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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Fasting for 8 months and her weight decreases a lot

    Hello, my ball python has been fasting for 8 months and her weight decreases from 2000g to just 1600g.

    Is that amount of weight loss normal?? She is looking skinny right now and I am concerning. She is usually fed on frozen not live. Should I feed her live food?

    Here is her current picture.

    Last edited by JohnyDF; 08-13-2019 at 01:26 AM.

  2. #2
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Fasting for 8 months and her weight decreases a lot

    That’s quite a weight loss and I’m wondering if it’s dehydrated or at least partially dehydrated which is dangerous.. I may be wrong of course

    To be safe I’d give it a 25 minute soak in snake temp water ( around 85F maybe?)

    This is a touchy subject with some
    Over here in the U.K. it's fairly common to soak if there’s any chance of a snake being dehydrated.

    I'm in the U.K and rightly or wrongly I was told to get a well fitting container and lid , put loads of air holes in the lid , fill the container up to within an inch or so of the top and slide the snake in with the lid half on .
    The snake will swish about for about 30 seconds but soon relax . I cover with a towel to help it relax . I stay with it - rather not leave it to be honest .

    I can virtually guarantee it will look and feel better .. it will look plumper for a start .. in a sealed tub with a few inches of water they do drink some water and that HAS to be a good thing ...


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    Are you sure she was 2000 grams empty? No large poops or pees since weighing. Ive weighed.my biggest girl preshed and seen her lose over 150 grams after shed between urine/urates and feces.

    Her condition looks pretty fair to me..

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    If you must “soak” your snake please only put In enough water to cover two thirds of the snakes height and around 84 degrees should be fine. Peace
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    Re: Fasting for 8 months and her weight decreases a lot

    What are your temps like? As long as she has access to fresh water at all times .she shouldn't be dehydrated. She looks a little thin but not emaciated by any means. I've had a BP go a full year without eating but if it's been 8 months I'd definitely try a live feeder to see if it kicks starts her appetite.
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    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Fasting for 8 months and her weight decreases a lot

    Quote Originally Posted by Sonny1318 View Post
    If you must “soak” your snake please only put In enough water to cover two thirds of the snakes height and around 84 degrees should be fine. Peace
    Soaking must be a ‘Brit ‘ thing ..
    Even though they could easily stay with their heads out of the water whenever I’ve done it they happily stay under water for up to 10 minutes or so at a time , presumably they take water on board as they look plumper ... I’ve taken in quite a few “ slim” snakes over the years .


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    Last edited by Zincubus; 08-13-2019 at 06:48 PM.




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    Thank you for every helps. I will try soaking her as mentioned.

    I always provide water for her everyday, so I pretty sure she is not dehydrated. The temperature is around 80 - 90F and the humidity is around 50 - 55%.

    I want to try live feeding, but also afraid she will not go back to frozen rat.... Should I wait for another month or go straight to live feeding?

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    I bought a small thin female ball from a pet store on May 1st and she didn't eat for me. After 3 months I gave her a live gerbil which she took, and then I fed her a f/t rat last week which she ate as well. I was advised to try a live gerbil /ASF to "kickstart" her feeding again and it seems like it worked If yours will take live but not f/t I'd try scenting the dead prey item with bedding from whatever she ate live, I've heard that it works.

    She was 5 years old and 750 grams empty, not super skinny but definitely didn't have much fat on her body.

    Good luck!

  10. #9
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Fasting for 8 months and her weight decreases a lot

    Quote Originally Posted by JohnyDF View Post
    Thank you for every helps. I will try soaking her as mentioned.

    I always provide water for her everyday, so I pretty sure she is not dehydrated. The temperature is around 80 - 90F and the humidity is around 50 - 55%.

    I want to try live feeding, but also afraid she will not go back to frozen rat.... Should I wait for another month or go straight to live feeding?
    Sometimes for whatever reason they just don’t drink enough , imho .

    You say she’s lost 20% body weight (400g) which seems quite a lot to me ..

    I’d try a ‘british’ soak ... hopefully see an instant difference in body weight .. then try feeding a f/t rat using the hairdryer trick a day or so later .

    I had did that many years ago for an Albino royal who’d fasted 9 months ..
    then suddenly looked kinda wrinkly- I soaked as suggested .. looked instantly better and ATE the very next day ( it just happened to be feeding night for the others ) .

    Anyways only you can decide what course of action to take .

    I see people suggesting trying LIVE feeding to get hatchlings started but yours is 1.6 KG so it’s maybe not as crucial ..

    I’ve seen reports that after LIVE feeding it’s difficult ( not impossible) to switch back to F/T .. but you do take that risk .


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