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Old 04-08-2018, 09:31 AM   #1
White lipped python

Does anyone have any experience with White Lipped Pythons? I have had a subadult for a few weeks. Presumably an import, generally healthy, about 5 feet. I canít get him to eat. I have tried F/T and live. Feeding both during the day and night in complete darkness and all a no go. Any tips or tricks? Thanks
Old 04-08-2018, 01:59 PM   #2
What prey have you offered? What time of day? (dusk is preferred) Imports often appear healthy but are both stressed & often heavily parasitized (both internally & externally). I'd get a stool sample checked as soon as you can. I've not worked with any of these but like many snakes, they are very shy & do best with lots of privacy (hides & low traffic area); sometimes we all offer food too many times & just need to back off for 1-2 weeks to let a new snake settle in. Try covering half the cage with a towel or paper tacked onto the outside to reduce what the snake sees & is presumably stressed by (-like you, lol). Be patient...generally it's best not to even offer food to a new snake for 1 or 2 weeks, especially an import that's been put through so much. Stress reduces how well their immune system functions, keep that in mind. Good luck!
Old 04-08-2018, 02:40 PM   #3
I’ve only offered small rats. I leave the snake alone most of the time, only do anything when I’m cleaning etc. I left him alone for a whole week before offering anything and only offer once a week. I’ve never even seen him come out of his hide.
Old 04-08-2018, 03:27 PM   #4
There's a huge difference between the smell (& presumably taste) of rats & mice. I'd try a mouse, maybe a live crawler (eyes closed). Not saying it will fill him up, but you want him to accept food, then graduate to more practical fare. Actually, domestic rats & mice all smell different from wild rodents too; remember that some of their scent also comes from what they eat (not lab blocks, lol). I feed pre-killed (F/T or fresh killed) whenever possible, but sometimes you just have to offer what nature does first so their instincts respond the right way, & that goes for c/b snakes as well as w/c's I've helped.

I have also dealt with some wild species that respond better to gerbils or hamsters as food, presumably because they smell more like wild rodents. Be aware that while baby rats & mice with eyes still closed are harmless (do not fight back), the same cannot be said for baby hamsters. Even with eyes closed, they growl & bite effectively, so it's best not to offer them live unless feeding venomous, as they're too small for a constrictor like yours- if underestimated & swallowed live (as many snakes do) they could do real damage.
Old 04-08-2018, 03:42 PM   #5
Some snakes just have to test our resourcefulness: I don't think it's so much about this species as just his own personality, health & life experiences so far that's making him a challenge to feed. Be patient. Sometimes the ones we have to work the hardest for turn out to be the most rewarding in time.
Old 04-08-2018, 03:49 PM   #6
Was it eating for the prior owner? Did the prior owner state that it was a long-term captive versus a fresh import? If a fresh import, was the snake treated for parasites, and if so what was it given?
Old 04-08-2018, 03:58 PM   #7
I got him from a local reptile shop in town. You don’t see White Lips that often so he sold both of them before he even fed them. He’s a pretty good dude and has a good following so I imagine he gets them from a reputable person but I’ll ask him and let you all know.
Old 04-08-2018, 04:07 PM   #8
Those are questions you always want to ask before purchase, also whether or not there is any sort of guarantee. When you said it's probably a w/c, I assumed he was shipped to you & that you were unable to get any more information that what you gave. (looks like we all have to quit assuming things, lol...) I hope you're right about the seller.
Old 04-08-2018, 04:27 PM   #9
He’s a good dude and has a pretty big following in town. You can tell he really cares about the animals by how clean he keeps them and he’s always willing to talk shop and answer questions or offer help. He said they were treated before he received them but I can bring it in and he’ll treat it again just to be sure. I’m just waiting to see if he can find out what they were eating.
Old 04-08-2018, 04:33 PM   #10
"Treated" can also mean different things to different suppliers. For some it's external parasites only, like ticks and snake mites. For others it means panacur and flagyl for internal parasites, both of which have the side-effect of being an appetite stimulant so they're commonly used for WC imports.

If you get presented with a fecal sample I would take it to a vet just to see if your snake is carrying anything. My local dog/cat vet will do a fecal on snake poop for $25 for me to look for the typical pinworms/roundworms/tapeworms/etc.

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