Sand boa won't use heating pad

Discussion in 'Boas' started by baconsamwich, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. baconsamwich

    baconsamwich Embryo

    Two weeks ago my sand boa regurgitated a pinkie the day after I fed it. I checked the heating and I figured that she did so because the temperature was too hot. I researched about regurgitation and someone suggested that I try feeding her half of a frozen pinkie. The following week I made sure the temperature stayed between 86-92 and tried to feed her but she refused to eat. I asked the pet store to give me a really small pinkie and she ate it on Sunday. I have another sand boa that spends most of his time on the heating pad area after he's eaten. I'm curious why my female sand boa won't do so. I know she did the week she regurgitated because the pinkie was on the heating area and it stunk up my whole room. I had to scrub it multiple times to get rid of the putrid smell. After that incident she doesn't lay on the heating area anymore. She stays on the areas outside of it. I'm watching the temperature very closely to make sure it stays between 86-92. She hasn't regurgitated yet so I'm relieved. Any thoughts? It's probably nothing but I'm worried about her because I purchased her 4 weeks ago from someone who wasn't able to properly care for her.

    JEFFREH Administrator Staff Member

    Welcome to the boards = )

    Your snake should know its metabolic needs and will thermoregulate so long as it is comfortable enough to do so. She may just like things a little cooler, or it may be a bit too hot in there which could result in avoidance. Be sure you are measuring temperatures accurately with a digital thermometer or tempgun to rule this out. Stress or lack of security can also keep her from thermoregulating properly - so be sure your husbandry practices are spot-on. I would recommend placing a hide on the warm end, and covering 3 sides of the aquarium with dark paper (assuming you have an aquarium) to help her feel more secure. In addition, be sure the enclosure is not in a high-traffic area of the house.

    Also - are these two living in the same enclosure? If so, it may be possible that the male is stressing the female out. Or, in the event she may have an illness, she could contaminate him.

    Regurgitation can result from a number of things; low temperature, inadequate food item, stress, disease, etc. I would first advice you to never feed a prey item frozen. Your prey should should be offered warm and preferably dry; making sure that frozen feeders are completely thawed. Sometimes offering the prey item in a different fashion can encourage a better feeding response (much like the success you've seen thus far feeding a smaller, live prey item than frozen or F/T). With your next Frozen/Thawed prey offering, try thawing the rodent for a short time at room temperature near the snake's enclosure. This will help to make the thawing more regular, and the smell of the rodent permeating the room will help to get the snake excited about a meal. Then place the rodent on a heat pad or within a plastic bag in hot water and allow to thaw until it is warm to the touch. Offer the rodent dry and warm.

    Here's a bit of literature on KSB care from VPI just to double-check your care practices:

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