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  1. #1
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    Chronic Constipation

    My ball python is now entering into her third cycle of constipation. Each time I give her a cycle of soaking and trips to the vet, in which we give her enemas and (for the last cycle) laxatives. The blockage is quite far up inside her, not at the entrance, and is fecal matter, not urates. I can confirm this with at least one X-ray taken during the first bout. She's definitely not gravid.

    Obviously, a snake with a healthy appetite that can only eat one mouse every month or so is going to have problems. The frequent soaking has also been leading to a touch of scale rot, and I'd like to get her stable before.

    In the middle of the second cycle, my python has been switched into a large Rubbermaid tub with UTH, maintaining a temperature of 83 degrees, with the humidity around 60-70%. She eats adult mice, though she might be about the right size to take a small rat. I've taken her out for exercise since the middle of the second bout and given her belly massages as recommended by the doctor on a daily basis. Still, I keep ending up where I started.

    (If the answer is heat, please also tell me how to raise it. Seriously, I've got two UTHs cover nearly the entire bottom of the tank at full strength. I'll have to regulate them at some point, but right now, that just seems ridiculous.)

    I can also say that this snake is nearly three years old, and she has never had this problem before. She's been through much harsher winters than this with little or no problems.

  2. #2
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    My suggestion is stop feeding her for good month. Let her clear out her bowels and reset her digestive track.

    Could also have parasites causing this and a few doses of Flagyl will help

  3. #3
    BPnet Veteran JenH's Avatar
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    I'm curious - how do you know that it is constipated? Maybe having fecal matter backup that far is normal? I've seen some mighty large poops come out of my snakes and it has to store somewhere before heading out.
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  4. #4
    in evinco persecutus dr del's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Constipation

    Hi,

    I'm missing something I know, but why can she only eat once a month?

    And if she has been eating only once mouse a month for any length of time she might not have anything to poop out.


    dr del
    Derek

    7 adult Royals (2.5), 1.0 COS Pastel, 1.0 Enchi, 1.1 Lesser platty Royal python, 1.1 Black pastel Royal python, 0.1 Blue eyed leucistic ( Super lesser), 0.1 Piebald Royal python, 1.0 Sinaloan milk snake 1.0 crested gecko and 1 bad case of ETS. no wife, no surprise.

  5. #5
    BPnet Senior Member Slim's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Constipation

    Quote Originally Posted by dr del View Post
    I'm missing something I know, but why can she only eat once a month?
    He used to feed it once a week...

    http://ball-pythons.net/forums/showt...83#post1325783
    Thomas "Slim" Whitman
    Never Met A Ball Python I Didn't Like

  6. #6
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    Re: Chronic Constipation

    Thanks to everyone for your responses.

    The snake had another bowel movement just after a shed last week, which required no enemas or laxatives. The lab results show no sign of parasites.

    To answer the question re. "backing up": It's pretty clear that this isn't the case. The fecal matter doesn't push forward - it gets stuck in a hard mass almost a foot into her body, blocking the passing of the urates as well. Normally this snake passes something every 1-2 weeks, instead of every month or more.

    I'm concerned that putting her off her food for a month might not be the best solution, given how long she's been between meals. Then again, she still seems strong.

    Any suggestions would be appreciated.

  7. #7
    in evinco persecutus dr del's Avatar
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    Re: Chronic Constipation

    Hi,

    Could she be dehydrated?


    dr del
    Derek

    7 adult Royals (2.5), 1.0 COS Pastel, 1.0 Enchi, 1.1 Lesser platty Royal python, 1.1 Black pastel Royal python, 0.1 Blue eyed leucistic ( Super lesser), 0.1 Piebald Royal python, 1.0 Sinaloan milk snake 1.0 crested gecko and 1 bad case of ETS. no wife, no surprise.

  8. #8
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    Re: Chronic Constipation

    Quote Originally Posted by dr del View Post
    Hi,

    Could she be dehydrated?

    dr del
    It's unlikely - her skin isn't as wrinkled as it would be with dehydration. Also, if her amount of urates are any indication, she's getting all the water she needs.

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