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  1. #1
    BPnet Veteran Spoons's Avatar
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    Brought home a severely underweight BP baby. Please help me get her back on track

    So I went to a big box pet store today. And, like I always do, I looked at the BPs. There were seven of them in the tank, and all looked okay except one. She was lying on the Aspen in the middle of the tank. Her whole body is deflated, she's wrinkly with sagging skin. I grabbed an employee and the manager and pointed it out, and they explained the feeding protocol and what they were doing about it (not much.) I was horrified to hear they feed the BPs pinkies. Stuck shed, too.

    I have always been firmly on the side of "don't buy from big box stores" because it just feeds the practice. But when the employee took her out, and she barely even moved and just kind of hung mostly limp, my heart shattered. I asked if, given her condition, they would discount her price. They said I could take her for 50% off, and on top of that 50% off of everything I bought if I also needed supplies. It sounds like the non manager guy has snakes of his own and knows she's in bad shape but per store protocols can't do much about it, and really wants her in a good home. The 50% off the rest of his purchase was his idea, not his bosses.

    I took the offer. They brought her paperwork, and it looks like she hasn't eaten in 7 weeks save for one pinkie last Thursday. She's lost 11 grams since arriving (at 12 they take them to the vet for force feeding, but the non-manager employee said last time they did that the snake died there.) She's set up with everything but a heat pad, waiting on a thermostat for that.

    My question is when should I try feeding? She's so thin I want to get her to eat as fast as I can, but she's just been moved so I know she needs a few days to settle. What size? I am horribly squeamish about feeding live but if I need To I will. I wanted to try a fuzzy mouse first, with the hopes that with proper humidity she will take it, but should I offer live right off the bat? She HAS eaten frozen, just not recently, I'd guessed because of horrid husbandry. I'm not sure what I should do for her to get her back on track.

    Help? Here's a pic of the poor girl.

    Edit: idk if the pic is showing, so here's a direct link: https://imgur.com/a/x1xPRBH

    Last edited by Spoons; 08-05-2018 at 04:03 PM.

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  3. #2
    BPnet Senior Member Zincubus's Avatar
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    Brought home a severely underweight BP baby. Please help me get her back on track

    Quote Originally Posted by Spoons View Post
    So I went to a big box pet store today. And, like I always do, I looked at the BPs. There were seven of them in the tank, and all looked okay except one. She was lying on the Aspen in the middle of the tank. Her whole body is deflated, she's wrinkly with sagging skin. I grabbed an employee and the manager and pointed it out, and they explained the feeding protocol and what they were doing about it (not much.) I was horrified to hear they feed the BPs pinkies. Stuck shed, too.

    I have always been firmly on the side of "don't buy from big box stores" because it just feeds the practice. But when the employee took her out, and she barely even moved and just kind of hung mostly limp, my heart shattered. I asked if, given her condition, they would discount her price. They said I could take her for 50% off, and on top of that 50% off of everything I bought if I also needed supplies. It sounds like the non manager guy has snakes of his own and knows she's in bad shape but per store protocols can't do much about it, and really wants her in a good home. The 50% off the rest of his purchase was his idea, not his bosses.

    I took the offer. They brought her paperwork, and it looks like she hasn't eaten in 7 weeks save for one pinkie last Thursday. She's lost 11 grams since arriving (at 12 they take them to the vet for force feeding, but the non-manager employee said last time they did that the snake died there.) She's set up with everything but a heat pad, waiting on a thermostat for that.

    My question is when should I try feeding? She's so thin I want to get her to eat as fast as I can, but she's just been moved so I know she needs a few days to settle. What size? I am horribly squeamish about feeding live but if I need To I will. I wanted to try a fuzzy mouse first, with the hopes that with proper humidity she will take it, but should I offer live right off the bat? She HAS eaten frozen, just not recently, I'd guessed because of horrid husbandry. I'm not sure what I should do for her to get her back on track.

    Help? Here's a pic of the poor girl.

    Edit: idk if the pic is showing, so here's a direct link: https://imgur.com/a/x1xPRBH

    I possibly won't be popular here but here goes ..

    Those wrinkles could well be signs of dehydration ... which given the store conditions is perfectly feasible ( aspen substrate , presumably low humidity etc ) .

    Now IF it is even slightly dehydrated it won't look or feel well , certainly won't be eating ( despite the paperwork suggesting it ate one pinky last week ) ..

    I'd give it a 25 minute soak in snake temp water , in a sealed plastic tub ( with loads of air holes in the lid ) .

    After the soak it will look better , plumper and will probably feel much better . Then leave it completely alone for at least 7 days to let it settle down ...

    For its first feeling attempt - leave it till the evening , dim lighting - WAIT until the snake is settled UNDER a hide and then try a small frozen-thawed mouse . Use the hairdryer method where you give the well thawed mouse a ten second blast with a hairdryer then offer the mouse INSTANTLY. .... Don't give up if it doesn't grab it - give it another hot blast and again offer INSTANTLY .

    THIS is only my opinion ...

    Here is a picture of the snake in question in case you can't see it above ..

    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Zincubus; 08-05-2018 at 04:27 PM.




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  5. #3
    Registered User WhompingWillow's Avatar
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    Re: Brought home a severely underweight BP baby. Please help me get her back on track

    We recently got a BP from a big box store, also in bad shape. Moreso because of horrible stuck shed, but he also looks a bit underweight. I got his stuck shed off the first night we had him and fed 2 days later. He hadn't yet had anything to eat at the store.

    What's her weight? Maybe try F/T mouse with the hairdryer trick, with the mouse about 10% of her bodyweight?

    I hope she pulls through for you and recovers quickly in your care.
    BALL PYTHONS: 1.0 Pied/Clark, 1.0 Pastel Vanilla Super Stripe/Sunny, 0.1 Dragon Fly/Buffy, 0.1 Pastel Vanilla Yellow Belly/Cher, 0.1 BEL (Mojave Lesser)/Arya, 0.0.1 Normal/Norm, 0.1 Cinnamon Enchi/Peaches, 1.0 Cinnamon Calico/Yoshi
    BOAS: 0.1 Dumeril's Boa/Memphis, 0.1 BCL/Artemis
    CORN SNAKES: 0.0.1/Mushu
    CARPET PYTHONS: 0.1 Morelia bredli/Zelda, ​0.1 Granite IJ/Bridget

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  7. #4
    BPnet Veteran Spoons's Avatar
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    She is 50 grams right now I think is what her paperwork said. I'll double check. I ran out to find a thermostat but can't find one for under 60 bucks, so I'm going to order one. In the meantime I'll take the thermostat from my adult BP, since he will be fine without one for a few days and I think she needs it more right now.

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  9. #5
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    I hope it's nothing that can't be fixed with proper husbandry & some "TLC".

    I totally agree with Zincubus...hydration is more important than food right now- without that, she either won't eat or be able to digest it if she does.

    Pinkies are too small, of course...I'd follow Zincubus' directions, offer f/t first...& a live fuzzy only as last resort.

    How long before you get a thermostat? She still needs proper temperature options. (I'm sure you know that).

    Hope that her discounted price makes up for her issues & that all goes well for you...it's so hard to ignore animals suffering, even when it feeds the system.

    edit: I see you've already arrived at a temporary solution for the thermostat. Wishing you & snake the very best of luck.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 08-05-2018 at 04:46 PM.

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  11. #6
    BPnet Senior Member Zincubus's Avatar
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    Brought home a severely underweight BP baby. Please help me get her back on track

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I hope it's nothing that can't be fixed with proper husbandry & some "TLC".

    I totally agree with Zincubus...hydration is more important than food right now- without that, she either won't eat or be able to digest it if she does.

    Pinkies are too small, of course...I'd follow Zincubus' directions, offer f/t first...& a live fuzzy only as last resort.

    How long before you get a thermostat? She still needs proper temperature options. (I'm sure you know that).

    Hope that her discounted price makes up for her issues & that all goes well for you...it's so hard to ignore animals suffering, even when it feeds the system.

    edit: I see you've already arrived at a temporary solution for the thermostat. Wishing you & snake the very best of luck.
    Well I know some in this forum are rather opposed to the 'soaking' of snakes and whilst I don't agree with regular soaking when you see a wrinkly snake like that one who's got such a bad back story - dehydration is a very real possibility - and a short soak as I described works absolute wonders -which can be seen IMMEDIATELY after the soak ..

    Anybody soaking your Royals you MUST stay with the snake don't just leave it and walk away - they are fabulous escape artists .
    [ I purposely chose to say ROYALS and not B*lls ]


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    Last edited by Zincubus; 08-05-2018 at 04:52 PM.




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  13. #7
    Registered User Alter-Echo's Avatar
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    Why would anyone care if you soak a snake? I have given mine baths, typically I do this mostly after just getting them to encourage them to drink and hydrate, so there is a time and a place for it.

  14. #8
    BPnet Veteran Spoons's Avatar
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    Okay, I've got her soaking in waterabout half as deep as her body while I set the thermostat up. Her skin feels so loose, I feel awful for her. I put in a few washcloths for her to slither on to help the loose shed.

    I noticed a red patch on her side. Anyone have any ideas what it might be? It can't be a burn, the tank at the store didn't have any heating pads. Maybe just a scuff? I'll try to attach it but I'll also direct link a picture since it doesn't seem to always work attaching pics from my phone.

    https://i.imgur.com/eZlnV44.jpg

    Last edited by Spoons; 08-05-2018 at 05:30 PM.

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  16. #9
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    Re: Brought home a severely underweight BP baby. Please help me get her back on track

    Quote Originally Posted by Zincubus View Post
    Well I know some in this forum are rather opposed to the 'soaking' of snakes and whilst I don't agree with regular soaking when you see a wrinkly snake like that one who's got such a bad back story - dehydration is a very real possibility - and a short soak as I described works absolute wonders -which can be seen IMMEDIATELY after the soak ..

    Anybody soaking your Royals you MUST stay with the snake don't just leave it and walk away - they are fabulous escape artists .
    [ I purposely chose to say ROYALS and not B*lls ]


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk Pro
    Precisely! Whether it's chronic dehydration, a temporary shed issue or an "unknown" that presents the way this BP has, I'd be soaking it...& yes, only with supervision!
    And if the "bath" needs to be repeated, I'd do that as well...but see how it goes first. One way to reduce any stress is to keep the water "luke-warm" & shallow, handle
    the snake gently, and even add some traction in the form of a small towel under the water & under the snake. In fact, if the towel is thoroughly saturated, the water
    can be even more shallow with the towel draped over the snake's body (all except the head)- just another way to do it.

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  18. #10
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    Hard to say what that red area is...could be a burn from overhead light? (too close to screen?) Or just a scrape...either way, when she's dry I'd put regular
    Neosporin ointment on it.

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