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  1. #1
    Registered User TayKiren's Avatar
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    Is this bad? Emergency?

    So it's 1:00 a.m. and I'm really stressed about my ball python. Here's a video of what he is doing: https://youtu.be/Z8YOWW68yhA

    I fed him tonight and things seemed just fine. I used my usual thawing method of putting the rat in the fridge overnight and then blow drying it. Could this behavior have something to do with feeding gone wrong?? He did just eat, but should I take him somewhere right now? Is he breathing heavily, or is that just me? I don't know what could be causing this, and I'm really scared.

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  2. #2
    BPnet Veteran Lord Sorril's Avatar
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    Re: Is this bad? Emergency?

    My guess is that your snake is breathing heavily because it can see your movement/shadows through the glass.
    If the snake just ate the breathing will be emphasized due to the additional bulk in its gut.
    Usually my ball pythons will go in the water bowl after eating if they are uncomfortable: due to either a large meal, imminent shed, or building eggs.

    You really need a larger/deeper water bowl too!
    *.* TNTC

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  4. #3
    Registered User TayKiren's Avatar
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    Re: Is this bad? Emergency?

    Thank you so much for replying. I've never seen him breathing when tightly curled before, and never after eating either, so I think I may have overreacted and am calmer now after the initial panic. He's sort of relaxed into a more natural coil; I may have caught him just getting into it. This is what he looks like now: https://youtu.be/SUM6bbVBc10

    It also just occured to me that he hasn't used his warm hide in a while; Maybe he doesn't like it anymore and is using his water bowl instead, since it's also on the warm side? I'll have to try getting him a new hide. Also, it seems that I do need a bigger water bowl! It looked much bigger before he was actually IN it hah.

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    Last edited by TayKiren; 05-16-2021 at 05:45 AM.

  5. #4
    Registered User TayKiren's Avatar
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    Re: Is this bad? Emergency?

    Does this look better? Worse? https://youtu.be/urrDMCy93dE
    Now that I have realized I'm not entirely sure what normal breathing is supposed to look like, I'm wondering if I should still take him to the vet at some point or if I'm being paranoid.

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  6. #5
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    After a shy snake (like a BP) has eaten, they're slowed down from the meal, & since yours is essentially out in the open (not in a hide!) with a big monster staring at him (that would be you ) I feel quite safe in saying that's why he was breathing heavily...& no, don't rush him to the vet unless you want to make it WORSE + have him throw up the meal he just had.

    Get him hides that he likes & will use & try not to loom over him when he's in such situations (feeling slow & exposed). Remember snakes are mostly not able to identify us with vision alone (!) like thru the glass, so try to avoid scaring him! You could (should) have put a towel over his cage for a while, under those circumstances, or taped some paper over the glass to block his view & help him to feel safe (hidden).

    He looks fine to me, btw. And yeah, stop being so "paranoid". We all have those moments of being unsure but I hope you manage to sleep better in the future.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  7. #6
    Registered User TayKiren's Avatar
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    Re: Is this bad? Emergency?

    Well, I guess that looks....Comfortable? https://youtu.be/ZC4N9-ylRlE

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  8. #7
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    Re: Is this bad? Emergency?

    Quote Originally Posted by TayKiren View Post
    Well, I guess that looks....Comfortable? https://youtu.be/ZC4N9-ylRlE

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    Snakes will be snakes......& yes, he looks comfy, lol. They don't always sleep how or where we think they should. Yours is "creative".
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  9. #8
    Registered User TayKiren's Avatar
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    Re: Is this bad? Emergency?

    Okay, so he went into shed shortly after this. He shed last weekend and stopped soaking, but yesterday I found him in his bowl again. I checked him over for mites and didn't see any, but I did see some bubbles come from his nose, and he opened his mouth a bit briefly. He also tilted his head and sort of rubbed it against himself once, but other than that seemed normal. I was going to call the vet today, but I went to check on him this morning and....nothing. Mouth closed, bright and alert, big tongue flicks, no bubbles.

    So, should I still make a vet appointment, or is it possible he just got some water in his nose? Also, I'm going to change his substrate to paper towels and treat him for mites preventatively just in case, but is there any other reason he would be soaking? Humidity has been consistently at 50-60%. He shouldn't be hot, since the thermostat is still working as it should based on my measurements (it's also been cool and rainy these past few days). Do they soak if they are just generally feeling unwell? The only other thing I can think of that might be causing this is that he outgrew his hides. Is that usually something that happens with adult BPs? I feel like it would be unlikely that he outgrew both hides simultaneously, but I don't know.

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  10. #9
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    Re: Is this bad? Emergency?

    I don't know.
    but I do know you can get a few bubbles and even some wheezing if a snake has been underwater or if I give a snake a swim in the bath. A bit like us if we go swimming and go under the water.
    if the bubbles and wheezing continue then be concerned.

    You said no mites. So Soaking can just mean they want to shed or support their body weight after feeding or cool, or many other things.
    No disrespect for your knowledge, I do not know that, but Also are you sure its a he? females soak or bowl wrap during follicle development.

    regarding the hides, if he cant fit into them anymore then maybe a bigger one is needed, but they like it tight.
    Last edited by Ascended; 06-07-2021 at 05:09 PM.

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  12. #10
    Bogertophis's Avatar
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    Some snakes do consider a water bowl to be a hide if they find the hides you provided are in any way inadequate. Especially if the "cool side" hide is lacking. Are you saying he is getting too big for his hides? His hides should preferably be identical so you can tell that he's not choosing the "right" hide over the right temperature- so if this is true, he would outgrow them both at the same time.

    Snakes can & do blow a few bubbles now & then from drinking water- it's like when someone startles you or says something very funny the moment you take a drink of water- maybe the bubbles were his reaction to seeing you suddenly nearby. So yeah, if you don't see any further issues, he likely just got water in his nose. Rubbing his head against himself (or on something else) is what many do after eating (instinctively removing the scent of prey) or after drinking if there's water in their nose/pits, for example.

    What substrate are you using? I'd try keeping him on white paper towels for a while, & wipe over him with a damp one also, to see if there's any mites. Soaking is often the signal that they have mites- & mites are bad news, so you need to be sure, not wait until they do harm. BUT, mite "treatments" are not without potential harm...therefore I would not advise treating for mites unless you SEE them. "First do no harm" as they say...
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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