Quote Originally Posted by SarahKate View Post
Hello, I am a new snake owner and I have a 4 month old western hognose. (warning- this gets gross)

The last time my hognose ate it got rather messy. He started to eat the frozen-thawed pinkie from the butt first (it took him a few hours before he started to eat, te previous 2 feedings were instant). Because the pinkie's leg was sticking out awkwardly, the snake couldn't get his mouth around it. He dug and dug at it for 30 minutes until his nose popped the belly and he started burrowing inside of the pinkies stomach.. and it just got messy and gross. Obviously he can't swallow something he is inside. Chunks of guts were spilling out and onto his face. He was eyeballs deep inside of the pinkie's guts..gross. I got him to spit out out and replaced it with a fresh one, which he ate immediately and quickly.

A week later is when I feel as if i made my mistake. I gave him his frozen-thawed pinkie, like usual, and he instantly went at it- sideways. He was chomping on the pinkie's side instead of its head or butt. I let him continue for a while, but he was getting no where. I had flash backs on the chunks of guts and intestines and his nose scraping the inside of the pinkie from last week. I decided to take this one out of his mouth (I used my "snake" chopsticks) and turn it around for him, to prevent that nasty situation form reoccuring. Unfortunately, he didn't eat it... or the one I gave him a couple days later, or the one after that, or after that, or the one I had just set in his cage, scented with tuna juice. I feel like I gave him some sort of anxiety when it comes to eating. His eyes haven't gone blue to indicate a future shed, his cage is kept at high 80s in a gradient. I'm not sure what to do. Its been about 2 weeks since his last pinkie. I really shouldn't have messed with his feeding. Any advice?
Hi, your temperatures are not correct. Your hoggie needs to be kept at 90 degrees constantly really. You need to buy a thermostat to attach to your heat lamp and heat mat to control the temperatures and keep them constant. Uncontrolled heat sources are very dangerous, as they could get too hot, and end up burning your snake. Your current temperatures are too low, your hognose will stop eating in an attempt to brumate (although yours is a little bit too young to be doing this).

I would recommend discarding the heat lamp all together. Use a heat mat on the bottom of the viv to maintain the hot side. And just make sure that the hoggie gets light from a normal bulb, or that the room they're kept in is well lit in the day time. This is because hognoses are diurnal, so if they don't get enough light, they think the days are shortening and that it's winter and stop eating in an attempt to brumate.

The other thing I would say if that your tank looks a bit bare. I mean most snakes don't have an issue with being kept on newpaper. But hognoses like to dig and to tunnel. So if recommend keeping him on something other than newspaper. Eco earth seems to be good for tunneling in my experience.

Also when you are feeding. I would use a feeding tub. Remove the hognose from his tank and put him in a the tub, hold the mouse firmly with the tongs (don't dangle it by the tail) in front of his mouth. He should strike. Although my hognose tends to go up to the mouse and grab it gently from the tongs.

My picky snakes will only feed if I've defrosted the mouse in hot water and if it's still warm. If he still won't feed after the temperatures have been corrected, then try scenting a mouse, or try offering him actual fish (I've known tinned tuna to work). If you can get hold of a frog or some kind of amphibian to feed or scent a mouse with, that might also help.