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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there!

I'm writing to you because I'm a bit lost. I have a corn snake that is about 8 and a half years old (it's from the beginning of 2013) and it hasn't been defecating for around 5-6 weeks.

The thing is that about two months ago I moved to a new house, when we were moving the snake was in the process of molting. A week after settling in the new house, she molted and defecated correctly, as usual. This time the molting was indeed slower than usual, but everything was ok.

Two days after molting, I gave her a mouse. Two weeks went by and she didn't do anything, which surprised me as the snake has been quite regular in all these years. So as she was very active and showed no signs of anything unusual, I gave her another mouse. She ate it straight away, she was quite hungry. Since then, it's been about three-four weeks since this second mouse and she still hasn't done anything, so it's been a total of just over a month and two mice without doing anything.

Last week, I took her to the vet because I was preoccupied. At the vet's they saw her perfectly, the color, the skin, the attitude, etc. The vet pointed out that the snake did not reflect any sign of issues. They looked at her mouth, palpated her tail, and so on, everything was ok. They did an x-ray, which they showed me, and it showed that there were remains close to the end of the tail, but in no case was there any obstruction.

The case is that, days go by, the snake doesn't stop moving, she is very active, and I'm sure that if I give her another mouse she would eat it, but I don't think it's convenient to keep feeding her if she doesn't do anything. The terrarium is the same, she still has the same routine of light, humidity, and heat, the values have not changed, maybe now there is a little more natural light during the day, but no big difference.

One thing that has changed, and I don't know if it is a differential factor but I want to comment on it, is that now (in the new house) next to the snake there is a cage with two jumbo rats. Before (in the old house) these rats were in another room so the snake didn't know of their existence but now they are close enough to the snake, so she can smell and perceive them. I don't know if it's something that might be affecting the snake, but I put a piece of cardboard on one side of the terrarium so that he doesn't have visual contact with the rats.

Finally, the vet recommended that I wait 15 days (which will be next Tuesday), before giving her 1ml of a special oil she prescribed which, in theory, stimulates the snake to defecate. They also told me that if after the oil it still doesn't do anything, I should give it another mouse, but I'm still a bit reluctant to this idea (I know that these animals can stand without eating, as this one went for up to 6 months without eating because she didn't feel like it and she was younger).

What do you think? Do I keep waiting and when she defecates I feed it again or do I feed it next week?

PS: I don't know the sex of the snake, I was told that it could be that she was going to lay eggs, but the x-ray didn't show anything like that, so I understand that this is not an option.

PS2: Sorry for the grammar, I'm not an English speaker and the vocabulary in this field is a little bit hard.

Best regards!
 

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H
Hey there!

I'm writing to you because I'm a bit lost. I have a corn snake that is about 8 and a half years old (it's from the beginning of 2013) and it hasn't been defecating for around 5-6 weeks.

The thing is that about two months ago I moved to a new house, when we were moving the snake was in the process of molting. A week after settling in the new house, she molted and defecated correctly, as usual. This time the molting was indeed slower than usual, but everything was ok.

Two days after molting, I gave her a mouse. Two weeks went by and she didn't do anything, which surprised me as the snake has been quite regular in all these years. So as she was very active and showed no signs of anything unusual, I gave her another mouse. She ate it straight away, she was quite hungry. Since then, it's been about three-four weeks since this second mouse and she still hasn't done anything, so it's been a total of just over a month and two mice without doing anything.

Last week, I took her to the vet because I was preoccupied. At the vet's they saw her perfectly, the color, the skin, the attitude, etc. The vet pointed out that the snake did not reflect any sign of issues. They looked at her mouth, palpated her tail, and so on, everything was ok. They did an x-ray, which they showed me, and it showed that there were remains close to the end of the tail, but in no case was there any obstruction.

The case is that, days go by, the snake doesn't stop moving, she is very active, and I'm sure that if I give her another mouse she would eat it, but I don't think it's convenient to keep feeding her if she doesn't do anything. The terrarium is the same, she still has the same routine of light, humidity, and heat, the values have not changed, maybe now there is a little more natural light during the day, but no big difference.

One thing that has changed, and I don't know if it is a differential factor but I want to comment on it, is that now (in the new house) next to the snake there is a cage with two jumbo rats. Before (in the old house) these rats were in another room so the snake didn't know of their existence but now they are close enough to the snake, so she can smell and perceive them. I don't know if it's something that might be affecting the snake, but I put a piece of cardboard on one side of the terrarium so that he doesn't have visual contact with the rats.

Finally, the vet recommended that I wait 15 days (which will be next Tuesday), before giving her 1ml of a special oil she prescribed which, in theory, stimulates the snake to defecate. They also told me that if after the oil it still doesn't do anything, I should give it another mouse, but I'm still a bit reluctant to this idea (I know that these animals can stand without eating, as this one went for up to 6 months without eating because she didn't feel like it and she was younger).

What do you think? Do I keep waiting and when she defecates I feed it again or do I feed it next week?

PS: I don't know the sex of the snake, I was told that it could be that she was going to lay eggs, but the x-ray didn't show anything like that, so I understand that this is not an option.

PS2: Sorry for the grammar, I'm not an English speaker and the vocabulary in this field is a little bit hard.

Best regards!
have you tried bathing the snake in luke warm water? that usually stimulates them. also, plenty of climbing opportunities (exercise basically) will help move anything which she is struggling to pass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
H

have you tried bathing the snake in luke warm water? that usually stimulates them. also, plenty of climbing opportunities (exercise basically) will help move anything which she is struggling to pass.
Hi! Thanks for your message. Yes, I've also tried that but she didn't like much, as I said she is very nervous and active, so she was trying to scape all the time (the water was warm, not hot). Also, she has a bunch of stuff on the terrarium and she is always moving around, climbing the walls, and trying to hang where possible.
 

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Snake defecation seems to be the hot topic these days :)

Its nice to hear you've already consulted a vet, and that you have a laxative if required. But it could just be you are being over concerned. My Bairds Rat used to drop small deposits around 6 days after weekly feeds, as she's matured (now almost 3 years old) now tends to defecate when she sheds, but with a large pile of it rather than small deposits. She's shedding around 10 -13 weeks apart. Now I'm not saying your Corn is the same, but they are all individual and like all animals, humans included, will , excluding any medical reasons, defecate when their body feels the need. Sometimes that trigger is taking that next meal.

As for the sex, you should have asked the vet to probe the snake when it was being examined.... It's doubtful that the breeding season is the cause, and if the vet thought that was a possibility I would have thought it would have been backed up by the X-ray which would have probably shown the follicle development
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Snake defecation seems to be the hot topic these days :)

Its nice to hear you've already consulted a vet, and that you have a laxative if required. But it could just be you are being over concerned. My Bairds Rat used to drop small deposits around 6 days after weekly feeds, as she's matured (now almost 3 years old) now tends to defecate when she sheds, but with a large pile of it rather than small deposits. She's shedding around 10 -13 weeks apart. Now I'm not saying your Corn is the same, but they are all individual and like all animals, humans included, will , excluding any medical reasons, defecate when their body feels the need. Sometimes that trigger is taking that next meal.

As for the sex, you should have asked the vet to probe the snake when it was being examined.... It's doubtful that the breeding season is the cause, and if the vet thought that was a possibility I would have thought it would have been backed up by the X-ray which would have probably shown the follicle development
Hello, thanks for you clear message.

Do you think I should keep feeding her with the usual pace? I was feeding her with one adult mouse per week or each 10 days.

Kind regards!
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Okay folks, as we spoke the snake just defecated. I'm not home until tomorrow, but as soon as I get there, I will inspect (visually) the deposits and I will report here. Thanks for your messages!
 

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Hey there!

I'm writing to you because I'm a bit lost. I have a corn snake that is about 8 and a half years old (it's from the beginning of 2013) and it hasn't been defecating for around 5-6 weeks.

The thing is that about two months ago I moved to a new house, when we were moving the snake was in the process of molting. A week after settling in the new house, she molted and defecated correctly, as usual. This time the molting was indeed slower than usual, but everything was ok.

Two days after molting, I gave her a mouse. Two weeks went by and she didn't do anything, which surprised me as the snake has been quite regular in all these years. So as she was very active and showed no signs of anything unusual, I gave her another mouse. She ate it straight away, she was quite hungry. Since then, it's been about three-four weeks since this second mouse and she still hasn't done anything, so it's been a total of just over a month and two mice without doing anything.

Last week, I took her to the vet because I was preoccupied. At the vet's they saw her perfectly, the color, the skin, the attitude, etc. The vet pointed out that the snake did not reflect any sign of issues. They looked at her mouth, palpated her tail, and so on, everything was ok. They did an x-ray, which they showed me, and it showed that there were remains close to the end of the tail, but in no case was there any obstruction.

The case is that, days go by, the snake doesn't stop moving, she is very active, and I'm sure that if I give her another mouse she would eat it, but I don't think it's convenient to keep feeding her if she doesn't do anything. The terrarium is the same, she still has the same routine of light, humidity, and heat, the values have not changed, maybe now there is a little more natural light during the day, but no big difference.

One thing that has changed, and I don't know if it is a differential factor but I want to comment on it, is that now (in the new house) next to the snake there is a cage with two jumbo rats. Before (in the old house) these rats were in another room so the snake didn't know of their existence but now they are close enough to the snake, so she can smell and perceive them. I don't know if it's something that might be affecting the snake, but I put a piece of cardboard on one side of the terrarium so that he doesn't have visual contact with the rats.

Finally, the vet recommended that I wait 15 days (which will be next Tuesday), before giving her 1ml of a special oil she prescribed which, in theory, stimulates the snake to defecate. They also told me that if after the oil it still doesn't do anything, I should give it another mouse, but I'm still a bit reluctant to this idea (I know that these animals can stand without eating, as this one went for up to 6 months without eating because she didn't feel like it and she was younger).

What do you think? Do I keep waiting and when she defecates I feed it again or do I feed it next week?

PS: I don't know the sex of the snake, I was told that it could be that she was going to lay eggs, but the x-ray didn't show anything like that, so I understand that this is not an option.

PS2: Sorry for the grammar, I'm not an English speaker and the vocabulary in this field is a little bit hard.

Best regards!
hey sounds like your doing a great job. Generally speaking the first sign something is wrong is lack of appetite so don’t stop feeding. There are many different factors to consider. For one do you take substrate temp(best options). Belly heat aids metabolic stimulation. The better the metabolism the more nutrients are pulled from feed the less excess is produced. It may take multiple feeds before a movement is necessary. On the other hand if metabolism is slowed then the food item is not processed as well, sometimes almost not at all. Which can cause regurgitation. However with decreased metabolism come decreased appetite, but the animal will not burn energy or fat as fast so no real danger(just increase heat and reassess). Your snake sounds completely healthy my friend. One thing I would consider is reducing your feeding schedule. Many domestic snakes are over fed, which studies show can lead to a shorter life span. I’m new to this group but happy to answer questions. I work with exotic reptiles at one of the longest standing exotic pet shops on the west cost( debatably the largest) I’m happy to help with any questions feel free to ask any time and I’ll give you the best information I can. Best of all I’ll never pretend I know. Personally learning is the best part
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Hello folks! So I was able to check the snake's deposits today. The only thing I found a bit strange is that I detected too much hair in the faeces. Probably this was the reason of the issue, but, in any case, she seems to be ok so I have feed her again today, back to routine!

Thanks again for the messages and support.
 

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hey sounds like your doing a great job. Generally speaking the first sign something is wrong is lack of appetite so don’t stop feeding. There are many different factors to consider. For one do you take substrate temp(best options). Belly heat aids metabolic stimulation. The better the metabolism the more nutrients are pulled from feed the less excess is produced. It may take multiple feeds before a movement is necessary. On the other hand if metabolism is slowed then the food item is not processed as well, sometimes almost not at all. Which can cause regurgitation. However with decreased metabolism come decreased appetite, but the animal will not burn energy or fat as fast so no real danger(just increase heat and reassess). Your snake sounds completely healthy my friend. One thing I would consider is reducing your feeding schedule. Many domestic snakes are over fed, which studies show can lead to a shorter life span. I’m new to this group but happy to answer questions. I work with exotic reptiles at one of the longest standing exotic pet shops on the west cost( debatably the largest) I’m happy to help with any questions feel free to ask any time and I’ll give you the best information I can. Best of all I’ll never pretend I know. Personally learning is the best part
Our first corn snake lived for nearly 24yrs and we'd had him since he was a couple of months old. As an adult he was offered a large mouse every 2 weeks. Sometimes he would eat several consecutive feeds, others he left it. Basically he led his feeding and certainly didn't die young.

Our current corn let's us know when it's hungry by its behaviour, sometimes it's once a week and others, he'll go a couple of weeks.

Maybe our snakes are better at deciding than we are?
 
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