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  1. #1
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    Strange Feeding Problem

    I bought an adult female BP at a reptile show about a month ago. She has not eaten since I got her, although she does seem hungry. The problem is, when I give her a rat to eat, she will strike at it, sometimes even coil around it, but always let go of it after a few seconds. It's almost as if she is in pain when biting down on the rat. I am worried that she may have a jaw injury. She does have a scar at the top of her head. Her jaw looks fine, but I'm worried that there might be some internal damage.

    Has anybody else experienced this behavior, and if so, how did you remedy the situation? Thanks.

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    Are you sure she was fed rats previously? Snakes can have preferences (mice or rats smell & taste vastly different), but if you suspect she has a jaw injury,
    only a vet can tell you that for sure (with an x-ray). I do think that a snake that is merely repelled by the taste of rat would look much the same as a snake
    having jaw pain. I would try offering a mouse first, to help diagnose the real issue, unless the previous owner assured you this snake was happy eating rats?
    Either way, it seems they "left something out" (ahem!). Hope she's OK...

    I would also try a much smaller rat...that could also be the issue.
    Are you feeding f/t? Are you heating up the prey adequately?
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 02-11-2019 at 02:59 PM.

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    Re: Strange Feeding Problem

    If it is some sort of injury, Id use a smaller F/T prey item so that the snake doesnt have to open up as wide. Otherwise, she may be made nervous by your presence. As long as its F/T, as soon as she takes it Id walk away with the lights off and let her do her thing. Remember a snakes way of defending herself is to bite if they need to, and sitting there trying to swallow a rat can take them a while. Thats many minutes that she wont have her main defense useful, and this may make her nervous with a large possible predator in the room


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    One thing might not have anything to do with another. For instance, if the scar is old, more than likely it has been eating fine and whatever injury (not necessarily a broken jaw, possibly a minor cut from scraping against something sharp or scratch from a rodent). Not saying it is completely ruled out but that further investigation beyond the scar should be considered.

    I think the prey item is 1. Too big 2. Not the preferred prey item. My king will gladly take mice.. I tried to give her a rat since my banana was not taking it at the time due to shedding. She striked, coiled and dropped it like a bad lemon. I tried again and she moved away. There is a different in texture between a mouse and rat as well as the smell.

    When in doubt, go one size smaller in prey. I always start the size it ate before I got him the first time, then a smaller size second and third if first time it was rejected. Then work your way up again.

  7. #5
    Registered User Knowell's Avatar
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    Re: Strange Feeding Problem

    Are you standing there staring at her? She might fasting it's rat type of year. If she isn't fasting there is a hood chance she is shy. Everytime I've had this issue I've solved it feeding them last, turning the lights off and leaving room. With th3 exception to adults fast using this last feed method has worked exceptionally for me.

    -Kyle

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  8. #6
    Registered User Knowell's Avatar
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    Re: Strange Feeding Problem

    What type/size of hide are you using?

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    Re: Strange Feeding Problem

    Thank you all for your responses! These are some great suggestions, and I will try them for the next feeding. I will definitely keep you updated.

    @Knowell: I'm not using a hide. I house her in a drawer. It's one of those with the front window, though. Do you think I should place a hide inside?

    @Bogertophis, @Cheesenugget: Thank you for the suggestion with the mouse. Come to think of it, I did not ask the seller at the show what she was fed before. Since she is an adult snake, I thought I'd go straight to small rats, and did not even consider mice for her. I will give mice a try and let you know how it went.

    @Treeman: Yes, I have been staring, but I also have tried just dropping the rat inside and walking away. I will try to give her a bit more privacy in the future.

    I will keep you all updated with her progress. Thank you.

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    Yes, I'd give her a hide, or better yet 2 of them, one on the warm side & one on the cool side*. Just because she's in a drawer doesn't mean she doesn't want to
    feel safely snugged-into a hide. Snakes love "back pressure"...it's how they feel safe from predators sneaking in on them. *Most snakes will choose safety over
    the correct temperatures, so only offering one hide at either temperature isn't enough for good digestion...they need options to thermo-regulate & digest.

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    Re: Strange Feeding Problem

    Thank you. I'll place a hide inside.

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