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  1. #1
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    Two or Three Questions

    My Ball Python is my first snake so I have quite a few worries and questions. I haven't yet had him for a year so I may be a bit too worried a bit early.

    Worry 1 is I know Ball Pythons are known for going off feed so I worry if my snake either is really hungry or if he has a good feeding response. He has not refused a single meal so far. My snake isn't looking like he is starving although I suspect he might be a bit underweight maybe. I'm not too experienced so I ain't sure. He pokes his head out as soon as he gets a whiff of his food and very readily takes it. I feed him on a consistent schedule of every Wednesday. Tad bit of a question here relating to feeding. I've noticed a bit of shakiness every time when he is eating and trying to get the head to go down first, (He always gets it by the throat or the belly), and was wondering if that is normal.

    Worry 2 is my snake has not pooped for about now a month. He has before pretty much consistently pooped 3 or 4 days after being fed. Along with the not pooping, he has been almost always in the cool hide, seems to be a bit more stressed and hiding much more. I am worried about if I should help his constipation, when should I help and if he is rather sick.

  2. #2
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    (1) We aren't seeing him so it's hard to say if he's underweight...but, you should be feeding him f/t rodents that are roughly the same diameter (thickness)
    of his mid-body (before he's fed), or slightly less than that. How often are you feeding him? What is his age? From what you say, he sounds like he has a
    good appetite...it's actually better to slightly under-feed a snake than it is to slightly over-feed them....it's healthier for them. BTW, BPs are more likely to go
    off feed now & then as adults...they usually feed pretty well for the first several years (assuming husbandry is correct), & again, when it happens, it's normal.
    Shakiness when feeding can be from the snake grabbing so tightly...also their muscles are strong when constricting, but not so much when they're reaching
    upward, for example. Most snakes (BPs included) don't see that well...they use their heat-sensing pits to take aim at prey, then they fumble around to find
    the right way to swallow it...yes, it's normal if they look a little dorky when doing this.

    (2) A snake staying in the cool hide & hiding more is probably going into shed, & many times they save up their poo until they shed (sometimes they poo right
    inside the old shed skin, as it comes off...which is very tidy of them, don't you think?) or shortly thereafter. Snakes just don't poo on any regular schedule, so
    don't assume he is sick. When did he shed last? When a snake is nearing a defecation, their ventral area just above the cloaca may look somewhat puffy...it
    helps to notice that since handling at that time may result in your snake taking a dump on you. Just saying...it's best avoided, lol. If he is going into a shed
    cycle now, be sure to keep the humidity in his enclosure up for best results.
    Many friends in low places...

  3. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    JulieWorrisome (07-18-2019),Luvyna (07-18-2019)

  4. #3
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    Re: Two or Three Questions

    Like Bogertophis said, a photo would be helpful. A little bit of shakiness is normal, especially if the snake's head and neck are up in the air. I think it's just the effort from holding up their head and their prey as they are swallowing. My BP does this as well sometimes. Young BPs also tend to be voracious feeders until they hit roughly the 800g mark.

    It does sound like your snake might have a shed impending as mentioned above I would say you only need to worry about your snake not pooping if you see significant bloating around the vent and bottom third of the snake (dubbed the "sausage butt" by the snake keeping community), in which case a soak would help move things along. As snakes get older and bigger, it's also normal for them to poop less frequently. I can definitely relate to your concern though, my BP pooped regularly every two weeks for a while, then went from pooping once a month to once every two months! This worried me and I even consulted a vet about it, but it turns out that it's normal for a growing snake.

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    JulieWorrisome (07-18-2019)

  6. #4
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    Re: Two or Three Questions


    This I believe is the most recent picture I took of my snake although it may not really serve purpose to eyeing his weight. I believe he is an okay weight but I get a bit worried with my untrained eye. I believe my snake will be shedding soon as well. His colors have been seeming dull. He has gone through a shed in July. Thank y'all for helping ease my concerns. I do feed him frozen thawed. I feed my snake every Wednesday and I don't know his age. I know he is not yet broken 2 feet so he or she still has some growing to do. My snake doesn't drop it to just get the head so he struggles with repositioning it for quite a couple minutes. He sometimes hangs from ontop his hide upside down or just goes upside down to get it right. The day I fed him while he was up climbing and laying on his hide was interesting and a bit goofy to watch. 90% of the time of him eating was just him trying to get it headfirst.

  7. #5
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Yeah, can't tell his body condition (weight) from that shot, but I like how he appreciates art-work (the rodent w/ flower). Snakes vary quite a bit when it comes
    to their own personal "style" of eating, lol. Of course, if you take away our silverware, we wouldn't look much better.
    Many friends in low places...

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    JulieWorrisome (07-19-2019)

  9. #6
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    Re: Two or Three Questions



    Would this be a better picture?

  10. #7
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    He looks fine to me, but to assess his body weight he needs to be laying lengthwise, not in a ball. We're looking for his "waist-line". Pretty snake, btw.
    Many friends in low places...

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    JulieWorrisome (07-19-2019)

  12. #8
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    Re: Two or Three Questions

    Ah, sorry. Thank you.

  13. #9
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Two or Three Questions

    Quote Originally Posted by JulieWorrisome View Post
    Ah, sorry. Thank you.
    It's just that when a snake balls up it misrepresents their body shape because they're squished together.
    Many friends in low places...

  14. #10
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    Re: Two or Three Questions

    My snake has not gone into shed yet since posting this and as well has not pooped still. He is staying in a hide throughout the day and night.

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