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  1. #1
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    Question Is my snake high maintenance or am I just extremely stupid?

    Hello everyone.
    Forewarning, this is a lot. I am a new ball python owner (about 2 months now) and I really enjoy having her. She’s a leucistic blue eyed ball. I bought her from a breeder who was legit and she came in perfect condition.

    I did a ton of research before buying her and I really felt like my terrarium was perfect. It wasn’t. I started off all wrong. I had too big of an enclosure, my humidity wasn’t right, I thought I knew I was doing but I definitely didn’t. I still feel like I don’t. She is about ~235~ grams and is about 7 months old. I finally befriended someone who knew a lot about snakes and he helped me a lot with getting her a new enclosure with the correct humidity. I had her in her new terrarium (a 10 gallon), CHE lamp on top, coco soft chip bedding, one hide one water bowl, for about two weeks and she loved it. She stayed hidden all the time, would only come out for about 20 minutes a night just to get some water. She finally ate a frozen thawed! This was something I was really struggling with because the breeder fed her live before.


    However a few days after she finally ate a frozen thawed (a month and a half into me having her), I took her out and I noticed a small infection on her belly. Probably about half the size of a pinky nail. Long story short the Betadine solution treatment and water wasn’t working as fast as I thought it should’ve been, so I took her to the vet and he gave me a different topical medication. He didn’t feel it was serious enough to give her anabiotic shots. He noticed it was healing.


    If you’re still reading this - thank you - but I’m just unsure of what to do. I need her to shed to get this infection off and to give me some freaking peace of mind but I need the humidity right to do that. I was trying to keep the humidity down for the infection to heal but the vet said I was good to put her back into the humid environment after two weeks total of treatment because he believes the infection is not active anymore. I had to feed her another live because she refused a frozen thawed. I’ve had to handle her EVERY DAY for the past two weeks because of this infection (to treat her) which I know she hates and I feel awful because I know she’s unhappy. The vet said to keep the treatment going until she sheds but who knows when she is gonna shed!!! The only symptom she showed that she was in shed was that she hissed at me when I picked her up. Her eyes and skin looked normal (she shed a month into me having her).


    I have asked my snake friend a million and one questions, so I don’t want to bother him again. I have found so many different things online on what I should/shouldn’t be doing, I just don’t know what to believe. She is all white so I notice every single blemish on her and it makes me go crazy. OH by the way she bit my ear randomly before I did a treatment on her. That happened a litter over a week ago??


    Can someone help?

  2. #2
    BPnet Senior Member spazhime's Avatar
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    The bite was likely from stress, she will calm down again after treatment is over.
    I would say put her on paper towels temporarily and provide a humid hide. Basically a tupperware with a lid and a hole big enough for her to go in, with damp moss. She will go in and use it as needed when she goes in to shed, and the paper towels will keep the wound clean.
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  4. #3
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    Re: Is my snake high maintenance or am I just extremely stupid?

    Thank you so much for your response! So I actually did do paper towels for the past 2 weeks and when I spoke with the vet this past tuesday, he gave me the go to put her back in a humid environment. I’m just gonna try to be better about changing the substrate more often.

    I was under the impression I should change out all the substrate and start fresh every month. In between I would clean out the parts where she pooped. However, maybe she’s more prone to infection since she’s still young?

    Also, I thought about stress too as a cause to the bite. The vet feels it was a freak thing. I had been handling her for about 5 minutes before she struck and latched on to my ear, so it was just odd. Is it normal for a snake to strike after that long due to stress? She wrapped around my hand, she wanted my left ear for dinner, but then refused a frozen thawed the next day???

  5. #4
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    Re: Is my snake high maintenance or am I just extremely stupid?

    Quote Originally Posted by spazhime View Post
    The bite was likely from stress, she will calm down again after treatment is over.
    I would say put her on paper towels temporarily and provide a humid hide. Basically a tupperware with a lid and a hole big enough for her to go in, with damp moss. She will go in and use it as needed when she goes in to shed, and the paper towels will keep the wound clean.

    Thank you so much for your response! So I actually did do paper towels for the past 2 weeks and when I spoke with the vet this past tuesday, he gave me the go to put her back in a humid environment. I’m just gonna try to be better about changing the substrate more often.

    I was under the impression I should change out all the substrate and start fresh every month. In between I would clean out the parts where she pooped. However, maybe she’s more prone to infection since she’s still young?

    Also, I thought about stress too as a cause to the bite. The vet feels it was a freak thing. I had been handling her for about 5 minutes before she struck and latched on to my ear, so it was just odd. Is it normal for a snake to strike after that long due to stress? She wrapped around my hand, she wanted my left ear for dinner, but then refused a frozen thawed the next day???

  6. #5
    Registered User Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Re: Is my snake high maintenance or am I just extremely stupid?

    Quote Originally Posted by someonehelp View Post
    ...
    Also, I thought about stress too as a cause to the bite. The vet feels it was a freak thing. I had been handling her for about 5 minutes before she struck and latched on to my ear, so it was just odd. Is it normal for a snake to strike after that long due to stress? She wrapped around my hand, she wanted my left ear for dinner, but then refused a frozen thawed the next day???
    BPs are typically pretty low-key, so it's easy to miss the fact that they too get stressed when handled. She didn't want your left ear for dinner, lol...that was just the nearest warm target to let you know she wanted to be left alone. It's also possible that she has a spot that is sore but doesn't appear injured: I know for certain that snakes will bite when you accidentally cause them pain, because years ago I handled a snake that appeared fine; after a bite, I had it x-rayed by my vet & sure enough, it had a back injury (probably from previous owner mishandling it with grab tongs); a bite is nothing "personal"...just self-defense, it's the only thing a snake can do, it's not being "mean" & doesn't necessarily mean it will bite again in the future, especially as you get better at 'reading' your snake's mood & communicate empathy by handling gently.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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    Re: Is my snake high maintenance or am I just extremely stupid?

    Few things:
    1. I've heard people say that a terrarium can be too big; but the truth is, it can only be too uncluttered and under-maintained. If you can keep the temperatures and humidity right, and can pack it full of hides, rocks, logs, foliage, you can go with any size. In the wild, snake "terrariums" are literally the entire world. Hides are a big key here. You want to give the snake space to feel cozy and safe.

    2. Make a shed box! Take a tupperware container, cut a whole in the top big enough for your snake to fit through, and fill it with damp moss. When the snake is ready to shed, it absolutely will make its way into the shed box. Another huge plus is that you won't need to focus so much on humidity. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tjBFKkbJrRE

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