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  1. #1
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    Ball Python bites itself

    I recently bought a ball python from a friend, its still young not sure of the age but it can fit in my hand.

    It was cold transporting it to my house.

    When i got it all set up (heat pad and lamp going) the snake was not moving for a good 2 hrs then starting to be active a bit.

    so i let it alone for the night and this morning it was laying in a very odd position, half its body was the right way up (belly down) the other half was fliped over.

    I thought it might have died over the night so i touched it and it moved, so again i left it alone while it be while i went to work

    well when i returned today it seemed fine had apparently moved around a bit
    so i left it alone and checked back later and it appeard to be bitting itself (when i went to touch it it seemed to be kind of gnawing i guess you would say) is this normal behavior?

    it had just been feed a few days ago
    the tank temp is about 85 degrees with the heat pad and light on one side of the tank

    could this be stress?
    or maybe it needs feed?

    any help would be appreciated

  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran kitedemon's Avatar
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    NO that is wayyy not normal!

    My first thought is are you sure it is a ball python? It sounds like something a kingsnake would do when extremely hungry.

    Check your husbandry your cool end should be around 80 and a hot spot around 90ļF there are excellent care sheets here...

    http://ball-pythons.net/forums/forum...107-CARESHEETS

    look up ball pythons in google images just to be sure it actually is one they are very distinctive.

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  4. #3
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    Re: Ball Python bites itself

    Quote Originally Posted by kitedemon View Post
    NO that is wayyy not normal!

    My first thought is are you sure it is a ball python? It sounds like something a kingsnake would do when extremely hungry.

    Check your husbandry your cool end should be around 80 and a hot spot around 90ļF there are excellent care sheets here...

    http://ball-pythons.net/forums/forum...107-CARESHEETS

    look up ball pythons in google images just to be sure it actually is one they are very distinctive.
    yes im very sure it is and the temps seem to be fine

    1 thing i forgot to mention is i left the light on all night last night and the tank is in a room that is well lit in the day. dont know if this could be a cause of anything

  5. #4
    Registered User JordanAng420's Avatar
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    Animals have been known to bite themselves in all kinds of places during many different types of seizures...i'm not sure if it's ever been documented in reptiles, but i've seen it first hand with dogs and cats.
    Maia D. Goldworm CVT, VTS (anesthesia)

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  7. #5
    BPnet Veteran ed4281's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python bites itself

    This behavior is not normal, snakes donít self mutilate by biting themselves (they rub their noses on the cage until a bump forms and they look like a unicorn). What you are describing sounds like neurologic symptoms from being too cold. I have seen this recently, a person brought their BP in to the clinic I work at and it was having the same inverting and almost seizure like activity. She was keeping it at room temperature and it has been cold here lately. We warmed it up and it was fine, printed off the care sheet from here and gave it to her, I just spoke to her yesterday and the snake is doing much better with the appropriate husbandry adjustments.

    I would watch the snake and if it starts doing this again you should go to the vet (provided this is not a spider ball python because if it is that behavior could be normal and associated with the spider wobble) make sure to watch for any upper respiratory symptoms such as wheezing, labored breathing, and bubbles forming in the mouth. If any of these symtoms occur go to the vet.

    Also Bpís donít need a light, they are nocturnal and donít benefit at all from one. If you are using a light to boost your ambient temps you should use a red bulb or a ceramic bulb neither puts off any light that would disturb a BP.

    And Maia you are brave I donít know if I would put my credintials in my signature, may get too many questions.

    Edward A. Balint LVT, MS, VTS (ECC)
    Currently have
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    0.1 spider
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    1.1 100% het albino's
    1.0 Albino ( he will live at work but i get to take care of him)
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  9. #6
    BPnet Senior Member WingedWolfPsion's Avatar
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    Sounds kind of like cold shock syndrome. Ball pythons do not tolerate being cold. The trip home may have caused this, if it was allowed to get too cold.

    The snake may recover if it makes it past 48 hours, or it may die. If it does survive, long-term impairment is possible.

    Never allow ball pythons to be exposed to temperatures under 70F.
    --Donna Fernstrom
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  11. #7
    BPnet Veteran dragonboy4578's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python bites itself

    Please keep us posted. I hope it pulls through, and gets better for you.

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  13. #8
    BPnet Veteran ed4281's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python bites itself

    Quote Originally Posted by WingedWolfPsion View Post
    Sounds kind of like cold shock syndrome. Ball pythons do not tolerate being cold. The trip home may have caused this, if it was allowed to get too cold.

    The snake may recover if it makes it past 48 hours, or it may die. If it does survive, long-term impairment is possible.

    Never allow ball pythons to be exposed to temperatures under 70F.
    Thatís what it is called I have never heard of it and I was looking in all sorts of text books, do you have any info on it, because I would like to know in case I see it again. There just isnít much veterinary material available on herpís( especially emergency protocols) and they just donít teach much in school about them.
    Currently have
    2.3 pastel's
    0.1 spider
    0.1 normal
    1.1 100% het albino's
    1.0 Albino ( he will live at work but i get to take care of him)
    1.0 Cinnamon
    1.0 Fire

  14. #9
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    Re: Ball Python bites itself

    Thank you all for the usefull imformation I will keep a close watch over it and if things do not improve i will be going to the vet

  15. #10
    Registered User Mallory's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python bites itself

    Years ago I had a BP that did the exact same thing, usually during feeding. He would basically freak out and attack himself and then it started turning into seizures. I would hold him down to keep him from hurting himself (yes, I got LOTS of teeth marks on me, but otherwise he would actually rip off scales) Then, out of nowhere, he would be back to normal. Unfortunately he didn't live very long, but a breeder friend of mine said maybe he had struck at the glass tank and given himself brain damage.

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