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Today I picked up two new corn snakes, 8 and 9 years old. They came from a friend who has been neglecting them for sometime and finally came to realise that she couldn't take care of them anymore. They were last fed in early December and food in infrequent, once a month at most, all the way back to spring 2014.

Neither snake has been handled very well and the 8 year old is a little aggressive. Both snakes are very small , only a little bigger than my other corn who is only a year old, and both very thin.

My question is does anyone know how I should go about settling them and feeding them. I've left them for the night now to settle as they've travelled over an hour in the car and are pretty stressed. Should I limit their food for now as you would with a cat or dog that has been starving? how often should I handle them to get them used to it again? I was thinking of feeding them on Sunday so they've had a couple of days to settle in and calm down but any advice would be appreciated. I'm not the most experienced snake owner having only the one other snake.
 

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once a month is about right to be honest, if they have lost allot of weight on that diet, then either they where being fed mice that where very small, or they are unwell; or, they weren't being fed that often

If they are underweight, then I would suggest giving them small meals (same width as body) frequently, maybe every 7-10 days, until they are at a better weight, then reduce the feeding to 2 weeks and slightly larger items, gradually increase the food size (upto about 1 and half times width of snake) and reduce their feedings back to 3-4 week intervals

watch out to make sure they are pooping properly, and for signs of impaction; also check them over carefully for signs of stuck shed and scale rot, esp if they where not kept in optimum conditions

snakes can look underweight if they are dehydrated

also give them a humid hide each, even if they arnt shedding, just incase they are dehydrated

if they regurg their food, then I would recommend taking them to a reptile specialist vet for a checkup (no harm in taking them for a check up either way to be honest)

can you post pics of them up? (you can use a service like tinypic.com to upload and get the code for forum posts)
 

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Discussion Starter #3
They are really very thin I'm not sure what size mice they were being fed they don't seem unwell though I havent had a good look at them yet.

The vivs were full of multiple sheds at least 5 or 6 sheds in each viv some were whole but most were in pieces.

I have some moss I can put into their hides and I could probably get some pictures tomorrow I thought I'd leave them to calm down after a long journey, considering they've spent most of their life ignored except for the occasional feeding this is a big thing that has happened to them and they're not happy
 

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yeah damp moss is a good idea, sounds like dehydration is probably as much of an issues as lack of food, snakes are better adapted to not eating than long term dehydration

i'd want to check them over as quickly as possible myself, although that can wait until tomorrow night to reduce their stress levels

I would also feed them wet mice if they will take it, to get extra fluids into them, but don't give them any substrate until they have had a few feeds (or use sheets of newspaper for easier cleaning), ingesting substrate when dehydrated can cause impaction/prolapse and all sorts of problems

also a large water bowl, big enough for them to soak in without sloshing the water all over the enclosure
 

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I tend to take my snake out of the viv and into a box for feeding to make sure they dont ingest substrate and both snakes have a half filled water bowl already big enough for them to sit in.

I defrost my mice in warm water so they're damp when i feed them to my other corn so they'll also be damp for these two as well. though I know in the past they've only been fed on mice that have sat out for a slow defrost
 

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unless they have been fed that way before, that may be more stress for them and they might not eat, esp as they are not young snakes

i generally recommend against feeding in separate boxes anyway, but in this case its something to be extra aware of given their age, but if they have been fed that way all their lives, then it probably wont be an issue
 
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