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  1. #1
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    Unhappy Weird Red Stuff Found In Tank!

    My baby cal king went into shed about a week and a half ago and he cleared up around two days ago. He hasn't shed yet but I haven't fed him since he went into blue so I offered a pinkie and he took it. About a hour after I found some smelly, sticky dark brown/red stuff on his substrate (I included a photo). I don't think it's the regurgitated pinkie since there's no mouse but it's too little to be poop either. Also he dragged the pinkie into the tunnels he made (aspen shaving substrate) and maybe swallowed some if that could've caused it. I've fed him two meals so far and haven't had this problem. If it helps, the humidity in his tank is at around 47 percent (I use a digital hygrometer) and his hotspot is around 85-89 degrees. Please, any help is appreciated!

    https://imgur.com/a/ZMjvuX2

  2. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    No such thing as being "too small to be" feces, but the red color is concerning. It occurs to me that being kept & fed on aspen, he might have ingested some with a previous meal, & that's causing some internal bleeding along with that nasty bit of stool? Could also be something else going on too (like parasites, etc). It would be preferable to keep him on white paper towels* [only] for a while so you can monitor this- & consult a vet if it keeps happening- be sure to save whatever comes out so the vet can see what's going on, & try to get it to the vet when it's fresh. *What I do with colubrid hatchlings being kept on white paper towels is that I layer some on the bottom, then take a couple towels & tear them into strips & toss them into a jumble that snakes can hide in- without swallowing aspen or missing any output you need to be watching for. Humidity & hot spot is fine, as long as he can get away from that heat also- ? -when he needs to.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  3. #3
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    Pinkies are squishy little things. Are you sure that isn't just blood/goo from his meal? You're right that it isn't a regurg or a bowel movement. The only other thing I can think of is to give him a close look and make sure he hasn't gotten a minor cut.
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  4. #4
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    I have another thought (post-PM)- are you sure he actually ate his previous pinkies when you gave them to him? King snakes will eat carrion, & if one of those pinkies was ignored by him until it died, & then he came along & ate it, it would have been funky smelling and may have oozed some old blood, which would be brownish-red like what's in the photo. Just a possible scenario. The long-dead pinkie would have oozed & stuck to the substrate, & could very well have left what you show there. If only snakes could talk & fess up, eh? It helps to be a "detective" when you keep snakes...
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 01-27-2021 at 02:12 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Weird Red Stuff Found In Tank!

    I watched him swallow the previous meals he had so I don't think it's that but I didn't watch him swallow it today so I guess he potentially could've dragged the pinkie I gave him today into his tunnels (which he did), brought it back up, and then ate it getting dead pinkie juices everywhere which would be rather odd. I'll probably just monitor him closely while he's on the paper towels and assume he is fine if there is no more blood the next couple times he uses the restroom. Regarding our PMs: He is around half a year old now (he hatched in June last year). I've been feeding him pinkies since that's what the breeder said he was on but I got told that they are too small for him so I was actually just about to move him up to fuzzies. (Which maybe isn't a good idea now?) The first time I tried feeding him I left the mouse just in the enclosure but he didn't take it probably because the tank is a bit large and didn't find it. But, the next day I dug him out and tried feeding him with tongs and he took it instantly (I've been doing that each time I need to feed him now and he always instantly takes it). So I'm not super worried he'll get too stressed and lose his appetite but I totally get why I shouldn't take him out and feed him in a separate container. Do you think it's ok for me to still try and feed with tongs but try to get him to eat it on an upside down hide or something inside his enclosure? Also thanks for being so welcoming I hope I'm not being too much of a bother

  6. #6
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    This is why we're here...we were all "new" to keeping snakes at one time also.

    I'm wondering how long he is? Pinkies provide very little nutrition for your snake to grow. Basically, you can feed mice that are up to but not larger than his midsection at the widest un-fed part. For slender snakes such as king snakes, you can feed a couple pinks first, then move up to one fuzzy for a while, then go to a couple fuzzies, then to one hopper, etc. The younger mice are easily digested.

    I'm still not sure what's in the photo, from your description ("smelly") that suggested it could be something older than today's pinkie, but it still could be from today if he dropped it near the heat- they spoil & get nasty very quick when warmed. I'd know if I could smell it...we need "scratch & sniff" computer monitors, lol.

    Do try feeding more & size up to fuzzies. I'd keep feeding him from tongs- that's the easiest & that way you'll know pretty much if he eats it. You can always put a piece of cardboard down first, like a shoe-box lid, so in case he drops it, it won't get covered in aspen. (I suggested shredded paper towels as a substrate etc. because I figured he was in something smaller, since you said he's a "baby". But white paper towels are still a good idea for substrate when you need to see what's coming out the other end, when you suspect a problem.)

    So yeah, for now, I'd just keep an eye on him...
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  8. #7
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    Re: Weird Red Stuff Found In Tank!

    Thanks a lot for the help!

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    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    You're most welcome! Let us know how he does?
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Weird Red Stuff Found In Tank!

    of course

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    Re: Weird Red Stuff Found In Tank!

    Quote Originally Posted by Caitlin View Post
    Pinkies are squishy little things. Are you sure that isn't just blood/goo from his meal? You're right that it isn't a regurg or a bowel movement. The only other thing I can think of is to give him a close look and make sure he hasn't gotten a minor cut.
    I was going to suggest the insides from the pinky, I've had had the... interesting experience of seeing a hognose bust a F/T pinky more than once and I can't say it was an enjoyable experience.

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