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death due to a bad mouse?

Discussion in 'Herp Health' started by zaroba, Feb 9, 2006.

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  1. zaroba

    zaroba Elite Member

    over summer i had my ball python died a week after eating a mouse i got at the local pet shop.

    i think the mouse was sick or soemthing, but am not 100% sure if that could have done it. can a sick mouse result in a snake dying?

    the python itself was a little over 3 feet long and had been eating live adult mice for a long while. he had heat via a lamp and water at all times and i cleaned his cage weekly. i fed him 2 or 3 mice every 2-3 weeks and eat them right away. he would slither around my hand and lap if i took him out, he still deficated so i know he diden't have a blockage. he had no signs of being sick at all and wasen't skinny or fat. then one morning a week after feeding him i went to turn on his light and saw him curled up but with his face out of his log hide pointing down into the bedding. reached in to see if he was ok and found that he was dead.

    are my suspicions right? could the mouse i fed him the week earlier been sick and caused him to die?
  2. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    It is possible the mouse was the cause,,,which points to the benefits of feeding F/T. Where there any symptoms at all prior to his death ? any strange behavior whatsoever ? I ask this because I too lost a ball a few years ago to IBD, the symptoms began on day 1,,,he was gone by the begining of day 3.
  3. zaroba

    zaroba Elite Member

    whats ibd?

    nothing unusual that i can recall. he spent the week curled up in the log under the heatlamp. he did that often though so i diden't think to check on him.

    and, now that i looked around the forums a bit more, i think i probably should have posted this topic in the health forum instead of the feeders :p
  4. kenman1963

    kenman1963 Moderator

    IBD is Inclusion Body Disease, a neurological disorder that both boas and pythons are susceptible to. (and I moved the thread for ya !!!)
  5. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Snakes in the wild eat sick mice all the time. In fact the sick animals are the easiest prey and are the most often caught!
    For an adult snake to die that quickly without exhibiting any signs makes me think of some sort of toxin.
    Where did the mouse come from? A shop or did you catch it?

    There is always the possibility that the mouse had ingested some sort of poison.
  6. zaroba

    zaroba Elite Member

    got it at a local petshop that i ...hmm...i can't remember which petshop i got it from, thiers 4 of em around here.
  7. Manhirwen

    Manhirwen Elite Member

    You said you had this snake for 3 years right? I think you didn't feed him nearly enough. That is my opinion but my snake is only a foot and a half and eats more than that. Mine get's two small mice every week. In my opinion your snake might have died from starvation.
  8. zaroba

    zaroba Elite Member

    woulden't he have been skinny then, or weak and lethargic?

    he was strong, muscular, and active up until he died.
  9. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Starvation would be visually very obvious.
  10. BlackJack

    BlackJack Subscribed User Premium Member

    You may never know what killed the poor guy. The mouse could have eaten some kind of poison which killed your snake.
    This is why you really want to buy only the best quality food-animals for your pets. I HIGHLY recommend feeding ONLY frozen/thawed rodents, as live rodents can kill your snake too. A rat killed a burmese python with one well-aimed bite through the head!
    Also the freezing process kills any parasites, internal or external that a rodent might have. Generally F/T is also much cheaper than live too. is often recommended. (I don't live in the US, so I can't say that from personal experience.) But it's good to know where your feeders are coming from and get the best ones possible.

    Sorry about your BP. I'd be devastated if anything happened to mine!
  11. zaroba

    zaroba Elite Member

    ty for the info black.

    i'll defaintly be useing frozen/thawed when i get another bp
  12. Manhirwen

    Manhirwen Elite Member

    You're right merlin, it probably would have been very skinny. I guess it's hard to say in this case.
  13. zaroba

    zaroba Elite Member

    i still miss him dearly.
    this summer i'm going to get another one.
    his name will be Orochimaru II
  14. Bitis Gabonica

    Bitis Gabonica Elite Member

    Zaroba.. So sorry to hear about your BP, it's very hard to lose a pet and perhaps even more difficult when you don't know the cause.

    Firstly, I seriously doubt that a food item could have caused such a prompt death, unless, as Merlin said, it had ingested poison, but since you purchased it from a pet shop I also sincerely doubt this is the case either. Since several people have mentioned the dangers of feeding live, so I won't go into that, but do be aware of the cruelty aspects and the danger aspects to your snake.

    Having covered that, it's a shame you didn't have an autopsy done when the snake died. I would recommend that you do not buy another until you can perhaps find the cause of your first BPs death.

    Someone said you had owned the snake for three years - is this correct? If not, how long did you own it?

    Basic questions; what were the temps?, what was the housing like? humidity? and so on.

    Another thing to note is - your feeding pattern was fine. An older, sub-adult/adult, Royal is fine to be fed every 2-3 weeks; their metabolisms are slower and they aren't growing at the rate they did as young snakes so they don't need so much food. Young snakes should be fed weekly if they will accept it, although one of our sub-adult females is a bit funny and will only eat every two weeks, even if offered weekly; she is quite capable of eating larger food items or more often, but she refuses so we have to feed her what she will take. Therefore starvation would not be a cause.

    I understand where Ken is coming from, but with IBD there are often very obvious symptoms, one being a "star-gazing" tendency, another being the inability to control their body properly. We had a boa with suspected IBD, and she would flip upside down and not be able to right herself, and had severe lack of her head movements; it was difficult to miss.

    Such a quick, unexpected death, with no symptoms, is quite a mystery and I'm intrigued as to the cause.. perhaps illness, parasites, etc. Do you know how old the snake was? And also, was it captive bred? Captive farmed? Wild caught?
  15. zaroba

    zaroba Elite Member

    no clue on where it came from.
    don't remember what the exact temps or humidity were, had read a few different BP guides when setting up his encloser and went by them.

    yea, he was atleast 3 years old and think he was around 1 and a half feet long when i got him, had him until he was a little over 3ft long. also followed the one guide about the feeding. mouse or two every week when smaller, then when hitting 2 or 2 and a half feet (don't remember what the exact measurement was) go down to every two weeks. he was funny like yours often as well and sometimes he'd go a month without eating. or would only eat one of the two mice.

    he was in a 20L with repti-litter bedding that had a log hide in the end of the tank with the heat lamp, some fake sticks and small pieces of sandstone around the middle, and a water bowl big enough to get completly in at the other end. fed him in a different container to prevent ingestion of the bedding.

    seemed like a happy healthy snake.
    he was strong enough to squeeze my wrist enough to put my hand to sleep.
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