Vote for BP.Net for the 2013 Forum of the Year! Click here for more info.

» Site Navigation

» Home
 > FAQ

» Online Users: 1,972

1 members and 1,971 guests
Most users ever online was 6,337, 01-24-2020 at 04:30 AM.

» Today's Birthdays

None

» Stats

Members: 74,613
Threads: 248,284
Posts: 2,567,211
Top Poster: JLC (31,651)
Welcome to our newest member, Monitorman21
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 16
  1. #1
    Registered User Edea_Tsuki's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-29-2021
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    42
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts

    Exclamation Very kind ball python now bite me every time I took him out of cage

    Hi guys. Long time we don't see!
    As the title says, I started to have a big problem with my Ball Python.
    I will try to give you guys as much information about him in hope to understand what's happening here. Let's start with the shed, because I think that it's a partial element that causes the bites.
    Unfortunately, the place where I live is very, very hot and this often cause my python's shed to result in a bad one because we use very often the air conditioner.
    This usually isn't much a problem, but work killed me this month and I didn't realize that the cage hadn't much humidity, so here the bad shed.
    He also is very lazy and don't do much effort for take it off so obviously I personally have to took it away to help him.
    Well, when this happens wasn't not a problem at all: he was very kind with me and I didn't have much problem with this.
    This time, something unfortunate happens: one of his eyes is covered with the shed lens (hope this is clear, i'm not native).


    I told you that because the first (and last, before some days ago) bite that I received from him was because I didn't notice that he was almost in shed and he bite me thinking I was food (I suppose this because he remained attached and he wrapped around my hand).
    Well, returning to the previously statement, I think that he bites me only when he see me with that eyes. The problem is that I am not able to took it away, because for the previous 2 times that I tried to took him, he bite me in the same modalites thinking I'm food.
    He also hide the face when he bite and wrapped so I can't phisically took shed off his head and it starting to became very annoying, I tried one time every week in the last two...
    I OBVIOUSLY feed him every week. So I really don't think that he is really hungry.


    Honestly, he bite me in a very strange way in comparison of the very first time! I try to explain why.
    The first time he bited me and usually his prey, he spring into me/the mouse for bite it, also if it was very near of him.
    This last 2 times, he was complitely normal, he explored my hands and the air as normal. After 30 seconds/1 minute of this, he simply becomed still and after some seconds, he bite me in the nearest area (he remained attached and he wrapped around my hand/arm as I'm food), for no apparently reasons to me...! I really don't understand why, he never do something similar in almost 2 year that I had him and honestly he starts to afraid me.


    The first time that he bite me in those 2 weeks, I simply tought that was the shed, because it seemed to bite me only when he seen me with the shed eyes, but the second time, when I tried to take him, he tried to bite me before I can took out him of the cage! I was so scared that my boyfriend had to took him out of the cage (he never did it, just touched one or two times) and surprise! The python didn't try to bite him.
    We putted him in a box with hot water to try to took off this damn shed and then I tried to take it after 20 minutes. No problem... For less than a minute, because here he give me the second bite. At this point I simply took the opportunity to took off as much shed as I can until he stopped biting me, so I can re-putted in the cage. And when he stopped... He try to bite me again.


    And the story ends here. If you guys have any ideas, I'm here. Now I think that I have some type of fear for this experience, I also had a bit before with the first one, but now it's a bit worse. I'll really consider the idea of take some gloves for snakes for give me more courage. But honestly, I would want to find again that relationship we have before, when he never bite me a single time and he always was a cutie snake.
    I only wish for his good...

  2. #2
    Bogertophis's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    19,869
    Thanks
    27,653
    Thanked 19,235 Times in 11,554 Posts
    If you could post pics of your snake (especially his body) it might help- I'm thinking that this sounds more like hunger bites & it's possible that even with feeding him every week, he might also be underfed. You mention it's very hot there- & remember that a snake's metabolism is controlled by temperature- so if they're warmer, they're going to be hungrier & need more food.

    Some snake bites are certainly associated with shedding & the snake just being defensive. But even if they have a "good reason", it's no fun for us to get bitten, so that has to get figured out. A hungry & "over-eager" snake may indeed try for us. Remember that we're "warm & wiggling" much like their prey would be, & so even if the scent doesn't match their prey, some may try anyway. Do you by any chance have other pets around? I'm wondering if he's picking up any animal scents on you that makes him think (hope) you're edible? Silly snakes...

    IF this is the problem- hunger & hoping you're prey- then one way I'd approach him (when you need to handle) is with a light spray of cool water mist to his face. That's a safe & harmless way to change what he's thinking about, though some really determined snakes may take more than one spritz of water. OR, you can put something in front of him that clearly has your scent, like an empty garment sleeve. You can run your fingers thru your hair, or rub the object you're using in your hair to impart more of your scent- & some snakes will get the message with that & back off.

    Scent plays a part in a snake's recognition of us, but it's only one part. Snakes recognize us by our touch also, but not visually. With some snakes we always have to be mindful of sending strong signals that it's us, not prey. Some people like to use "tap training" too, or instead. That's just what it sounds like- use anything that keeps your hand at a safe distance, & gently tap the snake a few times before you approach them to handle, as apparently your boyfriend instinctively did. The touch reminds them it's you, not food. Just one more way to signal the snake. Use any or all that you need.

    It sounds like the snake is associating you with being fed, & if all you ever end up doing is feeding him, that just reinforces that you might be "prey". So it's important to find ways to safely keep handling this snake, so he doesn't get in the habit of bad behavior. And if you'd feel better using gloves for a while, that's just fine.

    You mention soaking him in "hot water" to help him shed? I HOPE you're taking the temperature of the water to ensure it's not over 90* or you can cause harm, or at least a very unhappy snake! Remember that we're 98.6* so 90* feels "cool" to us, but not to a cold-blooded snake.

    I hope you do better with the humidity- maybe providing a humid hide would help?
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 10-28-2023 at 01:47 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  3. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    Edea_Tsuki (10-29-2023),Homebody (10-28-2023),Ian C (10-30-2023)

  4. #3
    BPnet Veteran
    Join Date
    06-07-2018
    Posts
    932
    Thanks
    1,143
    Thanked 1,709 Times in 759 Posts
    Images: 7
    Is there a new smell like a laundry detergent or soap? Perfume? Or a new animal in the home that you may have touched? Or been in the same area?

    It seems very odd that they would react that way to only you and not your boyfriend. Especially with the way they're wrapping as well. It's very rare for a ball python to act that way especially if it's been in your care for a while with no problems before.

    Otherwise, if you can tell us the weight of the snake and the size of the food .. photos maybe too, we can tell if they seem underfed.
    If something traumatic happened, that can explain the reaction, but does not seem to be what happened here. Unless the water was very hot or the snake has an injury.

    The only other time I had seen a change like that was when the ball python was gravid and getting ready to lay eggs. But I don't know if that's a possibility either...

  5. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Armiyana For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (10-28-2023),Edea_Tsuki (10-29-2023),Homebody (10-28-2023)

  6. #4
    Registered User Edea_Tsuki's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-29-2021
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    42
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    I'll answer you guys point to point for try to do as much info as I can!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    If you could post pics of your snake (especially his body) it might help-

    Quote Originally Posted by Armiyana View Post
    Otherwise, if you can tell us the weight of the snake and the size of the food .. photos maybe too, we can tell if they seem underfed.
    I'd really like to post some photos, but as I previously said everytime I try to take out him from cage he try to bite me and he wrapped, so it's nearly impossible to do some type of photos for see his lenght...!
    As I know, the python have almost 4 years. He is a male and he eat rats weighing from 30g to 60g. Last year I give him 25/30g mouses but the shop didn't have them avaliable last time that I ordered them so I was forced to change in those rats.
    Obviously they are not alive, all defrosted and I usually skip a week when the rat weights more of 30g, but in these 2 incrimined weeks he ate only the 30g ones.


    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Do you by any chance have other pets around? I'm wondering if he's picking up any animal scents on you that makes him think (hope) you're edible? Silly snakes...
    Quote Originally Posted by Armiyana View Post
    Is there a new smell like a laundry detergent or soap? Perfume? Or a new animal in the home that you may have touched? Or been in the same area?
    It seems very odd that they would react that way to only you and not your boyfriend. Especially with the way they're wrapping as well. It's very rare for a ball python to act that way especially if it's been in your care for a while with no problems before.
    I have other 2 pets in the house. A cat and a lovebird. The first isn't thecnically in the house in reality, she live outside. It's true that the door is near of the snake cage, but I have her before the snake so I really don't think she is the cause of this problem.
    I have the lovebird from april. He is on the other side of the house, in a very ventilated place. There is a passage that devide him room and the snake's one. But it's a bit strange, if this is the cause, that he only bite me now, after months and not my boyfriend.
    I use to change frequently soap in the house, but it's a thing that I did before those incidents. No perfume at all, it's potentially mortal for the bird so I don't use anymore
    I remembered that I change clothes before I took him. Usually I do in this way because I have to interact with the animals and I don't want to have their smell. I also shower my hands very often before take him and with cold water.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    IF this is the problem- hunger & hoping you're prey- then one way I'd approach him (when you need to handle) is with a light spray of cool water mist to his face. That's a safe & harmless way to change what he's thinking about, though some really determined snakes may take more than one spritz of water. OR, you can put something in front of him that clearly has your scent, like an empty garment sleeve. You can run your fingers thru your hair, or rub the object you're using in your hair to impart more of your scent- & some snakes will get the message with that & back off.
    Cool tips, thanks! I think that gloves are a must have for me now (more for the mind, as I said in the post, the bite really are weak), but I would like to leave them when I reobtain courage. So I want to make him get used to my scent again.

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    Scent plays a part in a snake's recognition of us, but it's only one part. Snakes recognize us by our touch also, but not visually. With some snakes we always have to be mindful of sending strong signals that it's us, not prey. Some people like to use "tap training" too, or instead. That's just what it sounds like- use anything that keeps your hand at a safe distance, & gently tap the snake a few times before you approach them to handle, as apparently your boyfriend instinctively did. The touch reminds them it's you, not food. Just one more way to signal the snake. Use any or all that you need.
    It sounds like the snake is associating you with being fed, & if all you ever end up doing is feeding him, that just reinforces that you might be "prey". So it's important to find ways to safely keep handling this snake, so he doesn't get in the habit of bad behavior. And if you'd feel better using gloves for a while, that's just fine.
    This is exactly why I want the gloves. I think that maybe he had "feel" my anxiety in my goofy movements the second time and probably use gloves can give me stability also for take him correctly without fear.
    In general I really think there was a unlucky situation that leads a minor mistakes that bring me at this point. Man, it's hard to take care well an animal...! :')


    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    You mention soaking him in "hot water" to help him shed? I HOPE you're taking the temperature of the water to ensure it's not over 90* or you can cause harm, or at least a very unhappy snake! Remember that we're 98.6* so 90* feels "cool" to us, but not to a cold-blooded snake.
    Hahahaha my bad, wrong choise of words because I was in a hurry. Maybe "warm" is more correct. Around 26C (so in F... 80, more or less). I used a thermomether!

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    I hope you do better with the humidity- maybe providing a humid hide would help?
    I'll definitely check this on the forum. As I said usually he don't do a bad shed but this month I had more work than usual and I don't checked the humidity as I did previously. My bad!

    Quote Originally Posted by Armiyana View Post
    If something traumatic happened, that can explain the reaction, but does not seem to be what happened here. Unless the water was very hot or the snake has an injury.
    Nothing traumatic, last time that he have something similar is with his previuous owner. He is a very good snake and I don't want to hurt him, ever. I really love my animals
    If I did something else other than what I write in my posts, I really have no idea...! Surely if something else pass my mind, I'll tell you guys!

    I have a mini questions because it is something about I'm very curious: in those months I have taken my snake less than usual for many reasons. Do you guys think that this can influences his behavior (maybe he has forget a bit how I take him?). Let me know!
    I think I have answered at everything. I just want to thanks you for the quick answers, you guys helps me a lot and also reassured me. Thanks for all...!
    Last edited by Edea_Tsuki; 10-29-2023 at 06:48 AM.

  7. The Following User Says Thank You to Edea_Tsuki For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (10-29-2023)

  8. #5
    Bogertophis's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    19,869
    Thanks
    27,653
    Thanked 19,235 Times in 11,554 Posts
    Yes, if you've been handling him less, that could help explain why he's more stressed by your latest interactions. Snakes are not domestic animals- & I'm pretty sure they don't think much about us. So each interaction, they get slightly re-acquainted, if that makes sense? They live in our house, but separately; they know we're around, but they still like reassurance that we're not a predator when we try to pick them up. They can't help it, it's their instinct of self-preservation.

    So when you want to pick up a snake, it's "good manners" to give them the cues they need most to recognize us- don't swoop in like a bird of prey, haha. Remember they recognize our scent & touch, so that's what you need to share, & then give them a bit of time to remember they know you. I've kept my share of very feisty snakes that were ready to strike at my approach, but when I found ways to touch (or "tap") them (on the body, not the head! ) a few times first, I could then see they remembered & recognized me, & calmed down. And then I could reach in safely, stroke them gently for further recognition, & pick them up without bites.

    Every snake has their own personality- so how long this "re-acquaintance" takes will vary. Some of us catch on faster than others too- so you just have to watch their body language & proceed with caution. Some snakes more than others go by scent, & that's actually what is best to start with, if your snake knows your scent. For my rat snakes, I can blow air across my hand thru the screen & see them flicking their tongues, picking up my scent cues. And for some snakes, that's all they need. But others need to recognize by touch, or by both. Use whatever works.

    Example: I used to have a large (7.5-8') boa that was very cuddly once she was out & being held- because she knew from experience that she felt SAFE with me- that's truly what snakes want, to feel safe. They probably don't have a concept of "friend"? Anyway, once in a while when I wanted or needed to pick her up, her little snakey mind was in "LaLa Land" & she'd hiss up a storm. Her bite would have really hurt- but happily, not once in all the years I had her did she ever bite me. That's the truth. It's because when she was like that, I'd touch her coils a few times while her little snakey-mind remembered that she was safe with me. In a few minutes she'd stop hissing- then I'd touch her more, especially from under her body as you do when you're picking up a snake- they remember that feeling- & by the way, predators don't lift snakes up the way we do with our pets. They know (remember) this feeling & know it's us. Or just pet their body softly. They will know it's us. When you don't act like a predator, they don't respond defensively & wanting to bite.

    BTW, I wasn't asking about photos for the length at all- but the overall body condition. Wondering if your snake could be underfed, in which case, hunger is a big motivation for a snake "to bite first & ask questions later". And even when you feed plenty of food to a snake, this "could be" a problem, lets say IF your snake had ever been fed live rodents & happened to get intestinal parasites from that. When snakes have "worms" in their GI tract, they are sharing their food with them, & will be hungrier & need more food. I was trying to rule out that possibility.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  9. The Following 2 Users Say Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    Armiyana (10-30-2023),Edea_Tsuki (11-07-2023)

  10. #6
    Registered User Ian C's Avatar
    Join Date
    09-18-2023
    Location
    Caledonia, ON, Canada
    Posts
    12
    Thanks
    21
    Thanked 14 Times in 6 Posts
    Images: 6

    Re: Very kind ball python now bite me every time I took him out of cage

    In my limited experience, I think what stands out to me is that a year ago you fed him 30 g mice, and now have switched to 30-60 g rats. Both times you were bit were when he ate 30g rats.

    Someone with more experience can correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm wondering if maybe in the past year your snake has simply grown and has moved up to larger rodents then those weighing 30g? I also wonder, if you are the primary feeder, and the snake has only bit you and not your boyfriend, then perhaps he is a little hungry and has associated your scent with feeding time. The combination of hunger and having your scent may be enough of a trigger to cause the biting?

    If this is the case, perhaps you need to make larger rats the standard meal, and try using feeding tongs instead of your fingers, if that's how you feed him?

  11. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to Ian C For This Useful Post:

    Armiyana (10-30-2023),Bogertophis (10-30-2023),Edea_Tsuki (11-07-2023)

  12. #7
    Registered User Edea_Tsuki's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-29-2021
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    42
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    Thanks for the replies guys, I was very busy in the previous days and I couldn't answer.
    I did a photo of the snake so you guys can tell me if my python needs more food. I honestly didn't think this option at all, but honestly it seems the most probable to me (but I continue to think this is a sum of various things that we have previously told)
    If you guys can also tell me how bad it is to leave that quantity of shed that he has at the moment, I appreciate it, because as I said I couldn't to remove all of it (I noticed that he tried to remove a little bit after the incidents so now he don't have anything in the eyes).
    As always, I really appreciate your answers. Thanks!

    https://ibb.co/GPZR6rD
    Last edited by Edea_Tsuki; 11-07-2023 at 12:53 PM.

  13. The Following User Says Thank You to Edea_Tsuki For This Useful Post:

    Bogertophis (11-07-2023)

  14. #8
    Bogertophis's Avatar
    Join Date
    04-28-2018
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    19,869
    Thanks
    27,653
    Thanked 19,235 Times in 11,554 Posts
    I wouldn't leave that shed on him, personally- it only gets harder to remove. I know you're uncomfortable handling him, but maybe this is just the "exercise" (ie. learning experience) you both need. Snakes don't typically bite thru cloth bags, & what I'd suggest you do is slide him into an old pillow case (use a hook to guide him in if you need to), then zip-tie it shut. Sit for a while with him in the "bag" on your lap, & just let him relax & learn your scent & touch through the fabric. Pet him softly.

    This is a good thing for just "taming" a snake, btw, without the shed issue- because snakes are less afraid when they can't see us looming over them, & they find out we're NOT grabbing them like a predator. They do learn, & so do we. It takes empathy to calm a snake down, & most do.

    But he also needs help now to shed, so then thoroughly moisten the cloth bag- not dripping wet, just very damp- and let him rest a while in that to help soak the old skin loose. At least an hour- the longer you wait to help a snake, the longer they'll likely need to "soak".

    Then once again hold him in the bag on your lap while you guide him thru your hands (by feel thru the cloth) & do this until you get all the old skin off. The moist cloth is mildly abrasive & will help a lot. It might take a while- even a couple tries after you check. And bear in mind that sometimes moist shed looks clear, so you think it's all off when actually it's not. So looks very closely, & repeat as necessary. This will help you both get re-acquainted. From the many times I've done this over the years, it really seems like most snakes start to realize we're actually good for a few things after all.

    From what I can tell, the body weight looks okay. Bites are usually either fear or hunger.

    I've seen some snakes belonging to others (& usually not handled enough) that once picked up, would proceed to try to eat the hand that was holding them.

    Rosy boas are known for being docile, so ironically, this used to happen with one that a nature museum kept & handled for public programs. Needless to say, when the presenter gets chomped on, it doesn't much endear the snake to listeners. Having much more experience with snakes than their staff did, I could even spot when the bite was about to happen, & some other snakes will also do this, which is why I mention it.

    The snake would never hiss or struggle- it seemed perfectly calm, but once held for a while, she would start to gently prod the hand with her nose. Hint- she was looking for the "head"! Then suddenly the bite would happen. Oops, didn't see that coming? IMO, such bites were a combination of not being fed enough AND not being handled enough. What you described (about your bite) in your first post sounded very similar??? So I think that with your snake, it's both hunger & not spending enough time with you to really associate your scent with anything other than prey delivery. So now you have "homework"- haha.
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 11-07-2023 at 02:08 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
    Eric Hoffer (1902 - 1983)

  15. The Following User Says Thank You to Bogertophis For This Useful Post:

    Edea_Tsuki (11-08-2023)

  16. #9
    Registered User Edea_Tsuki's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-29-2021
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    42
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    The snake would never hiss or struggle- it seemed perfectly calm, but once held for a while, she would start to gently prod the hand with her nose. Hint- she was looking for the "head"! Then suddenly the bite would happen. Oops, didn't see that coming? IMO, such bites were a combination of not being fed enough AND not being handled enough. What you described (about your bite) in your first post sounded very similar??? So I think that with your snake, it's both hunger & not spending enough time with you to really associate your scent with anything other than prey delivery. So now you have "homework"- haha.

    I suppose yes...! Hahahaha
    It's very similar to what happened to me, so it probably is the truth.
    Well, I already ordered the gloves, so I think I can use them for guide him in the cloth bag. I first want to "study" his behavior with the gloves because I think that another bite isn't very good for my mental stability :')
    But surely I want to apply what you told me about the shed and the taming. I have two questions.
    1. It is possible that my snake recognize my odor though the gloves? Because if the answer is no I think I have to work on it after I become more safe about his behavior. It will take time...
    2. Do you think I have to feed him more, like 2 times at week?

  17. #10
    Registered User Edea_Tsuki's Avatar
    Join Date
    03-29-2021
    Posts
    34
    Thanks
    42
    Thanked 7 Times in 7 Posts
    Sorry for the double post, I wanted to edit it but it's not possible anymore: I forgot to tell you guys a thing that worry me and could be connected to this story...
    In the last 3 days my phyton don't go in his "lair" (I don't know if this word is correct in this context, sorry haha). I really don't know why, usually when he was hungry he patrols all the enclosure to seek food but this time he simply stays in the cold zone in the classic ball style.
    I'm worried that his stressed or something like that but honestly I don't understand why, I literally did nothing and today is his feeding day so I hope that he calms when I'll feed him. I'll let you guys know about this.
    Last edited by Edea_Tsuki; 11-08-2023 at 08:04 AM.

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v4.2.1