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  1. #1
    Registered User Sanyassin's Avatar
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    Exclamation Hello, and help...please

    Hello, 1st time poster here. I have gotten so much from this group in keeping my #1 ball Monty happy and healthy, just by reading posts over the last few years. But I find I need some specific guidance and support for my new #2, who is in trouble.

    I have only had Ramses for 5 days. All the following is based on what I was told of his history. When I rescued him, I was told he was born August 6th, 2019. Supposedly he ate intermittently until Oct 8th, which was the last time he has eaten, a f/t mouse fuzzy. When I first saw him, he was clearly stressed, pacing back and forth and head butting. He was in a tank with other larger balls. I was told he had lost weight in the time he had not been eating but dont know how much. I just needed to get him out of there. So I adpoted him and took him home.

    When i got home, he weighed in at 55g. For a supposedly 3 month old. His husbandry here is good, temps, humidity, multiple hides in hot and cold areas. I did not have high hopes of his eating right away, but tried a mouse fuzzy the first day, no go. I have since left him alone, no handling, in a room with no traffic and dark conditions, only doing basic husbandry duties, leaving him be. I have seen him only twice in 5 days, checking things out briefly before diving back in his hide.

    Skip to today. Tried to feed f/t mouse fuzzy. Warmed with hair dryer. Cut into mouse to bleed just a bit. Was holding in tongs playing it moving about 3 inches in front of hide for about 10 minutes. Didnt even see a face at the hide door. Then, worst timing ever, a red bulb i was using for just minimal light to see while I was i there, blew, making a big popping sound. Chance blown. I left the mouse in the cage and exited. Just checked back after about an hour. Hasnt been touched.

    My main concern is his weight. If he wasnt so underweight, I would feel like we could wait this out. But i am panicked he is going to die. I have assist fed snakes in the past, been a while tho and I am very hesitant to stress the guy out more. I havent had experience with guys this small and close to the edge.

    I would appeciate any help, advise, or support anyone can throw my way. Thanks!
    Last edited by Sanyassin; 11-06-2019 at 05:00 PM.

  2. #2
    bcr229's Avatar
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    I would try a live fuzzy next, and leave it in with him overnight. A fuzzy isn't big enough to hurt him.

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  4. #3
    BPnet Lifer Zincubus's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, and help...please

    Try the above by all means but when you try thawed next time .. feed evenings, dim lighting .. wait until heís been settled under a hide for a while .. have the viv glass open ready , warm with hairdryer and INSTANTLY dangle it OVER the entrance to the hide .. so he can strike and take it back into his hide to eat . Some nervous ones simple wonít come out even a few inches to strike


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk




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  6. #4
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    I would skip f/t and go live, like brc said. A moving, constantly warm little prey that leaves an odor as it wanders (urinate) around the enclosure may be more enticing, especially when you can leave it alone to do its thing. Are you following Deb's sticky about difficult feeders?

    I would go complete darkness and no red light. Least amount of foot traffic, quiet corner with the least amount of light.

    55 grams is such a small little noodle. I am genuinely afraid for that little bugger too. But I don't know if it is time to assist feed or not, the more experienced keepers will advice.

    I am thankful for your good intentions, but I hope by you adopting him, the person who gave him to you agreed not to bring in anymore new snakes. I see too many posters of bad owners rehoming their pets (usually sick) so they can pass on their problems to someone else and get a new snake.

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  8. #5
    Telling it like it is! Stewart_Reptiles's Avatar
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    Deborah Stewart

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  10. #6
    Registered User Sanyassin's Avatar
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    You Thank you everyone who has responded so far. Because of my location, the nearest source for live fuzzies I have found is a couple hours away, everywhere local just has mice for pets, but whatever it takes I am willing. Will have to take off Friday to head down to Milwaukee for a rodent road trip. Deborah, I will follow to a T. At this point, and once I adjust the environment, should I wait another feeding cycle or introduce the live immediately? I have let him be in his hide, but when out he is active and not lethargic. I just don’t have a good feel for how much time I have. Offering too often will stress, but....
    Last edited by Sanyassin; 11-06-2019 at 06:31 PM.

  11. #7
    Telling it like it is! Stewart_Reptiles's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, and help...please

    Quote Originally Posted by Sanyassin View Post
    You Thank you everyone who has responded so far. Because of my location, the nearest source for live fuzzies I have found is a couple hours away, everywhere local just has mice for pets, but whatever it takes I am willing. Will have to take off Friday to head down to Milwaukee for a rodent road trip. Deborah, I will follow to a T. At this point, and once I adjust the environment, should I wait another feeding cycle or introduce the live immediately? I have let him be in his hide, but when out he is active and not lethargic. I just donít have a good feel for how much time I have. Offering too often will stress, but....
    You need to wait 7 days to give him time to adjust.
    Deborah Stewart

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  13. #8
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Offering too often can stress the snake and lead to further refusals. You want to wait at least 5 days between offerings.
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  15. #9
    BPnet Senior Member EL-Ziggy's Avatar
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    Re: Hello, and help...please

    If he's eaten a few times over the last couple of months I wouldn't worry just yet. Even young snakes can go a long time without food. Some snakes take a few months to get on track and BPs can be especially challenging. If he was eating f/t before he should take it again but I understand trying a live feeder to see if that jumpstarts his appetite. As long as you know your temps are dialed in, he has plenty of hides, and fresh water it should only be a matter of time before he eats. I would offer food every 10-14 days until he gets with the program. I believe the hunger always wins in the end and they all eat eventually. Best wishes with your new critter. Keep us posted on your progress.
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  17. #10
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    Re: Hello, and help...please

    Hi, your story sounds almost exactly mine. Got a baby ball that was dreadfully underweight and needed to eat stat. I went through a lot and probably did a few things wrong but let me tell you what worked for me. You could try a couple things (or at least keep them in mind if you get desperate):
    1. Try a live fuzzy or hopper. Their not really developed enough to do a lot of damage to a baby ball and it sounds like he's eaten before so it shouldn't be an issue for him. This worked for mine to get her eating when she needed it most. In my opinion, this isn't something you need to do permanently (feeding live, I mean). You should switch him back to f/t once he gets his weight up after a few consecutive meals.
    2. When switching back to f/t (or to entice him now) I would get bedding from the gerbil enclosure at your pet store with your f/t mouse. This worked like a charm to get my baby back to f/t. For some reason, balls go bananas for gerbils. I thawed the mouse in the bag in hot water instead of using a hair dryer (I find that my hair dryer is too hot and the mouse can sometimes explode, gross). Once the mouse was thaw, I put it in the bag of gerbil bedding and shook it about a little to get the smell on it. When I offered it to my shy baby, she was immediately interested in the new smell. I did the zombie dance for a bit and then wham! She nabbed it. She was eating hoppers then but she's up to adult mice now.

    In your case, I would wait a few days before offering again. Sounds like he's a little stressed. Hope this helps! Hope he gets better soon!

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