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HELP! I have a garter young garter snake that won't eat. She has always been a picky eater but a little over 2 months ago stopped eating all together. She is kept in a 30 gallon low bioactive with one other snake about her age (I don't want to get into a debate about cohabiting. I tried separating her for a few weeks nothing happened, so please don't start debating about this). She used to eat fuzzies, and nightcrawlers but in mid-late august she started refusing all food. In late september I force fed her a small pinky but haven't got anything in her sense. She is a little over 2 feet in length and about 2-4 years old (she was a resque so we don't know exactly). Her thank set up is bioactive with plant and isopods + springtails, 4 hides, large water dish, and humidity box. There is a basking area, with a 60 watt heat bulb. Our thermometer broke by before it was about 80F on the warm end (90-95 basking spot) and 70F (possibly down to 60 at night, but warm end is always the same) cool end. She was handled every other day beforehand but I limited to once a week after she stopped eating, hoping to destress her. The weirdest part of this, I have barely noticed any weight loss. I was wondering if she was trying to brumate because I do know that my house has definitely got colder in the fall but I don't have anywhere to brumate her so that's not really an option. Unfortunately there are no vets anywhere near my house that take snake so I have to figure this out myself. I might be able to take her to and exotic vet (2+ hours away) but only if I can first figure out what's wrong.
 

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Reduce the temperature, reduce the light and put her in a small dark box. Bring her down to about 15C, no light and leave undisturbed for 3 months apart from checking water weekly she wants to brumate.
In the spring reverse the process. Offer a small meal to start with and she will be back to feeding normally.
Saying you can't brumate is unfortunately an issue you need to address when keeping a species that will naturally brumate.
What garter is it?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Reduce the temperature, reduce the light and put her in a small dark box. Bring her down to about 15C, no light and leave undisturbed for 3 months apart from checking water weekly she wants to brumate.
In the spring reverse the process. Offer a small meal to start with and she will be back to feeding normally.
Saying you can't brumate is unfortunately an issue you need to address when keeping a species that will naturally brumate.
What garter is it?
My problem is that I have no way of getting her to that temperature. In my house it never drops below 70F (21C) and in my basement there is lots of noise and chemicals are used frequently. I considered keeping her in my garage but there the temperatures would easily drop way below freezing so that's not an option either. Is there any way that I can reverse this affect without her brumating, if not how do I get her to brumate without the right temperature. My extra fridge is 4C at max so that is to cold and outside is 0C. In side in the lowest floor is 20C. Can I safely get away with any of these temperatures? I got her early this spring and none of my other garters try to brumate so I've never needed to brumate anything. Can I somehow get away without brumating her?
 

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This is worrying.
You ask how you can brumate without getting to the temperature?
Well, you can't.
Keeping reptiles means understanding their year round needs and environmental changes. If you cannot provide for those then please, don't keep them.
You still haven't said what garter this is. It could be that the food you are offering is wrong rather than the environment.
 

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One other thing.
How are you controlling the temperature? A 60w bulb can get VERY hot so this could equally be a snake not feeding as it is stressed from excessive temperature.
 

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My problem is that I have no way of getting her to that temperature. In my house it never drops below 70F (21C) and in my basement there is lots of noise and chemicals are used frequently. I considered keeping her in my garage but there the temperatures would easily drop way below freezing so that's not an option either. Is there any way that I can reverse this affect without her brumating, if not how do I get her to brumate without the right temperature. My extra fridge is 4C at max so that is to cold and outside is 0C. In side in the lowest floor is 20C. Can I safely get away with any of these temperatures? I got her early this spring and none of my other garters try to brumate so I've never needed to brumate anything. Can I somehow get away without brumating her?

Is your basement a meth lab?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
This is worrying.
You ask how you can brumate without getting to the temperature?
Well, you can't.
Keeping reptiles means understanding their year round needs and environmental changes. If you cannot provide for those then please, don't keep them.
You still haven't said what garter this is. It could be that the food you are offering is wrong rather than the environment.
Not sure what you meant by "what garter is it" but if your referring to the species than she's an eastern garter, the other in the same tank is a unone hybrid (when I got him he was just labeled as "hybrid" but I think he's got a mix of ribbon and checkered). And as for the bulb, I already said what the tank's temperature is and I'm sure the setup's right otherwise. I also know that brumation is unnecessary and most my snakes never try to anyway so I've never brumated before.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Is your basement a meth lab?
No? Not even sure how to respond to this. We're in the middle of refinishing the 2nd floor and keep all the paint and stripper down there. There are also occasional loud noise whenever we use the powertools (also in the basement).
 

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You dont need to justify yourself to me-I think its cool youve got a meth lab with strippers and power tools. Not ideal for the garters though
 

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I also know that brumation is unnecessary
personally i would argue that if a particular snake is refusing to feed due to a seasonal response then unnecessary is a strong word. if you brumate it then the metabolism will slow right down and the animal can go lot longer without food before suffering ill effects. its true that some temperate snakes dont seem to worry about it but others do, its down to the individual. care guides suggest that corn snakes are absolutely fine without brumation but plenty still stop feeding in winter.
could you put the snake in a friends place if they have a spot which is more suitable than your own house? it is more hassle but if its best for the snake. if you can use the garage then you could maybe set up an area with an electric heater to keep things at a steady.
ceasing feeding in august sounds pretty early to start brumation behaviour. that said i dont have the experience to say for sure. you could try a wider variety of food/braining etc to entice it. also it could be worth finding a reptile vet that will do a phone/video consultation if its that far away. people are doing that a lot more now and it can give you a lifeline for things like this.
 

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Not sure what you meant by "what garter is it" but if your referring to the species than she's an eastern garter, the other in the same tank is a unone hybrid (when I got him he was just labeled as "hybrid" but I think he's got a mix of ribbon and checkered). And as for the bulb, I already said what the tank's temperature is and I'm sure the setup's right otherwise. I also know that brumation is unnecessary and most my snakes never try to anyway so I've never brumated before.
I would have thought it was obvious what it meant, there are many species of garter, and even more subspecies, with various dietary needs and preferences.
Given that its an Eastern have you tried fish?
I had a group of eastern years ago, and theybwould take mice, fish and worms. One thing I did find however was that if they ere fed one food type for a long time they would eventually refuse to take it. Switching food would sort this. Its worth a try, just make sure you don't feed fish with thiaminase.
An uncontrolled bulb is not good, as it will overheat. And brumation is necessary. Not all snakes want to brumate but it is part of their life cycle and should be catered for.

One other thought is, could she be gravid? No feeding and no weight loss could be explained by her carrying young. Weird time of year I know, but, its worth bearing in mind.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Half the people here are taking me seriously and actually offering decent advice and the others are poking fun of my extremely poor choice of words when explaining why I can't keep my snakes in my basement. I mean it's not really useful but at least I got a good laugh.
 

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I would have thought it was obvious what it meant, there are many species of garter, and even more subspecies, with various dietary needs and preferences.
Given that its an Eastern have you tried fish?
I had a group of eastern years ago, and theybwould take mice, fish and worms. One thing I did find however was that if they ere fed one food type for a long time they would eventually refuse to take it. Switching food would sort this. Its worth a try, just make sure you don't feed fish with thiaminase.
An uncontrolled bulb is not good, as it will overheat. And brumation is necessary. Not all snakes want to brumate but it is part of their life cycle and should be catered for.

One other thought is, could she be gravid? No feeding and no weight loss could be explained by her carrying young. Weird time of year I know, but, its worth bearing in mind.
We actually did suspect her being gravid at first since the snake she's kept with is a male but it's been over 5 months since he was introduced and both are much to small, the other garter only a year old. Also we checked over her body condition and in the past week or two she has definitely begin to lose some weight. Not much before just now but there is definitely a slight point to her spine and the skin creases a bit when she moves, but not to much.
 

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We actually did suspect her being gravid at first since the snake she's kept with is a male but it's been over 5 months since he was introduced and both are much to small, the other garter only a year old. Also we checked over her body condition and in the past week or two she has definitely begin to lose some weight. Not much before just now but there is definitely a slight point to her spine and the skin creases a bit when she moves, but not to much.
Try fish.
 

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I would have thought it was obvious what it meant, there are many species of garter, and even more subspecies, with various dietary needs and preferences.
Given that its an Eastern have you tried fish?
I had a group of eastern years ago, and theybwould take mice, fish and worms. One thing I did find however was that if they ere fed one food type for a long time they would eventually refuse to take it. Switching food would sort this. Its worth a try, just make sure you don't feed fish with thiaminase.
An uncontrolled bulb is not good, as it will overheat. And brumation is necessary. Not all snakes want to brumate but it is part of their life cycle and should be catered for.

One other thought is, could she be gravid? No feeding and no weight loss could be explained by her carrying young. Weird time of year I know, but, its worth bearing in mind.
This.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Try fish.
Yeah, I've actually tried fish with her in the past but she always refused it. I've tried tilapia, salmon, and feeder guppies. I also sometimes throw in some rosy red minnows but only as an uncational treat because of the thimanses (she refuses them too). I just think she doesn't like fish.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Good new! I have a large crawl space in my basement the size of my room! I almost forgot about it since we never use it anything. Right now it's 18C but as it gets colder out it should be down to about 15-16. I used tape to cover the heating docks and found the coolest corner. It's pitch black there but has a dim light I can turn on if I want to change out the water. I've moved her into a 5 gallon tank for now and I have one other snake that I think would benefit from brumation. I set him up with a 4 gallon plastic tub but he'll still be one heat for another week. I'm gradually cooling her off and I think everything's going smoothly. :D
 
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