?

Experienced and professional animal trainer provide their insights in answering this question :
A. Force feeding can be very traumatic and can injure a snake if not done properly. Snakes can go off food when they are stressed. I would suggest checking the temperatures within the cage to make sure he is not too cold. Also try offering a variety of feeders including pinkies and pinkie rats. Try frozen as well as live feeders.

How to Identify Common Pet Problems ?

Our sources include academic articles, blog posts, and personal essays from experienced pet care professionals :

To sum it up, here are some key reasons why your hognose snake isn`t eating and how to fix them: They`re not happy with the food. Offer them a diet that they`ve evolved to eat, or at least scent what you are feeding them similarly to what they would be eating in free-living populations.
It can be scary when your pet goes off of food but so long as the Western Hognose is not showing signs of illness, dehydration, or weight loss the animal can go without food for months with no ill effects. Remember to only change or try one thing at a time and allow for a week in between trying other options.
Refusing to eat is a signal that your snake is stressed. It should come as no surprise that snakes are routine animals and don`t like change so very much. If your snake has just been brought to his new home and is not eating, there are very high chances that your snake is refusing food due to the stress of moving.
As a colubrid, hognoses are accustomed to hard fasting in reaction to changes in temperature and barometric pressure. Unfortunately, this behavior can kick in due to temp changes in your pet`s enclosure, resulting in a refusal to eat.
How Long Snakes Can Go Without Food. A baby snake will begin to seriously starve after roughly a week without food — and once that baby grows into an adult, members of most snake species can comfortably get by for at least two to three weeks.
Young hognose snakes will eat pink mice every 3-4 days and size up as they grow. You should feed your hognose a prey item that is as wide around as their body. As they get older, they will eat “fuzzy mice”, “hopper” adult mice, and “rat fuzzies”. Adult hognoses can be fed once every 7 days.
Diet & Water

As hatchlings, western hognose snakes should be fed weekly on defrosted pinky mice, as the snake grows the food size should be increased until the snake is taking large mice or even jumbos. Adult western hognose snakes can be fed once every two weeks as they can become overweight if fed weekly.

Visit Your Veterinarian

Accordingly, it is wise to make an appointment with your vet anytime your snake refuses food for longer than a few weeks. Your vet will be able to determine if your snake is suffering from parasites, respiratory infections, or any other health problems that may limit his appetite.

Snakes can survive an impressively long period without food, ranging from a few weeks to two years, like other reptiles. It primarily depends on their species, age, and living conditions. A regularly fed pet snake will have different needs than those surviving in the harsh surroundings in the wild.
Beware of overfeeding your snake, as this causes obesity and organ damage! Hognose snakes don`t seem to “expand” as well as other snakes, possibly because they`re not constrictors and had to adapt to smaller, slower prey. Prey items should be the same diameter as the snake`s head, no larger.
~ We do not recommend force feeding. If the snake has been force fed we recommend waiting 1 week before attempting to feed it appropriately. ~ We do not recommend syringe feeding as part of the initial plan, but this sometimes becomes important at a later time.
They do not enjoy baths and if you see your hognose snake frequently soaking in its water dish, you need to remove your anthropomorphic ideas from your head, put your ego to the side, and consider the fact that you might need to change the way you are doing things because what your are seeing is your snake telling you …
Well, the answer to that is “Yes” but on rare occasions and it happens mostly to snakes that prey on other snakes and for some reasons.
If a ball python won`t eat (and hasn`t eaten for months), there are several possible causes: The snake is going into a shed cycle, or it`s already in shed. The snake is suffering from some kind of illness. The cage conditions are wrong (too cold, too hot, too small, etc.)
Western Hognose Snakes need a thermal gradient consisting of a warm side in the upper 80s, a cool side in the upper 60s/low 70s and a basking area around 90° F. Nighttime temperatures can be in mid to high 70s.
Feeding two pinkies is a fine replacement for that if you need to use them up, but a small fuzzy may have more nutritional value. Congratulations on your hungry hognose!
Visible Ribs or Spine: If you can see the ribs and spine of your ball python, then it is likely underweight. Sunken Eyes: An underweight snake may have a sunken appearance around its eyes, which gives them a tired or sickly appearance.
Leave your new pet snake alone for at least seven days since the transport to its new home is very stressful. After that, feed your snake its first meal. To ensure that your snake doesn`t regurgitate its meal due to stress, wait for another two days before you finally handle your new snake.
Hognose snakes are generally fairly hardy but may be prone to mites, dysecdysis (difficulty shedding), stomatitis (mouth rot), scale rot, and reproductive issues. Feeding strikes are also not uncommon in hognose snakes, and some will even refuse non-amphibian prey.
Baby western hognoses hatch at around 5-7 inches long and will grow to an average length around 20 inches, and most often weighing less than one pound when full grown. Females grow to be larger than males, up to about 3 ft, though weighing no more than 2 lbs. Males usually measure between 14-24 inches.
Molting is the most common cause of loss of appetite: your snake may stop eating when it`s about to molt or shed its skin. 1 In addition to premolt anorexia, look for your snake`s skin to become very pale and dull and its eyes to look blue and milky. It may not eat for a week or so before and after it molts.
Give Them a Long Weekend

As a rule of thumb, wait 24 to 72 hours after your snake has fed before holding him. However, if your snake still exhibits a large food bulge after three days — or if it has gotten bigger since the initial ingestion — refrain from handling him.

Generally, smaller or younger ball pythons need to eatevery five days, while larger ones usually eat once every week or two. As they get older you feed them more at one time so they don`t need as many feedings.
Therefore, as snakes can get their heat periodically from the sun`s energy rather than relying on metabolic heat, they generally have a very low metabolism. This means they need less energy to function and do not need a constant supply of food. This enables them to survive for long periods of time between meals.

Relevant Questions and Answers :

the most relevant questions and answers related to your specific issue

Q. I have a young Western Hognose Snake and he hasnt eaten since I bought him, for about 5 weeks. What could help or should I try force feeding?
ANSWER : A. Force feeding can be very traumatic and can injure a snake if not done properly. Snakes can go off food when they are stressed. I would suggest checking the temperatures within the cage to make sure he is not too cold. Also try offering a variety of feeders including pinkies and pinkie rats. Try frozen as well as live feeders.

Q. My puppy refuses to walk outside on the leash. This only happens when we’re outside… Is it stubbornness or fear?
ANSWER : A. It is never stubbornness. Dogs are not stubborn, they can’t be. Dogs do not generalize well, and dogs display fearful behavior that appears to be stubbornness. Absolutely NEVER force this dog to walk outside when he is uncomfortable with doing so.. the more you force him to do it, opposition reflex – the more he will resist. The more he resists and is forced into it, the less he learns about being comfortable, and the more he becomes fearful of you and of the situation.

What you can do is carry extremely high value treats outside with you. Things like cooked white meat chicken, cooked fish, turkey pepperoni, turkey bacon, diced ham, mozzarella cheese sticks – all cut up into tiny little pea-sized pieces. You can also use peanut butter in a squeeze tube. First, put on the leash indoors and begin feeding him the treats. Help him make positive associations with having the leash put on. Then, take the leash off, and start over in 10min. Put the leash on, feed treats, walk to the door, open the door, feed treats, close door, take off leash. Start over in 10min. Put on leash, feed treats, go to door, feed treats, open door, feed treats, go outside, feed tons of treats and praise. Keep Titus in his comfort zone. If he doesn’t want to go far, just feed him tons of treats where he IS comfortable going. Make sure everything is calm/happy/positive. I bet in a week of doing this, he will be happy with walk further and further all of the time. If ever he is uncomfortable, feed him lots of treats for being a brave boy, and then turn around and go back home. It’s all about keeping him in his comfort zone.. it’s all about remaining within his threshold and never forcing him to feed uncomfortable.

This is very common for puppies. The world is scary! It’s brand new to them, and it’s up to you to make their interactions and discoveries positive, happy, calm, and to never force them into anything.

Q. My 8mo. puppy eats feces. Wedont scorn him for pottymishaps. He hides feces in his bed.I feed him blue buffalo 2 per day. How do I stop this?
ANSWER : A. A lot of dogs do this, and sometimes it is just because feces tastes good.. sometimes it is due to something lacking in their diet.. but a lot of the time, it’s just fun and tasty. The only way to handle this situation is management. You should be cleaning up your two dogs poops immediately when they happen. Scoop them up, throw them into the woods, or into a can. You cannot give your pup access to the poops.

You could also try adding things to your pups diet. Things like canned pumpkin for dogs (not the pie filling you find in the grocery store, that has way too much sugar in it). Or you could feed your dog raw chews like marrow bones, or beef tendons. You’ll have to add things to his diet in order to find out what is missing from it. If you allow him to continue eating poop, even if there is something lacking in his diet, he will continue eating poop when you’ve solved his diet issue because it will become a LEARNED behavior. This means he will continue eating poop because he learned he CAN eat poop. You could also try feeding him three meals per day. Feed him the same amount of food, but break it up into three feedings per day. This could help him feel a bit more full throughout the day.

Clean up your yard, and clean up after your pups immediately when they eliminate outdoors. Do not scold him, there is no need.. it isn’t his fault.

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Q. How do I determine how much my overweight pet should weigh?
ANSWER : A. There are many tools to determine overweight and obesity levels in pets. A new tool, morphometric measurements and body fat index, are available to accurately determine a pet’s ideal weight; this will allow an accurate determination of the amount of food a pet should receive to achieve weight loss. Feeding the correct amount will lead to greater weight loss success.

There are many weight loss food options to help pets reach their ideal weight. Your veterinarian can help make a ideal weight recommendation. Here are some tips to help your dog lose weight in a healthy and safe way:

1. Diet: Providing a healthy and well balanced diet is essential to your pet’s overall health. Finding the right food for your dog can be a challenging process. For those overweight animals many commercial dog companies offer weight loss diets, but it is important to evaluate food labels for adequate nutritional content.

You want to ensure you are not missing other essential vitamin or mineral content. Volume of food is also important and the amount of food that works for one breed of dog may not be the same for another breed of dog. Portion control as opposed to free-choice feeding can help your dog to drop a few unnecessary pounds.

There are also prescription weight loss foods designed by veterinary nutritionists, such as Hill’s r/d (http://bit.ly/1AoENSd). Some pet owners find that home cooking is the best option for helping to provide a well-balanced and realistic diet plan. There are websites such as balanceit.com that offers recipes to fit your dog’s specific needs. Consulting with your veterinarian or a veterinary nutritionist to find the appropriate diet is a great way to help your dog be as healthy as possible.

2. Exercise: Another great tactic for weight loss for your dog is exercise. Whether this is through running, walking or playing with a favorite toy all of these are wonderful types of exercise to help keep your dog at a lean and healthy weight.

For those pet owners with busy schedules utilizing professional dog walking services or playtime through dog daycare services is another option. It has been shown that those pet owners that exercise regularly with their pets generally live a healthier lifestyle.

3. Physical therapy: As animals age pet owners offer encounter their favorite canine having more difficulty walking and have a dwindling desire to play with toys. Physical therapy, specifically hydrotherapy is a wonderful way to help older and arthritic animals gain more mobility and lose weight. Hydrotherapy has been proven to have several therapeutic effects on the body including, muscle strengthening, relief of swelling, decreased joint pain, less stiffness in limbs, improved circulation, weight loss, and increased tissue healing to name a few. For more information on the benefits of hydrotherapy:
http://bit.ly/1w1qqoy

4. Veterinary visit and blood work: Weight gain can also be related to underlying health concerns such as hypothyroidism or other endocrine disorders. Scheduling a veterinary evaluation and routine blood work can be another important component in increasing the longevity of your dog’s life. Conditions such as hypothyroidism that predispose dogs to gain weight can be treated with a daily medication to improve hormonal balance. If feel that your dog is unnecessarily overweight there can be an underlying health condition that needs to be addressed.

5. Healthy treats: Pet owners love the chance to reward their favorite canine companion with treats and most dogs jump at the chance to consume these delicious products. The problem is many treats, which can include commercial dog treats or table scrapes can add many unnecessary calories to your dog’s daily intake. Reading labels and making note of the calories in these treats is an important component of understanding your dog’s overall health. Treats should not exceed more than 10 percent of your pet’s daily calories. There are healthier treats that can be offered to your pet to keep calories lower yet provide a fuller sensation. A pet owner can add steamed or pureed vegetables, such as carrots, green beans or sweet potato to add more fiber and thus a fuller feeling for your dog.

Q. My dog ran away 3 days ago , he came back later and immediately threw up all his food. He hasn’t eaten and is still throwing up since then.
ANSWER : A. I’m really glad to hear your dog came back! If you dog is vomiting I would recommend having him examined by a veterinarian because his vomiting could be caused by a gastrointestinal disturbance. He could have eaten something that upset his stomach, including an intestinal parasite or he could have even consumed something toxic. It would helpful for a veterinarian to evaluate for any injuries he could have sustained while being out of the home and for any abnormalities that could be causing his sickness. Stress could also be playing a role in his stomach upset since he was out of the home for several days.

Q. My 50 lb mixed breed regurgitate his food very often. Gulps water too. Feed him with slow feed bowl also. What can I do to try to stop regurgitation?
ANSWER : A. If you are feeding one or two larger meals during the day, it may help to increase the frequency (if possible) to several more small meals throughout the day. This will help limit the amount he is eating at once, and may help prevent him from overloading his stomach. If he is regurgitating mostly in the mornings, it may be that he is going too long between his last dinner meal and breakfast, and feeding a small biscuit last thing before bed or first thing in the morning might help to settle his stomach some before eating a meal. If the regurgitation continues even with changing some of his eating habits, then consulting with a veterinarian and looking for any physical issues causing the regurgitation may help.

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Q. I have a 1000 lb draft cross mare. She was overweight but is getting on the lean side. Any suggestions on keeping weight on her? Ridden 5-6 days/wk
ANSWER : A. If your mare’s activity level has increased you may want to take a look at what she is being fed currently. Horses that are higher performance do well with a grain/pelleted feed being added to the diet in addition to any outside grazing time and hay feed. If you are becoming competitive, a performance feed may also provide extra nutrition to help keep up with the increased activity. If you are unsure if your mare is the right weight for her size, looking up an equine Body Condition Score can help. Many give visual aids that you can compare your mare to in order to help keep track of her overall condition.

If your mare is on appropriate feed and continues to lose weight, she may also be due for her regular deworming as internal parasites can cause weight loss in horses even on good feed (as they leech nutrients). If she is up to date on worming and is still looking leaning, calling out your local horse vet to the barn may help as well.

Q. My pet eats too much. I need to know when and how much to feed him. Any advice?
ANSWER : A. If you feed your pet a commercial food, most food bags have a feeding guideline on the side to help you know how much to give. This is a good baseline and is usually based on your pet’s weight or age. Once you start with this amount, you can adjust the amount of food given as needed – if your pet seems to gobble his food and is losing weight or is more active, then increasing the amount is good. If your pet picks at his food or appears to be putting on the pounds, reducing the amount can help. The amount to give is usually best fed broken up into several smaller meals throughout the day rather than one big meal. For most adult animals, feeding once in the morning and once at night is enough. Smaller dogs or young animals may need a third meal mid-day as well. Switching out treats for healthier options may also help prevent overeating or weight gain. If you feel your pet cannot safely lose or gain weight on his own, then making an appointment with your vet can help!