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  1. #1
    Registered User pretends2bnormal's Avatar
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    Rescue/Rehome of 2 BPs

    I got a message from a good friend a few weeks ago that they have a family member who needed to rehome their 2 ball pythons. They hit a rough patch financially and with a baby on the way, couldn't keep the snakes anymore.

    So, last night we did a 5 hour round trip drive to pick up the 2 snakes. From what we were told, they are both 2018 babies and less than 2 feet long. One male (pending a double-check), a bit older and the one they had first, is supposedly an enchi (not sure how they got him to know how reliable that ID). And one much smaller female (also pending a check), a normal.

    In the pictures I was sent initially, the little female looked maybe a little thin and had stuck shed. Not super surprising, especially since it is winter and they're likely a bit too busy making ends meet to mist or what have you. Seemed pretty simple to fix, also.

    We got them home last night and set them up in the QT rack. Each is in it's own 12qt tub (container store mens shoe box, AP rack) with hides and a water bowl, on PAM treated paper towels. Neither has visible mites. Temps 75 cool to 88-90 hot spot via temp gun w/ith herpstat tstat. Didn't remember to add the hygrometers last night, but past testing of those tubs with those bowls last week puts humidity at 60%+ normally and I lightly misted the paper towels for the girl with stuck shed, likely above 70-80% based on wall moisture, etc. I'll get an accurate number after work tonight for reference.

    The "enchi" is 163 grams, looks perfectly healthy. Normal behavior except being a bit chilly from the car ride home. No real worries about this guy. If anyone who is familiar with enchi can chime in if this may be a low-quality enchi, nice normal, or something else, that would be great. I'm not so good at IDing subtle morphs and not sure what their source for calling it an enchi is.


    I'm told that he is very bright and orange right after a shed. The lighting in the picture is decent for coloring, I think, but not perfect.



    The girl however weighs 87 grams and looks quite dehydrated and had all the shed stuck except the belly and a chunk near the head. I don't have a picture of it now, but her not visible eye in the picture looks like the eyecap is half off. Just the 6 hours she was with us last night the shed moistened and seems to be coming off pretty easily on its own, so that should resolve itself. I'm keeping a close eye on the head area in case that stays stuck.

    She also acted fairly lethargic after warming up overnight (we got home late at 1am so I did the more thorough once-over briefly this morning). These pics are without and with flash after being with us overnight.



    She is definitely underweight and dehydrated...

    My biggest concern is that she doesn't seem to flick her tongue out beyond the very tips. When I noticed, I listened closely for sounds in her breathing and external signs of RI (mucous, bubbles, saliva, etc ) and found none of those. I didn't have time before work to check inside her mouth and didn't want to stress her too much. Is there another reason besides possible birth defect that may be the culprit of only flicking the very tips of her tongue out?

    They were housed together in 1 tub for at least the last few weeks. I'm not sure how feeding was done re: separating or not, etc. I'm told the boy eats frozen and the girl ate live, but if they were in the tub to feed together, her skinny appearance could be explained by the boy getting both meals for a few weeks...

    SO. Here's a summary of the questions I've got:
    1 - Does the male look enchi (1st pic)? If not, normal or another morph?

    2 - Are there any other visible signs I didn't spot on the girl? (Definitely dehydrated, fairly thin, stuck shed)
    Any signs I should check/watch for?

    3 - Would you prioritize settling in or the stuck shed being removed?
    She seemed pretty stressed, so I'd like to leave it for 5 or 7 days, feed once, and either mess with it after that or let the next shed/her rubbing it off in higher humidity fix it. The eyecap looks like she could rub it off in the higher humidity and if not could be gently taken off later on.

    4 - at this level of dehydration and size, what size meal would you try for meal #1? I don't want to stress her too much with a big meal right away. I was thinking a hopper/small weaned mouse in the 12 gram range to start and bump up if she handles it well.

    My current plan is:
    Give them 5 to 7 days to settle in with a once daily visual check (open tub for max 10 seconds to check for waste, worsening condition if they are visible without moving hides, and water changing).

    Offer a meal probably Friday (if not Sunday) - planning to gauge which day based on interest levels when other snakes meals are thawing

    2 days after, pick the girl up to check again for RI sounds and lethargy/tongue flicks for 2 or 3 minutes. If anything is going on, I want to catch it quick so we can get a vet on the culture/antibiotics if needed. If no issues and the tongue behavior is normal, I'll leave her be for the following 2-3 feeds.

    Feed again 7 days later, etc.

    For reference, they are in QT in a separate room, etc.

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  2. #2
    Registered User Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: Rescue/Rehome of 2 BPs

    You have a great handle on the situation.

    I would bump the temperature on the cool side to 80 degrees.

    If both snakes came from the same person/group: the fact that one is in much better condition than the other suggests that there is an issue with the snake with the stuck shed. My guess would be that she is a non-eater and probably still requires assist feeding (that hasn't been performed by the previous owners).

    1. The male does not look Enchi to me. I see traits that are sort of Enchi-ish (minimal blushing/odd banding), but, not quite.
    2. I would watch for blood in urates or constipation indicating a blockage.
    3. I would place a large water bowl partly over the UTH, and let her settle in. For the shed: I would toss her in the water bowl daily until she gets the shed off. I wouldn't force her to soak in the water or try and pull off the shed.
    4. I would offer her a live mouse hopper (once her shed is off). If she refused: I would kill the mouse and assist feed.

    These are all just suggestions based on the information presented: Best of Luck!
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  3. #3
    Registered User pretends2bnormal's Avatar
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    Re: Rescue/Rehome of 2 BPs

    Quote Originally Posted by Lord Sorril View Post
    You have a great handle on the situation.

    I would bump the temperature on the cool side to 80 degrees.

    If both snakes came from the same person/group: the fact that one is in much better condition than the other suggests that there is an issue with the snake with the stuck shed. My guess would be that she is a non-eater and probably still requires assist feeding (that hasn't been performed by the previous owners).

    1. The male does not look Enchi to me. I see traits that are sort of Enchi-ish (minimal blushing/odd banding), but, not quite.
    2. I would watch for blood in urates or constipation indicating a blockage.
    3. I would place a large water bowl partly over the UTH, and let her settle in. For the shed: I would toss her in the water bowl daily until she gets the shed off. I wouldn't force her to soak in the water or try and pull off the shed.
    4. I would offer her a live mouse hopper (once her shed is off). If she refused: I would kill the mouse and assist feed.

    These are all just suggestions based on the information presented: Best of Luck!
    Thanks for the suggestions and the vote of confidence! This is the first one I've had to deal with that came with more than a shed-in-transit situation, so the reassurance is good.

    The cool temp is the best I can manage while it is so cold outside with what I have available. It is probably more like 75 night & 77 day, but those numbers were from last night. That room fluctuates a bit day to night, so I imagine that same 2 degree flux will happen to the tubs. All my other heat equipment is tied up with my main group because yay winter. I'll see if hanging a blanket/towel down the front holds in more heat since the rest is already enclosed for a few days and if not see if I can get another heat source to add. It would be ideal to avoid CHE, since it really does dry out our house and would be a bad combo for a girl who already had the stuck shed issues.

    I'm not sure how long they had the female for, the male they've had 4+ months I think, but the girl less. They said she always sheds bad in same conditions as the boy, so I assume they had her for 2 sheds minimum. So maybe as little as a month. I'd guess probably 2 months & 3 sheds? Can't be sure though, and one of them was in the last week.

    They don't have a reason to lie on if she was eating or not, so I'm pretty sure she is taking the live, but I will definitely take that into consideration. I'm guessing they may have been giving her mouse hoppers or fuzzies to explain the lower weight, or the boy stealing her meals. I've not needed to assist feed, so I'm really hopeful she will go for it on her own. If not, I have seen video guides and have a decent idea what needs to be done.

    I'm not counting on either being morphs and after his next shed, I will see if I can get good pics of the coloring then. If he is a normal, then he's got some really nice gold coloration. I'll probably put them up in a morph ID thread once I get better ones and see what everyone else thinks too.

    From the state of her shed after 6 hours in the humid tub (just slightly damp paper towels and a water bowl), it was very soft and some of it wiped off on my hand when I examined her in the morning, so I think it will come off on it's own pretty easily. I will watch for her waste, though I don't think she has any saved up, so may not see anything till her next meal.

    Do you think it is possible her tongue flick/lack of it coming fully out of her mouth could be just stress or being cool from the car ride last night? Or is that just wishful thinking? I'm really hoping it isn't anything super serious, the poor baby.

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  4. #4
    BPnet Veteran Ax01's Avatar
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    could u post pix of their bellies? the first one could be Enchi, but a very low quality one. it's currently dull (but orange after shed?), has lotsa dots but enough pattern reduction and fade from the belly that makes me think Enchi. also the girl has a light triangle "head stamp" blushing.

    u can raise the temps by putting them in a smaller tub. reducing the volume of air might help increase temps.

    i don't think the tongue thing is a birth defect. i remember an noob keeper thought that about her snake and the "controversy". see here: https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...Disabled-Snake and u know what, it turned out fine. full tongue and the snake started eating. i just think she's stressed and needs more time to adjust to her new surroundings and needs to get back to normal - size, shed and feeding - and that tongue will be flicking at full length.

    anyways good job on the rescue/rehome and i wish u guys the best!
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  5. #5
    Registered User pretends2bnormal's Avatar
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    Re: Rescue/Rehome of 2 BPs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ax01 View Post
    could u post pix of their bellies? the first one could be Enchi, but a very low quality one. it's currently dull (but orange after shed?), has lotsa dots but enough pattern reduction and fade from the belly that makes me think Enchi. also the girl has a light triangle "head stamp" blushing.

    u can raise the temps by putting them in a smaller tub. reducing the volume of air might help increase temps.

    i don't think the tongue thing is a birth defect. i remember an noob keeper thought that about her snake and the "controversy". see here: https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...Disabled-Snake and u know what, it turned out fine. full tongue and the snake started eating. i just think she's stressed and needs more time to adjust to her new surroundings and needs to get back to normal - size, shed and feeding - and that tongue will be flicking at full length.

    anyways good job on the rescue/rehome and i wish u guys the best!
    I'll see if I can get a few belly pics tonight or tomorrow after work and maybe the boy's other side. If I remember correctly, one side had more dots than the other, though the banding is definitely not a great example if he is.. I didn't think to take any other pictures and they were not cooperative for photo time to start with with only 1 hand. I'm hesitant to do today since I've already had to mess with them twice in 24 hrs, so I'll see how they look after work and decide then.

    I don't know for sure that he is dull right now. It sounds like he shed 2, maybe 3 weeks ago? They weren't super specific. If he sheds every month/4 weeks, he may he starting to go dull again, but hard to say. How bright he gets is based on their subjective evaluation right now... time will tell. Thanks for the thoughts!

    They seemed pretty sure the girl was a normal, but I did see the head stamp too. She's very non-gold in color, even where the shed is peeled off, so not likely to be fire or any of those. It looks like a very flat beige on brown. I'm not familiar enough with the dark/subtle morphs to have any idea. I'll try to get a few shots of her when the shed is out of the way too.

    They are both in the smallest tubs I've got that I can rig good heat for, roughly 12 quarts, the smallest size the Animal Plastics racks take. Roughly 10"14"
    https://www.containerstore.com/s/our...s%20shoe%20box

    My other option is standalone 6 qt tubs, but those would have ambients of 72-73 with the equipment I have on hand. The enclosed rack holds a few degrees higher as-is so I figured that was best.

    I'll probably try to assist the temps by replacing the water daily with 80+ degree water and that should help some too. The warmer the water that evaporates, the warmer the air will be, at least briefly. And add the blanket down the front to trap more heat.

    I'll check that thread in a minute. I wasn't really suggesting a birth defect here, just looking for alternatives to the usual RI (due to her lack of symptoms) and it was the only thing that came to mind as an alternative. I didn't know stress could cause that kind of reaction, so yeah, I would be that is it. Being smothered by the boy for a while and transported in a car for 3 hrs after... I would be stressed out! An SUV isn't a super smooth ride.

    Thanks a bunch for taking the time to reply.

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  6. #6
    Registered User pretends2bnormal's Avatar
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    Re: Rescue/Rehome of 2 BPs

    Got home to find that the girl managed to get about 90% of the shed off on her own, no problems. Only bit left is the bottom side from the vent down to the tip of her tail and the top side of her tail about half way down.


    She looks infinitely better already and looks a lot less dehydrated. No visible wrinkles that don't just feel like loose skin and no denting on the eye caps.


    She's already proving much braver than the boy, though she is very sluggish about moving her back half, I think just weak from lack of food or something. She did grip my wrist and such, but manipulating most of her almost feels like a wet noodle compared to the last BP I've held at her size (my pied about 2 months ago was 60 grams). It is much better than it was this morning in that she grips more, moves better, and is less limp feeling.

    Full body shot.


    I did grab a few pictures of her belly, Ax, so lemme know what you think. Kinda looks like the yellow belly markers from videos I've seen describing it (and she is much brighter than I expected from the areas she didn'thave stuck shed) but I'm awful at IDing that..

    Don't mind the lighting, the light is super yellow when I catch the picture in shadow and makes everything look really dark/orange/pink.. all these pics are the same lighting and the full body shot is most true to color. You can tell the color is off by how red my hand looks! I promise her belly is perfectly fine/not burned and is a nice white/off white per normal.




    Finally, got a shot of her tiny tongue flicks. This is about as far as I've seen it come out, but her pattern seemed much more "happy tongue flick" than the nervous and scared ones I've seen across my other 3 BPs when they were young and nervous. (Also, very much enthusiastic to get to/check out the camera. Got lucky on a non-blurry one!)



    Coming home to her looking like this was a major relief. She's looking 200% better than last night with the super wrinkly shed and dehydration.

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    Last edited by pretends2bnormal; 01-14-2019 at 06:55 PM.

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  8. #7
    Registered User pretends2bnormal's Avatar
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    Re: Rescue/Rehome of 2 BPs

    I adjusted the color balance on the 2 belly shots to get it closer to real life. They're still a little pink, but look my more true to life here.

    This one turned out most realistic


    This one is still a bit pink.. best I can do with what I've got.


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    Last edited by pretends2bnormal; 01-15-2019 at 10:15 AM.

  9. #8
    BPnet Veteran Ax01's Avatar
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    wow she looks so much better already! IMO there will be full tongue flicking soon and hopefully a meal to follow.

    no, not YB. the belly tracks would be busier and look much different from that. i think she just might be het for something, maybe a Normal het Pied.
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  10. #9
    Registered User pretends2bnormal's Avatar
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    Re: Rescue/Rehome of 2 BPs

    Quote Originally Posted by Ax01 View Post
    wow she looks so much better already! IMO there will be full tongue flicking soon and hopefully a meal to follow.

    no, not YB. the belly tracks would be busier and look much different from that. i think she just might be het for something, maybe a Normal het Pied.
    Alright. I just remembered that there was something to do with belly markings for yellow belly. I never really have been able to visualize what that would look like since none of mine have the morph and I never planned to buy one. I'm not too fussed by morph or not, but it is good to know she looks normal after all. If I do breed, I suppose I could test for pied.. my male spider is a proven 100% het pied (not by me, though). Oh well, that's years away, if ever.

    She is much more interested and curious than most of the other BPs and much more so than her "brother". She pokes out of her hide like my corns do when I slide open the tub to peek or change water. I'm leaving the boy alone until he has eaten based on his much more shy behavior (and lack of any stuck shed, etc.).

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    Last edited by pretends2bnormal; 01-15-2019 at 03:17 PM.

  11. #10
    Registered User pretends2bnormal's Avatar
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    Re: Rescue/Rehome of 2 BPs

    So far, so good. I helped the girl get her stuck shed off her tail down to the last 3 scales worth that just wouldn't catch the edge of the damp paper towel earlier in the week. I think I'll leave it be and see how it goes on her next shed and keep an eye on that.

    I offered both of them a meal last night, both live, since I wasn't too sure on the prior owner's word in if the male ate frozen. I picked up a hopper mouse and a fuzzy rat, both primarily for the girl. If she didn't grab the hopper, I'd leave the fuzzy overnight even though she was eating mice.. safer for her. Instead she hunted and snagged the hopper in under 60 seconds and despite her weakness being handled, she had it over with very fast. Definitely had the strength for a larger size and if she doesn't regurge I will probably jump her up to small adult/weaned mice where she really should be to help her fill out more. I pulled a dumb and forgot to weigh the feeders, but ballpark, I would put the hopper around 10-11g and the fuzzy around 12-13g. The hopper was maybe 3/4ths her girth, despite how thin she is.



    With how she reacted and how not-shy she was over eating, I'll pick up a live mouse and offer her a F/T first. Worst case, I swap back to live. Best case, she takes frozen and the weaned mouse can be pre-killed and offered to the boy (who was eating f/t I was told).

    The boy got offered the fuzzy rat live, in part because it is harmless to him and to see what he did with a rat (i.e. if he would take rats). He took it, but took much longer to constrict it hard enough so it stopped moving; definitely a sign of one used to dead prey, I think. He also spent half the time waiting for it to be brought near him like you would offer frozen before pursuing the live rat. Pretty sad to watch how long he took, but he ate and ate a rat with gusto. Probably will thaw him a small rat pup or a bigger fuzzy since he is bordering a size up and that was also quite the small meal, maybe 2/3rds his thickness. Since he took a live rat and is supposed to have taken F/T, he should be good to go for f/t rats next time.



    As of 24 hours after the meal, neither has regurged.


    Also, got a few pics of the boy and his belly. Much harder to get by myself than the girl as he is shy and very prone to balling up still.


    This one gets pretty close to his cloaca in the frame. I know tmit isn't the easiest to tell what part the belly is showing.



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    Last edited by pretends2bnormal; 01-19-2019 at 08:00 PM.

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