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Thread: severe weight loss in baby checkered garter that refuses to eat

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    severe weight loss in baby checkered garter that refuses to eat

    I Have a checkered garter that is around 6 months old, I got it at about a month old.. For about 2 months it hasn't really been eating anything I've given it. I tried tilapia, trout, and pinkie mice. It will just sniff and slither away.

    I was worried that it would pass away because it's a baby and so tiny, it can't afford to skip so many meals. So I've began to assist feed because that is really the only way it will eat. I hate doing that because it seems to cause it so much stress and makes it not like me, but if I didn't assist feed I assure you it wouldn't eat at all!

    It has lost so much weight to the point that the skin is loose and will fold and you can tell it has no meat. At this point I'm not sure what to do! I keep a warm side with a hide at around 75F, and a cool side with a pool. Before this, it ate relatively well. it mostly ate tilapia, because that's what the breeder fed it before me. I'm not sure what to do to get it to eat normally. Could there be an underlying cause?

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    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: severe weight loss in baby checkered garter that refuses to eat

    Sorry to hear about this situation. There is only so much you can do. If it's a situation like "failure to thrive" there isn't much you can do. Developmentally something isn't right in the little one. I'll post a YT video I did on troubled eaters. I hope it helps. The problem with losing so much muscle it causes organ damage and the future is dim. Please keep us post on this situation.

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    "PM Boots For Custom Title" Albert Clark's Avatar
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    Re: severe weight loss in baby checkered garter that refuses to eat

    Non feeding snakes is something we all go through as keepers. It's very important to monitor the temps and humidity in the enclosure as that can be a cause of the inappetance. What type of enclosure is the animal living in? Also, is this a wild caught snake or captive bred? There are a couple of different considerations in both. Firstly, I think you should consider raising the warm side temperature to the mid 80's bc 75F is a bit low for a warm side.
    Stay in peace and not pieces.

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    "PM Boots For Custom Title" Albert Clark's Avatar
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    Re: severe weight loss in baby checkered garter that refuses to eat

    Another consideration in a snake with severe weight loss and inappetance is to get a fecal specimen and double zip lock bag it for the exotic vet to analyze it for parasites. Especially in any wild caught animal. But this applies to captive bred also. 6 month old snake is still juvenile and not a baby but the ravages of severe weight loss is problematic.
    Stay in peace and not pieces.

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    Re: severe weight loss in baby checkered garter that refuses to eat

    Have you tried chopped nightcrawlers?
    Bluesirtalis

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    Re: severe weight loss in baby checkered garter that refuses to eat

    I have it living in a tub, with an under heater and a heat lamp for the warm side. substrate is eco earth loose. It's captive bred and Yeah sure I will raise the temp if you think thats best! Just usually when I had the tempurature at around 80-85 he would always move to the cooler side or stay on top of his hide. I used that as a sign that he didn't like it that hot.

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    Re: severe weight loss in baby checkered garter that refuses to eat

    Quote Originally Posted by BLUESIRTALIS View Post
    Have you tried chopped nightcrawlers?
    I haven't tried any worms or live fish out of fear of parasites. If I get them from a bait shop or the pet store will they be parasite free?

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    Re: severe weight loss in baby checkered garter that refuses to eat

    Quote Originally Posted by Albert Clark View Post
    Another consideration in a snake with severe weight loss and inappetance is to get a fecal specimen and double zip lock bag it for the exotic vet to analyze it for parasites. Especially in any wild caught animal. But this applies to captive bred also. 6 month old snake is still juvenile and not a baby but the ravages of severe weight loss is problematic.
    We don't really have an exotic vet around here. Is there any way I could find out myself if it has parasites? Also I only call it a baby because It's practically still the same size. Hasn't grown much in length or weight. Still fits in my palm, even.

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    Re: severe weight loss in baby checkered garter that refuses to eat

    I've been keeping garters for over 10 years and have never had an issue with nightcrawler worms. Just make sure to never buy trout/panfish or red wigglers because they are toxic. I also wanted to add that tilapia is not a very good staple and should only be used as a snack. If you get it back eating i would start mixing the diet up a bit maybe throw in some night crawlers, pinky parts, or frozen thawed silversides. I use mice and nightcrawlers for mine and have great success, but i know some people don't want to feed mice.
    Quote Originally Posted by astraltressa View Post
    i haven't tried any worms or live fish out of fear of parasites. If i get them from a bait shop or the pet store will they be parasite free?
    Bluesirtalis

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    "PM Boots For Custom Title" Albert Clark's Avatar
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    Re: severe weight loss in baby checkered garter that refuses to eat

    Quote Originally Posted by astraltressa View Post
    We don't really have an exotic vet around here. Is there any way I could find out myself if it has parasites? Also I only call it a baby because It's practically still the same size. Hasn't grown much in length or weight. Still fits in my palm, even.
    . Well there may not be a exotic vet close by but you need to have one that you can get to reasonably. You can't necessarily tell definitively without a fecal test but there are signs of parasites in reptiles. Inappetance heads the possibilities as does loose stool (diarrhea) discolored stool as well. History of feeding on live goldfish, minnows (roses reds), amphibians are all high risk. Oh, I understand why you referred to her as a baby. The uth that you are using needs to be plugged into a thermostat so you can be sure of the exact temps that the snake is exposed to. It's probably too hot on the warm side on the plastic underneath the substrate.
    Stay in peace and not pieces.

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