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  1. #11
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    Re: URGENT: Need Advice About Ball Python Swollen Face

    Quote Originally Posted by Armiyana View Post
    I don't like how the swelling is also affecting his eye socket. That's approaching dangerous territory there. Especially if the swelling is still increasing.

    What is Polter eating? Is this possibly a rodent bite?
    Is this bioactive soil one you purchased? Or did you collect it?


    I worry that if this isn't a pushing injury, this could be a bacterial or fungal infection which definitely would need medical intervention

    Edit: Also! How long has this swelling been happening? How long has he been in iso? Some people call a week a couple of days... Some mean 2 days. Lol

    Poltergeist was eating frozen thawed rats. I never feed live. The soil is a reptile-made one off of Amazon. I think it's from Zilla, called forest jungle mix. I also added bioactive charcoal soil from Josh's frogs. The majority of the bedding is coconut chips also from Amazon that are made for reptiles.

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  3. #12
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    Re: URGENT: Need Advice About Ball Python Swollen Face

    Quote Originally Posted by Homebody View Post
    I vote pushing injury. I kept my adult male bp in a similar enclosure. I moved him to a larger one when he started injuring himself pushing. Likewise, my bp's only injury was swelling.

    How big of a cage do you recommend? The one he was in is very large compared to his size. Would I need to get a bigger one or just add branches or something for him to climb on?
    Last edited by GoldKingCobra; 04-30-2024 at 11:17 AM.

  4. #13
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    As far as cage size, there's more than one issue, & snakes are "individuals" too (they might not all be looking for the same thing).

    For an adult male BP, on average most (in the US*) tend to think that an enclosure that's 3' long & 18" wide is good. It's safe to assume that many breeders provide less than that, while some private owners prefer to go bigger, & apparently keepers in Europe/Germany (etc.) tend to favor much larger enclosures than in the U.S. So there's no easy answer.

    Height of enclosure can be important: Snakes are less likely to rub their heads/noses (on the "ceiling") when it's higher (harder to reach). But the downside is that with a taller enclosure comes the fact that more air space is that much harder to heat & to keep humid enough for a BP. No one said this is easy...

    If your snake is being restless, it's important to find out why before you try to fix it. It might not be that he wants more space...only that he's uncomfortable with what he's got. This could mean not enough 'cover': does he have a cool side hide AND a warm side hide? & are they the right type? (what exactly are you using for him? Sizes & types?) It could also mean temperatures aren't comfortable- too warm or too cool. Time to recheck that.

    BPs may climb a little over lower branches- they might also appreciate more "clutter" (fake plants, etc). Also, if his home is in a busy part of your home, that too might be unsettling to him, & make him push to escape. Or if there's other issues going on- other pets nearby, loud music (vibrations) etc.

    Hunger can also make a snake want to escape to go hunting for more food. Is he being fed enough? (Since we're not seeing him...) Vet can help w/ this too.

    I would reassess all this first, rather than quickly changing his home, as that too is very unsettling to a captive snake. But right now, it's important to figure out if he's pushing on his face, & if so, why? The vet can help figure out if that's what likely caused this swelling. (By ruling out other things like an impacted tooth, etc.) Sadly, this is an issue that we see now & then with captive snakes, not just BPs. (We see more BPs here just because of the forum name but many here have all kinds of snakes, myself included.)
    Last edited by Bogertophis; 04-30-2024 at 12:14 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  6. #14
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    Re: URGENT: Need Advice About Ball Python Swollen Face

    Quote Originally Posted by GoldKingCobra View Post
    How big of a cage do you recommend? The one he was in is very large compared to his size. Would I need to get a bigger one or just add branches or something for him to climb on?
    When I said that I kept my bp in similar enclosure, I was mistaken. Mine had a similar footprint, but only half the height. So, I don't see anything wrong with the size of your enclosure.

    The biggest problem I see with your enclosure is those plastic burrs around the airholes. If he's rubbing against those, they could cause a lot of damage. Also, for more privacy, you could cover the sides.
    Last edited by Homebody; 04-30-2024 at 02:14 PM.
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  8. #15
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    Re: URGENT: Need Advice About Ball Python Swollen Face

    Quote Originally Posted by Bogertophis View Post
    For an adult male BP, on average most (in the US*) tend to think that an enclosure that's 3' long & 18" wide is good.
    An average adult male is a little more than 4 feet, I think. I am under the impression that the calculation for minimum floorspace is (length of snake) X 2 = cage perimeter. That makes a 36" x 18" a minimum footprint on the standard recommendation, not a good one. Maybe I'm misunderestimating hobby standards, though.

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  10. #16
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    Re: URGENT: Need Advice About Ball Python Swollen Face

    Quote Originally Posted by Malum Argenteum View Post
    An average adult male is a little more than 4 feet, I think. I am under the impression that the calculation for minimum floorspace is (length of snake) X 2 = cage perimeter. That makes a 36" x 18" a minimum footprint on the standard recommendation, not a good one. Maybe I'm misunderestimating hobby standards, though.
    Yes, I agree that's minimum standards & not ideal, just saying it's a typical ball-park suggestion, especially considering that so many insist they're fine (or better off?) with less space, in racks & tubs which I personally don't like at all- but I can't change the world. It might even be inadequate by current Fish & Game standards? But even those vary by what state you're in. When I kept BPs, my adult males were at least 4' & they weren't that old- they had a lot of potential growing yet to do, & were in 4' x 16". I'm in favor of encouraging "optimum" standards rather than minimum.

    BTW, our own forum care guide (https://ball-pythons.net/forums/show...us)-Caresheet) says the following (& with which I disagree):

    "For juvenile BPs up to 2’ a 10 gallon (or equivalently sized) enclosure is adequate. For adults an enclosure 36x18x12” should provide them with enough room for the duration of their lives."

    The thing is, a 10 gal. size is roughly 20" long x 10" wide- so picture a 2' BP being comfortable in that- & remember they need warm & cool hides + a water bowl at the very minimum. One big problem with small enclosures is trying to get the right temperature gradient...it's nearly impossible in a 10 gal. size.

    That goes on to say an enclosure that's 36 x 18 x 12" should suffice for the life of a BP- it doesn't differentiate between male BPs that stay smaller (usually) & female BPs that mostly get much bigger. I personally had a huge 5' female BP- obviously a "breeder tank" size isn't always big enough. So yeah, I personally think this "care sheet" should be updated. Also with respect to temperatures, & probably other things- that's why I don't normally refer people to it.


    Last edited by Bogertophis; 04-30-2024 at 08:00 PM.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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    Re: URGENT: Need Advice About Ball Python Swollen Face

    UPDATE: I took him to the vet and they are not sure what's going on, only that there is no puss or liquid building up in his face--it's tissue. So, they suspect he injured it somehow or got a splinter (I had a wooden piece in there). As for now, he's on anti-inflammatory medication, Metacam, where 0.02ml of it is injected in his muscle once every other day for 10 days. If this does not work, I'm going to have the vet do a culture and send it to a university to figure out more what's going on.

    As for my cage issue, if he survives, I'm removing the substrate to one that absolutely does not have wood/coconut pieces in it (he liked to burrow under it a lot, so he could have gotten a splinter or something). Also, I'll provide fake branches and clutter as to prevent rubbing and pushing, as well as removing the plastic sticking from the airholes. Hopefully, he recovers and all goes well.

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  13. #18
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    I'm so glad you got him assessed by your vet- we're all pulling for him to improve & recover.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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  14. #19
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    UPDATE: Re: URGENT: Need Advice About Ball Python Swollen Face

    Here's an update on Poltergeist's condition:

    The cytology found that he had an abnormal number of macrophages and heterophils, suggesting that he has some type of infection (either fungal or bacterial). If it's a fungal infection, there is no treatment that is plausible, so, I'm putting him on bacterial medication for three weeks that will hopefully work. Unfortunately, it is too much money to figure out what exact type of bacteria/fungus he's infected with and to treat him for anything else. I have my fingers crossed that the medication will work.

    Thanks again for helping me out.

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  16. #20
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    Thanks for sharing an update- I hope the treatment works.
    Rudeness is the weak man's imitation of strength.
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