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  1. #1
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    Thiaminase and vitamin supplements.

    I want to give my two a more varied diet - they've been rodent only since I got them just over two years ago but seem to get fat quite easily, so I'm thinking of feeding 50/50 rodents/fish.
    The only fish that I are readily available to me are frozen lancefish. I've tried both snakes with a couple and they take them no problem so that's the first hurdle out of the way.

    My question is - will vitamin supplements alone eliminate the dangers posed by thiaminase?

    I've read that heating the fish to 80C for 5 minutes destroys thiaminase, but I've also read that the fish shouldn't be fed cooked, which is what this method effectively does.

    So am I ok to just use supplements?

    Does thimaminase destroy vitamin B1 just in the food item, or after it has been ingested?
    In other words, does thiaminase destroy existing B1 in the snakes body?

    Should I dust both fish and rodents? Or just the fish? Or is it better to just put vitamins in the water?

    Should I be following the directs on the vitamin packaging, or giving extra to compensate for thiaminase?

    And can anyone tell me if there are any early warning signs of thiamin deficiency? Or any signs that the vitamin dosage is too high?

    Apologies for all the questions - I have read up as much as I can on this but most sources simply say to avoid fish that contains thiaminase - which due to limited options and limited space (breeding my own isn't an option) is something I can't really do.

    Anyway, hope all that made sense and any advice would be much appreciated,

    regards,

    Mark.

  2. #2
    Moderator adamanteus's Avatar
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    Re: Thiaminase and vitamin supplements.

    Hi Mark,

    I'm also from the UK, there are a few Brits here. If you search through the existing threads you'll find loads of posts regarding thiaminase. Or try this link *Garter Snake Home Page - Alan Francis It's a good site and there's an interesting "recipe" that's got to be worth a try.

    Welcome to the forum, I love it here! By the way, you can change your Location flag, which is currently Stars and Stripes!

    James.

  3. #3
    Former Moderator Cazador's Avatar
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    Re: Thiaminase and vitamin supplements.

    Hi Mark,

    I mentioned this in another thread, but after reading your specific questions, I wanted to reply here as well. Be sure to check out this article for answers to most of your questions (http://www.thamnophis.com/caresheets...?title=Thiamin,).

    If you choose to feed fish that have thiaminase, do it very sparingly... perhaps every fourth meal (I'm guessing on that estimate). There's an old saying in toxicology, "Solis dosis facit" [Only dose matters]. If the concentration of thiaminase becomes too great, it will cause the types of problems that are mentioned in the article. I'd recommend buying a dead trout at the grocery store, freezing it, then feeding it to your snake instead of using a fish with thiaminase. (Note: I haven't checked the list of fish containing thiaminase in the article, so I don't even know if "lancefish" contains it. Just offering general advise).

    Thiaminase destroys B1 from other food items as well, so if you fed a goldfish on Monday and a trout on Thursday, the thiaminase from the goldfish would destroy the B1 from the trout on Wednesday. (Hope that's clear).

    Feeding fish with thiaminase and supplementing with B1 is a gamble. If you provide a B1 concentration that is greater than the capacity of thiaminase to destroy it, then you'll be safe. If you don't, you'll be in trouble. Knowing what the proper doseage should be is the unanswered question. It's a gamble, but if you're only supplementing a pinkie diet with fish, then everything should be okay... probably... maybe... Have I mentioned it's a gamble? Solis dosis facit. The amount of B1 you provide also depends on their dose. If you're crushing human B1 multi-complex vitamins as your source of B1, the doseage for a 3g snake would be very high, so you wouldn't want to offer it too often. Be sure to write back if you have more questions after reading this and the link that I provided. Best,

    Rick

  4. #4
    Mr Thamnophis ssssnakeluvr's Avatar
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    Re: Thiaminase and vitamin supplements.

    if they are feeding on rodents and doing fine, you can keep them on rodents. if they appear to be getting fat, cut back on feeding. i have 2 large easterns that eat every other week to help keep their weight at a decent level. occasional fish or worms are fine also.

  5. #5
    Hi, I'm New Here!
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    Re: Thiaminase and vitamin supplements.

    Quote Originally Posted by Cazador View Post
    Thiaminase destroys B1 from other food items as well, so if you fed a goldfish on Monday and a trout on Thursday, the thiaminase from the goldfish would destroy the B1 from the trout on Wednesday.
    Thanks for that - it was the main point I was having trouble finding an answer for.

    I'm not entirely sure what species "lancefish" are - haven't been able to find a scientific name, but they look very similar to silversides, which don't seem to be on either list.

    I see what you mean about supplements - with no way of knowing the amount of thiaminase present it's just a lottery as to whether you get it right.
    Using trout hadn't occurred to me - thats something I can get no problem. Is it best to feed just the flesh, or to try to offer pieces that contain bone?

    Adamanteus - I know the recipe you mean on the Alan Francis site - has anyone on here tried it, or anything similar? (Have now sorted the flag, cheers!)

    ssssnakeluvr - I'd ideally like to be feeding them a bit more often than that, athough they currently only get a crawler mouse every 10 days just to slim them down a little. Most info I've seen says to feed smaller amounts, more often, which kind of makes sense to me with them being quite active snakes (esp.the red sided). I'm probably just worrying too much!

    I also wanted to vary the diet as I have a minor health concern regarding the red-sided which might possibly be due to something lacking in the diet, but I reckon I'll start a new thread for that.

  6. #6
    Former Moderator Cazador's Avatar
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    Re: Thiaminase and vitamin supplements.

    I think it's pretty easy to freeze small trout whole. Then I cut them into small chunks while they're frozen, using pruning shears, but a strong knife cuts through the frozen trout pretty well, too. Just watch your fingers. By cutting the fish when it's frozen, you never have to thaw more than you want to feed, but you might have to cut chunks in half (through the backbone) in order to make them bite-sized for the snakes. Just leave the bones in to provide calcium, unless there are sharp edges protruding. Then just cut off the sharp ends.

  7. #7
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    Re: Thiaminase and vitamin supplements.

    I'm sure the local Tesco's sells fresh trout so I'll pick one up next time I'm there and give it a go. Cheers for the advice!

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