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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 22-10-2019, 03:48 AM
Egg
Join Date: May 2019
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Unhappy sand boa not eating

so I got Wyrm, the male Saharan sand boa, from a reptile expo on August 25th, 2019

At the time of posting this, it's almost been two months and he hasn't eaten at all.

He pooped when I first got him, about 8/27, so he had eaten before.

I've tried:
leaving him in a deli cup with a f/t (both brained and not)
leaving him in a deli cup with substrate with both live and f/t (brained and not)
leaving live in his enclosure for a few hours
leaving f/t in his enclosure for a few hours (brained and not)
pestering him with f/t on tongs in a separate enclosure (brained and not, substrate and not)
leaving him with live for almost an hour in a smaller enclosure
tong feeding live

Next to try:
Live in a smaller enclosure w/o substrate
Leaving him cold for a week then increase heat

I wouldn't be too concerned as I've heard male sand boas don't eat much, and he was doing fine weight wise until this week. He went from 48g when I got him to 50g on 9/13 and then back to 48g 9/26 and stayed steady until recently when he's losing weight and is now at 46g.
Once the vet is open I'll see about scheduling an appointment, maybe an assist/tube feed.
I've contacted the breeder to see how they fed him. He was described as eating both f/t and live, but preferring live. Dunno when they'll respond.
I don't have access to mouse pinkies, but he's been offered rat and hamster pinkies.

tank is ~2ft x 16inch x 16inch plastic tub with about 3 inches of aspen shaving substrate. has hides, fake plants, light wood, etc. warm side is around 98F and cool side goes to around 85F. uses a basking light for 15 hours a day and a uth (set to about 90 via thermostat) 24/7

He's about 1ft 5 inches, estimate. Around a year old.

I've heard their breeding season is around this time, but there's a lot of different information of if they keep eating or if they don't.

any advice/other methods would be helpful, thank you!
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  #2 (permalink)  
Old 22-10-2019, 07:05 AM
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I had a similar prob with my baby sand Boa a couple of years ago ..

Solved it by putting the snake and the warmed up , thawed pinkie / fuzzy in a tiny little container ( with a lid) and left them for an hour or two in the dark ... I put the container in the sand Boas viv for security in case it forced the lid off .

Worked every time


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Old 22-10-2019, 10:28 PM
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there is literally no need to assist or tube feed at this stage , he has only not fed for a few months.

you say you dont have access to mouse pinkies,does that include frozen thawed?? if not then this could be your problem, many snakes will refuse rats but readily take mice.

Also try lowering the heat slightly, my sand boa will refuse food if her temps are above 32c.

i honestly believe that all this moving him about is causing more stress for the little guy and is possibly contributing to the issues. focus on one feeding technique for a couple of weeks at a time and offer food in his enclosure.
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Old 23-10-2019, 05:29 PM
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Firstly are you sure it's captive bred? Saharans are notoriously difficult to breed due to being egg layers, with most people finding that the eggs fail to hatch. WC saharans are difficult to feed and are predominantly lizard feeders.
Second off your set up. Ditch the heat mat. These snakes come from very hot regions and burrow down to escape heat. Having a heat mat under the substrate at 90 degrees will confuse the hell out of a sand boa!
Also, while the habitats they are found in a very hot, they are also very cold at night. So I would switch the heater off overnight.
I have kept and bred Kenyans, rough scales, Tartars, javelins and also had a lone male Saharan. Mine were all kept with a basking spot of 32-34C, overhead heating, no mats, and the heater switched off over night.
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Last edited by ian14; 23-10-2019 at 06:23 PM..
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Old 24-10-2019, 09:05 PM
Egg
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I have access to f/t pinkies yes, trying that too

I've only tried feeding once a week, ik the stress of handling can have feeding be not successful so he gets food, if he doesn't eat, he gets weighed and that's it, I try not to disturb him any other day

He was sold as a captive bred Saharan, also had the mother at the show. Eaten well beforehand.
(wouldn't be surprised if it actually was kenyan tho)

I can try the small container again, although I feel like the stress of that wouldn't be good, moving him around.

I realize tube / assist feeding now isn't a good idea at all, apologies for thinking right to that, was just extra worried at the time of posting. I'll also ditch the uth, then.

thank you guys, still! I've seen that brumating them can also help. For now I'm gonna try to calm down a bit aha and be patient with him. It's my first reptile that won't eat so just a bit alarming for me. thank you!
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Old 24-10-2019, 09:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian14 View Post
Firstly are you sure it's captive bred? Saharans are notoriously difficult to breed due to being egg layers, with most people finding that the eggs fail to hatch. WC saharans are difficult to feed and are predominantly lizard feeders.
Second off your set up. Ditch the heat mat. These snakes come from very hot regions and burrow down to escape heat. Having a heat mat under the substrate at 90 degrees will confuse the hell out of a sand boa!
Also, while the habitats they are found in a very hot, they are also very cold at night. So I would switch the heater off overnight.
I have kept and bred Kenyans, rough scales, Tartars, javelins and also had a lone male Saharan. Mine were all kept with a basking spot of 32-34C, overhead heating, no mats, and the heater switched off over night.
Good advice here. Especially the heat mat and night time drops. All I would add is try reptile prey. I have, and have had, a couple of jaculus. They didn't feed for the first 6 months I had them.
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Old 24-10-2019, 09:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AndrewG View Post
Good advice here. Especially the heat mat and night time drops. All I would add is try reptile prey. I have, and have had, a couple of jaculus. They didn't feed for the first 6 months I had them.
One of my breeding males was the same when he was a neonate. I found jaculus to be really slow growers too, never taking more than a pink a week then suddenly took off at about a year old.

OP - if the t has a spike on the tip to of the tail it's Saharan. They also have a far glossier, more polished look, regular large spots and lack the rough scales near the taii.
If you can post a photo it will be easy to id it.
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Old 24-10-2019, 09:57 PM
Egg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian14 View Post
One of my breeding males was the same when he was a neonate. I found jaculus to be really slow growers too, never taking more than a pink a week then suddenly took off at about a year old.

OP - if the t has a spike on the tip to of the tail it's Saharan. They also have a far glossier, more polished look, regular large spots and lack the rough scales near the taii.
If you can post a photo it will be easy to id it.
That makes sense. I tried to look up how to ID and was falling flat, but I'm no expert. Here's some pics:

https://imgur.com/a/OG47w0n
*sand box only used for like. 30 seconds. was not interested. but best non blurry tail pic i could find.

Thank you all for the reassurance! It means a lot.
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Old 24-10-2019, 10:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Miscelatore View Post
That makes sense. I tried to look up how to ID and was falling flat, but I'm no expert. Here's some pics:

https://imgur.com/a/OG47w0n
*sand box only used for like. 30 seconds. was not interested. but best non blurry tail pic i could find.

Thank you all for the reassurance! It means a lot.
Definitely Saharan, Eryx muelleri. It's also about full grown for a male which makes me think WC.
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Old 24-10-2019, 10:49 PM
Egg
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ian14 View Post
Definitely Saharan, Eryx muelleri. It's also about full grown for a male which makes me think WC.
Oof I hope not. They had babies there, too, I just chose him I thought babies would be too small for me rn.
Definitely not feeling the best about this, but he's here now. I'll let him chill and try in a week or so with live. As much as I love him, I feel terrible now for sure.
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