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  1. #1
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    To adopt or not?

    Hi all! My family and I got our first two ball pythons (a Butter Ball and a Super Fire) in 2019, and have gleaned such valuable guidance from these forums about how to care for them properly. They're thriving in their current set-ups!

    My question is about adopting a third ball python, and whether I'm taking on more than I can handle with her.

    I happened across one on Craigslist, she's a 4 year old normal, about 4' long, that's been with her current family for about a year. They've got two young kids and she doesn't fit with their lifestyle anymore. I was definitely not in the market for a new snake, but something about her calls to me.

    Her set-up seems not optimal -- she's in a huge fish aquarium (48"!) with plexiglass lids that don't lock (they're just weighed down), they've got two heat lamps *inside* the enclosure, manual thermometers and hygrometers that aren't that accurate, and propped-up terra cotta saucers for hides that don't allow her to completely tuck herself in. All of these choices were made for budget reasons, which I absolutely understand, and I'm also concerned that she might have some chronic stress happening because of these factors.

    I think they've also been overfeeding her - one medium rat every week, which seems like a lot at 4 years old.

    I met her yesterday and she seems a total sweetie. She felt really hot when I first held her, which is probably because their mats don't have thermostats attached. I also noticed that she felt a little on the squishy side, and her tail was a little chunky; it didn't taper down like our other two, instead it was like chunk-chunk-chunk-sudden-little-tail. No mites, no bubbles, nothing else to indicate trouble. She did have a little bit of stuck shed on her face, but that seems correctable with better humidity monitoring and control.

    After I met her, I did some research and figured out that she's probably a little overweight. I didn't know to look for scale spreading, so I'm not sure how bad it is. It's possible that she was also about to poop soon? Her tail does look like the one in this graphic under "obese physique" - https://www.reptifiles.com/ball-pyth...ealth/obesity/

    In all, she'd need a gradual transition to a smaller enclosure and steadier temps to fit into our husbandry practices. And we'd want to space out her feeding more to make sure she's not carrying excess weight.

    Given all this information, does this seem like a lot to take on with a 4 year old snake?
    Or is it pretty average when talking about adoption/rehoming?
    Or am I misreading something about her situation altogether?

    Thanks!
    Jennifer
    Last edited by neonresidue; 02-12-2020 at 03:04 PM.

  2. #2
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Totally up to you...she has a sweet personality, but so do most snakes (esp. BPs) when you know what you're doing. 4 years old is a young adult, and with a gradual
    reduction in food, she probably has many years to hang out with you. IF you decide against taking her in, at least please suggest they regulate their heat and please
    invite them here for suggestions, or by the time she gets adopted, she may have burns that threaten her life.

    You didn't mention whether she is for sale or just free to good home; if for sale, you definitely have some room to haggle, based on what you describe. Few "rescues"
    are perfect...it's ultimately your call.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  4. #3
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    Re: To adopt or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    IF you decide against taking her in, at least please suggest they regulate their heat and please
    invite them here for suggestions, or by the time she gets adopted, she may have burns that threaten her life.
    This was a big concern for me, too. If we decide against it, I'm going to recommend that they take her back to the local reptile shop where they adopted her to see if they can rehome her for them.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    You didn't mention whether she is for sale or just free to good home; if for sale, you definitely have some room to haggle, based on what you describe. Few "rescues" are perfect...it's ultimately your call.
    I got so excited when I saw her listing because I thought, wow, $150 for the full set-up and a healthy snake! But now I realize that we'd be spending at least that much to get her properly set up at our house. Negotiations are definitely in order.

    Thank you for your reply!

  5. #4
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Good luck, let us know what you decide...it's not rare to find BPs up for re-homing, & you did say you weren't in the market? But I know all too well how hard it is
    to ignore a snake that needs help or a new home.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    bcr229's Avatar
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    You can set her up in a QT tub fairly inexpensively (tub + heat mat + thermostat should be under $150) and then sell the 48" enclosure, or clean it and put a snake like a male carpet python or corn snake in it that will use the larger space. The plexiglass tops can be secured with the "mirror clips", a pack is a few bucks from a hardware store.

    I'd also put her on a 2-3 week feeding schedule rather than weekly.

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  9. #6
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    When it comes to situations like this I always advise people to listen to their gut. Try to block out your heart and mind and let your gut do the talking. You'll make the right choice for you and the animal.

    If you do bring her home be sure to follow very strict quarantine. I wouldn't hesitate to go a full 6 months of quarantine, but 90 days should be the ABSOLUTE minimum.

    Good luck!
    ...life is beautiful...

    0.1 Bredli Python - Fernie
    1.0 Vanilla het Pied BP - Tyson
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    1.0 California Kingsnake - Django
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    1.0 Borneo Short Tail Python - Juice
    1.0 Anery Kenyan Sando Boa - Willow
    2.2 Ferrets - Baloo, Johnny & June and Chloe
    0.2 Cats - Simba & Nala

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  11. #7
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: To adopt or not?

    Agree with everything that's been said.

    Quarantine is a must. If you are not sure what proper quarantine is, just ask, and we will help.

    I've adopted a few snakes and all had issues and aside from getting the tank setup properly (kudos for you for doing research and understanding what a proper setup is and costs), cost me a ton in vet bills and headaches.

    If you love this BP, just know you may be getting into more than you bargained for.

    If you want a BP, I always advise getting from a reputable breeder and still quarantining.

    With two other BP's, I would be careful what you bring in. I am super careful about what I bring home and from where because I don't want to get my other animals sick. Having said that, I have 13 reptiles now and I am good for a while.

    I think people often forget it's not just about potentially "saving" an animal (sadly so many need homes), but potentially risking the animals you already have and care for, even with quarantine, although the risk is much lower with proper quarantine.
    Last edited by dakski; 02-12-2020 at 07:50 PM.

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  13. #8
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    Re: To adopt or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by dakski View Post
    Quarantine is a must. If you are not sure what proper quarantine is, just ask, and we will help.
    I found this thread - is this a good place to start?
    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...antine-process

    Each of our snakes is in a different room in the house, but I didn't consider the possibilities of mites or disease traveling via air vents. I'd welcome any other quarantine tips or threads I should check out.

  14. #9
    BPnet Senior Member dakski's Avatar
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    Re: To adopt or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by neonresidue View Post
    I found this thread - is this a good place to start?
    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...antine-process

    Each of our snakes is in a different room in the house, but I didn't consider the possibilities of mites or disease traveling via air vents. I'd welcome any other quarantine tips or threads I should check out.
    Yes, although I wouldn't preemptively use Prevent a Mite (PAM).

    I think you are okay if you are in different rooms - air vents or not.

    90 days

    Different tools

    HANDLE that snake LAST. Same with cleaning, feeding, etc.

    Always change clothes and wash yourself etc. after dealing with animal in quarantine.

    USE Paper substrate - white - so you can see mites if they are present. White bowls too.

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  16. #10
    Registered User WhompingWillow's Avatar
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    Re: To adopt or not?

    Quote Originally Posted by dakski View Post
    Yes, although I wouldn't preemptively use Prevent a Mite (PAM).
    To add a bit of a different perspective, personally I preemptively treat all new snakes with the Nix mite treatment method. I do not like PAM. You can search for some helpful YouTube videos and info online about the process, but basically you mix one standard size Nix cream bottle into a gallon of water, shake/mix well, and transfer into a spray bottle. You can spray this both on the animal and in the enclosure, no rinsing required.

    We have successfully eradicated mites with this method and have had 0 issues with mites since beginning to treat all new snakes with this method. Something to possibly consider or keep in your back pocket either for this snake or future additions.
    BALL PYTHONS: 1.0 Pied/Clark, 1.0 Pastel Vanilla Super Stripe/Sunny, 0.1 Dragon Fly/Buffy, 0.1 Pastel Vanilla Yellow Belly/Cher, 0.1 BEL (Mojave Lesser)/Arya, 0.0.1 Normal/Norm, 0.1 Cinnamon Enchi/Peaches, 1.0 Cinnamon Calico/Yoshi, 0.1 Pewter Het Dreamsicle/Ariel
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    CORN SNAKES: 0.0.1/Mushu
    MORELIA: 0.1 Bredli/Zelda, 0.1 Granite IJ/Bridget, 0.1 Caramel Diamond Jungle/Pixie

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