My snake won't eat.

Asked March 26, 2020, 7:08 AM EDT

I have an adult California king snake. She is approx 4' long. I'm concerned because she hasn't eaten in about 2 months. I've put several mice in for her she will take a couple strikes at them but then has no interest in them. The mice end up dying and I'm not sure why. Could she be detecting something wrong with the mice? I'm just starting to worry because I can't imagine buying 3 mice at 3 different times from 2 different suppliers could all be sick.

Santa Clara County California

1 Response

Thank you for your question. Snakes sometimes just stop eating for a time. It doesn't necessarily mean they are sick. If your snake is not losing weight, and you are providing adequate temperature and humidity in its enclosure her disinterest in feeding may not be a concern. If you are sure she isn't ill, then I recommend you stop offering food for a week to 10 days, and then offer a frozen mouse (completely thawed out, of course), and see if she eats.

Generally, it's not a good idea to offer live mice, unless you are going to watch them while they are in with your snake. If a snake is not interested in feeding, the mice can inflict injury, sometimes serious injury, to the snake. Even if the snake is an aggressive feeder, there's always a chance a live rodent can injure your snake.

If you suspect your snake is sick, then you should take it to a reptile veterinarian to be examined.

I hope this information helps, and thank you for contacting Ask an Expert.

Jim