NANFA-- Largemouths Eating Mice

Jeffrey Fullerton (
Thu, 26 Apr 2001 22:29:27 -0400

> Date: Thu, 26 Apr 2001 13:59:45 -0400
> From: "Lions Lark"
> Subject: RE: NANFA-- Keeping Largemouths in Aquarium...
> There is a danger the mouse/rat (if consumed live) could bite internally
> whatever has swallowed it. I used to breed mice to feed my boas.
> Occasionally the mouse would bite the snakes externally & the snake would
> get infections that weren't so hard to heal. But I did lose two snakes to
> bites received internally that antibiotic injections given by a vet could
> not heal. The injury caused swelling & infection & eventually blocked the
> airway & throat & the snake starved to death.
This is sort of an off topic too, but I don't know how mice could bite a
snake internally. All constricting colubrids and boids kill their prey
by squeezing the air out of the lungs until they suffocate. Then they
usually cautiously inspect the prey to make sure it is dead before
swollowing it.

I wonder if your snakes may have gotten Cryptosporidiosis which is a
protozoan that causes swellings in the GI tract and is very contagious -
whole collections have been wiped out - including zoos. And rodents can
be asymptomatic carriers , hence the importance of securing a clean food
source and not feeding wild mice to your snakes or other herps. Crypto
strikes the same kind of terror in the hearts of herp enthusiasts as the
infamous Stargazing disease- which is caused by an amoeba- or a
paromyxovirus. But Cryptosporidians can also cause stargazing symptoms
if they get into the central nervous system. The snakes will act weird-
put their heads up in the air or just go forward and back up repeatedly
or strike randomly. Usually crypto attacks the inside of the gut or
stomach and there is no cure as of yet. Lizards may be affected to a
lesser degree, turtles are generally more resistant to protozoans
probably because they live in and around water more - as are water
snakes, garters and kingsnakes.

I don't think it bothers fish or amphibians, but it can infect humans -
cheifly people with debilitated immune systems-

Raising your own mice is probably a good idea - if you can stay on top
of the cleaning or else the smell becomes unbearable! Or you can often
buy pre-killed rodents from a reputable dealer and store them frozen in
ziplock bags for a few months- actually better for the snakes because
most snakes will quickly learn to eat dead prey and it's safer and more
humane than feeding live rodents. Indeed I've had snakes so used to dead
prey that they were either too afraid or too lazy to take live full
grown mice!

This is the first time i've ever heard of someone feeding mice to a bass
but that doesn't surprise me given that bass will eat just about
everything that tries to swim across the water - frogs and rodents and
even snakes!


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