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My Ball Python Was Scratched/bit While Killing Rat.

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by Tiffany Goebel, Sep 29, 2017.

  1. Hi,

    I'm new here but have experience with snakes. My snake just started eating large rats and today he wrapped around mainly the head and ended us either scratched or bit. There was blood but only a small bit and the wound was very small. This is the first time this has ever happened in all my ten years of snake owning. I'm worried about it, already put neosporin( sorry if that's spelled wrong) on it but is there anything else I can do? Also it was on his underbelly and he did not get irritated when I was putting the neosporin on. Any advice would be great.
  2. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Make sure the neosporine is the kind without pain killers.
    If the wound was small just keep the cage floor clean and dry.
  3. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    You have been really lucky this has not happened before, and much worse damage, if you have always been feeding your snakes with live prey.
    Kill the prey first yourself, that way it cannot harm the snake.
    Or feed frozen/thawed rats.
    murrindindi likes this.
  4. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member

    Hi, I second TamJam`s comments, I find it quite irresponsible for people to offer live rodent (and other vertebrate prey) unless it`s genuinely life threatening not to, which is extremely rare, it`s cruel to both predator and prey.

    rkbp2[1].jpg images[2].jpg
  5. I understand that some people that way. Those pictures you posted can I ask what it was being fed? I'm asking because when I feed my baby he is fast. And I observed so nothing will happen. I've owned over 20 snakes and never had this happen before
  6. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    I can't like this because of the sad photos. But I completely agree. We've had multiple people who I won't name, that have had horrible things happen to their snakes when feeding live. One in particular had their new snake's eye scratched out, very sad occurrence. It really doesn't make sense why anyone wants to feed live, it is detrimental to the snake, and inconvenient for the keeper. I only feed live as a last resort to get babies started, after scenting and braining and everything else fails (which is pretty rare) and then switch them as soon as possible.
    TamJam likes this.
  7. dp428

    dp428 Established Member

    when I was younger I had that same thing happen to my ball python i don't know if this had anything to do with his death but after the bite happened mine just decided to never eat again and died of starvation. I tried bringing him the vivarium near my house to see if they could get him to eat and was unsuccessful.

    its all about eliminating risk, and live prey just offers more risk of potential harm, you never know, you might just get a super mouse/rat that will fight to the death... which will result in pain or infection for your animal, so I think everyone is just trying to say....its not worth the risk for future feedings. also it may be cost effective and convenient because you can buy in bulk and keep them in a freezer. so that's plus :)

    I do hope your snake recovers quickly and is back to normal please keep us updated on your snake.
    TamJam likes this.
  8. Today he is fine and can't even see the wound.

    Attached Files:

  9. dp428

    dp428 Established Member

    great to hear!
  10. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    I might take a lot of flak for this, but I'm going to say it anyway. If it is done responsibly there is nothing wrong with feeding live prey. In over twenty years, the only time I've ever had any sort of injuries was when I didn't realized a snake hadn't eaten and the prey item was left in with it unattended. 99% of all these injuries, including the photos above, are from people leaving live prey in a cage and not paying attention. Either that or putting in a prey item that is half starved or terrified already. Now despite how it may sound from this, I'm not endorsing feeding live as being better than frozen. Quite the opposite, I would prefer to feed all F/T if I could, but I have a lot of snakes that just won't eat frozen or eat very inconsistently if they will take it at all. But it is not fair to label all keepers who feed live as irresponsible and/or cruel.
  11. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    What Darkbird said:

    1) It can be understood that some keepers find it suitable/convenient to feed live prey, for various reasons. But if the live prey is capable of biting and scratching, there is always a risk of the snake being injured to some extent. Also as stated, this method is not endorsed, and would not be practised if it could be avoided.

    2) I don't think the keepers who feed live were being called irresponsible or cruel, but rather, the action of feeding live prey and not overseeing the feeding to ensure that all was well, that would be an irresponsible and maybe a cruel act on the part of the keeper, especially if an injury could have been avoided.

    There have been countless debates back and forth on this subject.

    What I feel is that every attempt should be made on the keeper's part to get the snake to eat fresh killed or thawed prey. That is obviously the better and safer method.

    I started all my baby ball pythons on live mouse fuzzies, and after a while switched them to fresh killed mouse hoppers, and it went well. Now all my snakes eat fresh killed rats, no problem.
  12. How do you switch them over, after the last scare I don't want him to get hurt. And it scared me. But I tried to kill a rat and well he went around it, played with it but didn't eat it. I don't know if I'm not doing it right or what.
  13. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    Sometimes it takes a good while to get them eating fresh killed or thawed prey. Especially Ball pythons, which can be very stubborn when they are ready!
    I would wait a few weeks, then try again with a smaller rat, fresh killed or a thawed one that was bought frozen. There is a lot of information available for owners with stubborn switchers!
    Don't worry, if your snake is healthy and you are patient, you will win.

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