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  1. #1
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    Exclamation Ball Python Eye Injury

    For context, my 8 month old girl just recently shed two weeks ago. It was a full shed, including eye caps and the tail. Sheís currently eating f/t weaned rats every 5 - 7 days. She lives in a 55 gallon wooden enclosure with coco fibre and coco coir substrate. Her hot side is about 31į Celsius and her cool side about 25-27į. She has 3 hides - a hot hide, a cool hide and a humid hide. Her humidity ranges from 65-70%. 80-90% during shed. She has lots of branches and rocks to climb on and she is extremely friendly and loves coming out for her handling and exploration sessions.

    Yesterday was feeding day, so usually I donít handle her. She literally has never missed a meal and has the appetite of a bull snake (except sheís scared of anything larger than a small weaned rat). She had peed in her warm hide and so came out to tell me and I checked it out. While I was cleaning, I had a friend hold her. My baby isnít usually head shy with me but sometimes when someone very suddenly tries to touch her head she can get startled and jerk back. When I was done cleaning, my friend went to give her snoot a boop and my Ball python got a fright. She jerked her head back and the friend holding her dropped her on the floor in shock. When I picked her up she wasnít even startled, itís as if she hadnít realised that she fell. She acted as if nothing happened, but upon closer inspection I noticed that her eye appeared to have a dent. Almost as if she was dehydrated or had a stuck eye cap. I took this as an injury. I think she landed with her eye onto my phone charger. I could still see her pupil moving to look at me and she didnít seem to notice the injury.

    I put her back into her enclosure and she went to sleep. Later on, at feeding time, she stuck her head out and waited for her food as normal. I was monitoring her behaviour so attempted to feed her and she found and took her meal no problem. Iím not sure what to think about the injury. Itís quite a dent but she doesnít seem to notice it. She had no other injuries aside from this. Should I take her to the vet? Or will it perhaps lessen after he next shed when she sheds this eye cap off?

  2. #2
    Registered User Hugsplox's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python Eye Injury

    Are you sure that this occurred when she was dropped? Eye dents in my experience are usually more to do with hydration than injury, but I'll let someone with more experience chime in.

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  4. #3
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    Re: Ball Python Eye Injury

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugsplox View Post
    Are you sure that this occurred when she was dropped? Eye dents in my experience are usually more to do with hydration than injury, but I'll let someone with more experience chime in.
    Yes. She doesnít have any dehydration or wrinkly skin, and because I usually give her a check up every time I take her out I did check her eyes. She didnít have the injury prior to falling. It is quite a large dent as well, but only on the eye that hit the charger cable

  5. #4
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    As long as it's ONLY a dent (no blood or oozing type of injury & eye is functional to the best you can see) I wouldn't bother going to the vet- there's nothing they can or will do, AND I agree with Hugsplox on this, that eye dents are generally the result of dehydration, & it's possible you just didn't notice it until she was dropped.

    In this case, it's possible that she also bumped her eye in this incident, but if her hydration is good, her eye should also be popping back out on it's own...I just can't tell you how long that might take- it could be days or months- but I'd keep the humidity up until it does, & if you're feeding f/t, feed them damp if she'll accept them that way. Make sure to replenish the humidity in her "humid hide" also, as they do dry out. In my experience, BPs seem to be prone to dented eyes (or maybe I should say prone to dehydration) & at times, their large eye-caps just seem to be "asking for trouble".

    Also, don't "boop snakes on the nose" or allow anyone else to do so- they hate it, & so would you & I. It tends to make them even more head-shy than they are naturally- it's just plain rude. I wish they'd all bite anyone who does this, actually. If I was a snake, I sure would.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 10-19-2021 at 12:31 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

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  7. #5
    Registered User Bleh's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python Eye Injury

    Quote Originally Posted by Hugsplox View Post
    Are you sure that this occurred when she was dropped? Eye dents in my experience are usually more to do with hydration than injury, but I'll let someone with more experience chime in.
    This comment had me slightly worried

    Is it 'ONLY' hydration issues this generally occurs with? Cleaning out the enclosures today, I noticed my BEL seemed to have a bit of an indentation in her right eye.

    I put this down to maybe preparing for a shed OR leaning against her bit of tree bark which has been her favourite spot these past few days.

    Even humidity in the atmosphere here is good, especially at the moment, and I often mist spray the BP's before putting them back after handling, especially during the warmer months here. Top that with regular f/t feeds where water is used to produce the heat signature, and frequent fresh water hanges, a hydration concern was the last thing that went through my mind!

    I'm going to be like a paranoid nelly now checking on her every 2 minutes

    Not really!

    But I am curious if there's possibility of an underlying something I may need to keep my eye out for? I'm sure she's.perfectly fine though, hopefully!
    I'll probably forget by the time you've read this...

  8. #6
    BPnet Veteran Luvyna's Avatar
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    Eye dents are common with BPs when there isn't enough humidity in their enclosure. They can have dented eyes even when they don't show any other signs of dehydration like wrinkly skin. It's not an urgent issue but you do want to address it asap - raise the humidity to 70% for a few days and consider putting some damp sphagnum moss into the hides and the issue should resolve itself. What are you using to measure humidity, an analog or digital hygrometer? You want to use a digital hygrometer because the analog ones can be very inaccurate.
    Last edited by Luvyna; 10-19-2021 at 02:56 PM.

  9. #7
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    Re: Ball Python Eye Injury

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    As long as it's ONLY a dent (no blood or oozing type of injury & eye is functional to the best you can see) I wouldn't bother going to the vet- there's nothing they can or will do, AND I agree with Hugsplox on this, that eye dents are generally the result of dehydration, & it's possible you just didn't notice it until she was dropped.

    In this case, it's possible that she also bumped her eye in this incident, but if her hydration is good, her eye should also be popping back out on it's own...I just can't tell you how long that might take- it could be days or months- but I'd keep the humidity up until it does, & if you're feeding f/t, feed them damp if she'll accept them that way. Make sure to replenish the humidity in her "humid hide" also, as they do dry out. In my experience, BPs seem to be prone to dented eyes (or maybe I should say prone to dehydration) & at times, their large eye-caps just seem to be "asking for trouble".

    Also, don't "boop snakes on the nose" or allow anyone else to do so- they hate it, & so would you & I. It tends to make them even more head-shy than they are naturally- it's just plain rude. I wish they'd all bite anyone who does this, actually. If I was a snake, I sure would.
    I donít generally touch her face at all, she usually rubs her face on me.

    Thank you for the advice. I donít allow her digital hygrometer to get below 65% humidity. And her spaghnum moss is misted every two days. I also usually feed her wet f/t food regardless of whether or not sheís in shed. I will take your advice and keep up these things. Thank you!

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  11. #8
    Registered User Bleh's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python Eye Injury

    Quote Originally Posted by Luvyna View Post
    Eye dents are common with BPs when there isn't enough humidity in their enclosure.
    Think we're all good here. Guessing I just happened to notice it after she'd been resting against something!!

    Kept two different brand hygrometer probes in her enclosure overnight and they're both within 1% of each other and in the mid-70's, plus she looks perfectly normal this morning.
    I'll probably forget by the time you've read this...

  12. #9
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    I haven't noticed any serious eye dents in my boy yet but I have been having humidity issues on the warm side of my tank but not the cool side. Cool side ranges are 75-77F with 65-70% humidity at all times but the warm side always manages to drop to around 40-45% (temps 88F) when I leave for the day. I'll mist it a few times a day and have about 75% of the top covered. I also have a humidifier in my room. I seem to be doing everything correctly and the cool side humidity is perfect but the warm side just won't stay up

  13. #10
    Registered User Erie_herps's Avatar
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    Re: Ball Python Eye Injury

    Quote Originally Posted by wyvbee View Post
    I haven't noticed any serious eye dents in my boy yet but I have been having humidity issues on the warm side of my tank but not the cool side. Cool side ranges are 75-77F with 65-70% humidity at all times but the warm side always manages to drop to around 40-45% (temps 88F) when I leave for the day. I'll mist it a few times a day and have about 75% of the top covered. I also have a humidifier in my room. I seem to be doing everything correctly and the cool side humidity is perfect but the warm side just won't stay up
    What kind of heating are you using? It sounds like a CHE or heat bulb. They will both dry out a tank. If you're using one of those try using a UTH instead.

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