Record keeping probably saved my snakes life.
As some of you know I now have upwards of 20 snakes in my collection at present. I never imagined that it could be this much work or this time consuming. Some days I ask my self if itís not time to back things up a bit. Thatís 17 mouths to feed, 17 cages to clean, 17 sheds to check for eye caps and tail tips. Thatís 17 heat pads and dimmers to check every time I go in the room to make sure the hogs arenít at the Balls temps and vice versa. Thatís 34 water bowls to keep clean and rotated. I donít have to tell you about husbandry itís all we talk about sometimes.
So needless to say even back when I had 1 lone corn I decided to keep track of feedings, sheds and defecations. As the collection grew so did the record sheet, adding columns for weight of the snake and the meals etc. As I was doing my rounds today I noticed that one of my male balls was at the peak of the opaque stage of his she cycle. I checked his records to see when his last shed had occurred. I new he had not eaten since September 29th but had no idea when his last shed was. As I was checking the record sheet I noticed that his last meal was the 29th and the last defecation was the 30th. I had not recorded another one since then. Sure enough a light palpitation revealed that his last meal from the 29th was now sitting inside him and felt like little marbles. It was early October when I started to drop his night time temps to condition him for breeding and to slow his metabolism down to slow his weight loss during his fast because he had quickly lost approximately 30g.
I gave him a nice warm soak and a gentle massage and presto out came the marbles. It actually took some persistence on my part to get these things out. Given the fact that most boids almost always evacuate when they shed I shudder to think what may have happened had he not been able to pass that blockage and he started eating again. Had I not kept such close records I may have been oblivious to what was going on inside my snake. With 17 snakes and a bad memory it is easy to forget who went last.
I guess the moral of my tale is if you have a long list of snake and a short memory keeping detailed records can possibly save a life.