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A royal python I received September last year has not eaten with me. They haven't eaten for 7-8 months. When they arrived with me, they were sick and I immediately took them to the vets, they had an RI. For almost 2 months they had to have injections every other day as well as vet visits. She did recover from the RI however I have been unable to get her to eat, leading her to lose a lot of weight. 1st vet visit, she weighed 820g. I weighed her last night, 640g. She had a perfect shed a few days ago and is still drinking water and producing urates.

Before the lockdown was in place, I had her booked into the vets to see if there was something else that could be affecting her eating. Now, I know most of the time it's to do with the habitat and I've tried lots of different things to encourage her to eat. All my snakes have a warm end of 31 degrees. Cold end 23 degrees. Using thermostats and heat mat. Humidity is always around 70-80%. 2 hides, eco earth substrate. I've currently got her in a tub setup, but I've had her in a wooden vivarium too with 4 hides. I'm thinking of putting her in one of the large exo terra's now and see if she'll be more active. She's not active at all, I never see her out of her hides she is always curled up. My snakes always have their heads poking out on feeding day ready, but I've never seen her in feed mode. I boost her hotspot to 33 degrees the day before I feed. I've tried her on rats, mice and multis. Warmed up with different methods. I always defrost them overnight in the fridge, then use a hairdryer to warm them. I've also used warm water and a heat lamp. I use a digital thermometer to check temps. I've tried braining them and leaving them overnight to see if she'll eat when I'm not there.

My vet rang me about my appointment a couple of weeks ago and told me to keep trying to feed her and that she's lost the weight from fighting the infection. If she still hasn't eaten after the lockdown lifts, to bring her in then. I'm concerned that she is getting worse. Her spine is visible and she just looks terribly skinny. With the lockdown, I'm finding myself in there watching them a lot more and cleaning and it's really hit me how skinny she is compared to my other snakes. I want to try tube feeding her with Critical Care Carnivore. I would like advice from others who have used this method, advice in general on how I should treat this, or if I should leave her alone and keep trying. Feel free to PM me.
 

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They haven't eaten for 7-8 months. When they arrived with me, they were sick and I immediately took them to the vets, they had an RI. For almost 2 months they had to have injections every other day as well as vet visits. She did recover from the RI however I have been unable to get her to eat, leading her to lose a lot of weight. 1st vet visit, she weighed 820g. I weighed her last night, 640g. She had a perfect shed a few days ago and is still drinking water and producing urates.

Before the lockdown was in place, I had her booked into the vets to see if there was something else that could be affecting her eating. Now, I know most of the time it's to do with the habitat and I've tried lots of different things to encourage her to eat. All my snakes have a warm end of 31 degrees. Cold end 23 degrees. Using thermostats and heat mat. Humidity is always around 70-80%. 2 hides, eco earth substrate. I've currently got her in a tub setup, but I've had her in a wooden vivarium too with 4 hides.
Read the sticky above. I would look at a vivarium with guarded lamp or better still a ceramic so that you maintain the hot spot and a warm air environment.

I would also look at trying live mice before subjecting the snake to a stressful process of force feeding, especially using tubes
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
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Read the sticky above. I would look at a vivarium with guarded lamp or better still a ceramic so that you maintain the hot spot and a warm air environment.

I would also look at trying live mice before subjecting the snake to a stressful process of force feeding, especially using tubes
I'll check it out now. I was told that tubes were better than whole prey force feeding but there are just so many opinions on the topic I really don't know. Never thought I'd be thinking of doing it
 

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I was told that tubes were better than whole prey force feeding but there are just so many opinions on the topic I really don't know. Never thought I'd be thinking of doing it
I'm not suggesting you force feed....

Find a local fancy mouse / rat breeder and arrange to purchase a few live small mice. Don't tell him what you intend to do with them, make up whatever story you wish.

For now - leave the snake in its tub. Ensure the room the tub is in is heated and remains at 25c - 28c day an night. This will increase the ambient air temperature without stressing the snake further by putting it in a new enclosure.

Get a small sealable tub that is large enough to place the snake in and fill it with warm water (tepid around 35c) to a depth that is just deeper then the largest part of the snake. Place the snake it the water, seal the lid and leave it alone for 20 minutes. You may see it drink, this is a good thing.

Whilst the snake is in its bath, clean the tub out, remove all substrate and once clean place a couple of layers of kitchen paper on its base, and add a hide. Remove the snake from its bath, and place it back in the cleaned tub and leave it for 20-30 minutes

Then place the live mouse in with the snake, and keep an eye on things. If the snake is otherwise OK but just underweight its feeding response should kick in and it should take the mouse. Leave the snake alone for a few hours and then offer a second mouse. Hopefully it will take another.

Once it has taken a couple of live you should find it will pick up and take a couple more in 4-5 days. It's doubtful any mice would live that long without food and water, so unless you have the means to feed and look after them you may have to return to the breeder and ask for a few more, making up some story that the others died... :whistling2:

You may then find that the snake will then take a defrosted frozen mouse of the same size by the 3rd meal - ensuring it dry and warm.

I know it's difficult knowing that you are condemning the mouse to death, but its for a good reason and you as the owner of the snake has a duty of care to the snake, and this is one thing you need to try. Force feeding a hatchling is one thing, a snake at this size is a different issue and is very stressful and could result in the snake regurgitating the meal
 
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