Please help me understand what’s wrong with the snake. Corn snake, 4 years old, boy. Kept on paper towels, temperature 24-32 degrees Celsius in different corners of the terrarium. After the mouse eats, it begins to stick out its tongue, open its mouth, and move its head. The vet said it was too much food. We reduced the mouse size, but the situation repeated itself.
I can’t help other than say that I would go to a different vet. a meal being too large wouldn’t do that. If a meal is too big, then they will regurgitate it. don’t feed again until you can get in with a different vet or until we understand what is happening
Okay, so it could be a couple of things, I’ve got some questions to work out which it is, but it doesn’t sound like it’s having trouble breathing. Also, you might want to find a different vet because that diagnosis is entirely wrong. As @logar said, if a prey item is too large, the snake will usually regurgitate.
When the snake opens its mouth and sticks its tongue out, does it look like a yawn, and is it moving its lower jaw at the same time? How long does it keep this mouth open/tongue out position? If it looks like a yawn and is moving the lower jaw, but it doesn’t last more than a few seconds, it’s likely nothing to be concerned about. Snakes have very flexible jaws/skulls, when they’re done eating they usually do this type of behavior to realign things. Totally normal.
Now, if the snake is visibly having trouble breathing, is gasping, has visible mucous, or is wheezing, then I’d worry about something like an upper respiratory infection.
Also, welcome to the community, we’ll do our best to help!
He doesn’t sneeze and there’s no mucus coming out of his nose. Sometimes the nostrils itch, but not for more than a minute (often after drinking water). The behavior is normal. Breathes without noise. This behavior has happened the last 3 times after meals. Twice the mouse was a medium adult, this time a small adult. Eats once every 7-10 days. Length 130 cm, weight 590 g
To me it sounds normal, does it look like this, but with the tongue out? I should also probably mention, at age four and with the feeder size you’re using, I’d increase the feeding interval or he’ll probably end up overweight. An adult corn should really only be fed every two weeks or so.
Thank you for the answers, friends! I have a long video, I can send to instagram or by mail, is it possible to find out wherever it is better. Yes, I often saw his yawn, he opens his mouth for a couple of seconds, moves the lower jaw, it looks great. But now after eating, he is pronounced a tongue for a couple of seconds very often and he moves them chaotically, his mouth is shut down, he bends her neck. When the mouth is opened, then the tube on which the air goes into the trachea is turned out. And all this lasts 15-20 minutes.
if you post it to youtube you can post the link here and we can see the video
So this does sound concerning, I wouldn’t think a medium mouse (at least what we call medium here) would be too big for a 590g snake. Are you feeding live or frozen thawed? If frozen thawed, how do you prepare the mouse? The fact that he continues the behavior for a long period is troubling.
Edit: I also converted your temperatures and 32ºC is a bit too high for overall warmth, you’ll want to be closer to 30ºC. If the 32 is a basking spot, I’d say that’s okay, so long as there is enough of a temperature gradient in the rest of the enclosure.
Before this, the mice were 8-9 cm, now they are 6-7 cm. I defrost them at a temperature of 23 degrees Celsius for 2 hours. After that I put it in water at 36 degrees Celsius for 10 minutes so that the mouse is at the temperature of a living mouse.
Now he is lying in this position. You can also see here that he is neither thin nor fat for a 4 year old boy.
The behavior in the video is concerning. I’d look for another vet, preferably one who specializes in exotics if possible, to get a second opinion. I’m not sure that the prey size is the problem here. Otherwise he looks to be in great body condition.
That said, if that space is where he lives and isn’t just where he’s fed, the enclosure looks quite small for a snake of that size, and the lack of enrichment is concerning. Think of it a bit like living in a house with no decor. Corn snakes love to burrow and climb, and ideally an enclosure should be large enough for them to fully stretch out in. I’d consider giving him some substrate he can burrow in, and things to climb on. The overall temperature of the enclosure should not be over 30ºC in a space that size, and the water dish is far too small. They need a bowl big enough to soak in if they so choose.
Before molting and when it’s hot, for example in the summer, we give him a small pool (he doesn’t like big ones and ignores them). He also has a grotto shelter, but he doesn’t like to lie in it, so we removed it. The photo shows his bathtub, he likes small ones
You’re right, it’s worth buying him a bigger terrarium and putting the decor and grotto back so he can crawl. But what could cause such problems after eating, because the rest of the time he behaves normally and there are no problems with breathing.
Honestly I’m not entirely sure. It could be that the snake is too warm, he could possibly have some sort of mouth condition, could be bored…That’s why I suggested a second opinion from another vet. Perhaps they could do a fecal test to see if there is any issue with parasites or bacteria in the gut.
You could definitely try not warming the mouse as much and bringing down the enclosure temperature a couple of degrees and see if that changes anything. A snake’s body temperature actually goes up while it is digesting, so it’s possible he’s getting too hot and this is his way of trying to cool down. I’d try giving him his pool full time, as well.
Definitely abnormal. Resetting the jaw (looks like yawning) after eating, occasionally, is normal. But keeping the mouth open and the long tongue flick with open mouth is unusual. The mouse size doesn’t sound wrong and his body shape looks in good condition. Does he only do it after eating?
I’m worried because at the end of January he already had this, but then the mice were large (about the size of the thickest part of his body), that is, adult mice for an adult snake. We fed him about once every 10 days. We fed him in the evening after the morning molt. And then the food regurgitated, exactly an hour after eating (the mouse was not digested at all) PHOTO. We went to the clinic, they gave him an injection for dehydration and did tests. It turned out that he had yeast-like microorganisms PHOTO. After which we treated him for 10 days, giving him tablets containing newborn mice. Further tests showed that he was cured. And from February to October, we gradually increased the size of the mice from very small hairless ones to small 7-8 mm adults. And then 2 times we started giving 9-10 cm mice, but he started having these problems after eating, and we again switched to a size of 7-8 cm, but today he was just as bad with this one