How can I keep my snake warm enough?
Pet's Gender: Female
Pet's Age: <1
heat lamps on top, heating pad adhered to side of glass, towels covering parts of top not already covered by heat lamps
Hello,I apologize that no one has responded to your question sooner. Different experts come online at various times. I just came online and saw your question. Some additional information will help me to answer your question.What kind of snake do you have?What is the temperature gradient you now have in the cage?What is the temperature you're trying to achieve?Thank you.Anna
She is a baby corn snake. We have had her since the Thursday before Easter, and she still has not eaten. We have tried putting her in a paper bag for hours, cutting the pinky a little so she can smell it, etc, and NOTHING works, so I'm concerned that she's not warm enough. When I put her in my shirt to warm her up, she gets warm and active and will drink water, but she still won't eat.
The thermometer in the tank won't rise above 60 F no matter what I do, and my house isn't freezing cold. I'm wondering if the thermometer is broken, although it's new. The people at Petco said I need the tank to be around 80F. I don't know what else to do. :(
Thank you for getting back to me. I'm sorry to hear you are having these problems. we'll try to figure out what is going on and what you can do about it. First, tell me what kind of thermometer you have: stick-on, digital probe, etc.How young is the snake?Anna
It appears you went offline without seeing my second request. With all the heating equipment you have, it's hard to believe your tank won't go over 60*, so I suspect you are right that the thermometer isn't working. If it is the stick-on type, it's common for them to be off by as much as 20*. They are completely unreliable. A digital probe thermometer is what is usually best (unless of course you bought a defective one). This doesn't have to come from a pet store. They are cheaper at Walmart or a home improvement store. I would be cautious about taking advice from the pet store. While we should be able to rely on such information, unfortunately, it is often wrong. They sell people the wrong lighting, advise the wrong foods, and often don't know the correct temperatures for the various reptiles. After months or years of things not being quite right, the animal becomes ill. You're smart to be checking into the situation before there is a serious problem.The first thing to do is make sure the temperatures and all other conditions in the cage are correct. It should be between 75 and 85 degrees. Make sure she has a hide box, a water bowl big enough to bathe in, a basking area that's warmer (around 90 degrees) than the rest of the enclosure, and a branch to climb on. If you take a small branch from outside rather than buying it from a pet store, it will need to be disinfected. Here's a site specific to corn and rat snakes with lots of good information, including how to disinfect a branch.http://www.anapsid.org/corn.htmlDehydration is a cause of not eating. Check the skin around the snake's neck. If it's wrinkled or puckered, that's a sign of severe dehydration. If that's the case, you'll have to take her to the vet to be given fluids. That's probably not what's going on, but please check because if the snake is severely dehydrated, she'll die. If you don't see any wrinkling or puckering, minor dehydration could still be occurring, so the next step is a special bath. Buy some unflavored Pedialyte (yes, the kind for human infants). Prepare a shallow bath consisting of 1/2 water and 1/2 Pedialyte. Soak your snake for about 20 to 30 minutes twice a day. Reptiles can absorb the electrolytes and fluids through their vents (where droppings pass out), so make the water deep enough to cover the vent. Be sure to supervise closely. After you're sure the temperatures are correct and the snake has had a good soak or two, she may eat. If she doesn't, you'll have to make a decision. You'll need to either take the snake to a reptile vet or return her to the store where you got him (I'll explain in the next paragraph). Many stores will not take animals back after a few days, so that may not be an option. If you decide she needs a vet, here's a link that will help you find the nearest reptile vet:http://www.anapsid.org/vets/index.html#vetlistFinally, there is one more possible reason your snake isn't eating. Because corn snakes are easy to breed and come in interesting colors and patterns, people who breed them have resorted to inbreeding to get and keep those colors. This has led to genetic defects in corn snakes. One of the most common is that the snakes are not able to eat. This is called corn snake anorexia. Since your snake is a baby and you just got her, it's possible that she has NEVER eaten in her life. If you think that's a possibility, you should notify the store where you got her of what is going on. They will tell you that it isn't a problem in their snakes, and will probably tell you that your snake ate while in their possession. Anything they tell you is not reliable. Most of the employees there are young part-time students, and they know only what the manufacturers of equipment and supplies tell them. I hope anorexia isn't the problem, but it is one that you need to be aware of. In some cases, a vet can give appetite stimulants or other treatments.If you have more questions, or find you need to increase the temperature after you get a reliable thermometer, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope your snake will be fine.Anna(The above answer is intended for informational purposes only. If your pet is ill, you should consult a veterinarian. )
Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.