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Eastern Milk Snake Won't Eat
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Eastern Milk Snake Won't Eat

I have an eastern milk snake and I'm having trouble getting him to eat. I caught him in the wild about 5 months ago and after the first few weeks I've been able to get him to eat every week or so. He is about 2 feet long and I normally feed him 2 frozen fuzzies at a time, but for the past 4 weeks or so I haven't been able to get him to eat anything. I thaw out the food and try and feed him with the tongs and he doesn't seem interested so I leave it on a rock overnight for him to eat so maybe he doesn't get stressed out with me standing over the tank. The next day it looks like he was messing with the food, but only got the head in its mouth and then spit it out.  Since he stopped eating I've tried feeding him bigger stuff, smaller stuff, a live mouse which he killed then didn't eat and now I found a live baby pinkie in my shed and he still only gets it in his mouth and then lets go of it.

I really don't think it's because he's getting ready to shed since he did that about 2 weeks ago and hasn't had anything to eat. Before you ask, he's in a 20 gal terrarium set up with water, some fake foliage, and 2 hides on both the warm and cool side of the tank, so it's not that he's just being neglected in terms of his habitat.

What might be wrong with him? Is he sick, going into hibernation in early September, or maybe something else?
Please help
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Depending on the age of your snake, unfortunately being a wild caught snake, the snake may be afflicted a variety of illnesses not to mention the difficulty in adjusting to life in captivity.

Depending on how long he has lived in the wild, they are used to certain types of living prey.  It is difficult to get an older snake used to eating pre-killed previously frozen food when they are used to hunting and killing live prey.  

The stress alone from being caught and caged, then being stared at through a see thru wall while eating may make the snake stop what they are doing.

Many wild caught snakes are already afflicted with parasites, bacterial & viral infections, and other disease processes that can hinder their normal eating ability.

Since it is not possible to do a thorough physical examination on your snake via this forum (including looking for foreign objects in the mouth or body), I would seek out a veterinarian that is experienced in reptiles.  You may also want to contact a local herpetologist for their input as well.

It is vital for your snake to eat or they will become emaciated and wither away.  Please seek local help that your snake deserves and give him a chance at survival.  Thank you for caring enough about your snake to post this question in this forum.

Good luck,
Dr. Youkey
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