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Thread: Interesting Behavior in Female Ball Python.

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    Charlatan lizasaur's Avatar
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    Interesting Behavior in Female Ball Python.



    That is my beautiful ball python, Sheba.
    In that picture, she is fresh from a shed and rather stuffed.
    Anyway, I've had her for over a year. She's an adult. Great, although slightly aggressive eater.

    I love her to pieces. And as such, I know when something is odd. She's not my first ball, either, btw.

    Anyway...I did some googling, and nothing to the effect I'm looking for came up..

    As of late, I've caught her resting on her side, or completely on her back. She's not wheezing, not foaming at the mouth, isn't stargazing, twitching, regurging, has good muscle tone and is alert, and her head is always as it should be.

    It's just. Well. Not normal, I don't think. Snakes typically rest on their bellies, and she has done so up until recently. She's on the same coconut fiber I've kept her on since bringing her home, and isn't burned or discolored either.

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    kulamauiman's Avatar
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    egg bound? Don't remember if it happens with pythons. i know it does with fish, turtles...

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    SirKristoff's Avatar
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    shes beautiful, and i cant exactly point at what is wrong, but why do you have her in such a small container for her size? she needs room to move....
    i kept my ball pythons in a huge tank, and they were much happier with more room than less room...

    how often are you feeding her?
    what are you feeding her?
    do you have a heat source for her?

    we fed our ball pythons once every 2 weeks
    and when they were mature, we gave em small rats
    and a UV basking bulb, absolutely refuse to use heat rocks because of potential problems that can come about from them...

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    Charlatan lizasaur's Avatar
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    Thank you! She is quite stunning. That's not her most flattering pic, but the only one I had easy access to.

    I've kept balls since I was 12 (and I'm now 21. I had a 8 month break after grieving the loss of my two girls that I raised from that point until 2008), so I know basic care requirements and that hot rocks are bad juju.

    I feed her once a week, about, 1 mouse and 1 medium/large rat because if she goes longer without, she will try to take off my hand until she gets more food in her belly. I've actually just had to up her to two medium rats to satiate this insane feeding response she's had.

    Yes, she has a basking light and one of those amazing beanfarm heat pads. You're actually only seeing less than half of the container, the hot side isn't pictured. Her hide on that side is a smaller rubbermaid container that doubles as a basking platform.
    Although having said that, her container could stand to be bigger, I reckon. More room is pretty much always better, but she's not exactly cramped in the one she has. She is handled regularly and given supervised run of the house to make up for any exercise she's missing.
    On the bright side, later this month she'll be going off on what will likely be a permanent breeding loan, and her new parents have promised her a sufficiently larger cage to house my little Queen (trust me, I wouldn't hand her off to just anyone!)

    And with that, I really hope it's not egg-binding. Apparently it can happen. However, she's not lethargic and certainly not giving up her food, so that doesn't sound like it. Perhaps it's some kind of pseudo-pregnancy thing?
    Last edited by lizasaur; 06-16-2010 at 10:54 PM.

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    justjack's Avatar
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    You could try changing the bedding, as in a different less coarse material, just a thought.
    Good growing, Jack
    "Never doubt that a small group of concerned citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has." - Margaret Mead, American Anthropologist

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    Frilleon's Avatar
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    Have you check for external parasites? (mites, ticks, etc.) It could be a rub response. I know lizards will rub in a funny manner when they have external parasites. The only other thing I could also think of is egg binding. Try placing a egg laying container in there and see what happens. Typically they will not lay eggs with out the proper substrate. Just on a side note the best advice I can give you is take it to a vet. I would guess there are not any experts here and even if there were they would still need to see and touch the animal to diagnose. Waiting to try and figure out what is wrong could lead to the death of your snake. When ever there is a questions that something is wrong with my lizards I take them straight to the vet.
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    Charlatan lizasaur's Avatar
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    Hm, I actually use that bedding because I like it best. She actually got mites from a bag of ZooMed CocoFiber bedding, and she doesn't have any parasites presently.
    But I did consult a few breeders and the vet, and apparently, not only is this behavior normal, but it just means she's getting ready to lay slugs =)
    Thank you guys ^-^

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    N=R* fs fp ne fl fi fc L Pyro's Avatar
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    Has she ever been bred before?

    I do not know who you talked to but the behavior described is not an indicator of laying slugs (and if she was slugging out it would not be a good thing):

    http://www.ballpython.ca/gallery/breeding.html

    On another note,

    Quote Originally Posted by i<3carnivores View Post
    Yes, she has a basking light and one of those amazing beanfarm heat pads. You're actually only seeing less than half of the container, the hot side isn't pictured. Her hide on that side is a smaller rubbermaid container that doubles as a basking platform.
    This sounds like too much heat, which might explain why she is trying to take your hand off... A well temperatured ball is not aggressive at all (with a few notable exceptions, like a female sitting on eggs)

    Quote Originally Posted by i<3carnivores View Post
    Although having said that, her container could stand to be bigger, I reckon. More room is pretty much always better,
    Again, not true of ball pythons. Being burrow-dwellers, balls like cramped quarters. A 32q tub is about all you need for an adult ball, maybe a 41q for the largest females (4kg and above)

    Quote Originally Posted by i<3carnivores View Post
    She actually got mites from a bag of ZooMed CocoFiber bedding,
    Snakes do nto get mites from bedding material, they get them from other animals.
    'My love was science- specifically biology and, more specifically, when placed in a common jar, which of two organisms would devour the other.'

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