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  1. #1
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    16 month old male BP - started striking in the last 2 weeks

    Hi,

    ** I value and appreciate the advice on this forum, and am grateful that the primary concern is the snake. That being said, there are a few things in this post that I have done seriously wrong. Please be kind, I only want whats best for my BP's as well. We are new-ish owners (1 year now) and care about both of our critters dearly. I, as the adult, have relied on advice I have been given and am learning as fast as I can. Whats happening is truly breaking my heart. Thank you in advance.

    My 16 MO Male Het Pied BP, has been a very laid back and cool dude ever since we got him at 3 MO. He had a bad shed about 2.5 weeks ago. I bathed him for 20 minutes and spent an hour afterwards helping him with the shed (I think this was what did it). At the end of our shed session, he peed on me. At the time I took it as lots of body manipulation contributing to him peeing. I now realize this might have been my fatal error. The next night, we repeated the process and spent 20 minutes getting more shed off. He still has a small piece on the back of his neck, just down from his head, about an inch and a half long, and half way around. A few days after I had helped him out, I made another major mistake and left his door open on his terrarium (Please be kind, I'm in final exams for full time university and working full time, it's been crazy, and I was too tired). I noticed it the following morning and found him in about an hour. He was VERY cold and I put him on my body and warmed him the best I could replacing him in his terrarium.

    The next day, he FLEW at the glass and struck it when I walked by. He has never done this before. I took it as a sign of severe stress and left him alone for about a week. He ate very well last weekend and I had him out for 5 minutes a few days in a row, leaving me to think he had somewhat recovered, but not pushing him either. Tonight (about a week later) he struck out at the glass again. I'm heartbroken that we have done something that has permanently changed our relationship.

    Husbandry: Temp is good. Terrarium is too high and its very difficult to keep ambient temp up, but it's around 75-80, hot side is at 90 at the glass monitored with a thermo. (We are getting new terrariums from Cornel's World soon to help with the ambient heat issue. We also have space issues with our 2 BP's and these terrariums are stackable). He eats 1 jumbo mouse every Monday and has never refused a meal, even after this. He is about 38-40 inches long, I don't know weight, but I'm pretty confident he's a good weight.

    What do I do, and what do I need to know... Could he be sick?

    Thank you,
    Heather

    PS Trying to upload my pics
    Last edited by HNECdn; 09-29-2019 at 09:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Telling it like it is! Stewart_Reptiles's Avatar
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    The main reason for such behaviour are

    Stress

    Husbandry issue

    BP not being fed enough

    Obviously no one can tell you what the issue is only you can and adjust accordingly.
    Deborah Stewart

  3. The Following User Says Thank You to Stewart_Reptiles For This Useful Post:

    MarkL1561 (09-29-2019)

  4. #3
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Yes, you caused him plenty of stress, but when a snake strikes at you thru the glass, do not take it "personally"...at all! Snakes don't identify us visually that way-
    yes, they see motion, but without your scent they often assume the motion is "prey!", or it's fear (from recent stress). Striking at the glass would not typically be
    a sign of illness, but you may need to once again convince him that he's safe with you. Now a snake that's really grumpy when he's had a chance to fully
    recognize you (as when being held gently), that may be a sign of discomfort (pain), but a great many snakes strike at the glass when they're hungry & someone
    walks by...so you might want to double check that you're feeding him enough. While poor sheds may be a sign of insufficient humidity, it could also be from in-
    adequate nutrition. And his behavior could have more than one cause, simultaneously...it's your job to figure out what's going on, all we can do is give possible
    reasons.
    Many friends in low places...

  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran MarkL1561's Avatar
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    Re: 16 month old male BP - started striking in the last 2 weeks

    Itís possible your prey size is off. Also, feed rats as mice are higher in fat. If this is new behavior itís likely due to the things mentioned above. If not you may just need to work with him a bit. Try giving him time before doing that though. If you use gloves make sure they arenít fabric as the snakes teeth can get stuck. Iíd monitor everything and leave him be for awhile and try again.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

  6. #5
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    Re: 16 month old male BP - started striking in the last 2 weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkL1561 View Post
    Itís possible your prey size is off. Also, feed rats as mice are higher in fat. If this is new behavior itís likely due to the things mentioned above. If not you may just need to work with him a bit. Try giving him time before doing that though. If you use gloves make sure they arenít fabric as the snakes teeth can get stuck. Iíd monitor everything and leave him be for awhile and try again.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

    I think you guys are right with the meal size! i just fed them and he is ravenous!!! Ok, I will try rats next week, I already have some, he's just been picky. That being said, he may not be as picky if he isn't getting enough nutrients. My vet also suggested injecting mice with nutrients? Anyone have any suggestions?

  7. #6
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    He shouldn't need extra nutrients injected into the mice or rats. He's probably just not being fed the right size prey, but since your vet suggested it & if you want
    to try adding reptile vitamins, if I were you, the EASIEST way is to just buy powdered reptile vitamins* and using a small (1/4 tsp) measuring spoon to pack some
    powder into the mouth of the dead rodent before feeding him. If you dust it onto the rodents damp fur, most will fall off by the time it's swallowed, & since it makes
    the rodent smell different, it might make him reject the food entirely. Vitamin powder does NOT dissolve well, so if you do want to inject it, you'll need to buy liquid
    vitamins. *I think some have used bird vitamins successfully for snakes too, if you can't find reptile vitamins.
    Many friends in low places...

  8. #7
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    Re: 16 month old male BP - started striking in the last 2 weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    He shouldn't need extra nutrients injected into the mice or rats. He's probably just not being fed the right size prey, but since your vet suggested it & if you want
    to try adding reptile vitamins, if I were you, the EASIEST way is to just buy powdered reptile vitamins* and using a small (1/4 tsp) measuring spoon to pack some
    powder into the mouth of the dead rodent before feeding him. If you dust it onto the rodents damp fur, most will fall off by the time it's swallowed, & since it makes
    the rodent smell different, it might make him reject the food entirely. Vitamin powder does NOT dissolve well, so if you do want to inject it, you'll need to buy liquid
    vitamins. *I think some have used bird vitamins successfully for snakes too, if you can't find reptile vitamins.


    Thank you Thank you Thank you !!!

  9. #8
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    You're welcome...let us know how it goes, ok?
    Many friends in low places...

  10. #9
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    Re: 16 month old male BP - started striking in the last 2 weeks

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    You're welcome...let us know how it goes, ok?

    I will for sure!

  11. #10
    Registered User Jukeboxhero's Avatar
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    Next time you notice he's going into shed use a humidity box. It's literally a plastic container big enough for your snake to fit in with a hole cut into the lid, and has damp moss inside. I line the bottom of mine with a paper towel to help with clean up and to retain water better. Some people will leave them in all the time (to give your BP options) but I've had my BP successfully shed for the 3 years I've had him by doing this

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