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Florida kingsnake not eating...any suggestions?

Posted: June 21st, 2021, 11:16 am
by melissaisdown
Hi all,

Not my first snake, or kingsnake. Just kinda desperate for any suggestions that might work.

I have a juvenile Florida kingsnake (sold to me as half speckled half goins). She ate fine first two months, a f/t pinky once a week. She shed about 8 days ago, so at first I thought the shed was coming and the reason for not eating. But as of right now she hasn't eaten in 3 weeks and I'm getting anxious.

She's in a 20 gal tank with Aspen substrate. Warm side is 80-85, cool side is 70 all day and night. Always has fresh water. Friday I scented her pinky with a live mouse as well as I could...she still didn't eat.

Seems active and healthy otherwise. Moves around at night. Just not hungry. Will probably try a live mouse this week, I'm in the process of trying to find a smaller sized one.

Anything I'm missing? Any advice at all?

I had a Lampropeltis getula previously. But adopted it as an adult. Probably my favorite snake I've ever kept. I was hoping this one would be similar, but seems it may not be.

Thanks in advance.

Re: Florida kingsnake not eating...any suggestions?

Posted: June 26th, 2021, 5:46 pm
by Kelly Mc
Hi Melissa

The first thing I do with a young snake that has suddenly stopped feeding in an on season, is to carefully go over the snakes body with my eyes and my fingertips, both equally important in examining a snake - with emphasis on the head, ocular groove and the tip of the tail.

A retained eyecap or tail tip can cause discomfort that can distract a snake from feeding. The tail tip is a real under the radar thing that ends up becoming breached from blood from the constriction until it dries in a discreet necrosis and drops off. This results in a less than perfect specimen, and again causes more discomfort than folks realize. Snakes with a necrotic tail tip will react with augmented sensitivity at having the area investigated per a gentle press.

That is what I do first. Then I look at externals/changes of environment and household, for potential impacts including those that occurred before the snake stopped eating, going back month or two if possible.

Another thing I look at are the frozen mice. Did the snake stop eating 'late in the bag' ie: are the mice pithy, freezer burned? This can interfere with appeal. Especially if they arent re sealed, or air pressed out after each retrieve which is super common.

Re: Florida kingsnake not eating...any suggestions?

Posted: July 28th, 2021, 5:31 am
by Kelly Mc
Hope your snake ate.

Instead of the usual litany of listing the different ways you can offer the mouse, wash the thawed, peel the scalp of thawed, offer live, offer PK, which it seemed you were already familiar, examining the cause of the refusals is the focus I take.

As it is often important to attend to that if it is revealed

Re: Florida kingsnake not eating...any suggestions?

Posted: October 5th, 2021, 11:37 am
by Kelly Mc
Hey Melissaisdown, some followup on your snake would be great, like, its fun and fulfills the purposes of this forum.

There may be persons worried about their snake, or even more worried because they have a King or even a Fla King and they are new etc.. and so, they click. Because of their own concern and because of your inquiry. We want to help other animals. Not just one. Thats the real point of this.

FHF Herpetoculture section is tucked away in an internet bursting in a splurge of excreted output.

Yet, here we are, as FHF, quietly steadfast and dependable for accurate material.

We are a Lithograph in a sea of cartoons.

Your response and update would be appreciated, it could be so helpful!

Re: Florida kingsnake not eating...any suggestions?

Posted: October 5th, 2021, 3:47 pm
by Kelly Mc
Havent seen him around in a while, but FHFs Berkeley Boone has worked alot with our American Big Kings. His enclosures and descriptions of wooden hide houses he built stick out most memorably.

I would love to see a photo of your guy Melissa. For sure I love our western animals, but those big iconic kings are King.