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  1. #1
    Registered User Sargentnoid's Avatar
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    Very skinny ball python

    I just received a ball python that is extremely skinny I've had him for 2 days so I haven't tried to feed him yet but his spine sticks up to a point his belly is sunk in almost the full length of his body and I can see the outline of his ribs and the listed weight on the add shows he was at 100g now hes at 54g.
    I put him into a 12qt tub its 89f on the warm side and 80f on cool side humidity is at 95% (I have a fairly large water bowl in there) hes on aspen bedding with a small hide
    My question is whats the best way to go about trying to save this guy
    [IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG][IMG][/IMG]

  2. #2
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    Offering him the appropriate sized prey every 5 days is going to be your best bet.

    I would also make sure he has a hide on both sides right now. Watch your humidity on the aspen - that bedding likes to suck the air dry pretty quickly.

    Are you new to snake keeping? What is your heat source, and what are you measuring temps and humidity with?

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  4. #3
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    Re: Very skinny ball python

    He doesn't look emaciated, he's just not a thick hatchling. He's also balled up, which making it hard to get a good idea of his girth when he's relaxed.

    Melcvt00 gave you some good info and asked some good questions. Feed appropriately sized prey items, about the girth of the snake or slightly larger, every 5 to 7 days. He'll fill out for you in not time and grow like a little weed. His condition isn't critical by any means.

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  5. #4
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  7. #5
    Registered User Sargentnoid's Avatar
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    Re: Very skinny ball python

    Quote Originally Posted by melcvt00 View Post
    Offering him the appropriate sized prey every 5 days is going to be your best bet.

    I would also make sure he has a hide on both sides right now. Watch your humidity on the aspen - that bedding likes to suck the air dry pretty quickly.

    Are you new to snake keeping? What is your heat source, and what are you measuring temps and humidity with?
    To answer your questions yes I'm new to snake keeping my heat consists of heat tape under one end and a 75w ceramic heat bulb about 12"-14" above to help ambient temperature. to measure temps I have digital Thermometers with probes attached inside tub on top of the heat tape and a th-100 tracking temp/humidity on the side of the far end then I spot check with a temp gun

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  9. #6
    BPnet Senior Member zina10's Avatar
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    Re: Very skinny ball python

    Quote Originally Posted by Sargentnoid View Post
    To answer your questions yes I'm new to snake keeping my heat consists of heat tape under one end and a 75w ceramic heat bulb about 12"-14" above to help ambient temperature. to measure temps I have digital Thermometers with probes attached inside tub on top of the heat tape and a th-100 tracking temp/humidity on the side of the far end then I spot check with a temp gun
    After looking at the pictures carefully, he DOES look skinny. That belly is very sunken in. I'm not sure if that hatchling ever ate ?? It shouldn't have been sold like that, that's for sure, but what's done is done.

    It is a good thing you are keeping it in a tub. You can get a smaller waterbowl and make room for 2 hides. One at each end, cool and warm end. Far more important then a huge water bowl. Hides should be dark and not to big.

    Her is the big and most important question of them all. Do you have a thermostat on the heat tape ? If not, that is one thing that is absolutely critical. You need to control the heat output. Ditch the heat bulb. It just dries out the enclosure and it may just make it to hot. Your top should be solid to make the hatchling feel more secure. If you have the hide over the warm end, it will be cozy in there. you can wrap a towel around the tub to make it feel more secure and not to let cold in or heat out. Just leave one side open and a bit of the lid, so you can do a quick visual check.

    Right now you have to have your husbandry 100% spot on. That includes heat, humidity 2 hides and privacy. You don't have much time to get everything right, that hatchling needs to eat before to long.

    But your best bet to get it to eat is to have everything just right, and then leave it be for at least 5 days. No handling, no messing about other then quick visual checks and perhaps a light misting to keep the humidity going.

    After the 5 or so days, offer a live mouse hopper or a rat fuzzy. Close the tub and watch from some distance, you want the hatchling to feel safe. They will not eat if they don't feel safe.

    Hopefully that will work.

    However, there is a chance it just won't eat. I doubt it ate for the breeder. Btw. What does the breeder say ??? About the weight discrepancy ? Whether it ate and how much ??

    If NOTHING works, is there someone knowledgeable near you that could teach you how to assist feed ? This one might just need a jump start. But do not attempt to do this on your own, you have to try everything else first. Because the stress of that can make things a lot worse.

    Good luck, that sure is a little BEAUTY !!!
    Last edited by zina10; 01-28-2017 at 12:14 PM.
    Zina

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  11. #7
    Registered User Sargentnoid's Avatar
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    I put a second hide in there last night the large water bowl was because when he came in his scales felt dry/rough and it has helped he now is smooth/silky feeling and weighs 3g more than when he arrived i do have a thermostat on the heat tape so as not to cook the little guy
    Im having trouble finding fuzzy/hopper rats and mice the person i bought him from said he was eating live rat hoppers but he had taken f/t so I didnt figure he would be difficult to get on f/t and live adult mice are easy to find and (he should be able to eat them hes 18"-20" long) but hes so thin I dont know if he will the seller says they will get it taken care of but we will see
    I think there is a couple people I can see if I can get help from if it comes to that
    Here is some more pics I took when I added the second hide and changed his water the last is a bit fuzzy but it shows his setup






  12. #8
    BPnet Senior Member zina10's Avatar
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    That is great about the thermostat! Sounds like your husbandry is great. Should you get trouble with humidity you can change to a substrate that holds it better, like Repti Chip or something. Until then, mist as needed.

    However, now it is really important that the little guy gets his "down" time. That means NO more handling and as little disruption as possible.
    With the tub not being in a rack, I would wrap a towel around 3 sides. You want only one side open for viewing, the rest (top, bottom, sides) should be solid. Will make him feel more enclosed and secure.

    Then wait a couple of days. If he cruises at night, he might be looking for food. Ideally one evening you should notice his little head poking out of a hide. You could then place the food in front of the hide. Hopefully he would strike, if not, leave it and leave them be. The food should still be small enough not to cause damage to the hatchling, if you give live food.

    That hatchling is skinny. His backbone is quite prominent and his stomach is completely concave.

    But I've seen them bounce back from this. Its good that your husbandry is already spot on, now you just need to keep the stress level down and try feeding.

    Hopefully it will work.

    Good luck, that sure is a pretty little thing
    Zina

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  14. #9
    Registered User Sargentnoid's Avatar
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    He has come out and cruised around a couple times at night and I have been trying to limit messing with him as much as possible he is now covered with a towl and the heat bulbs are off

    Thanks for the help and information I really want this guy to make it

  15. #10
    BPnet Senior Member zina10's Avatar
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    Re: Very skinny ball python

    Quote Originally Posted by Sargentnoid View Post
    He has come out and cruised around a couple times at night and I have been trying to limit messing with him as much as possible he is now covered with a towl and the heat bulbs are off

    Thanks for the help and information I really want this guy to make it
    You are well on the way for that to happen.

    And if NOTHING works, then don't blame yourself. I feel that little one didn't eat in a looong time, if ever. So it might be a little problem feeder.
    That can be turned around, but sometimes it takes assist feeding. But that is not something you should attempt just yet. If the little one don't eat in a few days, weigh him.

    Just keep us all up to date, there are so many awesome people here on this forum, so much great help. We will help you step by step
    Zina

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