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I recently just got my second snake, I've been having a lot…

Customer Question
I recently just got...

I recently just got my second snake, I've been having a lot of problems with him including refusal to eat on his own for 5 months now and today I noticed the tip of his tail starting to come up and after getting a closer look it seems to be coming off... What should I do about both the feeding issue and the tail?

Veterinarian's Assistant: I'll do all I can to help. What is the snake's name?

Niama

Veterinarian's Assistant: Is there anything else important you think the Veterinarian should know about Niama?

I got him from a breeder in december and he ate both live and frozen mice regularly there but hasn't eaten on his own since he is about 7 months old.

Submitted: 1 month ago.Category: Reptile
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Answered in 2 hours by:
3/14/2018
Reptile Expert: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 1 month ago
PitRottMommy
PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11,247
Experience: 15 years experience in veterinary medicine, special interest in reptiles and arachnids.
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Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

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Reptile Expert: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 1 month ago

I am very sorry to see that you have not received a response to your initial question before now. I just came online and found that your question had not been addressed. How is your companion at this time? What type of snake is Niama? Can you share pictures of what you're seeing? What protocols have been tried to get him to eat? Have you discussed his appetite issues with the breeder?

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Reptile Expert: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 1 month ago

It's hard to tell exactly what is going on with the tail tip, but I surmise this may be due to retained shedding. Can you share a picture of Niama's whole body, as well, so that I can see his body condition?

Is he still drinking well?

What protocols have been tried to get him to eat?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
He is drinking well and is hydrated. I feed both of my snakes in a separate tub. I've offered him the same rodent (frozen large mice) the breeder was. I thaw the mouse and offer it to him with tongs he will stare at it and slither away very uninterested. A picture of him is attached. What should I do about him tail?
Reptile Expert: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 1 month ago

Have you also tried smaller, live prey that's been stunned?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
No, I cant keep live rodents so just do frozen
Reptile Expert: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 1 month ago

This may be part of the problem. The history you've shared said that the breeder offer both live and frozen mice regularly. Niama may well prefer live or stunned items. I would highly recommend trying live and if he does not eat doing one of two things. First, you can return the food item to the pet store if there is a return policy. Second, you can stun the item and feed it to your other snake. Finally, which many keepers do, you can use a humane method of dispatch and freeze the item for the next feeding. Having a second snake around when you have a picky eater is extremely useful as they will tend to eat whatever is avoided by the picky snake. I would also consider using live and stunned/prekilled gerbils and hamsters. Ball pythons are known to be picky eaters and they often need stimulation of their appetite. It may also help to increase the temps in your BP's cage 2-3 days before you feed as this can offer a natural appetite stimulant. His body condition looks great right now, so he can stand to go a few more weeks without food if it absolutely must happen. I would also strongly consider a veterinary visit if you cannot get your companion to eat, as well. If you need help with a vet reference, let me know.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
How should I care for his tail?
Reptile Expert: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 1 month ago

I would start with daily warm water soaks. If this is retained shed, it will come off within a few soaks. I would also apply a dab of regular neosporin daily.

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Reptile Expert: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 1 month ago

Checking in. How is Niama doing today? Any concerns with the care of the tail thus far?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
He is doing fine, just need to wait and see how his next shed goes I suppose
Reptile Expert: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 1 month ago

And any luck so far with him feeding with live/stunned prey items?

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
I haven't tried yet, I offered the other day
Reptile Expert: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 1 month ago

Keep me posted on your progress. Hopefully this works. If not, we can keep chatting to find something that does.

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Customer reply replied 1 month ago
Alright, will do
Reptile Expert: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 1 month ago

I'll keep an eye out for future posts from you. Good luck!

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Reptile Expert: PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse replied 1 month ago

Checking in. How is Niama today?

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