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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18194
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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I got a baby western hognose snake about 2.5 months ago and

Customer Question

I got a baby western hognose snake about 2.5 months ago and since then she has not once eaten. She was apparently eating perfectly fine and regularly when I bought her, but she hasnt eaten from me--she actually seems to really hate the pinkies I try to give her, and always hisses at them. I've tried everything I have heard and read to put her in the correct conditions and try to get her to eat, but none of it has worked. Do you have any advice?
I also have an adult cornsnake (male, ~4 years old), whom I've had for over a year and have never encountered any problems with until recently--he hasn't been wanting to eat either (however I'd assume for different reasons). He's been striking at me when i take him out of his cage and he strikes at the mouse, but won't eat it. Any advice you might have for him too would be incredible!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.


My name is ***** ***** I have been a Vet tech for 20+ years with special interest in reptiles and reptile rescue.

Can you tell me are you feeding live pinkies or frozen thawed?

Have you tried other prey like toads or lizards?


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I generally use frozen (thawed out), but I've tried live with her as well. She just kind of rolled it around a bunch. But no, they don't really sell feeder toads and lizards anywhere here. And the breeder I got her from said she had been doing fine with just pinkies anyway, so I've been reluctant to try much else.
Expert:  Joan replied 1 year ago.

Have you tried Braining the pinkies you are feeding? That will sometimes stimulate the feeding senses. The leaking of cerebral fluid is a feeding stimulant. You can also try to cover the walls of the tank with black construction paper as the snake my like it dark when feeding. If the snake was eating for the breeder with no trouble, you should not be having any issues. The diet in the wild is toads, so if you can find a toad and rub the scent on the pinkie this may be an option to help jumpstart feeding. The other option is to see the Herp Vet and have him use a pinkie pump to get the snake eating. eventually the snake being a juvenile will start suffering from not eating. You have done well with what you have tried. The options you have now is to try covering the tank, braining, scenting the pinkie with a toad, or seeing a Herp Vet to try force feeding with a Pinkie Pump. If you need a Herp Vet I can find you some with a State. Pease let me know if you need further help. If I have addressed your concerns, please take a moment to rate my service 5 stars.