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  1. #1
    Registered User laio's Avatar
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    Unhappy Suddenly Fasting?

    I have a 1yo Male Ball Python who was eating regularly and slammed FT medium rats. He had a tank upgrade about a month ago, but he was eating fine after the transfer. Out of nowhere, about two weeks ago, he stopped eating. He's a bit underweight now and refuses to eat. His temps are 90 on the warm side and around 70 on the cool side as it's always been for him. I clean him regularly, pick up any waste, etc. His humidity is at 60%. He has no sign of RI, scale rot, etc. He recently started coming out of his hide at night, but only at night and for about an hour. Should I take him to the vet? I don't know what to do...
    Last edited by laio; 11-08-2019 at 08:24 PM.

  2. #2
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    I am newer at this than you are but have been reading on here a lot for some time. My understanding is it is not uncommon, especially for males, to go on strike this time of year. Seems your cool side temps could be up a little, does he spend much time on that side? One of the pros will chime in shortly.
    Last edited by Midwest; 11-08-2019 at 09:27 PM.

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    The cool side should not be less than 75F, and only temporarily. Can you raise them cool side to about 78-80F?

    How big is he? Usually a regular sized male would eat small rats, and females take no bigger than mediums. Is it a weekly feeding? By overfeeding him, that can trigger a fast. How is he underweight after 2 weeks of fasting? Was he a small snake before?

    How big of a tank is it? 40 gallon breeder? Are there plenty of hides and clutter the open space? If he still won't eat after a month, you can try downsizing his enclosure.

    A vet won't do you any good at this time unless he is sick. That would actually induce further stress on him.

    Mine is almost 2 years old and he recently went into a fast. Previously he stopped eating for 6 months so I understand the worry on your end. If husbandry is fine, he is left alone in a quiet, dark area of your home, he will eventually eat when he is ready.

    Fyi, many owners panic as soon as they see a little bit of spine (like barely there). That is not really underweight. Best way is to weight him and check if he lost over 20% of his previous weight before the fast. Also, you can post a pic and many others will confirm for you.

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    Craiga 01453 (11-08-2019)

  5. #4
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    A) you need to get those cool side temps up, they should never get below 75

    B) most males never need anything larger than a small rat. A medium rat is a HUGE meal for a one year old male BP. I have trouble believing the snake is underweight eating medium rats. Many snakes kept in captivity are overweight.

    C) large meals lead to food strikes.

    D) it's not at all uncommon for males to go on a food strike this time of year.

    If you can share a picture of the snake I'd love to see it. I just can't imagine a one year old male BP being underweight while being overfed.
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  7. #5
    Registered User laio's Avatar
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    Re: Suddenly Fasting?

    He was previously on small rats, but he got bigger and assumed he should get an upgrade to larger prey since he got longer/thicker. He took the medium rats fine, then one day he stopped. Should I try small rats again? I can't provide a photo right now, but I can later.

  8. #6
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: Suddenly Fasting?

    Quote Originally Posted by laio View Post
    He was previously on small rats, but he got bigger and assumed he should get an upgrade to larger prey since he got longer/thicker. He took the medium rats fine, then one day he stopped. Should I try small rats again? I can't provide a photo right now, but I can later.

    I'm pretty positive mediums are too big. I've got two adult males both around 1400 grams and they get a small every 10-14 days.
    Last edited by Craiga 01453; 11-08-2019 at 10:42 PM.
    ...life is beautiful...

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    1.0 Pastel Fader BP - Dembe
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    1.0 Western Hognose - Cosmo
    1.0 Borneo Short Tail Python - Juice
    1.0 Anery Kenyan Sando Boa - Willow
    2.2 Ferrets - Baloo, Johnny & June and Chloe
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    Sonny1318 (11-08-2019)

  10. #7
    Registered User laio's Avatar
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    Re: Suddenly Fasting?

    During the summer, his cool side was 80, but now that it's winter i'm not sure how to regulate it to stay the same. i've seen people say it's fine when the temps drop for the winter, so i didn't think too much of it. If you have any tips or suggestions on how to regulate the temps, please do share with me.
    He eats weekly usually. He was eating fine in his new tank and he has a decent amount of hides (i think. he has three).
    He was a bit small before, so i figured i should put him on medium rats especially since he was growing length wise.

  11. #8
    Registered User laio's Avatar
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    Re: Suddenly Fasting?

    alrighty. i'll try small rats again. thank you!

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    Sonny1318 (11-08-2019)

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    Re: Suddenly Fasting?

    Quote Originally Posted by laio View Post
    During the summer, his cool side was 80, but now that it's winter i'm not sure how to regulate it to stay the same. i've seen people say it's fine when the temps drop for the winter, so i didn't think too much of it. If you have any tips or suggestions on how to regulate the temps, please do share with me.
    He eats weekly usually. He was eating fine in his new tank and he has a decent amount of hides (i think. he has three).
    He was a bit small before, so i figured i should put him on medium rats especially since he was growing length wise.
    Some advanced keepers drop the temps to try and replicate the winter temps of the species (besides for brumating to breed). It is not something a beginner, myself included, should even try to dive into so my suggestion is to continue tried and true method of keeping your temps as consistent as possible. You can use a 2nd UTH, a red bulb placed close to the middle/cool end area for ambient and raising the cool end, CHE, etc. Make sure your heat sources are controlled by a thermostat.

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