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Go Back   FaunaClassifieds > Reptile & Amphibian - Snake Discussion Forums > Rosy, Sand, Ground Boas/Pythons Discussion Forum


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Old 09-24-2017, 10:14 PM   #1
Unhappy Does Indian sand boa fast?

Hello everyone, please let my asking for some advice. Sorry for my bad English.

My Indian sand boa Joe, 1.5 year old, male(probably for his small size), hasn't being eating well since the beginning of September. He is losing appetite, his last male was a small pinky three weeks ago.

It's getting colder and colder in Japan(where i live), temperature in his cage has dropped from 82~90f to 72~87f. It is a little chill at night, so i turn on heat panel to warm him up, it doesn't rise temperature much but creates a warm area where Joe can lay on. He sometimes stay one that area until his entire body are warm to touch...

Hes has being eating well since i bought him this spring, and even become a little "chubby". Now his not eating at all. He does show interests when i offer him thawed mice, lick it aground for quite a while, but eventually left away.

Every thing is not changed in his enclosure beside the temperature.
Places where Indian sand boa lives also have cold seasons during the year, so i doubt that sand boa has habit to fast during cold seasons, and temperature drop in Japan may just triggered Joe to do so? Or I'm simply keeping temperature too low? If Joe is fasting how long will it take? Should i assist feed him?

If anyone familiar with Indian sand boa please give me some advice. I will be very appreciate since there are little information.

Thanks for reading!
Old 09-24-2017, 11:24 PM   #2

I don't personally keep Indian sand boas but I keep a number of Kenyan sand boas and they have similar requirements.

Yes, they do go through a winter cooling cycle where they don't eat. Temps during that time should be between 60-70 f so what you are seeing is not too low. However, I usually keep my sand boas with a basking spot around 95 f and what I have read about Indian sand boas is similar so the temps you have may be too low. You don't have to cool him during the winter but even if you keep the heat on sometimes they just don't eat.

My sand boas sometimes will stop eating for a week or two and then will start again. If you adjust the temp it may help him eat. Sometimes offering a snake live prey will get him started again. How long have you had Joe?

I would make sure to weigh him. That way you can track if he is losing weight or not.

Good luck!
Old 09-24-2017, 11:39 PM   #3
Originally Posted by Khcorn View Post
I would make sure to weigh him. That way you can track if he is losing weight or not.

I keep a different boa species, which go off feed every winter. I continue to offer food and allow them to refuse it, but weigh them regularly during their fasting period. They don't lose a gram (even in 3 months of fasting) so I know they're fine. I would only start to consider assist feeding if they started to lose weight.

By the way, they also continue to drink and pass urates all through their fast.
Old 09-25-2017, 11:28 AM   #4
Thanks for the advice!
I had Joe around 5 months now. He has small eyes and big smiley face which i find very charming I keep Brazilian Rainbow Boa and King Snake as well, Joe is my 1st sand boa tho.
I should record his wight. I just measured, he is 152g now, + 20g compared to last month.
He doesn't look thin either. I think i'm going to rise the temperature a bit and be patient...
Old 09-26-2017, 01:57 AM   #5
And why not give us a photo at the same time?
Old 09-26-2017, 02:46 AM   #6

Here it is! You can also visit my gallery. He is very shy tho, always try to dig and hide when i take him out.
Old 09-26-2017, 09:59 AM   #7
Beautiful! I love sand boa faces too.

His weight looks good to me so I wouldn't worry too much if he skips a few meals.
Old 10-09-2017, 10:53 PM   #8
Hello again!
Joe is still not eating, but he is not losing weight so it is okey to wait few more weeks, perhaps... I keep hot spot 93-95f, cool side around 80f, mostly he stay in the warm side. He is very active tho, in the night, he always come to surface and crow around, occasionally rise up his head and tastes the air, like searching for something.
I wonder if he is in breeding season, looking for a girlfriend?! I have heard that male sand boa goes off feed when in heat. But I'm not planning to breed him, will he be sick for not being able to mate? I know mammals like house cats can be really frustrated during breeding seasons, are snakes the same?
Old 10-09-2017, 11:25 PM   #9
I'm sorry I don't know about sand boas, but my male pacific boas do go off feed (for up to 3 months) in colder months when the females go into mating mode, and they roam the tank all night trying to get to the girls. They go back to eating and calmer behaviour when the weather starts to warm up and the girls stop smelling fabulous, without any harm. (I'm actually still waiting for them to start feeding now, they stopped back in July, the start of southern hemisphere winter). Our nightime temperatures are about 28oC (82oF) in summer, down to 18 - 21 oC (65 - 68 oF) in winter, so that drop of around 15oF is certainly enough to stop them feeding.

Do you have a female anywhere near him? Might he be reacting to that?

Are sand boas nocturnal? if so you might have more luck trying to feed him at night when he's up and about.

However, my general advice is not to worry if he's not losing weight, they can go for quite a long time. Is he still drinking and passing urates?
Old 10-09-2017, 11:39 PM   #10
Thank for reading!
Yes he is pissing and even pooped a little last week. He is my only sand boa, so yep, he is a lonely lonner... I feed him at night, when he roams around. But he doesn't eat. Clearly he is not roaming for food. I wonder where all the energy come from for him to moving around lol. All the meal he didn't accept went to my king snake, which will eat ANYTHING

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