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  1. #1
    Registered User Aedryan Methyus's Avatar
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    Dexter Regurgitated Rats Twice This Month

    So, my 2016 male Matrix Het T+ boy - Dexter had been looking like he was going to explode for about a month leading up until 12/09. He ate on 12/04 and the next day I discovered that he had regurgitated the rat. On 12/09 he finally exploded in his tub. It literally looked like a Saint Bernard took a dump and pee'd in there! lol Prior to that he had defecated on 9/14 and 10/23... He ate again on 12/11 without any problems. This past Monday on 12/18 he ate again and today I discovered that he regurgitated the partially digested rat again. Such a lovely sight and smell!

    All temperatures and humidity levels are perfect... I never handle my snakes on feeding day or for at least 24 - 48 hours after they eat. Other than that I handle them every day/every other day for just a few minutes each. However, right at feeding time on 12/18 I discovered that Dexter had decided to flood his tub with pee. So, I immediately placed him in a fresh clean tub then I fed him. Do you guys have any idea why he would be regurgitating like this all of the sudden?
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  2. #2
    Sometimes It Hurts... PitOnTheProwl's Avatar
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    I would wait 3 to 4 weeks minimum before trying to feed after any regurg.
    I would also double check husbandry.

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  4. #3
    Registered User Aedryan Methyus's Avatar
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    Thanks, Pit! I will give him 3 weeks before feeding him again and see how it goes...
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  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran cchardwick's Avatar
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    I had one of my females regurgitate a rat, I followed up the next day with another and she was OK. I figured she may have ingested coconut husk substrate along with the rat, it was a regurge probably an hour after feeding.

    I have another ball python I've been struggling with, he is a male Albino Pied. He regurgitated almost all of his rats in the last couple months. I'm guessing since it's breeding season he is just getting moved around too much and weekend feedings followed by a breeding rotation is just too much for him. It's also possible that his double recessive genes are making him susceptible to it as well. This week I decided to give him an extra day before moving him to a female and I made sure to move him as little as possible when moving to the female tub. The funny thing is that he regures several days after the feeding so most of the rat is digested. He seems to be getting a bit weak and thin so I keep feeding him hoping that minimal handling will do the trick. If he regurges a couple more times I may just take him out of the female rotation for a month or so and not feed him at all for awhile.
    Last edited by cchardwick; 12-20-2017 at 08:07 PM.

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  6. #5
    Sometimes It Hurts... PitOnTheProwl's Avatar
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    Re: Dexter Regurgitated Rats Twice This Month

    Quote Originally Posted by cchardwick View Post
    I had one of my females regurgitate a rat, I followed up the next day with another and she was OK. I figured she may have ingested coconut husk substrate along with the rat, it was a regurge probably an hour after feeding.

    I have another ball python I've been struggling with, he is a male Albino Pied. He regurgitated almost all of his rats in the last couple months. I'm guessing since it's breeding season he is just getting moved around too much and weekend feedings followed by a breeding rotation is just too much for him. It's also possible that his double recessive genes are making him susceptible to it as well. This week I decided to give him an extra day before moving him to a female and I made sure to move him as little as possible when moving to the female tub. The funny thing is that he regures several days after the feeding so most of the rat is digested. He seems to be getting a bit weak and thin so I keep feeding him hoping that minimal handling will do the trick. If he regurges a couple more times I may just take him out of the female rotation for a month or so and not feed him at all for awhile.
    I cannot believe what I just read?!?!?
    Regurgitation is not normal or caused by genetics.
    As an ethical breeder you should be more concerned with the health of your animals NOT the potential profit.
    HE SHOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN OUT OF ROTATION AFTER THE FIRST TIME!!!
    Wanting to be a new and coming up breeder, actions like these are suicide for your business.
    Ethics always comes first.
    Your post shines a light you shouldn't have wanted.

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  8. #6
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    Re: Dexter Regurgitated Rats Twice This Month

    Quote Originally Posted by cchardwick View Post
    I have another ball python I've been struggling with, he is a male Albino Pied. He regurgitated almost all of his rats in the last couple months. I'm guessing since it's breeding season he is just getting moved around too much and weekend feedings followed by a breeding rotation is just too much for him. It's also possible that his double recessive genes are making him susceptible to it as well. This week I decided to give him an extra day before moving him to a female and I made sure to move him as little as possible when moving to the female tub. The funny thing is that he regures several days after the feeding so most of the rat is digested. He seems to be getting a bit weak and thin so I keep feeding him hoping that minimal handling will do the trick. If he regurges a couple more times I may just take him out of the female rotation for a month or so and not feed him at all for awhile.
    Dude, this snake needs a vet visit, a month ago. In the meantime you need to stop breeding everything in case he had something contagious like parasites or crypto that was causing the regurges, you can't risk that being spread around any more than it already may have been.
    Last edited by bcr229; 12-20-2017 at 08:52 PM.

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  10. #7
    BPnet Lifer Kara's Avatar
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    Since your snake has regurgitated twice in a relatively short period of time, it would be beneficial to give him even longer than 3 weeks before attempting another meal. Give him a minimum of 4 weeks, and you may even want to consider 6 for a species with such a slow metabolism.

    When you do offer food again, offer prey that is one size smaller than what you usually feed, and supplement with Nutribac ( http://www.mzrproducts.com/) to help re-establish beneficial gut flora. You can also try adding Nutribac to his water, or syringe it to him orally if you're comfortable doing so, during this resting period prior to offering food again. When a snake regurgitates, it throws positive gut flora out of whack. When the snake is fed too soon before that bacteria has a chance to repopulate, the snake will be more prone to regurgitation again, and subsequent feeding attempts can easily tip the scales into a negative situation.

    It's an issue that is usually easy to sort out with some time and TLC, but it's also a process that can't be rushed. Also, not sure whether you are using an ambient-only approach to keeping your bloods/STPs. If so, you may want to consider adding a moderate basking spot of 86 degrees (F) to give him a little boost in that department as well.

    Good luck - hope it is resolved soon & doesn't progress into a chronic issue. Regurgitation is not something commonly seen in bloods/STPs, but it can really do a number on them.
    Last edited by Kara; 12-20-2017 at 09:12 PM. Reason: typo
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  12. #8
    Registered User Aedryan Methyus's Avatar
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    Re: Dexter Regurgitated Rats Twice This Month

    Quote Originally Posted by Kara View Post
    Since your snake has regurgitated twice in a relatively short period of time, it would be beneficial to give him even longer than 3 weeks before attempting another meal. Give him a minimum of 4 weeks, and you may even want to consider 6 for a species with such a slow metabolism.

    When you do offer food again, offer prey that is one size smaller than what you usually feed, and supplement with Nutribac ( http://www.mzrproducts.com/) to help re-establish beneficial gut flora. You can also try adding Nutribac to his water, or syringe it to him orally if you're comfortable doing so, during this resting period prior to offering food again. When a snake regurgitates, it throws positive gut flora out of whack. When the snake is fed too soon before that bacteria has a chance to repopulate, the snake will be more prone to regurgitation again, and subsequent feeding attempts can easily tip the scales into a negative situation.

    It's an issue that is usually easy to sort out with some time and TLC, but it's also a process that can't be rushed. Also, not sure whether you are using an ambient-only approach to keeping your bloods/STPs. If so, you may want to consider adding a moderate basking spot of 86 degrees (F) to give him a little boost in that department as well.

    Good luck - hope it is resolved soon & doesn't progress into a chronic issue. Regurgitation is not something commonly seen in bloods/STPs, but it can really do a number on them.
    Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it. A good snake breeder friend of mine here in Pittsburgh also advised me to not feed him for at least 4 weeks, too. So, i'm definitely going to wait at least that long. He also suggested that I replace his water with purple Pedialyte for a few weeks to help him get his flora built back up. Do you guys think that would be alright?

    The ambient temperature in my snake room is 75 degrees 24/7 and at the moment the ambient humidity in the room is 52%, but it has been more like 56% for the past week. They all have large water dishes in their tubs as well. All of my Bloods and Short Tails hot spots are reading 85 degrees and 75 degrees on the cool side. If I turn my thermostat up even just one more degree for these guys, most of them head straight to the cool side and plunge into their water dishes. They seem to get all fired up and bitey, too! lol
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  13. #9
    BPnet Lifer Kara's Avatar
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    Re: Dexter Regurgitated Rats Twice This Month

    Quote Originally Posted by Aedryan Methyus View Post
    Thanks for the info. I really appreciate it. A good snake breeder friend of mine here in Pittsburgh also advised me to not feed him for at least 4 weeks, too. So, i'm definitely going to wait at least that long. He also suggested that I replace his water with purple Pedialyte for a few weeks to help him get his flora built back up. Do you guys think that would be alright?

    The ambient temperature in my snake room is 75 degrees 24/7 and at the moment the ambient humidity in the room is 52%, but it has been more like 56% for the past week. They all have large water dishes in their tubs as well. All of my Bloods and Short Tails hot spots are reading 85 degrees and 75 degrees on the cool side. If I turn my thermostat up even just one more degree for these guys, most of them head straight to the cool side and plunge into their water dishes. They seem to get all fired up and bitey, too! lol
    4 weeks minimum and a small meal would be a good starting off point. You can use Pedialyte to help re-hydrate the snake, but keep in mind that it only offers electrolyte support. While this is beneficial in helping the snake return to sufficient hydration post-regurge, it doesn't directly impact the rebuilding of positive gut flora in the same manner that probiotics (i.e. Nutribac) do. Both are helpful, but only one provides support where it is needed most. If you do offer Pedialyte, keep an eye on Dexter's overall condition to ensure he isn't becoming dehydrated by avoiding drinking it. These snakes can be *exceedingly* picky and stubborn about their water sources, so it's just something else to watch for in the process.

    The purpose of waiting so long to feed again after a regurgitation event is to allow the snake to recover that gut flora, and avoid the eventual "point of no return" if the snake continues to regurgitate. Using probiotics is an additional layer of support in this regard - yes, the snake will likely recover without them given enough time, but if the animal regurgitates again, you're back at square one on a much shorter clock. When you do feed again, give him a week off from handling. While 24-48 hours is usually fine, in a case like Dexter's it is helpful to minimize stress as much as possible. Small meals, minimal handling, 2 weeks between feedings until he has kept at least 4-6 meals down with no issue, and then a return to normal feeding schedule should be okay (knock on wood).

    It sounds like you have an established thermal gradient, although ambient is a bit cooler than what may be optimal on a long-term basis. Bloods & STPs are definitely quirky when it comes to temperature - striking that balance between warm enough & too warm in a situation like this can be tricky. I'm sure you've already double-checked everything with a temp gun, but if not it wouldn't hurt to do so in an effort to rule out reasons why he regurgitated in the first place.

    Again, best of luck in returning him to health. Regurgitations are sucky things, and it is always heartbreaking when a beloved animal isn't at 100%. Fingers crossed!
    Kara L. Norris
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  15. #10
    Registered User ckuhn003's Avatar
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    Re: Dexter Regurgitated Rats Twice This Month

    Quote Originally Posted by Kara View Post
    Since your snake has regurgitated twice in a relatively short period of time, it would be beneficial to give him even longer than 3 weeks before attempting another meal. Give him a minimum of 4 weeks, and you may even want to consider 6 for a species with such a slow metabolism.

    When you do offer food again, offer prey that is one size smaller than what you usually feed, and supplement with Nutribac ( http://www.mzrproducts.com/) to help re-establish beneficial gut flora. You can also try adding Nutribac to his water, or syringe it to him orally if you're comfortable doing so, during this resting period prior to offering food again. When a snake regurgitates, it throws positive gut flora out of whack. When the snake is fed too soon before that bacteria has a chance to repopulate, the snake will be more prone to regurgitation again, and subsequent feeding attempts can easily tip the scales into a negative situation.

    It's an issue that is usually easy to sort out with some time and TLC, but it's also a process that can't be rushed. Also, not sure whether you are using an ambient-only approach to keeping your bloods/STPs. If so, you may want to consider adding a moderate basking spot of 86 degrees (F) to give him a little boost in that department as well.

    Good luck - hope it is resolved soon & doesn't progress into a chronic issue. Regurgitation is not something commonly seen in bloods/STPs, but it can really do a number on them.
    Great information Kara. How long do you recommend using a product like Nutribac? My BP had some regurgitation issues w/ the introduction of a new prey (rat pup) and I used this product for the next the next two feedings (smaller mice) but I wasn't sure how long to keep using it. Wasn't sure if it was a one time dosage or continual use.

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