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  1. #1
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Looking for advice from more experienced keepers

    I have experience working with snakes so I generally know how to take care of one. However I've never worked with corn snakes until my current job. I work with an adult corn snake and she hasn't eaten since the 2nd so it's been almost a month since her last meal. Are there any tricks to get her to eat or is she going into brumation? Her temperature has been consistent throughout the summer so I don't think it's brumation. Just looking for opinions on what's going on. Her breathing sounds normal, she hides a lot but she's always done that, no scale rot or anything like that. Just loss of appetite.

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  2. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    You're saying this is on the job? Big difference for any snake if this is in a pet store or something? Is she being handled?

    Is the snake c/b or w/c? Temps in cage? What is her feeding history? (kind of rodents? live or f/t or f/k? most recent meals?) How long has she been there? Where from?

    What about ambient light in the room? And how much A/C? (room temps???) What kind of heat is being supplied to her?
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  4. #3
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for advice from more experienced keepers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    You're saying this is on the job? Big difference for any snake if this is in a pet store or something? Is she being handled?

    Is the snake c/b or w/c? Temps in cage? What is her feeding history? (kind of rodents? live or f/t or f/k? most recent meals?) How long has she been there? Where from?

    What about ambient light in the room? And how much A/C? (room temps???) What kind of heat is being supplied to her?
    She's an education animal at our nature center. Typically we handle her but since she hasn't been eating we've been leaving her alone. She's captive bred, she's an albino. She's been with us for a couple years, around 5 or so. She eats frozen thawed but she refuses to eat from tongs so we typically have to leave it in her enclosure and hope she eats. For heat we have heat lamps and a UVB 3 in 1 bulb on a timer. We keep the whole building around 75. It's temperature controlled for our reptiles. The lights outside her enclosure go on at 9 and go off at 4 but her lights stay on until around 7.

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  5. #4
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    No idea how old she is? Something's not right with her, unless she's going into a shed? She shouldn't be trying to brumate either. What is her warmest temperature for digestion in her home, where SHE is?

    Just because you provide a "heat light" doesn't mean the warmth actually reaches the floor of the enclosure where the snake is- I've seen this before in a 'nature museum' where the A/C for human comfort made it too chilly for snakes to digest. But corn snakes often prefer most of their enclosures to be mid to upper 70's, & they don't require more than one corner of their home to have extra warmth for digestion, & you don't want more than about 85*- not like a BP.

    Is it possible she was handled roughly & has an injury? or she's possibly ill? A stool sample to vet is a good idea if she's not in shed & keeps refusing food, & acting oddly.

    Snakes are very stoic, & btw, albinos are extraordinarily hard to tell when they're clouding up in a shed cycle- with any luck, that's all it is. (turn out the lights & use a small beam flashlight to shine across her eyes from either side- they'll look milky if she's in shed- )
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  7. #5
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for advice from more experienced keepers

    I agree with Bogertophis that something sounds off. Corn snakes are usually garbage disposals, even if somewhat shy. I have two. Solana, my younger corn is a little shy and usually doesn't strike. I leave the F/T mouse for her and as soon as I walk away, gone. However, she doesn't miss meals unless in shed.

    I would be checking temps on the ground with a temp gun. Room temp if 75F is fine for the cool side, but warm side should be 82-84F or have a heat pad (thermostat controlled) that's 82-84F.

    IMPORTANT

    If you work in a nature center you should incredibly careful with your own pet reptiles. If I recall, you just got a BP, correct?

    You should assume every reptile at the nature center is sick. That means changing clothes, washing hands (and preferably body as well) before handling your BP or his food.

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  9. #6
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for advice from more experienced keepers

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    No idea how old she is? Something's not right with her, unless she's going into a shed? She shouldn't be trying to brumate either. What is her warmest temperature for digestion in her home, where SHE is?

    Just because you provide a "heat light" doesn't mean the warmth actually reaches the floor of the enclosure where the snake is- I've seen this before in a 'nature museum' where the A/C for human comfort made it too chilly for snakes to digest. But corn snakes often prefer most of their enclosures to be mid to upper 70's, & they don't require more than one corner of their home to have extra warmth for digestion, & you don't want more than about 85*- not like a BP.

    Is it possible she was handled roughly & has an injury? or she's possibly ill? A stool sample to vet is a good idea if she's not in shed & keeps refusing food, & acting oddly.

    Snakes are very stoic, & btw, albinos are extraordinarily hard to tell when they're clouding up in a shed cycle- with any luck, that's all it is. (turn out the lights & use a small beam flashlight to shine across her eyes from either side- they'll look milky if she's in shed- )
    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    No idea how old she is? Something's not right with her, unless she's going into a shed? She shouldn't be trying to brumate either. What is her warmest temperature for digestion in her home, where SHE is?

    Just because you provide a "heat light" doesn't mean the warmth actually reaches the floor of the enclosure where the snake is- I've seen this before in a 'nature museum' where the A/C for human comfort made it too chilly for snakes to digest. But corn snakes often prefer most of their enclosures to be mid to upper 70's, & they don't require more than one corner of their home to have extra warmth for digestion, & you don't want more than about 85*- not like a BP.

    Is it possible she was handled roughly & has an injury? or she's possibly ill? A stool sample to vet is a good idea if she's not in shed & keeps refusing food, & acting oddly.

    Snakes are very stoic, & btw, albinos are extraordinarily hard to tell when they're clouding up in a shed cycle- with any luck, that's all it is. (turn out the lights & use a small beam flashlight to shine across her eyes from either side- they'll look milky if she's in shed- )
    Sorry it took me a bit to reply I was looking through our records. Unfortunately due to how we got her, we don't know her age. Just know she's an adult and older than 5. Most of her enclosure is typically in the high 70's. Her hot spot has been hovering around 85. I don't believe she was handled roughly. We only allow staff to handle the animals. I'm not sure if she's in shed but last month around this time her shed was ending so shedding is possible but the 2 weeks before that she also didn't eat.

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  11. #7
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for advice from more experienced keepers

    Quote Originally Posted by dakski View Post
    I agree with Bogertophis that something sounds off. Corn snakes are usually garbage disposals, even if somewhat shy. I have two. Solana, my younger corn is a little shy and usually doesn't strike. I leave the F/T mouse for her and as soon as I walk away, gone. However, she doesn't miss meals unless in shed.

    I would be checking temps on the ground with a temp gun. Room temp if 75F is fine for the cool side, but warm side should be 82-84F or have a heat pad (thermostat controlled) that's 82-84F.

    IMPORTANT

    If you work in a nature center you should incredibly careful with your own pet reptiles. If I recall, you just got a BP, correct?

    You should assume every reptile at the nature center is sick. That means changing clothes, washing hands (and preferably body as well) before handling your BP or his food.
    Makes sense. And I've been very conscious of biosecurity. I definitely don't want my animal getting sick. My boyfriend laughs at the precautions I take lol

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  12. #8
    BPnet Veteran nikkubus's Avatar
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    I'd get some accurate temps to make sure that isn't the problem. Perhaps a bulb is starting to go out and producing less heat than usual, or not penetrating as well because of the particular wavelengths that tend to stop long before the bulb breaks completely. If temps are still good, it's probably worth getting an exam.

    I would assume the answer is no, but just to be sure, is there any way she has had exposure to a male and could be gravid? The timing for her to fast because she is about to lay seems a lot more on track than brumation, though it's pushing being too late in the year for that.
    7.22 BP 1.4 corn 1.1 SD retic 0.1 hognose

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  14. #9
    Registered User Neko_snake's Avatar
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    Re: Looking for advice from more experienced keepers

    Quote Originally Posted by nikkubus View Post
    I'd get some accurate temps to make sure that isn't the problem. Perhaps a bulb is starting to go out and producing less heat than usual, or not penetrating as well because of the particular wavelengths that tend to stop long before the bulb breaks completely. If temps are still good, it's probably worth getting an exam.

    I would assume the answer is no, but just to be sure, is there any way she has had exposure to a male and could be gravid? The timing for her to fast because she is about to lay seems a lot more on track than brumation, though it's pushing being too late in the year for that.
    The temperatures have been consistent around 85 for months. She's never been with a male while in our care so for 5 years, no. According to one of the senior staff, she typically does this around this time of year but I just can't figure out why she would. Like you said it seems to early for brumation. Either way we'll be monitoring her weight and if she losses too much, we'll take her or maybe a stool sample to the vets.

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  15. #10
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    And we're not actually seeing this snake- she might simply be over-fed? (unintentionally), OR getting old, or other health issue for which a vet check is in order.

    My corn snakes are (& always have been) easy to feed. The exception would be when they get "up in years", their metabolism slows down- so knowing the age would really help here. How often does she shed? That too is a clue to age. The oldest snake I ever had shed every year & a half, just for comparison, but I've had snakes in their mid-20's that still shed about every 6 months. I have a hunch this snake is being over-fed for her age, but you need to make sure (rule out illness & being in shed).

    Just because she shed a month ago doesn't mean she's NOT in shed now: FYI, injuries and some illnesses also make a snake shed more frequently- that's the way their body attempts to heal.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 08-29-2021 at 08:14 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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