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 Is this normal?

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BlackboxStar
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PostSubject: Is this normal?   Mon Apr 23, 2012 10:49 pm

I have an interesting problem snake who has just started eating for us, she is an 1100 gram female who only will respond to live mice. She has an excellent feeding response if you get her triggers right and don't scare her while she's eating.

Now I wanted to get another mouse into her, because 30g at a time does not a hefty snake make so today I pulled her into a holding container to feed her so that I could sneak a frozen mouse in as the other one was being swallowed.

I noticed that while swallowing the first mouse she behaved in a way taht I would classify as odd. First, after killing it, she nosed it all over, she first mouthed the legs and the ears before finding the nose and starting, once she found it she began.

Once she got to the first set of legs she seemed to have trouble, she moved around a lot, re positioning the rat this way and that, and every minute or so, she seemed to back up a bit and gasp, as though she was having trouble breathing.

She behaves normally other than that.

Has anyone else noticed something like this in their snakes? Is it completely normal? Is it a sign that the food is too big or needs to not be any bigger?
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Focal
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PostSubject: Re: Is this normal?   Tue Apr 24, 2012 11:49 am

I've seen them display all of those signs except the gasping part. That's a little weird and a 30g mouse should be no where near too large.
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PostSubject: Re: Is this normal?   Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:07 pm

How are you going to sneak another mouse in while the other is being swallowed? If she is a mouser, she may not get very big and if it were me, I would not try to force the issue.

As for the behavior, as Nick said everything sounds normal to me. Not sure what you mean by back up and gasp. They all will back up a bit to reposition the food so that the muscles can work the rodent down. You may also see something that looks like yawning, which is just another way to reposition the rodent.

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BlackboxStar
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PostSubject: Re: Is this normal?   Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:21 pm

By "sneak in another" I basically mean just put a f/t mouse in her face right when she finishes up swallowing the 'live' one, she responds beautifully to it.

She had some RI issues that we finally were able to solve about five months ago. She refused food for a total of about six or seven months and in that time she lost a decent amount of weight. Once we get her back up to a healthy weight we'll start working on switching her to f/t rats, but right now, we're far more interested in getting her healthy.


By 'gasping' I mean she VERY audibly intakes a quick sharp breath. There is no mistaking this for just re-positioning food.

The 'backing up' is something that could easily be to re-position food, but I've seen her back up to re-position and this was a little different. The movement seemed to be quicker and jerkier. More frantic in a way. That could be misinterpretation based on how alarming the breath itself was, but I can say that based on how she would move backwards, I could predict with certainty when she was about to gasp vs when she was about to move forward.
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PostSubject: Re: Is this normal?   Tue Apr 24, 2012 1:46 pm

Do you have video recording? I'd like to see what she's doing. Some times they will just get spooked or most likely, try to swallow the rodent at a weird angle. They will back off for both of those reasons.
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BlackboxStar
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PostSubject: Re: Is this normal?   Tue Apr 24, 2012 2:08 pm

I'll see what i can do. Need to stop by the pet store for another live mouse first.

She's so jumpy when she eats, this is going to be an interesting challenge.
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BlackboxStar
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PostSubject: Re: Is this normal?   Thu Apr 26, 2012 2:48 pm

....I have a wonderful video of her eating two mice with NO PROBLEMS!

Sometimes I think that snake just enjoys messing with me.
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Grymm
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PostSubject: Re: Is this normal?   Tue May 01, 2012 10:10 pm

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wcZHicb3tNI&feature=g-upl

Heres a video link to what she is doing. Sorry for low light and poor quality had to use my phone and have the top on her cage.
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MADKATTER
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PostSubject: Re: Is this normal?   Wed May 02, 2012 10:11 am

Some people hum when they eat and I think your snake hisses when she eats. Have you noticed any bubbles around her mouth or open mouth breathing? Any mucus along the sides of her tub? Anything that may suggest an RI?
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smb2585
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PostSubject: Re: Is this normal?   Wed May 02, 2012 10:25 am

yea my kid likes to swing her feet a million miles per hour at the table while she eats, if she doesnt then she takes forever to eat... maybe it's just a personality thing???

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BlackboxStar
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PostSubject: Re: Is this normal?   Wed May 02, 2012 12:08 pm

I haven't noticed anything that would suggest an R.I. just that wet and alarming noise sometimes when she eats.

It's quite strange, I'll be sure to let you know if it develops into anything.
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allaboutthekings
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PostSubject: Re: Is this normal?   Sun May 06, 2012 12:11 am

might have gotten a bite from a live mouse and got some kind of wound in the mouth or throat
and that could cause pain while eating and cause alot of repositioning and trouble eating. Just a guess but worth a look
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