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  1. #21
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    Re: Feeding Aging Pythons

    Thanks so much for quick responses!

    I have tried several times to take videos but it happens so infrequently... I even set up a trail cam to record any movement overnight. Unfortunately the infrared reflected too strongly off of the glass enclosure! I then set it up at an oblique angle but did not catch anything of importance. I do have a very poor quality clip on my cell that I will try to figure out how to post (groan!!)

    I am already offering a mouse once a week but I am open to offering more frequent meals. I realize the jumbos are fatty but it feels so much more reassuring when she eats a bigger item! I am worried that if she chooses to only eat 22 meals a year large mice won't cut it?

    Sometimes the larges I am sent aren't very large...

  2. #22
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    Re: Feeding Aging Pythons

    Layne Labs does have an option now to choose the weight of certain prey items (for a fee). Is this worth pursuing? What weight range would be recommended?

  3. #23
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    Wow that's an old girl. You are doing right by her.

    I had an old snake who passed away recently. I have noticed a few minor changes as he got older, from strike/coil his food to just eating it as you hand it to him. I never had that problem that you described.

    If your snake is showing signs of not eating or other symptoms including lumps and bumps around the jaw area, something may be brewing in there and an x-ray will be needed to confirm what's going on. If you want to be extra cautious and take her in to the vet now, that's fine too. Understand that they might have to put her under just so to take the x-ray if she won't cooperate at the vet, and that in itself can be risky due to her age. And let's say they did find something, due to the location, there may be little you can do and again, putting her under may not be feasible. The best treatment I think would be antibiotics to stave off any potential infection from the little cut she made. Again you can wait and see or treat it preemptively.

    There is a free vet online chat in Chewy website. I don't know how it works but it's something. Also, there is a Facebook group where you can post questions to vets. Please note that only veterinarians are allowed to respond and comment on the posts. You are not allowed to bump or repost if they didn't get to your questions at first try. These veterinarians volunteer their time to help people with non-emergency situations.

    https://www.facebook.com/groups/3374...048/?ref=share

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  5. #24
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    Re: Feeding Aging Pythons

    Quote Originally Posted by Cheesenugget View Post
    ...There is a free vet online chat in Chewy website. I don't know how it works but it's something...
    Here's a link to that, but I don't know how much help they'd be with reptile medicine? If anyone tries it to find out, please let us all know?
    Note that you do need an account with Chewy to use this:

    https://www.chewy.com/app/content/connect-with-a-vet
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 03-23-2021 at 02:47 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  7. #25
    Registered User JacksReptiles's Avatar
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    Wow I am amazed you have had that animal for that long congrats! I wouldn't seperate her to feed her. I think its best to feed them in their regular enclosure. Do you keep the live mouse/mice in the same room for a long period of time before feeding? I know that moving the live prey to another room might help. Think about this when you first smell a new food that is in the room it smells great but when you have it in the room for a long period of time the smell goes away. I keep my rodents in the basement far away from my room upstairs. This way I can take the rodent to the room only when they are to be fed so the new smell is new. Does that make sense?
    Checkout my YouTube channel! I post Ball Python Morph Combo videos daily: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCXr...7cOR5pcCONzvtA

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  9. #26
    BPnet Senior Member EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding Aging Pythons

    Congratulations on your long lived BP. She’s beautiful! That’s a testament of the good care she’s obviously received. For such a mature snake she seems to be doing very well. I think you could actually cut back on her feedings. My pythons only eat every 2-4 weeks after their 3rd year, and even less during the winter months. Does she eat rats or do you only give her mice? I don’t feed any of my snakes outside their enclosures. I don’t see any upside to it.
    Last edited by EL-Ziggy; 03-23-2021 at 03:14 PM.
    3.2 Carpet Pythons, 1.1 Bullsnakes
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  11. #27
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    Re: Feeding Aging Pythons

    Quote Originally Posted by JacksReptiles View Post
    Wow I am amazed you have had that animal for that long congrats! I wouldn't seperate her to feed her. I think its best to feed them in their regular enclosure. Do you keep the live mouse/mice in the same room for a long period of time before feeding? I know that moving the live prey to another room might help. Think about this when you first smell a new food that is in the room it smells great but when you have it in the room for a long period of time the smell goes away. I keep my rodents in the basement far away from my room upstairs. This way I can take the rodent to the room only when they are to be fed so the new smell is new. Does that make sense?
    Totally makes sense but I don't raise my own feeders. I used to feed live or freshly killed but switched over to f/t years ago. I am really happy with it so far.

    When I bought my snake all those years ago it seemed the prevailing consensus was to feed in a separate container. Supposedly to prevent conditioning the snake to bite when the enclosure was opened. I wasn't so worried about that aspect since I handled my snake quite a bit but I did like that it kept the mess confined to an easily cleaned bucket.

    Now that she is older and seems to have lost one or more of her senses I AM feeding her in her enclosure where she is more comfortable.

  12. #28
    Registered User Hugsplox's Avatar
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    Re: Feeding Aging Pythons

    Quote Originally Posted by puddinck View Post
    When I bought my snake all those years ago it seemed the prevailing consensus was to feed in a separate container. Supposedly to prevent conditioning the snake to bite when the enclosure was opened. I wasn't so worried about that aspect since I handled my snake quite a bit but I did like that it kept the mess confined to an easily cleaned bucket.
    When I got my first ball python in 2008 this was the advice pet stores gave out too. Makes you wonder how many newer keepers back in the day had feeding issues because the shops were telling them to do this. Crazy to see how far the hobby has come in just 13 years!

    Anyway, just wanted to say congrats on 31 years!

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  14. #29
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    Re: Feeding Aging Pythons

    Quote Originally Posted by EL-Ziggy View Post
    Congratulations on your long lived BP. Sheís beautiful! Thatís a testament of the good care sheís obviously received. For such a mature snake she seems to be doing very well. I think you could actually cut back on her feedings. My pythons only eat every 2-4 weeks after their 3rd year, and even less during the winter months. Does she eat rats or do you only give her mice? I donít feed any of my snakes outside their enclosures. I donít see any upside to it.
    In years past I fed her in a separate enclosure mostly for cleanliness purposes. I'd feed her a mouse or mice, give her a quick rinse, thoroughly dry her off, and then leave her alone for a day or two. No mouse blood, mouse urine, or mouse feces on her or in her enclosure.

    Now that she doesn't seem to be able to pinpoint her prey well enough to strike I feed her in her enclosure. I just leave the mouse right in front of the doorway of her hide and hope she eats it instead of using it for a headrest.

    It is her choice to eat or not eat. I am worried that if I only offer her prey every other week or once a month that I may miss out on periods where she feels well enough to eat. I don't know that she feels bad but maybe she is experiencing some internal issues? Bloodwork would be great but as I mentioned earlier it is very difficult to find a true herp vet in my area. I would hate for some small animal practice to jab her 20 times trying to find a vein!

    I tried to switch over to rats years ago without success but our local feed store had limited sizes and availability. Maybe I gave up too soon? Now that I am purchasing f/t I could easily try again. Fuzzy or pup size? She no longer seems to be using heat or smell to find her prey only touch (sight?) so might be interesting experiment...

  15. #30
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    Re: Feeding Aging Pythons

    Quote Originally Posted by puddinck View Post
    In years past I fed her in a separate enclosure mostly for cleanliness purposes. I'd feed her a mouse or mice, give her a quick rinse, thoroughly dry her off, and then leave her alone for a day or two. No mouse blood, mouse urine, or mouse feces on her or in her enclosure.

    Now that she doesn't seem to be able to pinpoint her prey well enough to strike I feed her in her enclosure. I just leave the mouse right in front of the doorway of her hide and hope she eats it instead of using it for a headrest.

    It is her choice to eat or not eat. I am worried that if I only offer her prey every other week or once a month that I may miss out on periods where she feels well enough to eat. I don't know that she feels bad but maybe she is experiencing some internal issues? Bloodwork would be great but as I mentioned earlier it is very difficult to find a true herp vet in my area. I would hate for some small animal practice to jab her 20 times trying to find a vein!

    I tried to switch over to rats years ago without success but our local feed store had limited sizes and availability. Maybe I gave up too soon? Now that I am purchasing f/t I could easily try again. Fuzzy or pup size? She no longer seems to be using heat or smell to find her prey only touch (sight?) so might be interesting experiment...
    Clean bloodwork helps but won't give you a full picture. My snake had clean bloodwork even though he had a tumor that was slowly killing him. He also ate until his last day. In my experience, all of my reptiles that were gravely ill ate until they passed so appetite is not always a sign to determine how your snake feels. It does help when it's obvious, meaning it had gotten so sick it can no longer accept food. Reptile medicine is complicated.

    Based on her age, just keep an eye on her. I would recommend bloodwork if it's a senior dog or cat, or there are signs that there is something wrong with her kidneys, ie she is peeing a lot more than usual. Kidney failure is common in old animals, it's just nature. I would physically inspect her from head to tail every other week to feel for anything weird. Watch her mouth closely to make sure there is no sign of infection. A big red flag would be she is eating consistently (proper sized feeder) and loses weight (even more alarming if she loses weight drastically in a short period of time). That means something else is robbing her of nutrients, potentially cancer (most likely) or parasites.

    She is doing really good now so enjoy whatever time you can have with her.
    Last edited by Cheesenugget; 03-23-2021 at 08:10 PM.

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