View Full Version : Looking for some advice!

03-01-2006, 09:39 PM
Hi!! I recently bought a baby western hognose. She refuses to eat. I've tried live pinkies, frozen pinkies, i've also put them in a paper bag and left them in her cage over night. Nothing seems to get her to eat it. She has no interest in it whatsoever. When its next to her, she tries to burrow underneath it! She also seems very scared when not being handled, but ive only had her for about 5 days now. She won't drink either, unless i show her the water bowl. Then she drinks and drinks and drinks. She also does this funny thing with her mouth after drinking and other times. She opens it very wide repititively almost looking like shes choking, but not. I love her, shes wonderful, but i'm just alittle worried. Does this sound like common behavior when they are young?? If someone could give me some advice that would be wonderful. This is my first snake :)
I've attached some pics of her! shes so little!!

Tha Barron
03-01-2006, 10:19 PM
if you have only had her for 5 days you should leave her in her enclosure for at least 30 days during that time you could attempt to feed her but you should really just let her get used to her new enviroment.

03-02-2006, 12:33 AM
aww...she is little..oh and also..this is not common behavior only when theyre young...they tend to go on hunger strikes...one time mine stopped eating for FOUR months...almost gave me a heart attack..but when they dont wanna eat, they dont wanna eat..just make sure she doesnt look emaciated, and other than that you dont have to worry..shell eat in her time..but remember..its very important that you give her some time to get used to her environment first..so she isnt stressed cuz that could be another reason..also...check the temps..make sure theyre set right..and about the water thing...yah..you think they dont drink..but they do when you dont watch them..but i also from time to time.."help" giselle drink...dont worry bout it too much...im sure shell be better in no time...she just needs time...heh...that sounded funny..well, you get the point. :)

03-02-2006, 03:35 PM
A couple of things may be the cause for her to stop or not eat since you have owned her. So I will ask a few questions and maybe we can help.

When you purchased her, were you informed that she was eating pinkies?
What size enclosure is she in?
What is the temperature you have for a hot side and the cold side of the enclosure?
Are you feeding live or frozen thawed pinkies?
Are you going to feed her in the cage or use a feed box(paper bag, shoe box, etc.)?

A rule of thumb when you bring home a new snake, give them at least a week to be alone in their cage without being disturbed. This will give them a chance to relax and get used to the new place. The stress level she is at could be very high, I would suggest not handling her for at least a week before you try feeding again. Until then let us go over these questions.

03-02-2006, 07:23 PM
Thanks for your reply and advice.....heres the answers to your questions

When you purchased her, were you informed that she was eating pinkies?
Yes she was eating
What size enclosure is she in?
A 10 gallon tank
What is the temperature you have for a hot side and the cold side of the enclosure?
I dont know the exact temp. I bought one of the heating pads that stick to the bottom of the tank. its on one of the sides of her cage. It also stays very warm in my apartment. I almost constantly have a window open on the other side of the room, not near her cage. so it's not too warm for either of us!
Are you feeding live or frozen thawed pinkies?
Ive tried both, the pet shop was feeding her live

Are you going to feed her in the cage or use a feed box(paper bag, shoe box, etc.)? I was told to feed her in another cage instead of hers. thats what i have been trying, however since shes not been eating, i've left the pinky in her cage for the day/night in a brown lunch bag.

03-02-2006, 07:49 PM
you need to get something that tells the exact temperature in the tank though..

03-02-2006, 07:51 PM
Okay, I do suggest getting a device to check the temperatures. The heating pad you are using runs at 125 degrees, I also suggest getting a lamp dimmer or thermostat so you do not cook your snake. A temperature gun costs about $25 you can easily point it at the spot you want to know the temp. of and get a reading in seconds. The lamp dimmer can be purchased from WalMart, a thermostats can be found at most hardware stores, either one of these devices will work. The heater plugs into them, the dimmer/thermostat is plugged into your power outlit. They will allow you to adjust how much power is going into the heater, thus you can set the heat pad to only run at 85 or 90 degrees.

As far as feeding, good to know that it was eating before you purchased the hoggy, did they say when was the last time the snake ate? If she has been eating live, I would stick with that until you are satisfied that she is eating well for you, then later move on to frozen thawed food. So give her at least a week to be all alone, then only take her out to feed her. You can leave her in with food all day, hognose snakes are diurnal, they are active during the day, usually around dusk and dawn. This is when she will be more likely to eat, you can leave her in her feed box all day with a pinkie, no worries about the pinkie hurting your snake. So you can try feeding her early in the morning when she wakes up, or late afternoon when she will be out looking for food. If she does not eat within the first 10 minutes, I personally leave her in with the pinkie all day.

Whether you use a paper bag or deli cup, I do suggest you then place the feed box she is in back in her cage. Nothing more annoying than a snake getting out and they are not in a secure cage. If you do use a deli cup, make sure there are small holes in the cup for oxygen.

03-10-2006, 05:45 PM
Still no sign of any interest whatsoever with food. However, after not handling her for a week and attempting to feed her again....As i picked her up i noticed her skin is very loose, the bottom of her which used to be black, is now a milky black color....could she be sheding her skin? Maybe thats the answer to her 3 weeks starvation period? hmm.. her eyes look a little cloudy, but not much, and she hid for a few days under the bag in her cage. But she is drinking lots! Any thoughts?
thanks for the advice so far!! Its been a big help!

03-11-2006, 01:18 PM
She is in shed! I should have thought of that. When she does shed, she will most likely be ready to eat again. The shed process does take three weeks, she should have that old skin removed in the next couple of days.

Funny thing is most of my snakes will eat while in shed, so it is not the first sign [of not eating] that would come to my mind.

03-16-2006, 12:05 AM
great snake, good luck with her! please update us on her, i like to hear how new snakes are coming along :D

In my cage i use an aquarium digital thermometer that sticks on the ouside of the cage and has a probe to go in the cage on the hotspot. They are only about $10 at a pet store, but make sure your cage top will let the cord pass through.
The temp guns are awesome, though so get one if you can, they are handy yo check the temperatures throughout a cage rather than just one spot.

03-17-2006, 03:33 PM
I purchased a digital thermometer that has a probe that attaches to the inside of the cage and gives me a reading of the heating pad. I also bought the dimmer. I didn't realize how hot the pad actually gets! I'm sure shes alot happier now.
Nyoka's eyes turned a cloudy then bluish color. her belly is still whitish. Now since yesterday her eyes are back to normal. I spray her with some water everyday cause she seems to not come out of hiding very much. even to drink. after i spray her, she runs around her tank happily and knocks herself out. Now I'm waiting patiently until she gets rid of this skin! Then back to trying to get her to eat. Shes a tough one...very stubborn :) but, i love her!

03-21-2006, 10:24 AM
Awesome, keep up the good work! HAs she shed yet? Usually once the eyes go back to normal color they will shed within four days or so.

03-21-2006, 12:56 PM
Yes! She has shed! Its been a few days since she got rid of that skin, and she still won't eat. I tried braining the pinkie...didnt work. She has plenty of energy and seems healthy...i guess shes still just not hungry. :( Ill try again in a day or two.

03-21-2006, 02:40 PM
I have an idea that may help if the hognose does not start feeding soon. There is a product made by T-Rex called the Lizard Maker, I have heard a lot of good about the product, it is a lizard scent, which is a natural food to the hognose. Another product which I have also heard works wonders with hognose snakes is the Snake Steak Sausages. www.reptilesource.com carries both of these products.

04-10-2006, 03:17 PM
Nyoka Finally ate a few days ago!! Its been at least 3 months! I tried everything from rubbing pinkies on a toad to attempting to feed her an actual tree frog. Finally, she just decided to eat the plain pinkie one day when I wasn't home. Shes healthy :)

04-10-2006, 10:12 PM
im very happy for you katie..and for your hoggy...i know how difficult it could be for YOU when they dont eat...mine once went without eating for four months! ..theyre kinda known to go on hunger strikes once in a while......but yaaaaaay for Nyoka...yah..didnt think she would really want the frog anyway..cuz westerns usually like rodents...easterns..theyre the ones that like the amphibs. but anyway..im very happy that youre happy :)

04-14-2006, 03:58 PM
SAAWEEET!! That is awsome to read!!! That was a lot of work, congrats!!

05-07-2006, 02:47 PM
Could it be possible that Nyoka might be shedding again?! After eating only once, about a month ago, this week she just sleeps all the time...similar to last time she shed. How often are babies suppose to shed? She did get longer, but shes still tiny!
heres a picture of her, and where she sleeps everynight...she loves her water bowl :)

05-12-2006, 04:54 AM
they shed every few months..i would say like 3-4 normally..for babies...but sometimes they just wanna sleep..mine loooves to sleep..she usually awake mostly on mondays, cuz thats her feeding day

06-25-2006, 08:14 PM
Has your snake ate yet?

I just picked up a Hoggie yesterday at Repticon. I was told it ate a fuzzy a few days back but there was no sign of a meal in her. I bought her home and tried to feed her, no go. Of course my head filled with thought's but I tried again today with a FTP and she ate it up, few.

06-25-2006, 11:18 PM
Hey Kingetula,

I'm new to this forum too, but I've got a little hoggy and it amazes me how quickly his stomach will smooth out after a pretty big meal. Sounds to me like you got a healthy critter that is adjusting to the new digs. They are so cool, but from the looks of all the different experiences posted here, their eating habits are really variable. So far my '05 CB western is a true eating champ, but I know that I will be patient and in close contact with the experience you can find here whenever he stops eating. Lots of good people here. Hang in there.

06-26-2006, 01:41 PM
No, she still has not eaten....since febuary lol
i try once a week with new pinkies just in case she suddenly gets hungry, but no luck so far...
I picked her up today to show her the new pinkie, and i realized shes shedding again so....that explains why she hasn't eaten in the past couple weeks i guess.
Hopefully she will gobble one up after this shed like last time
Good luck with your baby... i'm glad you got her to eat
some of them just seem to be quite picky eaters!!
I can't wait for the day when i can actually watch my nyoka eat a live mouse haha :)

06-26-2006, 01:46 PM
Also to add to my last post....
I think most of the pet stores lie about when their snakes eat....
I was told Nyoka ate one every week....I highly doubt that...
I wouldn't be suprised if she didn't eat at all while she was there.
Breeders sound like a better choice to me....for next time :)

06-27-2006, 03:22 AM
wow..good luck w/ her katie...as long as she doesnt look emaciated, shell be fine....its just a phase..scares us more than it scares them im sure..haha

06-28-2006, 05:38 PM
hmm...how can i tell if shes emaciated looking...i'm not sure what to look for, I've always been able to see the lower part of the bones on her back.
She must be ok if shes shedding, that means shes growing...right?
haha sorry she really does make me worry :(

06-28-2006, 10:13 PM

When I've seen some Ball Pythons at the LPS, it seems that they've got bunches of animals that were wild caught and sold to them a captive bred, and they end up with a few that haven't been sold that look emaciated. That means that their skin folds in a way that looks brittle, looks like there's too much skin for the body of the snake, kind of dehydrated and hollow.

Sounds like with the shedding event about to happen you should wait until after to try anything different than just presenting another pinkie. One thing I wonder after looking over the thread again is what besides shredded aspen do you have in there for substrate? What is that big stuff nearer the camera?

That's a pretty little girl......keep us posted on any eating after her shed. What a drama queen she is......good luck. :cool:


06-29-2006, 04:33 AM
hmm...okay...few suggestions after the drama queen sheds..try feeding her a small fuzzy...and try doing it in a small paper bag..i dont know what you get your mouse in but thats what i get mine in..and i put giselle in that bag...she seems all uncomfortable in it..but theres basically no place to go and the mouse is right in front of her, so its easy for her to catch..one time i tried feeding her in just a little bigger bag and she didnt eat it..so she likes the clausterphobic thing..haha....anyway...see if she eats it in there..leave her in there for a couple hours..try putting the bag,,w/ her and the mouse still in it in the tank..but fold the top so she doesnt just try to leave once she sees she can....leave it overnight....see what happens....let me know..thats what i did for giselle and shes been eating normal since...let us know what happens

07-12-2006, 08:59 PM
Ohh boy....
Well, Nyoka shed successfully, this time her skin came off like a sock...it looks pretty :)
I came back after a weekend of leaving her alone and put a mouse in the cage with her. She immediately saw it and chased after it opening her mouth, but couldn't catch it. I guess after a little while she just decided to give up.
Then i tried a few other things and lastly put her in a paper bag with the mouse for a few hours....no luck
So, I figured the mouse might be alittle too quick or big for her so I purchased a pinkie yesterday and put it in her cage, Nyoka looks at it and hisses, but just crawls all over the mouse and tries to burrow under it. lol
I just put them in the bag, which i will leave overnight...
i feel awful about putting her in there and watching these mice die. :(
We shall see what happens tomorrow!

p.s. Is there any way nyoka could get sick of the mice always being around her and never want to eat? Maybe I should stop trying for a week and leave her alone?

07-12-2006, 09:10 PM
I only have the aspen in her cage...When i first got her I kept her in a 10 gallon tank with heat treated "Naturebark". Someone told me it might be too big for her right now, so now I keep her in the tank I got her in, inside the 10 gallon tank...My apartment is only about 13X13 so i try to condense as much as possible haha. :)
Nyoka has her own corner by the window though...shes a lucky girl ;)

07-18-2006, 04:38 PM
Yay!! Nyoka finally ate for the second time!!
Thanks for everyones help..once again

07-19-2006, 10:23 PM
With sporadic eaters, it's often helpful to invest in a scale. The digital postage scales they sell at most office supply stores work great. This way, you can weigh them regularly and see if they are maintaining their weight. It can be difficult to tell visually that a snake is losing weight until the weight loss becomes severe. With a concrete weight measurement you'll also be able to determine whether or not you need to worry about her fasting. Hopefully she'll start eating more regularly for you.


07-20-2006, 02:19 AM
thats awesome katie!!! congratulations..finally...hmm..i have a feeling shell start eating regularly now...cross fingers