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  1. #1
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    ~EMERGENCY~ Young garter snake suddenly refusing food, been over 2 months.

    HELP! I'm new to this forum and I have a garter young garter snake that won't eat. She has always been a picky eater but a little over 2 months ago stopped eating all together. She is kept in a 30 gallon low bioactive with one other snake about her age (I don't want to get into a debate about cohabiting. I tried separating her for a few weeks nothing happened, so please don't start debating about this). She used to eat fuzzies, and nightcrawlers but in mid-late august she started refusing all food. In late september I force fed her a small pinky but haven't got anything in her sense. She is a little over 2 feet in length and about 2-4 years old (she was a resque so we don't know exactly). Her thank set up is bioactive with plant and isopods + springtails, 4 hides, large water dish, and humidity box. There is a basking area, with a 60 watt heat bulb. Our thermometer broke by before it was about 80F on the warm end (90-95 basking spot) and 70F (possibly down to 60 at night, but warm end is always the same) cool end. She was handled every other day beforehand but I limited to once a week after she stopped eating, hoping to destress her. The weirdest part of this, I have barely noticed any weight loss. I was wondering if she was trying to brumate because I do know that my house has definitely got colder in the fall but I don't have anywhere to brumate her so that's not really an option. Unfortunately there are no vets anywhere near my house that take snake so I have to figure this out myself. I might be able to take her to and exotic vet (2+ hours away) but only if I can first figure out what's wrong.

  2. #2
    T. radix Ranch guidofatherof5's Avatar
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    Re: ~EMERGENCY~ Young garter snake suddenly refusing food, been over 2 months.

    You might be onto something with your brumation statement. There is real trouble when the weight starts to go. They some fish, Tilapia/ salmon/ guppies. Maybe a scent change will trigger an eating response. Keep us posted on the situation.

    Steve
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  3. #3
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    Re: ~EMERGENCY~ Young garter snake suddenly refusing food, been over 2 months.

    Quote Originally Posted by guidofatherof5 View Post
    You might be onto something with your brumation statement. There is real trouble when the weight starts to go. They some fish, Tilapia/ salmon/ guppies. Maybe a scent change will trigger an eating response. Keep us posted on the situation.

    I've tried everything, she won't eat. I checked over her body condition and she is really underweight. I'm not sure what else to do.

  4. #4
    Never shed
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    Re: ~EMERGENCY~ Young garter snake suddenly refusing food, been over 2 months.

    Quote Originally Posted by FJrocks003 View Post
    ... I don't have anywhere to brumate her so that's not really an option...
    Ya got a fridge, right?

  5. #5
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    Re: ~EMERGENCY~ Young garter snake suddenly refusing food, been over 2 months.

    Quote Originally Posted by Manitou View Post
    Ya got a fridge, right?
    Isn't that too cold? I read that it should be at 55F, my fridge stays at 35F. We were considering putting her in the crawlspace under our basement but it's pretty loud and sometimes we use chemicals nearby.

  6. #6
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    Re: ~EMERGENCY~ Young garter snake suddenly refusing food, been over 2 months.

    Your "fridge stays at 35F" because of how you've set its thermostat. Also, where exactly in your fridge is the temperature 35F? The temperature in the average fridge, which measures ~5' x ~3' x ~3' is not the same throughout. The cooling elements are located near the top, presumedly because cold air sinks; but, if you put a few thermometers in different areas of your fridge I believe you will find that the bottom of the fridge is several degrees warmer than the top. We keep our fridge's thermostat in the center setting. The bottom of the fridge, where our Garters are, has 3 thermometers which read 41F, 43F, and 45F (never rely on one thermometer, use several of different makes/models). The top shelf is so cold (apparently <32F) that if soda is kept there it partially freezes and explodes upon opening.

    Whoever wrote that "it should be at 55F" doesn't know what s/he is talking about, and they certainly haven't weighed their snakes pre/post brumation. Because if they had they'd see that at 55F Garters lose weight, but at 40F-45F they do not.

    I check on my Garters every 2 weeks to ensure that there's enough condensation inside their enclosures. The next time I do so I will upload photos of them and the way we have them and the fridge set up.

    In the meantime read this: https://stevenbolgartersnakes.com/pu...garter-snakes/

  7. #7
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    Re: ~EMERGENCY~ Young garter snake suddenly refusing food, been over 2 months.

    Take her to a reptile vet ASAP. That should always be one of the first steps when a pet's health starts to falter, especially body condition.

    Please stop trying to self-diagnosis the issue and go to a professional. Clearly nothing has worked thus far.

    While my two garters routinely eat less when the weather cools and the days shorten, it never gets this bad. I do not brumate them.


    Good luck.

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