In some cases, a snake may need assistance with feeding due to various reasons such as illness, injury, or difficulty in capturing prey. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to assist feed a snake, it's important to do so correctly and safely.
Understanding the Need for Assistance
Before attempting to assist feed a snake, it's crucial to determine whether it is necessary. Consult with a professional breeder or veterinarian to assess the snake's health and feeding habits. They can guide you on whether assistance is required and provide specific instructions based on the snake's condition. Some babies need an extra hand to get started, but it is not uncommon that improper husbandry or general care may be causing your animal to skip meals. Small adjustments can make big differences.
Please note that this process can cause extreme stress on your animal and requires a delicate and experienced hand. If you do not think you can accomplish the task safely, please consider other options. Assist feeding your snake incorrectly can lead to additional issues and maybe even death.
Ensure you have all the required supplies before attempting to assist feed a snake. You will need a pair of snake feeding tongs or forceps, gloves, and an appropriately sized prey item. Usually you want to try a small meal to make the process easier for your snake. Choose a quiet and stress-free area for feeding the snake to make sure the snake feels secure and comfortable in its enclosure before attempting to assist feed.
Gently pick up the snake holding its head softly and use the feeding tongs or forceps to insert the prey item slowly in their mouth. When the prey item is successfully in their mouth your snake may wrap or bite the meal hard, which means you can put it back into the enclosure. However, if your snake is not wrapping or biting the meal you may need to insert the prey item a little futher. DO NOT force the meal down their throat on your own.
What happens next?
Observe the snake quietly while it is feeding to ensure it is swallowing the prey properly. If the snake drops the meal, you may try again in a couple days. Or if the snake encounters any difficulties, such as regurgitation or choking, stop the feeding immediately and seek professional help. It's important to monitor the snake's feeding response and adjust the assistance as needed.
Remember, assisting with feeding should only be done when necessary and under the guidance of a professional. Regularly consult with a veterinarian or reptile specialist to ensure the snake's overall health and well-being. By following these steps and providing proper care, you can help your snake thrive even in challenging situations.