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Worried About My Python

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by pyke, Dec 7, 2009.

  1. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    I recently bought a Ball Python, i was told hes about a year old, and they didnt know the sex of him, so i call it a male anyways for now lol.
    after i handle him and put him back in the cage he will creep around and then pen his mouth really wide, my friend who has alot of boas and burmese pythons said hes prob just streching his jaw, i think hes hungry.
    when i bought him i asked when was he last fed, they said there wasnt yet a food plan started and i would have to call today so i did the manager said that the pythons were all new so thats why they havent been fed so feed him on wednesday or thuresday.
    well yesterday i seen him come out of his cave about 50% of his body and he would look around then form a "S" shape and move only his head. i feel that hes starving and wants to eat. what do you think?
    and heres some pics of him

    Sam001.jpg
    Sam002.jpg
    sam2001.jpg
    sam2002.jpg

    still workin on more things for his home :)
     

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  2. parishkl

    parishkl Active Member

    Things I see you might want to work on, since you're still adding to the tank:

    - Your ball needs places to hide in order to feel safe and secure; preferably you need two hides, one on each end of the tank (one cool hide, and one hot hide, near the heat source).

    - I don't know what substrate you're using in your tank, but I would recommend aspen, since it won't cause impaction. This is what I have read since getting my new ball.

    - I'd minimize handling for the first few weeks to let your new baby settle in a little. It'll increase the chances of you getting him to take food properly.

    And as an aside, that snake looks awfully small to me to be a year old, so I'm not sure those people at the shop knew what they were talking about... I just got a ball myself and she is about that size, but only about two months old.

    This is what a year-old ball should look like:
    2002Oct.jpg

    You might want to try getting some frozen-and-thawed fuzzy mice and feeding him. Worse case scenario, he'll refuse the food. But make sure you don't handle him for at least three hours before you try to feed him though. If he's stressed, he won't eat.
     

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  3. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    Okay thanks, think he should be taking pinkies? or no?
    they weren ot sure of the age they said they think its about a year old, they had 4 in the same cage i wanted the smallest one.
    i do have one hide on the hot side fallowed with a floor heater and a infered light, so i will invest into one on the cold side as well.
    the bedding i used is Exo Terra Plantation Soil, This was provided in the Python Started kit, 3 bricks of it. you add water to it let it sit for 30 mins and put it in the terrarium.
    the tank is 90cmx45cmx25cm i have one small light holder holding a 50 watt infered light, and i have one medium light holder holding a 13watt UVB light, one flexable tree thing one medium hide and one medium water dish and the stick on wall fake plant that he loves to play on.
     
  4. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    I agree. That snake is not a year old. Maybe 6, months at best. Also the snake does need at least 2 hides. You mentioned a cave?
    As I told you in PM, the snake should be left alone and not handled or attempted to feed for a week to get settled in. In fact I would suggest refraining from handling until it has a couple of feedings down.
    Not true. Any wood, chip or shredded, substrate can cause an impaction.
     
  5. parishkl

    parishkl Active Member

    Okie dokie, good to know. It's my first snake too, so perhaps I'm not the best one to be giving out advice, but both the shop owner and the care sheet where I got her suggested aspen to avoid impaction so that's what I have in my terrarium.

    Though honestly, I would think Astroturf or something similar would be easier to clean in the long run, so I'm considering a switch.
     
  6. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    so im not aloud to play with him no more:(
    lol i always have him out of the home.
    cave i call it, but i guess its a hide.
    heres some pics i just took

    sam2001-1.jpg
    sam2002-1.jpg
     

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  7. parishkl

    parishkl Active Member

    Yeah, it sucks to not be able to handle them, but I think it's best for the snake's physical and mental well-being to leave it alone for a few weeks. I don't think they adjust to change very quickly, and definitely need to "settle" into a new home...I think it might help you avoid stress-related illness and other stuff like that if you could hold off on holding him and carrying him around.
     
  8. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    Gonna have to try eh? lol
    i know the gf wont be happy cause the min she see him she has him out of the cage and hes on her head chilling loving life lol
     
  9. parishkl

    parishkl Active Member

    Better twenty years of handling though than overhandling for the first few weeks and stressing the snake into starvation though, yeah? ;)

    It's so hard to resist though, I know. My new baby Naga is frickin' adorable. I don't see how anyone could not like snakes, honestly. They're the coolest.
     
  10. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    Does anyone know why he might open his mouth wide open at times?
    i just realized i dont have anything to watch the temp so i gotta pick 2 up today aswell as another hide. but like every time i try to get a pic of him opening his mouth up its like he knows im gonna do it and shuts it on me lol
     
  11. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    Also do you think i should always leave the infered bulb in the same spot? i often move it from front to back but its ALWAYS on the right side of the tank. making that side the hot side
     
  12. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Ball pythons are a shy snake and stress very easily. It is much better to give him a chance to settle in and get cozy. And even after that you don't want to be constantly fooling with him. 10-20 minute of handling is plenty.
    You absolutely must have a thermometer in there. Correct temperatures are vital to the snake's survival. And dont get the pet store ones. Go to the garden section of Lowes or Home Depot and get a digital one with a remote probe.
    As to his mouth being open. It could be a yawn, realiging the jaws, or it could be a symptom of a respiratory problem.
     
  13. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    So if i get one of them digital ones with a remote probe i do not leave it in the tank?
    and how often should i check it?
    i hope itsnot a respiratory problem i know that for sure.
     
  14. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Leave the heat lamp in one spot.

    The nice thing about those is the probe (its on the end of a long wire)goes in the tank and the readout can be left outside.
    And you need to check it all the time.
     
  15. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    okay thanks
     
  16. cryptidhunter

    cryptidhunter Member

    How often does he open his mouth really wide?

    Honestly, it sounds to me like he's just yawning, lol, all snakes do it. My corn snakes yawn, and my Dumeril's boa yawns. You won't always see it, but if you spend a lot of time watching your snake then you obviously will. It would be nothing to worry about to see the snake yawn every day. They do it for they same reason we do most of the time, but sometimes they do it pre-shed and what that does is it pops the skin loose from the front of the mouth then they'll rub up against something to get it started coming off. So unless he's opening his mouth wide every few minutes, don't worry yourself.
     
  17. Dragoness

    Dragoness Elite Member

    Another note on impaction: with snakes, it is very easy to avoid, no matter your substrate, if you simply feed your snake in a separate area, (such as a bin, or even the bath tub) where there is no substrate to accidentally eat. Snakes do not have a tendency to eat or taste random object in their cage like many lizards do - so they are quite unlikely to eat any substrate unless fed on it.
     
  18. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    Okay thanks, he does it like 2 times a day i norrmally see, and i did notice that he been rubbing his head along the edge of the hide so maybe hes sheading.
    but i have a big issue now. i now have some in tank temp readers as well as a digital one and the cold side is between 69-70 degrees and the hot side is between 77-80 degrees, i still need this tank hotter dont i?
     
  19. purplemuffin

    purplemuffin Elite Member

    yeah quite a bit hotter... like, the basking spot should be at 90 while the cool is more towards 80
     
  20. pyke

    pyke Active Member

    how can i make it hotter?
    i have a medium size under tnk heater, and i have a 50watt infered light thats stays on 24/7 and in the day time i have a UVB light on
     

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