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  1. #1
    Registered User GhostEchoes92's Avatar
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    Very Underweight Ball Python, Will there be lasting effects?

    Hey everyone,

    In the fall of last year I took over care of my roommate's ball python. We became roommates in November of 2019, but I took over care of her female ball in September/October of 2019 after seeing the condition she was in. She was purchased from a show in January of 2019 and I have no information on her age/etc when she was purchased. However, I am guessing she was a 2018 September or October baby by her size etc. I didn't see the snake after it was purchased until September, and when I did she was not much bigger than when I saw her at purchase, and she was very thin and had that "triangular" look. Unfortunately I didn't have a gram scale until October, and when I weighed her (after I had already gotten 3 or 4 meals in her) she was only 170g. I know that snake was only MAYBE 100g when she was purchased. The snake would strike at the glass and anything that came near her until I got her on a good feeding schedule, and now looking back, I wonder if it was out of desperate hunger and less aggression or fear strikes.

    Before everyone rags on my roommate, I will say that she did TRY to do right by the snake, putting her in a suitable enclosure and spent upwards of $200 for supplies. I would ask about her all the time and she did periodically tell me that she was refusing food. Anytime that I would ask if she needed me to come check on her, our schedules didn't line up right and it never happened. She worked night shift and I worked day shift. I can honestly say, knowing my roommate, that the snake did not become emaciated because she didn't care. I think life just overtook her and she couldn't get the snake to eat. It's not an excuse, but I did want to say that this was not a case of malicious neglect.

    Now, present day, I have managed to get the snake up to 456g as of today, 02/15/2020. She is on a frozen/thawed large weaned rat every 7 days and eats for me with no issues, with the exception of 2 weeks ago when she was in shed, which I'm not mad about. She looks really good now; healthy muscle tone and shape. My question is she going to have lasting effects from her lack of nutrition at an early age? We have no issues getting her to take food now, and she gains weight every week. I have never dealt with a snake that had a rocky start to life as far as nutrition is concerned. Should I worry about her growing slower, or having health issues down the road? This snake is a het albino female, and I do intend to use her in my breeding program at some point, but only if there is no ill health effects. If she is going to have issues, I will purchase another het or a visual for my program.

    Thanks in advance for your input everyone,

    ~Ghost
    Serpens Reptiles EST 2019
    I spent the first 23 years of my life, living in fear of snakes. I want to help others see the beauty and power of these amazing animals, and give them the chance to see reptiles with wonder and love rather than fear and hate.

    1.0 Normal (Hubble)
    1.0 Pied (Oberon)
    1.0 Albino (Jupiter)
    1.0 Vanilla Het Clown (Cassini)
    0.1 Het Albino (Minerva)
    0.1 Lesser Het OG 66% Het Clown (Saturn)
    0.1 Het Pied (Ophelia)
    0.1 Spider (Shatter)
    0.1 Mojave (Alya)
    0.1 Mystic Leopard (Pandora)
    1.0 Amelanistic Corn Snake (Salazar)
    1.0 Okeetee Corn Snake (Panic)
    0.1 Chocolate Albino Leopard Gecko (Perry)

    "Everything you want is on the other side of fear" J. Canfield

  2. The Following User Says Thank You to GhostEchoes92 For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (02-15-2020)

  3. #2
    BPnet Veteran Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: Very Underweight Ball Python, Will there be lasting effects?

    Quote Originally Posted by GhostEchoes92 View Post
    Should I worry about her growing slower, or having health issues down the road? This snake is a het albino female, and I do intend to use her in my breeding program at some point, but only if there is no ill health effects.
    I purchased a snake at an expo I did not know had been maintenance fed until afterward and saw the breeders Facebook page and the price slowly lowered on her for three years. Got her in 2016, she was 300 grams at 3 years old. I bred her in 2019 at a little under 1000 grams. She gave me 6 small eggs, 3 slugs/3 viable (3 hatched-all tiny-all non-eaters initially). After I collected the first clutch of eggs she ate voraciously and her weight/size jumped. She now rests at about 1400 grams empty (pictured as of today).

    The morale of the story is: They will catch up eventually. But, life is short...I would add another female to hedge your bets.


    *.* TNTC

  4. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Lord Sorril For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (02-15-2020),GhostEchoes92 (02-15-2020)

  5. #3
    Registered User GhostEchoes92's Avatar
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    Re: Very Underweight Ball Python, Will there be lasting effects?

    Thanks for the advice! I am definitely considering adding a visual albino female as well, but I donít want to give up on this girl as far as being a pet. She got off to a rocky start socially too; as I mentioned she was incredibly snappy at first so no one wanted to handle her. We had to retrieve her from the cage with a snake hook any time we needed to do anything with her. Now she will let you pick her up, handle her and move her around with minimal issues. I guess my biggest concern with her is her overall well-being. I had a talk with my roommate about it today and explained what happened and she feels horrible. I explained that everyone makes mistakes, the important part is that we learn from them and donít make them again. Sheís gained a lot in the last few months so hopefully she just needs a few extra months to get to where she needs to be.
    Serpens Reptiles EST 2019
    I spent the first 23 years of my life, living in fear of snakes. I want to help others see the beauty and power of these amazing animals, and give them the chance to see reptiles with wonder and love rather than fear and hate.

    1.0 Normal (Hubble)
    1.0 Pied (Oberon)
    1.0 Albino (Jupiter)
    1.0 Vanilla Het Clown (Cassini)
    0.1 Het Albino (Minerva)
    0.1 Lesser Het OG 66% Het Clown (Saturn)
    0.1 Het Pied (Ophelia)
    0.1 Spider (Shatter)
    0.1 Mojave (Alya)
    0.1 Mystic Leopard (Pandora)
    1.0 Amelanistic Corn Snake (Salazar)
    1.0 Okeetee Corn Snake (Panic)
    0.1 Chocolate Albino Leopard Gecko (Perry)

    "Everything you want is on the other side of fear" J. Canfield

  6. #4
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    Give the girl some ASF to put the weight on. If you get down to OC I'll give you a starter colony or some gassed ones for her.

    Good luck with her!

  7. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to 303_enfield For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (02-15-2020),GhostEchoes92 (02-16-2020)

  8. #5
    Registered User GhostEchoes92's Avatar
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    Re: Very Underweight Ball Python, Will there be lasting effects?

    OC as in Ocean City? Youíre local? Thatís awesome!

    so far so good with regular rats, she took her weekly small rat for me today with no issues. Sheís a very eager eater.
    Serpens Reptiles EST 2019
    I spent the first 23 years of my life, living in fear of snakes. I want to help others see the beauty and power of these amazing animals, and give them the chance to see reptiles with wonder and love rather than fear and hate.

    1.0 Normal (Hubble)
    1.0 Pied (Oberon)
    1.0 Albino (Jupiter)
    1.0 Vanilla Het Clown (Cassini)
    0.1 Het Albino (Minerva)
    0.1 Lesser Het OG 66% Het Clown (Saturn)
    0.1 Het Pied (Ophelia)
    0.1 Spider (Shatter)
    0.1 Mojave (Alya)
    0.1 Mystic Leopard (Pandora)
    1.0 Amelanistic Corn Snake (Salazar)
    1.0 Okeetee Corn Snake (Panic)
    0.1 Chocolate Albino Leopard Gecko (Perry)

    "Everything you want is on the other side of fear" J. Canfield

  9. #6
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    Yep, near OC. Raise ASF, rats, quil, ducks, chickens, rabbits an pigs for the snakes. Well, baccon seeds also go in the freezer for me.


    Good luck!

  10. #7
    Registered User GhostEchoes92's Avatar
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    Re: Very Underweight Ball Python, Will there be lasting effects?

    Quote Originally Posted by 303_enfield View Post
    Yep, near OC. Raise ASF, rats, quil, ducks, chickens, rabbits an pigs for the snakes. Well, baccon seeds also go in the freezer for me.


    Good luck!

    That's awesome! I may hit you up at some point. I love meeting local keepers. One of my favorite things about this hobby is meeting other people in the community.
    Serpens Reptiles EST 2019
    I spent the first 23 years of my life, living in fear of snakes. I want to help others see the beauty and power of these amazing animals, and give them the chance to see reptiles with wonder and love rather than fear and hate.

    1.0 Normal (Hubble)
    1.0 Pied (Oberon)
    1.0 Albino (Jupiter)
    1.0 Vanilla Het Clown (Cassini)
    0.1 Het Albino (Minerva)
    0.1 Lesser Het OG 66% Het Clown (Saturn)
    0.1 Het Pied (Ophelia)
    0.1 Spider (Shatter)
    0.1 Mojave (Alya)
    0.1 Mystic Leopard (Pandora)
    1.0 Amelanistic Corn Snake (Salazar)
    1.0 Okeetee Corn Snake (Panic)
    0.1 Chocolate Albino Leopard Gecko (Perry)

    "Everything you want is on the other side of fear" J. Canfield

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