is supposed to be really good too.
    Theresa Baker
    No Legs and More
    Florida, USA
    "Stop being a wimpy monkey,; bare some teeth, steal some food and fling poo with the alphas. "

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  8. #5
    Registered User KingWheatley's Avatar
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    Re: My Corn Is Struggling with Starvation

    Quote Originally Posted by John1982 View Post
    It's important to really space out feedings, as well as downgrading size, when you're trying to overcome a regurge issue. You need to give them time to rebuild the gut bacteria that aid in digestion and if you feed too big or too often, it can easily become a slippery slope to death. If you're fellow is so weak he's having issues simply swallowing now, you'll probably need a bit of luck if he's to pull through. You should generally skip a meal or two after a regurge before feeding a smaller prey item and then give them plenty of time to digest and see how it goes. If all's well, you can usually get back on a normal routine after a couple of feeds. Since you're now dealing with a chronic regurge issue, you'll want to slowly build back up, keeping meals small and spaced out until you're sure his digestion is able to keep up with the intake. Sounds like your vet was on the right track with downsizing prey but other than that, it doesn't seem like he was very helpful. Wait 2-3 weeks and get some nutribac(probiotic for reptiles) to include with your next feeding. If he gets it down, don't feed again until he(hopefully) poops and/or another 2-3 weeks pass. After that, I'd keep prey small and meals every 10-14 days for a while. Work on getting his digestive system back on track and then you can start rebuilding his strength by slowly increasing prey size and feeding frequency. Make sure you have a proper temperature gradient to aid in digestion.
    Since I got him his poops look more like mini rabbit/deer and never seems all at once.

    I'll see how this last one stays down but hopefully he can hang in another couple weeks... he's so skinny though...


    Herp Derp


  9. #6
    bcr229's Avatar
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    Definitely have the vet show you how to tube-feed the carnivore care. You can mix it with a little more water than the instructions call for to make a slurry, and the extra water will help ensure your snake stays hydrated.

    Also has your vet done a fecal test for parasites and crypto? If not I would suggest one ASAP, especially since your snake came from a retailer.

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  11. #7
    Registered User KingWheatley's Avatar
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    My Corn Is Struggling with Starvation

    We tried but the tiny sample I could give him from paper towel bedding wasnít enough. He has a lot of tiny poops. The vet didnít find this at all odd since most of the presentable evidence came with urates.

    Corn snakes are normally hyper so this was supposedly normal.

    But since then heís stopped pooping entirely. Heís not absorbing anything.

    Unlike my Ball Python, the Corn is VERY skiddish. For sure. he was absolutely fine up until we moved and after that is when this all started happening.



    But small update: I got a type of reptile vitamin stuff that came recommended that I had direct access to. Itís made for boosting appetite but supposedly itís good for urgent care as well of starving reptiles, including snakes. Itís called Flukers Repti-boost. It came with a syringe.

    The Corn peed on me when I was trying to give it to him so I gave up shortly after giving him 2cc


    Herp Derp
    Last edited by KingWheatley; 09-25-2017 at 08:32 PM.


  12. #8
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    Can you please take your snake in for a second opinion. I mean, saying that a ghost was 'born in the wild' is a pretty clear indication that this person does NOT deal with snakes on the regular. Also, I hate to be a chicken little, but you're descibing signs similar to infection with Cryptosporidium serpentis... and crypto is seriously bad news. So please, please, please go to a different vet who specializes in reptiles.

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  14. #9
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    Any updates?

  15. #10
    Telling it like it is! Deborah's Avatar
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    I second spacing food and get a fecal regurge can be due to internal parasites especially the ones that keep re-occuring.

    When the vet talk about defect how did he establish that? Did he take an x-ray showing a mass or kink or did he just say that.

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