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 Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?

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jonny cichla
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PostSubject: Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?   Thu 9 Dec - 19:34

Heya guys"" iv got a 08 male gaboon viper" who before about 3 months ago"" would have his Rat every 8-10 days without fail"" for some reason around the end of august start september he went totally off his food!! I thort it was something to do wiv him being ready to bread or something!! as he was allot more active and hissey!!
So i took him to friends who has some big females!! and nothing"" so iv got him back know"" and he"s had a Sluff"" wich i thort would start him feeding"" but OW-NO""

How long can a gaboon go without his food"" and will he just start feeding when he"s ready!!

thanks j.j
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Alexandru Strugariu
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PostSubject: Re: Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?   Thu 9 Dec - 21:02

Hi,

I don't know why you're "Gaboon viper" is not eating but I think that a rat every 8-10 days is a bit to much food for an almost 3 year old specimen...

Maybe you could answer a few questions which may help people help you:

What (sub)species of Gaboon viper do you have ? Bitis (gabonica) gabonica or Bitis (gabonica) rhinoceros ?
How do you keep it ? Temperature ? Humidity ?
Did the snake defecate since it ate the last time ?
Have you tried both dead and live food ? Some snakes will take dead food for a long time and then decide to only accept live meals... I've also seen the opposite...


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Guenter Leitenbauer
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PostSubject: Re: Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?   Thu 9 Dec - 21:16

Thank You for this lesson in English slang.
Though I prefer a more correct spelling. If we non native speakers can try to follow the most fundamental rules, I am sure a native speaker could do so much more easily.
I second Aleandrus statement in using scientific names as long as common names are not exact.

See You (CU)
Guenter
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http://www.leitenbauer.net
Peter van Issem
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PostSubject: Re: Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?   Fri 10 Dec - 0:38

Hi Jonny,
I agree with Alex. Because I´ll keept some B.gabonica and also B. rhinoceros for years. Some times the don´t like feeding for some months. And I think, that is not a problem for a healthy snake, when it is in good condition! 8-10 days feeding interval - to much! I feed my not more than all 2-3 weeks, best after defecation. Normaly one rat , only sometimes he acceped a 2nd one. The sizw is adaped to the lenght of the snake.
I has had a female of B. gabonica she has feed 2 years everthing what she can get , dead or alife. Then suddenly, she acceped only Mastomys Mice! Not rats no normal labaroty mices!
Change the feeding behaviour or the time!
When this snake is now 2 years old, and has feed them all 8-10 days, the can surely not feed more than 6 months (when there is no other reason or sikness!).

PS.: If you have used dead rats to feed, the need some more time than living rats for the defecation! Then in living prey, the venom can work better!
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Jake Hawthorne
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PostSubject: Re: Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?   Fri 10 Dec - 1:53

I wouldn't consider it a problem until he's lost about 20% or more of his body weight. B. gabonica is a pretty stout snake so I wouldn't worry too much unless he starts seriously losing mass.

Alexandru is also correct that posting some more husbandry information could also be helpful in determining if there is something else going on.
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jonny cichla
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PostSubject: Re: Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?   Fri 10 Dec - 9:44

ok guys thanks for your advice! i should have told you how i keep the gaboon viper!

temp" cool end"" 77""
mid cage! 82
worm 92" degrees!

Humidity"" 50% -70% when sprayed each day!
iv no hide for him" as he"s never had 1 before!
only light he gets is from natural sunlight"
He does drink ok"" as i top his bowl up every other day!

He has not defecated since his last meal 3 month ago!!
iv tried dead frozen rats! weaner to large in size!!
also frozen mice"" eaven left in over night!!
friend of mine who had snake for few weeks wiv his females! (tried live mice/rats) he said no good!!

was thinking about trieing frozen chick to see if that worked!!
have tried getting him to strike at food" by pissing him off a little wiv food!

will i have to force feed this guy in the end!!
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Alexandru Strugariu
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PostSubject: Re: Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?   Fri 10 Dec - 10:01

I only had a West-African Gaboon viper (Bitis rhinoceros) for about two years (it died when I was gone and someone else was supposed to take care of it...) but I don't remember it not defecating for so long.
I'm guessing that that should be your snake's problem right now: constipation.
During these three months, have you tried soaking the viper in warm water ? If not, I recommend that this be the first thing you do. Soak it in warm water for about 20 minutes. If the snake doesn't defecate in the water or soon after that, repeat the "treatment" the following day, and so on... until it works.
You must understand that the snake has probably been very much over-fed so far and this might lead to some further problems. Try to feed it less often from now on... For its age, I think once every 3-4 weeks should do it.

Hope this helps !

Edited for this:
Quote :
will i have to force feed this guy in the end!!
- This just might be the thing that kills you or the snake or both... Force feeding a snake when it can't pass out what it ate 3 months ago. How exactly do you think this would help ? Very Happy
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Al Hyde
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PostSubject: Re: Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?   Fri 10 Dec - 18:30

Hi,
Ok. The snake was brought to me for breeding with my females, he showed no interest whatsoever.
It was not feeding when it arrived.
With me it ate one small mouse and that is all.
Jonny, Don't forget this snake was overweight, I said to cut his food back.

The snakes bowels are empty as I tried soaking him when he was with me , he defecated normaly. Also, 92 f is way too hot, you should be aiming for 82-84 at the hot end.
When he was with me he had a hide box and this is when he took the mouse.

What i'd recommend Jonny..
Give the snake more privacy, behaviour can change as snakes mature. Most young bitis are courageous , as they age they become a tad more nervous sometimes.
So.. give him a hide
Get the tempreture down.
Leave him alone for a good 3 weeks to a month , then try feeding him when he's in ambush position with nose out of the hide.
If he doesn't strike do not pester him and try to wind him up, as this will just give him a fear of feeding more. Just leave the prey overnight.
If this doesn't work then we'll look into something else.

One last thing though.
Jonny, please do not be offended mate but, you should not be trying to sell this snake as a feeder when he's not.
Let's keep the hobby clean with honesty.
Just state that he is a non-feeder and adjust the price accordingly.
Please, do not take offense. I'm only trying to keep your reputation clean,. the ven world is very small, word gets around and we should all stick together

All the best , and do not hesitate to call me should he not turn around and start feeding again
Al
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Peter van Issem
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PostSubject: Re: Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?   Sat 11 Dec - 0:08

Ok, so far so good. But one I´ve to add.


you wrote:

Humidity"" 50% -70% when sprayed each day!
iv no hide for him" as he"s never had 1 before!

Did you realy spray each day? In my opinion, this is not so good. The years before, I keep my gabonicas to wet, spray often some times a week. The snakes got reperatory problems!

Since I spray all 14 days, and keep only a very big water bowl in the enclosure and maby one corner a little bit moisty, everything is still good! Keep them not to moist!
This works also with nasicornis very good!

No hide for the snake is also not recomend. Because, the bigger Bitis are very shy animals! The like it to leay under falen tree trunks and branches, or under falen leavs etc. I add a lot of thgis in the enclosure, then the go under this. You see sometimes only the head and the movement of the eyes. And the never show ,,head shaking´´! In this ambush position the like to hunt. But first, give your gabonica time!


One thing more.: I use a spotlight for them, only 40 Watt for some hours. The enclosure is not overheated with this, because the lenght is 180 cm and the spot is one corner. The use them from time to time, but not every day. The need div. temperated areas then can choose by them self.

hope that all advices from the others can solve your problem. Keep us updated
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jonny cichla
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PostSubject: Re: Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?   Sat 11 Dec - 0:35

Peter van Issem wrote:
Ok, so far so good. But one I´ve to add.


you wrote:

Humidity"" 50% -70% when sprayed each day!
iv no hide for him" as he"s never had 1 before!

Did you realy spray each day? In my opinion, this is not so good. The years before, I keep my gabonicas to wet, spray often some times a week. The snakes got reperatory problems!

Since I spray all 14 days, and keep only a very big water bowl in the enclosure and maby one corner a little bit moisty, everything is still good! Keep them not to moist!
This works also with nasicornis very good!

No hide for the snake is also not recomend. Because, the bigger Bitis are very shy animals! The like it to leay under falen tree trunks and branches, or under falen leavs etc. I add a lot of thgis in the enclosure, then the go under this. You see sometimes only the head and the movement of the eyes. And the never show ,,head shaking´´! In this ambush position the like to hunt. But first, give your gabonica time!


One thing more.: I use a spotlight for them, only 40 Watt for some hours. The enclosure is not overheated with this, because the lenght is 180 cm and the spot is one corner. The use them from time to time, but not every day. The need div. temperated areas then can choose by them self.

hope that all advices from the others can solve your problem. Keep us updated
Thanks AL mate!! you"ve bean a good help to me mate over the last year!! and yah as always your right buddy!! im not selling him buddy!! i should"nt have put him up for sale!! as its not right as he"s a none feeder at moment!! We should look after each other in this hobby Big AL"" Thanks mate!!
iv put him a big hide in his cage buddy! and just gunna leave him be for a few weeks without trying to feed him"" i did try leaveing mouse overnight and nothing mind!

thanks Al""
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Al Hyde
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PostSubject: Re: Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?   Sat 11 Dec - 2:42

Cool Smile I'm really pleased you didn't take offense mate.
I'm sure he'll snap out of it in time, he appeared to have no health problems. I also agree with peter, Spraying is rarely needed and too much can cause problems.
Keep us updated bud

Cheers,
Al
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jonny cichla
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PostSubject: Re: Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?   Sun 19 Dec - 5:33

just wonted to tell you guys the none feeding gaboon viper eaten a small rat the other night
Like you guys said" i added a large hide away! i put the rat at the entrance of the hide where the gaboons head lay!! Turned lights off and come morning it had gone!

lets hope he"ll play the game and eat his rat when given""

thanks jonny"
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Peter van Issem
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PostSubject: Re: Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?   Sun 19 Dec - 15:20

Ok Jonny,
now you can sleep very calm! But, doe not overfeed it! Yesterday I´ve feed my B. rhinoceros - last time was in November! Both feeds two rats, now the will not got food the next two or three weeks.
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jonny cichla
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PostSubject: Re: Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?   Mon 10 Jan - 7:00

Looks like the drought is over for this guy! He had his rat again last night!

so all is good by the looks!
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Peter van Issem
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PostSubject: Re: Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?   Mon 10 Jan - 23:48

Hi Jonny,
nice to heare that all went´s good now!
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April Mandel
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PostSubject: Re: Gaboon Viper just will not feed"?   Wed 4 May - 8:37

I think your Gaboon should defecate before feeding it again. The problem a lot of people have with their Gaboons, is that the snake tends to be too sedentary and they sometimes die from impacted stools. You need to make sure the Gaboon is properly hydrated, and you have to get it to move around a bit.

Try soaking it in warm water, I use a plastic garbage can with an inch or so of water. The water will relax it, and she'll move around a bit when she's returned to her cage. This has worked well for me with nasicornis also.

The best time is in the evening. Be careful!
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