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Posted by Colchicine on April 18, 2003 at 19:32:50:
In Reply to: Regurged and dead - why? posted by chip on April 18, 2003 at 19:02:56:
This is one of the unfortunate side effects of using amphibians as feeders. Just by going by this forum alone, I've never seen anybody have a problem with a hognoses dropping dead from being fed mice.
The obvious thing to look for is parasites, which is going to be an inherent problem if you continue to use amphibians. Parasites can exhibit an enormous amount of control over the life of a reptile and it is not to be underestimated. Usually, any wild caught animal will be loaded with parasites and feeding this to your pet snake will only increased its parasite load. If your hognose has not been dewormed in the past couple of months, and if you are feeding the amphibians live to your hognoses, I'll have to say it is a pretty good chance that your hognoses died from a pathogenic parasite problem.
There are ways you can control this problem in the future. Do not use amphibians as feeders, even if you do they should be frozen for at least 30 days to kill the majority of the parasites that can be transmitted. Surprisingly, mice can be a significant source of parasites, and it would be ideal to have the mice frozen for at least 30 days as well.
If you have problems with anything I have stated, please consult the book called Understanding Reptile Parasites, by Roger Klingenberg. You can find this book for about 10 bucks at the Kingsnake bookstore. Ironically, I was reading this book today and in the section about controlling food as a source of infestation, he states "a hognoses snake that eats mice may be better off than eating wild caught frogs or toads (Frye, 1973)". In case you did not know, Frederick Frye is a very well-known veterinarian who was published many books on the medicine of reptiles and many would consider him to be a reputable source of information.
One other thing you should do in the future, is to immediately refrigerate (not freeze) the snake and get it to a veterinarian. It would only take about 10 minutes of looking at the GI tract to determine the parasite load and rull that out as a cause of death.