Topics Forums Snakes Hognose not eating

Viewing 2 reply threads
  • Author
    Posts Favorite
    • #10700
      Avatar
      Elly
      Participant

      My 1 1/2 year old western hognose had been eating well, a pinkie twice a week. About two+ months ago, after a shed, I started him on fuzzies. That went well for 3 weeks, then he stopped eating. I’ve tried going back to pinkies, a special food that contains frog, frog juice on pinkies, nothing works. He now hasn’t eaten for 2 months. He’s in a 20 gal tank, warm side at about 90-92 degrees, cool side at 78-80. I was using a red basking light that was on all the time. When he stopped eating, I tried a white light on a timer that goes off at night. Since that didn’t seem to help I’ve gone back to the red light. I’m open to any suggestions, not quite sure what to do at this point. I haven’t been handling him except to weigh him and clean the tank this past weekend. He’s lost 9 grams in the two months and is at 76 grams, about 20” long.

    • #10803
      Avatar
      Zoodulcis
      Moderator

      Sounds like cause for concern. What sort of substrate do you have him on?

    • #10804
      Avatar
      Elly
      Participant

      Coconut fiber Reptichip

      • #10805
        Avatar
        Zoodulcis
        Moderator

        Sounds like a safe substrate with minimal concerns for compaction. When is the last time he pooped?

        • #10806
          Avatar
          Elly
          Participant

          I cleaned his tank Sunday and there were two poops but I’m not sure from when since I clean once a month. They were at the bottom so I didn’t see when he did it.

        • #10807
          Avatar
          Elly
          Participant

          I bought an under tank heat mat and was going to install that today. Also added a UVB light yesterday although I know there’s disagreement on whether that’s needed or not for these snakes.

        • #10813
          Avatar
          Zoodulcis
          Moderator

          So there is no way to know whether he has eliminated in the last 30 days? What is his energy level like?

        • #10818
          Avatar
          Elly
          Participant

          He has eliminated in the past 30 days, I just don’t know if it was last week or three weeks ago. He’s as active as he usually is.

        • #10833
          Avatar
          Zoodulcis
          Moderator

          Being active is an excellent sign! May I assume that your snake was not wild-caught originally and that you have never fed wild-caught amphibians?

        • #10837
          Avatar
          Elly
          Participant

          Correct. Got him from a breeder at several months old and he’s only had thawed frozen pinkies up to now.

        • #10865
          Avatar
          Zoodulcis
          Moderator

          As I suspected, so virtually no chance of parasites. In that case, I think it may be digestion. After surveying some other forums, I noticed that other keepers have had trouble feeding fuzzies. The problems went away when they returned to feeding pinkies. The consensus seemed to be that since these snakes evolved eating hairless prey such as amphibians and small lizards, that hair is really troublesome for them. Yet some owners reported no problems. It seems to be very individual. But hair is exceedingly hard for animals to digest, which is why cats and owls barf it back up. I do not have any further suggestions other than a vet check, and offering only pinkies to see if you can get him to take those. However, if he has a hairball he may not feel like eating. Snakes can vomit up a hairball, but you would know because the smell would make you want to vomit. But they can also, eventually, eliminate the hair a little at a time in feces mixed with more solid matter. Occasionally, one may even eliminate one solid hairball that is only that and no regular excrement at all.

          Given what you have described, my guess is that he has retained hair internally. I do not know what course of treatment a vet would prescribe for this to ease the substance through the digestive system and out the back end. If he doesn’t eat in the next 30 days, you may have to take him to the vet to see if there is some sort of safe oil or other lubricant that can be used in this instance.

        • #10868
          Avatar
          Elly
          Participant

          Thank you for the information. I hadn’t come across that in my research or talking to people. I’m going to try one more time tomorrow and if he doesn’t eat take him to the vet. I will mention about the hair to her. I really appreciate all your help

        • #10884
          Avatar
          Zoodulcis
          Moderator

          No problem!! I would like to know whether he starts eating today, and if not, what the vet says is the likely cause.

        • #11001
          Avatar
          Zoodulcis
          Moderator

          How’s your hognose doing? Any progress on eating? Did he end up with the vet?

        • #11002
          Avatar
          Elly
          Participant

          Still hasn’t eaten. We have a vet appointment on Friday. Still active though.

        • #11102
          Avatar
          Zoodulcis
          Moderator

          Active is good. Please let us know what the vet says.

        • #11232
          Avatar
          Elly
          Participant

          Hi, saw the vet. She said Dexter’s in very good condition but it’s not good he’s losing weight of course. She didn’t see any problems based on the physical exam. Force fed him a little to see if that stimulates his appetite. I’ve gone back to the red basking light 24 hrs a day and will try to get him to eat small pinkies again. If he doesn’t in the next two weeks she’ll do xrays although she did not feel anything like a lump and xrays on such a small snake are often inconclusive.

        • #11262
          Avatar
          Zoodulcis
          Moderator

          Interesting. Reassuring that he is still in good condition. Thank you for the update and let us know if and when he accepts a pinkie. Hopefully, that will be soon!

        • #11280
          Avatar
          Elly
          Participant

          Just fed him and it took less than 30 seconds for him to find the pinkie and eat. Hopefully he’s back on track now. I’m going to keep with pinkies and the red light, not messing with success! Thanks again for the help.

        • #11322
          Avatar
          Zoodulcis
          Moderator

          What a relief!! I am so happy I was able to help.

Viewing 2 reply threads