This is my first BP and I hope I'm just being overtly concerned. I came home yesterday at around 6pm to find my BP soaking in his water dish. I found this strange because I rarely see him out at this time and I have never seen him soak in the dish before. The humidity at the time was 55% and I checked for mites later when he got out and didn't see any.
I had woken up in the middle of the night and saw that he was back in his water bowl and when I woke up again he was still there (about 4 hours apart) I also noticed that he was breathing pretty heavy, which I have seen him do before but figured he was because he was stressed when I handled him. I have had him for a little over two months now. I have seen no other signs of respiratory infection ( no pop/click noise no mucus and no "star gazing" for extended periods of time). No trouble eating either. He also hasn't shed since I gotten him.
You BP being in the water dish can mean a few things: 1. The hot side might be too hot. If you have a thermometer to put in there, i would check how hot it is getting. 2. If the humidity is only in the 50's, it might be too dry for your BP. Maybe spray the cage a few times a week to try and raise the humidity. As for the breathing, I don't think it is something to worry about too much if you are not hearing any wheezing noises.
Did you use a strong light to check for mites? They can be very hard to see, especially on a darker snake. Check very closely around the heat pits on his nose. After he gets done soaking, strain the contents of his water bowl through a white paper towel and look for any drowned ones that might have fallen off.
55% is a pretty good humidity, but if he's going into shed, he may just want a little more hydration.
Thomas "Slim" Whitman
Never Met A Ball Python I Didn't Like
UTH thats on a thermostat set to about 95. I have an 75 watt heat lamp that I use on cold days to help bring the ambient temp up. I use Aculite (sp) indoor/outdoor to measure temps. Hot side is generally 90s cool side is usually a little cooler than should be.