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Old 06-01-2011, 11:04 PM
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Unhappy not eating

Ok, I thought I had already posted this problem, but I can not find my post, so here goes. Medusa, my 3.5 ft ball python, is not eating. She hasn't eaten for a month. About 3 months ago I got her a new huge habitat. She has only eaten twice, 2 mice each time. Previously she was on a regular 2 week schedule of a small rat. Anyway, she has not eaten in almost 5 weeks now. She has noticeably lost weight. Since her last feed, she has shed and defecated successfully, but that was weeks ago. I kept the last rat so long that I had to rehome him as a pet. Since then, I have offered a smaller rat, then a mouse. She shows absolutely no interest. Help!!!! What am I doing wrong? Should I move her back into her old habitat? I am really worried. I have had Medusa almost 18 months. I don't want to lose her.
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Old 06-02-2011, 04:00 AM
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Ball Pythons tend to stop eating for no reason at all, they're quite well known for it actually. Mine hasn't eaten in about 7 months. So, it might not be related to the change of cage. How big is that new enclosure? Is there plenty of hiding room and cover so she doesn't feel too stressed? Are the temps still correct in the bigger habitat?
The fact that she has already noticeably lost weight is a bit concerning though. Could you show us a pic so we can see how much?
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Old 06-02-2011, 10:33 AM
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as dodo said she will need lots of good places to hide. You may even have to partition off the enclosure to make it smalle for her. It's well documented that Royals/ball pythons really don't like to much space. It really stresses them out and the first sign of this kind of stress is almost always a drop in appetite.
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Old 06-02-2011, 03:16 PM
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You should probably take her to a vet. If it's only been a month and she's already lost a lot of weight, she probably has a parasite that's stealing all her nutrients from her.
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Old 06-02-2011, 09:11 PM
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First of all, stop worrying! Balls have an unusual ~fluctuating~ growth rate and require different feeding schedules through out their lives. Every now and then, they tend turn away food even when you think they should have worked up an appetite. 5 weeks is nothing! Don't worry about it. She will eat again when she's hungry enough so I would suggest to keep offering it to her every week until she takes it. Snakes often tend to eat ALOT in the fall when the weather starts to change so they can build up their winter fat for insulation. In the summer, they tend to slow down consumption because they no longer need that extra layer of fat. The weight loss is normal.

The cage/habitat is fine too. People always say 'changing the habitat is stressful for snakes'. That's a load of bs if you ask me. Snakes in the wild are constantly on the move and may never return to the same spot.

I wouldn't take her to the vet unless you start to notice unusual breathing or just a sickly appearance.

Hope this helps... Not to worry momma, your baby will be hungry again before you know it!!
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:40 PM
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Default Medusa

Quote:
Originally Posted by raptor667 View Post
as dodo said she will need lots of good places to hide. You may even have to partition off the enclosure to make it smalle for her. It's well documented that Royals/ball pythons really don't like to much space. It really stresses them out and the first sign of this kind of stress is almost always a drop in appetite.
Should I put her back into her older, smaller habitat? or would that stress her too? How often should I offer food? Right now I offer her a mouse every 2-3 days. I hate keeping mice though.
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:52 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DodoBird27 View Post
Ball Pythons tend to stop eating for no reason at all, they're quite well known for it actually. Mine hasn't eaten in about 7 months. So, it might not be related to the change of cage. How big is that new enclosure? Is there plenty of hiding room and cover so she doesn't feel too stressed? Are the temps still correct in the bigger habitat?
The fact that she has already noticeably lost weight is a bit concerning though. Could you show us a pic so we can see how much?
I feel she has lost weight because she doesn't seem as thick around the middle as she was at her eating peak. Perhaps I am an alarmist! I have some pictures I I will try to post.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Medusa in new hab.jpg (109.3 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg Medusa with students.jpg (102.3 KB, 4 views)
File Type: jpg New habitat.jpg (109.8 KB, 4 views)
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Old 06-02-2011, 11:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IzzieMonster View Post
First of all, stop worrying! Balls have an unusual ~fluctuating~ growth rate and require different feeding schedules through out their lives. Every now and then, they tend turn away food even when you think they should have worked up an appetite. 5 weeks is nothing! Don't worry about it. She will eat again when she's hungry enough so I would suggest to keep offering it to her every week until she takes it. Snakes often tend to eat ALOT in the fall when the weather starts to change so they can build up their winter fat for insulation. In the summer, they tend to slow down consumption because they no longer need that extra layer of fat. The weight loss is normal.

The cage/habitat is fine too. People always say 'changing the habitat is stressful for snakes'. That's a load of bs if you ask me. Snakes in the wild are constantly on the move and may never return to the same spot.

I wouldn't take her to the vet unless you start to notice unusual breathing or just a sickly appearance.

Hope this helps... Not to worry momma, your baby will be hungry again before you know it!!
Thank you so much. That is really comforting. I am keeping the mice, although I hate it. They smell! shew! Also, thanks for the timeline. I will offer mice once a week. I am glad it is summer so I can keep the mice outside in their cage.
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Old 06-03-2011, 06:28 PM
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Karen, How often do you handle Medusa? I think it might just be the larger cage as Raptor suggested along with normal Ball behavior! I do not think a parasite is the issue because if a parasite was the issue she would eat like crazy and then loose weight. Make sure her water bowl is removed and cleaned twice weekly. Is she drinking, how warm is the warm side of the cage? Bottom heat?? or back?
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Old 06-05-2011, 12:33 AM
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Originally Posted by DennyS View Post
Karen, How often do you handle Medusa? I think it might just be the larger cage as Raptor suggested along with normal Ball behavior! I do not think a parasite is the issue because if a parasite was the issue she would eat like crazy and then loose weight. Make sure her water bowl is removed and cleaned twice weekly. Is she drinking, how warm is the warm side of the cage? Bottom heat?? or back?
Man, and here I thought I was doing a good thing...providing her with a great new habitat! I use a bottom heater. Actually, I have only actually seen her drink water once or twice. She never actually gets in the bowl. You have a good point about the temperature. I only have a hygrometer, not thermostats. Should I get two, one for the cool side and one for the warm side? Do you think I should put her back into her former habitat? She never had a problem eating then. During the school year, she was handled frequently. Now that school is out, I handle her maybe 1 or 2 times a week.

Thanks for your help.
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