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Thread: Help asap

  1. #1
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    Help asap

    Hello all,
    I have a ball python that is approximately 6 years old and I've had for around three years. Since I've had her, I have always kept her in a nice tank with a heat lamp and under tank heater. She has always been kept in ideal temperatures. However, these past four days we have been without power. The wildfires on the pacific west coast are burning dangerously close to our home and we have had to evacuate. I was unable to take any of her things but a small plastic carrier tub, her water dish, and her hide. We have been keeping her in our car in her plastic container. The first few nights have been warm and she has been staying as warm as I can get her to be. However, the days have been getting colder and she was ice cold this morning. My heart was broken when I felt how cold her scales were. I am going to try to smuggle her into our hotel room today, I haven't done this before because we were already pushing it with our dogs and cats, but I cant leave her in the car anymore. Even if I can't bring her carrier into the room, I will hold her and just keep her warm with my body heat.
    Sorry this post is a mess, I'm trying not to panic. I just want whats best for my baby girl, but I can't do that without electricity and only having the bare minimum with me. Is there any advice people can give me? Any other way I can keep her warm without her under tank heating pad and heat lamp?
    Another concern I have is feeding her. I typically feed her every 9-12 days, and it has been around 14 since her last feeding day. I was going to feed her right before this all hit. Should I try to wait until things are less stressful and shes warmed up before I attempt to feed her?
    This is all new and frightening for me so I dont really know what I'm supposed to be doing. I just don't want to loose her to being too cold or not eating after finally escaping the fires.
    Thank you all so much in advance

  2. #2
    Registered User Hugsplox's Avatar
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    Re: Help asap

    https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...n-N-California


    Here's a post Caitlin put up about a shop in northern Cali taking in snakes if you're in the area. You can also check with local stores and see if they would be willing to board your BP for you for a week or so. As far as heating in the meantime you can always get a smaller, like WAY smaller heatpad to use you just have to keep a super close eye on it. You can stick it to the side of the plastic tote if you don't have a t-state to make sure she doesn't lay on it and get too hot. I would think you could get her into your hotel room pretty easy though and I can't imagine it being a huge issue considering everything going on.

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  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    I definitely understand your concern, and I sympathize with you and wish you all the very best.

    You could pick up some of those temporary hand warmers (although may be tough to find where you are, not sure?) and use those as a temporary heat source. They do get hot though, so you don't want the snake in direct contact with them.

    You can use your body heat, like you mentioned, but you can't hold her all day and night. You definitely don't want to fall asleep with her not safe in her enclosure. Especially with other animals around and in unfamiliar territory.

    I'm in MA and one of my biggest nightmares is a winter storm knocking power out for an extended period of time. I'm equipped for short term, but more than a few days (like years ago when I was without power for 13 days in the middle of winter) would suck.

    Sending positive vibes and best wishes your way!!
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    Do not feed. A six year old adult can go for months without eating.

    At night you can put her in the tub and put the tub under the bedcovers with you to help keep her warm. The tub will keep her contained, ensure if she pees it won't mess up the bed, and stop you or your cats/dogs from rolling/stepping on her at night.

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  8. #5
    BPnet Veteran Craiga 01453's Avatar
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    Re: Help asap

    Quote Originally Posted by bcr229 View Post
    Do not feed. A six year old adult can go for months without eating.

    At night you can put her in the tub and put the tub under the bedcovers with you to help keep her warm. The tub will keep her contained, ensure if she pees it won't mess up the bed, and stop you or your cats/dogs from rolling/stepping on her at night.
    Thank you for remembering to mention not to feed. I completely forgot by the time I was done typing
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  10. #6
    Registered User Caitlin's Avatar
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    I'm so sorry you and your pets are going through this, but am very glad that you're all safe, even if stressed. I live in wildfire country and have been through this - you can get through it and keep her safe, I promise! My heart is with you. A few suggestions:

    Don't (like really. DON'T) feed your snake until you are settled back into your normal environment and she's in her regular enclosure with stable temperatures. A healthy 6-year-old Ball Python will be totally fine without eating for quite awhile (as in many, many weeks). Please don't fret about that part; she's safe and by not feeding her while things are so chaotic, you are protecting her from regurgitation, which is far more dangerous to her than what she's dealing with right now.

    If you live in (or can get to) Northern California, as Hugsplox mentions, East Bay Vivarium in Berkeley will board your snake for free for two weeks (possibly longer if needed).

    Keeping her in a pillow case next to your body is fine if you can manage it during the day; at night you don't want to accidentally roll over on her, so just put her enclosure under the covers with you as bcr229 suggests.

    You can put hot water in plastic water bottles and place them in her enclosure; cover them with a sock. You'll need to change them every couple of hours throughout the night, though. If you can find them, those chemical handwarmers would work, but be very careful - they get super hot, so be sure to put them in a sock or cover them with a light towel. If you can get to a PetSmart or whatever, or even a big gardening supply store, you could pick up a small heat mat (if from a gardening supply store, the heat mats they use for propagating seedlings are basically the same thing). Just monitor it like crazy and put it on the side of the tub, not the bottom, because without a thermostat it could definitely spike to dangerous temps.

    I would never recommend this under normal circumstances, but if you can't find a heat mat, you could also just hit a Target or a drug store and put her on a heating pad meant for humans.

    She should be fine at cool temps for a few days, but if you are displaced longer than that, then definitely try to get a heat pad set up for her. Ask us here for help if you have never set up a heat pad with a plastic tub before.

    Take care, and check in here to update us and ask any questions you need to.
    Last edited by Caitlin; 09-11-2020 at 05:17 PM.
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    Re: Help asap

    Thank you all so much for the incredibly helpful information. I appreciate it so much. I was able to get both her and her plastic tote into the hotel room, and since it's already ten times warmer in here than the car, I'm far less stressed about her getting too cold. There's both a target and pet smart right down the street from where we're staying at so I will definitely look into keeping her warmer with water bottles and hand warmers as suggested. I will hold off on trying to set up a heating pad for right now under the hope that we'll be able to get back home within a few more days. If we are forced to stay here for longer than just a few more days, then I will come back for help on how to get her plastic tote set up with a heating pad.
    And thank you so much for reassuring me about not needing to feed her. I was already struggling with trying to come up with some sort of set up for how I would even be able to feed her in our hotel room, should I need to, but I will for sure hold off on that. She'll get a nice warm rat of a meal once she's settled back home.
    The place mentioned in California is too far away for us to go to and with traffic backed up as bad as it is with everyone evacuating, I'm unsure if we would even be able to make the drive there. I'll keep her in the room for now with all the helpful advice everyone has given me, and if things take a turn for the worse I will ask around or even ask people at Petsmart if they know of anyone somewhat nearby that can keep an eye on her and make her more comfortable than she is here.
    Again, thank you all so so much. I can't express how much I appreciate what everyone had to say. I feel so much better and comfortable now.

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    Re: Help asap

    Quote Originally Posted by AnaKendoll View Post
    Thank you all so much for the incredibly helpful information. I appreciate it so much. I was able to get both her and her plastic tote into the hotel room, and since it's already ten times warmer in here than the car, I'm far less stressed about her getting too cold. There's both a target and pet smart right down the street from where we're staying at so I will definitely look into keeping her warmer with water bottles and hand warmers as suggested. I will hold off on trying to set up a heating pad for right now under the hope that we'll be able to get back home within a few more days. If we are forced to stay here for longer than just a few more days, then I will come back for help on how to get her plastic tote set up with a heating pad.
    And thank you so much for reassuring me about not needing to feed her. I was already struggling with trying to come up with some sort of set up for how I would even be able to feed her in our hotel room, should I need to, but I will for sure hold off on that. She'll get a nice warm rat of a meal once she's settled back home.
    The place mentioned in California is too far away for us to go to and with traffic backed up as bad as it is with everyone evacuating, I'm unsure if we would even be able to make the drive there. I'll keep her in the room for now with all the helpful advice everyone has given me, and if things take a turn for the worse I will ask around or even ask people at Petsmart if they know of anyone somewhat nearby that can keep an eye on her and make her more comfortable than she is here.
    Again, thank you all so so much. I can't express how much I appreciate what everyone had to say. I feel so much better and comfortable now.
    I arrived late to this thread, but I "second" some of the things already mentioned. Some years back I went thru a 4 day power outage during an ice storm. As bad as I felt, some people's power was out for 2-3 weeks after that storm. Anyway, I used bottles of hot water to keep my snakes warm.(I have a gas hot water heater but my forced air needed electricity to run) I changed the water about every 8-9 hours, so there was plenty of time to sleep etc.- My snakes were each secured in cloth bags, then 2 or 3 at most (of compatible size/weight) were put in separate "ice chests". (you can use an insulated cooler or just a heavy styro-foam box, like they ship frozen food in). You'd be surprised how well they did-they were comfy, relaxed, & just slept a lot; none of them got sick after the ordeal.

    BTW, I had 15 snakes at that time, & at first when I realized the power was off, I thought it would be back pretty soon; it was night-time, so I put all my snakes in bags, then in ventilated plastic boxes & put them under my down comforter with me. Except for the large BCI I had...she was in a pillow case on top of me, lol. I couldn't sleep anyway, and she kept stretching up inside the pillow case, trying to figure out what was going on. By next morning, the reality sank in that the power wasn't coming back anytime soon. That's when I had to get creative, & I rounded up a bunch of large empty jars to hold water. It pays to be a "pack rat".

    Another time, in a pinch at a very chilly event, I've put a bagged snake right into my shirt to kept them warm with my own body heat, but as others pointed out, you don't want to fall asleep that way, you could crush your snake in your sleep. I totally agree not to worry about feeding also.

    I'm glad you took your snake into the hotel with you too...been there, done that. With 15 snakes when I moved across country! I paid extra for my dog that I couldn't hide, but they had no clue about the snakes, lol. In fact, when you take an ice chest in with you, in just looks like you have food & refreshments with you.

    So anyway, hang in there...you & your snake are going to be ok. I'm a former (long time!) Californian...it really pains me to see these fires like this. I hope your home is OK too.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 09-12-2020 at 12:53 AM.
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    Re: Help asap

    If you are staying in a hotel, i'd bring her tub into the room and also stop at a walmart, riteaid, walgreens or something like that and buy a heating pad (the ones for humans that have low/med/high settings) and use that under the plastic tub.

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