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  1. #1
    Registered User Luvyna's Avatar
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    Is this normal? Getting worried.

    My ball python has not pooped for over a month and 5 feedings. His prey was a little undersized for the month of March because for some reason the F/T pack I got from the pet store had mice that were smaller than advertised, but he did take an appropriately sized rat pup last week.

    I've heard of adult ball pythons going a month or two without pooping but not one this young. He's only about 200g. This is also not his normal schedule, he'll usually drop a urate or poop every 2 weeks. He has not shed for two months, which seems to be a bit too long since I've read most young BPs will shed every 4-6 weeks.

    He also seems more lethargic and sluggish than usual, he moves more slowly when I take him out. While he has never been super head shy he actually let me stroke and even hold his head today which seems abnormal to me. I haven't seen him cruising his enclosure at night lately either.

    He is starting to show signs of "sausage butt", here's a photo of his tail sticking out of my sleeve:



    I'm wondering at what point I should try soaking him in warm water? He just seems kind of slow and bloated and uncomfortable to me, but I'm not very keen on soaking him unless I absolutely have to because it seems like it would be very stressful for him (and me as well). I'm not sure if he's in some way sick or just going into shed but if anyone has any ideas I'd really appreciate it!
    Last edited by Luvyna; 04-05-2019 at 07:33 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Not pooping (defecating) for a month or longer is actually more common among young snakes, because even though they may eat more often, their prey is also
    young, with less hair & smaller bones, so it's more fully digested with far less "left-over" as waste that needs to be expelled. It's typical for them to take any number
    of meals before they have to "go".

    He does seem to have "sausage butt" going on, but I'd give him a little more time. As far as time between sheds, it varies a great deal & isn't a big concern.
    I'm sure that snakes have their own "growth spurts" just like human children do, so don't expect him to have a perfect routine that matches the "average".

    Usually handling inspires some "action" from the tail, so I hope he doesn't decorate your sleeve...
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 04-05-2019 at 07:45 PM.

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  4. #3
    Registered User RedRabbit's Avatar
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    Reading your post almost felt like deja vu, Luvyna! I had the same situation with Iggy back in January. 5 months old at the time, under 200g, and wasn't pooping or peeing despite a regular weekly feeding schedule. This was also a change from his previous norm, and he also developed a mild case of sausage butt, like so:



    I tried the warm water bath for him once, I think around the 30-day mark, and it prompted him to produce several large urates and a cloud of liquid pee, but still no poop. He also, unsurprisingly, didn't enjoy the experience one bit, so I decided to avoid trying it again unless absolutely necessary. Finally, at the 37-day mark, he pooped and peed on his own - very explosively, I might add - after I had just finished deep-cleaning his tub and was about to put him back into it. So I guess the moral of the story is, continue keeping a close eye on him, but also no need to panic yet. The little ones seem to be able to save things up for a very long time.
    Last edited by RedRabbit; 04-05-2019 at 09:39 PM.
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  6. #4
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Looks like a little sausage butt going on.

    This is the only time I ever soak any of my snakes.

    I'll put an inch or two of warm water (what feels like it would be comfortable for the snake) in my bathtub and put the snake in. 100% success rate so far.

    Then I just drain the tub and clean it.
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  8. #5
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    Rule of thumb...clean their cage and they will poop immediately rofl.
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  10. #6
    Registered User Eye4Pythons's Avatar
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    Re: Is this normal? Getting worried.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedRabbit View Post
    Reading your post almost felt like deja vu, Luvyna! I had the same situation with Iggy back in January. 5 months old at the time, under 200g, and wasn't pooping or peeing despite a regular weekly feeding schedule. This was also a change from his previous norm, and he also developed a mild case of sausage butt, like so:



    I tried the warm water bath for him once, I think around the 30-day mark, and it prompted him to produce several large urates and a cloud of liquid pee, but still no poop. He also, unsurprisingly, didn't enjoy the experience one bit, so I decided to avoid trying it again unless absolutely necessary. Finally, at the 37-day mark, he pooped and peed on his own - very explosively, I might add - after I had just finished deep-cleaning his tub and was about to put him back into it. So I guess the moral of the story is, continue keeping a close eye on him, but also no need to panic yet. The little ones seem to be able to save things up for a very long time.
    I had a similar experience with one of my girls. Looking back, I honestly think getting the large urates to come out with the soaking is what cleared the way for the poop.

    - Charles Eye

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  12. #7
    Registered User Eye4Pythons's Avatar
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    Re: Is this normal? Getting worried.

    Personally, I'd soak him. The discomfort of constipation and sausage butt has to be more uncomfortable than taking a soak.

    If you want to make it easier on him, only make the water as deep as his diameter and put a clean rock or something of the like in the middle of the tub (they like to have an anchor point to hold on to). Also, make sure the water is about 85 F when you put him in, and then take him out before it gets too cold (I'd say about 77 F at the coolest).

    Good luck!

    - Charles Eye

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  14. #8
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Nothing beats an inch or so of lukewarm water, for a soak but also the swimming motion usually does the trick. BPs are snakes that lay around a lot- it's no
    coincidence that cage cleaning or handling can also produce "results".

  15. #9
    Registered User Luvyna's Avatar
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    Re: Is this normal? Getting worried.

    Thank you to everyone for the replies! I've decided I will give Noodle one more week, and if nothing happens or the sausage butt gets worse at any point I will be soaking him and applying the advice regarding that given above. Poor guy, I wonder if I did something wrong to cause this to happen? I don't think he ingested any substrate because I lay down cardboard before feeding and supervise, but maybe it's something like he didn't get enough moisture?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Not pooping (defecating) for a month or longer is actually more common among young snakes, because even though they may eat more often, their prey is also
    young, with less hair & smaller bones, so it's more fully digested with far less "left-over" as waste that needs to be expelled. It's typical for them to take any number
    of meals before they have to "go".

    He does seem to have "sausage butt" going on, but I'd give him a little more time. As far as time between sheds, it varies a great deal & isn't a big concern.
    I'm sure that snakes have their own "growth spurts" just like human children do, so don't expect him to have a perfect routine that matches the "average".

    Usually handling inspires some "action" from the tail, so I hope he doesn't decorate your sleeve...
    I didn't realize it's actually more common for younger snakes, thanks for the correction! And actually he has already "decorated" me once (and very recently) with urates and pee... guess I didn't learn my lesson the first time though lol. Gonna be more careful now.

    Quote Originally Posted by RedRabbit View Post
    Reading your post almost felt like deja vu, Luvyna! I had the same situation with Iggy back in January. 5 months old at the time, under 200g, and wasn't pooping or peeing despite a regular weekly feeding schedule. This was also a change from his previous norm, and he also developed a mild case of sausage butt, like so:

    I tried the warm water bath for him once, I think around the 30-day mark, and it prompted him to produce several large urates and a cloud of liquid pee, but still no poop. He also, unsurprisingly, didn't enjoy the experience one bit, so I decided to avoid trying it again unless absolutely necessary. Finally, at the 37-day mark, he pooped and peed on his own - very explosively, I might add - after I had just finished deep-cleaning his tub and was about to put him back into it. So I guess the moral of the story is, continue keeping a close eye on him, but also no need to panic yet. The little ones seem to be able to save things up for a very long time.
    Wow, that's crazy, are our BPs on the same schedule? Mine also passed two urates and pee (in my lap... as mentioned above) at around day 30, (roughly a week ago now) and is now close to day 40. Really glad to hear yours ended up passing everything on his own, sounds like it was quite the clean up session afterward though.

    Quote Originally Posted by Eye4Pythons View Post
    I had a similar experience with one of my girls. Looking back, I honestly think getting the large urates to come out with the soaking is what cleared the way for the poop.

    - Charles Eye
    Huh, guess this isn't as uncommon as I previously thought then. Mine passed urates a about a week ago so I'm really hoping the rest will come soon.

  16. #10
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Remember too that snakes conserve water by not excreting stool & urates very often...this is really what they're "designed" for (how they've evolved), whether
    or not they're desert species. They are probably still absorbing some nutrients too. We just "feel" like it's wrong because our metabolism is so much faster.

    I've been "decorated" a few times myself... I've learned to check for a bulge above the cloaca.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 04-06-2019 at 06:31 PM.

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