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Old 08-02-2011, 03:20 PM
herper9 herper9 is offline
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Help helping a friend

I have a friend that works at a pet store and they have been having an issue with their red-tails. They have been ingesting the coco bedding they have them on. They clean out the tanks once a week and feed once a week, obviously not in the cage. Any ideas? She said they do a little "stargazing" but I don't think it is IBD. The other symptoms aren't there.
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:32 PM
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hp0544 hp0544 is offline
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Re: helping a friend

not sure about the coco bedding, but they can digest a little bit of bark and aspen. I have had to hold them and remove bark before. I now use newspaper, but it is not pretty enough for pet stores

Turn them upside down and if they right themselves with ease they are probably fine. Mine like to go up and down the glass
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:36 PM
herper9 herper9 is offline
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Re: helping a friend

They flip over just fine. They aren't just getting the coco in their mouths they are actually eating it. And it isn't just this last batch they got, they have been doing it for the past six months or so. They end up regurgitating the substrate.
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Old 08-02-2011, 04:57 PM
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Re: helping a friend

Are they feeding them on the substrate? If so they should be feeding on a "plate" (can be real plate or paper/cardboard etc) so the substrate doesn't smell like their food! I suspect some of the prey odor is retained by the coco bedding & snake's scent discrimination is good enough to detect that and go for it if hungry! (I've never heard of a snake with pica, lol!) Many of us use a "plate" so the snake doesn't accidentally get substrate in their mouth when eating, but you sure don't want them eating substrate thinking it's food! Petstores usually underfeed also, so they don't grow too fast (stay little & 'cute') so the snake is likely hungry. And with a little scent to go on, he is hoping he found 'food'....
BTW, I have heard of the same thing happening with a snake ingesting a towel or 'blanket', and needed them removed surgically! Anything that can retain prey odor is risky if the snake can swallow it.

Last edited by HERPHAPPY; 08-02-2011 at 05:03 PM.
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Old 08-02-2011, 05:12 PM
herper9 herper9 is offline
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Re: helping a friend

No feeding on the substrate. That is what has me so confused. I was thinking the bedding could smell like a prey item. We'll see.
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