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  1. #1
    Registered User widget's Avatar
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    Milk snake nose rubbing?

    He is a 3 year old Honduran milk snake. He is fed a large mouse every other week and has been eating that way for a year now.

    Cage: 4x2x1 animal plastics
    Temps: 90į hotspot, 80į ambient on the warm side, 76į ambient on the cool side

    This started a month ago, and it coincided with a power outage where my thermostat reset and when it was back on, his temps were about 2į warmer than normal. I thought that was the issue and I fixed the temperature and that solved the issue for a couple of days before he started again. He is only rubbing at night when he is normally active. He has no mites or signs of an RI. He has been in this cage for a few months with no issues previously.

    Is it possible itís breeding behavior? If so is there any way to stop him? I donít have any female snakes that heíd smell except a hognose.

    Also, is there any contagious disease that would cause this? Only asking because now every time I see my other snakes out exploring I worry they all have something. The other snakes arenít nose rubbing though.


  2. #2
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    Re: Milk snake nose rubbing?

    Quote Originally Posted by widget View Post
    He is a 3 year old Honduran milk snake. He is fed a large mouse every other week and has been eating that way for a year now.

    Might be his is hungry. He is bigger, and older now. Maybe the same size and frequency of food that he had when smaller is not enough for ever. Maybe try weekly feeds or a larger meal.
    Also maybe check your temperatures with gun.

    In my own personal experience, milk snakes don't exabit that kind if breeding behaviour, (nose rubbing) and little breeding behaviour if not cooled.
    That's just me. Other members will have other advice
    Last edited by Ascended; 06-04-2021 at 06:41 PM.

  3. #3
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    I have a thermometer/hygrometer and temp gun that I use. Could it be hunger even if he has just eaten the day before?

  4. #4
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    Could be looking for a female, could be hunger, could be a number of things.

    It's he actually damaging his nose with the rubbing?

    Several of my snakes explore each night and poke around. It's never caused an issue so I let them do their thing. It's always much more likely when they are hungry.

    Maybe try a larger feeder, it feeding weekly so see if that calms him. Then go from there.
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    Re: Milk snake nose rubbing?

    Iíd check warm side and cool side surface temps again ... maybe itís just too warm


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    Re: Milk snake nose rubbing?

    Quote Originally Posted by widget View Post
    Could it be hunger even if he has just eaten the day before?
    Yes. If he is still hungry. every two weeks does not seem alot. Its worth a try giving him another one.
    If I am out of the right size food and feed something too small, I have some snakes at the front of the tank hunting for more and taking more the next day
    Also age is not everything, so its a bit difficalt to judge just based on age. Hondurans can get really big compared to other milk snakes. How big is he?
    But like the others say, check the temps all over the enclosure.
    Last edited by Ascended; 06-05-2021 at 07:33 AM.

  9. #7
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    Honduran milk snakes get pretty big & he's only 3 years old, so my bet is on hunger AND possibly mate-hunting, since he's mature. Young-ish ​adult colubrids should eat about every 10 days, despite the difficulty of putting that on your human calendar. (Only go to feeding every 2 weeks when they're getting old or if overweight- with him, that's not for a long time yet.) And I really hate to see any of our beautiful pets damage their noses...it can lead to serious medical issues, so try feeding more often.

    His home size sounds fine to me, & I'm assuming you're temps. are being accurately read & that he's not being overheated. Keep in mind that in the wild, they'd have lower temperatures overnight also, whereas in your set-up, that's not happening, & his metabolism is being dictated to by the temperatures you're providing. It's not in his control- he can't get any cooler than 80* to slow down his appetite, it's on you.

    Without seeing your snake, I can't comment on his body weight or why he'd "still be hungry the day after being fed" but some snakes do stay in "feed mode" that long, & from your feeding "schedule", he's likely being chronically under-fed with regard to his growth & metabolism for the temperatures provided. His body is telling him to keep hunting for food- can you imagine what it's like to be him? -unable to hunt for more because he's restricted to his enclosure.

    No matter how nice we consider our enclosures to be for our snakes, I have to say that when I get the munchies I want to be able to go to my 'fridge/kitchen, & so does he. I'm not saying it's okay to feed him all he can hold, but just do consider his "opinion" on this & give a little to see if that helps. Feed q. 10 days.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 06-05-2021 at 10:53 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  11. #8
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    Sorry I didnít check back sooner. I took your advice and I gave him a rat for the first meal just to see if that would fill him up and then I will feed mice more frequently after that. His temps also do cool down a bit at night on the cool side. He was back out exploring again the day after eating.

    He is actually injuring his nose. No open wounds yet but he is peeling skin off (the same layer they shed, not a whole piece of skin).

    I am now wondering if itís possible very regular vibrations could affect him. Because now I am also seeing my other snakes out exploring a lot and unless thereís something contagious that can cause that, thereís only one other common factor and that is that we just had new neighbors move in upstairs and they stomp, jump, and drag stuff around almost constantly all day. It scares me sometimes too with how sudden and loud it is. Somehow early in the morning and in the middle of the night theyíre always up there stomping. The cages are pressed against two walls so the snakes might be feeling that. I can try moving them a couple inches out from the wall.

    Here is a picture of him from a couple weeks ago.

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  13. #9
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    Also can anyone tell me if they know of anything contagious that would cause them all to act strange like that? They are all relatively active species of snakes but Iím now seeing them all out exploring at once which is unusual for them. Itís causing me a lot of anxiety.

    I also donít think itís because theyíre smelling other snakes (unless itís in combination with needing to feed them rodents more often and also smelling snakes). 3/4 of them eat snakes in the wild (the other two are a Florida king and woma python) but theyíve been in stacked cages for quite a while with no issue. The fourth is a hognose and she has definitely never cared about smelling them in the same room.

  14. #10
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    Wow, he's gorgeous! And he doesn't appear to be under-fed to me- he looks good, but maybe a little hefty. Scales should over-lap each other- & unless my eyes deceive me, I'm seeing some spaces showing, but it's hard to say at this distance, & body curves don't count, btw- I'm looking at the portion at far right in photo that appears to be straight, & then the photo is cut off.

    YES, vibrations are felt keenly by snakes- & that could very well be causing their distress. I know of nothing "contagious" that would elicit similar behavior. One thing you might try doing (short of moving, lol) is to buy high-density foam weather-stripping from a hardware store- it's sold in flat spiral rolls with peel-& stick backing on one side, making it very easy to apply to the bottom edges of your enclosures to help absorb the vibrations. And DEFINITELY move the cages away from the walls.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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