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  1. #1
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    Is this a head wobble?

    So our bp just arrived, I am getting a bit concerned that it's head is wobbling and given that it's our first snake I am unsure what to do.
    https://imgur.com/a/NM33lY5
    He sways his head to and fro..
    Is he dehydrated? Or is that normal for a small snake?
    Should I keep the uvb off for the first week?
    He seems to be exploring a lot but seems really unstable while doing so. He looks a bit thin so I am waiting for a response back from the breeder as to when it was last fed.
    His bum is slightly brown and there was a turd in the bag with him (though it was pinched in tissue paper so I guess it was put in there?) So should I give him a bath at some point?
    I am probably scaring myself but I just want what is best for him.

    He just "stood up" to the full height of the cage and fell straight backwards and bumped his head but he seems to not really care

  2. #2
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  3. #3
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Not a "wobble"...just normal lack of "upper body strength"...needs to eat, grow & do more "chin-ups". (Seriously, snakes don't have a lot of strength when they
    "reach out" from their center of gravity...especially when they're young...they tend to sway like this when they try.)

    And no matter WHEN he was fed last, don't try to feed him for at least a week: all new snakes (especially after shipping) need time to settle in; it's very stressful for them, & he'd likely refuse food, but even if he ate he might regurgitate it, & then you'd need to make him wait even LONGER (2-3 weeks) to have time to replenish his digestive enzymes...so better to wait a week than feed too soon & risk the set-back.

    Also, do not handle him (no matter how badly you want to) "for best results"- until he's fed easily (on schedule) for you for 3 times. This gives him time to settle in & just "be a snake first". It's very stressful being re-homed, especially when shipped, and even more stressful to then be picked up, because the only thing that normally picks up a snake in the "real world" is a predator about to eat them. It takes time for a snake to overcome their instincts & learn that we aren't there to
    harm them...how long varies with the snake's personality & with the empathy of the handler, but in any case, eating is "job 1". If you want your snake to be well-adjusted & eating, you need to learn patience.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 02-12-2020 at 10:48 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  5. #4
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    One more thing: that hide is very "open" (opening too big, & too tall) & won't help him to feel safe (& that's also important for him to settle in & feel safe).

    The best hides offer a cozy feel for the snake- they like "back pressure" (the feeling of being snug in a cave so predators cannot sneak up on them). You want only ONE doorway, just big enough for the snake to slide thru with a meal in his tummy. If snakes don't have adequate hides (one unheated, & one on warm side of cage) they may refuse to eat. Your photos don't show the whole set-up, I'm only assuming from what little you did show & thought I'd mention it. The sooner you correct any issues, the sooner your snake settles in & eats & becomes a wonderful (& hopefully easy) pet for you. If you buy a hide that's too big (& don't want to keep buying new hides as your snake grows) you can also wad up something like a paper towel & stuff it in to make it "cozier" until he grows.

    Last edited by Bogertophis; 02-12-2020 at 10:58 AM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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    Re: Is this a head wobble?

    Thank you very much! I will be attaching some wood to seal up one end and I will use some to make the opening smaller too.
    I am guessing I should wait a week or more to clean it's butt too?
    He seems to be rather desperate to climb onto any part of the heater guard that he can, but the top of the hide should be more than enough, would that be him just exploring or is he searching for heat?
    I am currently short one hide due to the store saying it's in stock and then deciding it isn't anymore, it should have arrived from the supplier today but no dice.
    I will try my best to make it more cosy for him, here are pictures of the enclosure, I moved the hide closer to the front of the cage and put a slate tile in the hottest area to capture some extra heat
    https://imgur.com/a/G7roFLk

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    Re: Is this a head wobble?

    I have stuffed the back of the hide with some of the moss that was in there, and blocked some of the front with some rocks and more moss:
    https://imgur.com/a/J3sR8so
    With my room temp of 15c I imagine he will be spending most of his time in the warm hide so the upturned mixing bowl for the cold side doesn't matter so much

  9. #7
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    "Clean his butt"? It's not normal for a snake to have any feces left on their cloacal area...if yours does, he might have diarrhea and that is NOT normal, but a possible
    sign of illness, or maybe just the stress of shipping...? It's fine to take damp tissues & wipe it off -that goes for the whole snake if you feel a "sponge bath" is needed from
    being in the soiled shipping bag. ("Bathing" him would be far more stressful.) Once you've cleaned off his "bum" keep an eye on him for any signs of returning diarrhea.

    Hides: I'd recommend that you use these hides from Reptile Basics, because they are washable & the right height for snakes. One problem with those wood tunnels is IF your snake has any mites, they'll hide & leave eggs in the wood crevices, and all you can do IF your snake came with mites is to throw away all such wood furnishings, & start over. It's best to house any & all new snakes on white paper towels (layered for substrate) & use plastic hides (like those from Reptile Basics) & a glass or plastic water bowl. White paper towels allow you to see any problems such as mites (check the snake carefully too, while you're wiping his tail), or abnormal stool (such as bloody or diarrhea). It's supremely important that you make SURE your snake did NOT come with mites...they can kill* snakes faster than you'd think, & they carry diseases too. (*mites are tiny but their numbers explode exponentially...they suck blood, & cause dehydration, shock and organ failure in the snake, and REQUIRE treatment to eradicate them IF found.) https://www.reptilebasics.com/hide-boxes

    What are the temps. in cage? Coolest & hottest? Is the heat source connected to thermostat? If not, how is it regulated? How are you checking the temperatures? It's very important to get the right temps. to keep a snake healthy.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 02-12-2020 at 12:45 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Is this a head wobble?

    Quote Originally Posted by Kaeroe View Post
    I have stuffed the back of the hide with some of the moss that was in there, and blocked some of the front with some rocks and more moss:
    https://imgur.com/a/J3sR8so
    With my room temp of 15c I imagine he will be spending most of his time in the warm hide so the upturned mixing bowl for the cold side doesn't matter so much
    If any part of his cage is 15*c (59* f) it's WAY TOO COLD! You'll have a sick snake in no time. What are the temps. IN his cage?

    And yes, I'd have to assume he's trying to get near the heat, but he'll likely get injured doing so. I do wish you had researched how to set up his cage BEFORE you brought home this snake... (by the time you fix it he could be sick, and will certainly be MORE stressed) Do NOT try to feed him before the cage is at proper
    temperatures etc. A ball python needs a range of 26*c (cool end of cage) to 32* c (warm end of cage). (that's about 80* f to not over 90* f)
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 02-12-2020 at 12:57 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Is this a head wobble?

    I have been researching and building the setup for 2 weeks now, he just arrived today.
    The inside of the cage is between 22c and 33c, using a reptile radiator and 25w 60x30cm heat mat both on a dimmer and pulse respectively
    I checked it for mites as did the reptile courier on delivery. He had taken a crap about the size of half a grape in the bag but it looked like it had been scooped up in paper and placed in the bag manually? Or just left in there? The turd looked sturdy but I'm not exactly an expert. I just put the slate under his hide and halved the space inside, and he hasn't come out in half an hour, whereas the only place he stayed still before was wrapped around the power cable to the radiator wedged between the cage and the guard.
    The rest of the time he had been looking all over the place for like 4 hours.
    I also have some window glazing arriving tomorrow to keep more heat inside the cage to warm the cold end a bit more
    Last edited by Kaeroe; 02-12-2020 at 01:10 PM.

  12. #10
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    Re: Is this a head wobble?

    You really want to raise the cool end temp (inside his hide ) to about 26.5c and the warm end ( inside the hide) to about 32c - that will let the snake choose what temp he wants to be at. It's fairly common for them to stay on the cool side until they have eaten, at which point they spend more time at the hotter end. VPI however keep their snakes at at approx 30c. But that is because they have a phenomenal skill at knowing how to interperate the snakes body language when that is not suitable. The rest of us do better providing a temp range.
    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.

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