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Old 01-22-2018, 03:46 AM   #1
Black Pine regurge syndrome

I've had this four year old male black pine het for pied for 4 freakin' years with regurge syndrome. Tried everything including stool transplantation from healthy black pine. Fecals always clean. Tried flagyl many times despite the clean fecals. Tried "probiotics for snakes," which is pretty much BS. He can eat exactly one pink rat (with skin peeled back for easier digestion) every four days. anything more and it's yak or partially undigested stool. anything with a bit of fur on it... yak. he's about 4 1/2 feet long and looks like a rail but is always hungry. Many times, I just thought about euthanizing him but did not have the heart to do so. I don't brumate him because he's too thin to survive the brumation and eats throughout winter.
Old 01-22-2018, 09:14 AM   #2
Maybe he could take larger size hairless rats since fur causes him issues?

Has the vet considered scoping him to see if there's a physical abnormality preventing larger feeders from passing?
Old 01-23-2018, 01:55 AM   #3
he can't take two day old pink rats without yaking one up!
Old 01-24-2018, 12:16 PM   #4
tim brophy
Old 01-24-2018, 07:41 PM   #5
Have you ever had a scan or X ray done in case he has a physical blockage preventing him from taking larger prey?
Old 01-30-2018, 08:49 PM   #6
I agree with Helenthereef's post: probably has a slow-growing tumor or other malformation internally that prevents him from consuming normal-sized prey. Sounds to me like he's slowly starving to death, which honestly isn't kind. I'd either go the vet-route, see if you can identify the problem & fix it (that's likely to be a big invasive deal to put him through and expect survival, especially in his already-thin-ie. weak condition), or euthanize him out of sorry.
Old 02-08-2018, 01:22 PM   #7
x-rayed him up and down. nada... he is not by any means weak. has a robust feeding response. digests single pink rats without an issue. anything more, even two pink rats, yak. he's not starving to death as he's been like this for 3 plus years. tim, i thought about it about 10 times but couldn't get myself to do it. it just seems like he wants to live and i just can't put him down. he actually comes out of his cage looking for food. maybe, one more trial of flagyl followed by fecal transplantation from my healthy black pines. unfortunately unlike humans, there's no scope small enough to do fecal transplantation from the rectum and i have to do it via fecal oral route which is not as effective.
Old 02-08-2018, 01:27 PM   #8
just to clarify, he does not have a issue taking larger prey. he has an issue with digestion. he'll happily take down a large mouse/small rat if i gave him one. he will just regurgitate it a day or two later partially/minimally digested.
Old 02-08-2018, 01:37 PM   #9
Personally I'd try tube-feeding him, I've used the technique for years on various snakes with good results & it's truly not that hard: not for us to do, and not hard on the snake receiving it. I'd try adding reptile "probiotics" (Benebac etc) or fecal transfers from healthy snakes. What have you got to lose?
Old 02-08-2018, 02:02 PM   #10
It's not common but not impossible that he has weak digestive enzymes for whatever reason. I had a rattlesnake many years ago that was like that, but his situation was made worse (& thereby obvious) by whoever made him "venomoid". He was given to me, able to eat but unable to digest fats, resulting in greasy foul-smelling stools; his body was thin (triangular). Venom starts the digestive process, & while perhaps most snakes have good enough digestion that they don't "miss" using venom, obviously it was a huge problem for him. (I used a venom donor to envenomate rodents for him.)
Obviously since I wasn't the original owner of that snake I can't tell you if he was born that way (weak digestion) but I'm assuming he was. He was an adult snake when he came to me, & from that experience, I have to assume that some small percentage of snakes might suffer likewise, cause unknown.
You say this snake has been like this for 3 years? A snake that is slowly starving is probably NOT producing digestive enzymes: they need to eat enough to keep up with all their bodily functions & I believe that if he got more nutrition, he might slowly regain his digestive abilities, if what you say is true (no physical blockages). I don't blame you for not wanting to euthanize him, but you need to do more for him than what you've been doing, IMO. It may take a while, not just one tube-feed: I've always used Gerber's (2nd foods) chicken babyfood, thinned w/ water. Do not try to feed a large amount at once: even though it's easier to digest, you want to gradually increase the amount...see how he does & let us know?

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