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Old 06-19-16, 04:40 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Cuddles the Woma Python

Yeah. I actually named the snake that.

Anyway...

She was hatched May 12th.
She just ate a frozen/thawed pinkie. I just dropped it in front of her and she looked and decided to start on it.
I will say that the pinkie was pretty small. The pet shop I was talking to was thinking I might need a "tweener", between pinkie and fuzzy.

However, she is doing something weird right now; she is rubbing her face into the ground, but avoiding all her hides in doing so. I am actually worried about her eyes. I attached a photo of her in action.
Note: She just started this a minute after swallowing the pinkie. She was not doing this earlier when exploring. Still tongue flicking.

Any thoughts?
She can't possibly be in shed right now, can she? She is not looking blue at all.
Or am I just upset my snake is acting like a snake?

PS: I do not have a photogenic picture yet. I will provide one in the future.

Edit:
She is playing with the water...
There was a splash...
Then she went back to the rubbing...
Attached Images
File Type: jpg 20160619_173434.jpg (21.4 KB, 257 views)

Last edited by REM955; 06-19-16 at 04:59 PM.. Reason: More actions.
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Old 06-19-16, 07:53 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Cuddles the Woma Python

Well, they're a burrowing species... perhaps she wants to go "underground"? Maybe some shredded newspaper?
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Old 06-19-16, 11:00 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Cuddles the Woma Python

My woma sometimes rubs her face after eating, particularly if it was a stretch to get her mouth around the prey item. It concerned me at first but now I've come to accept it as normal for her. She always stops after a while.

Another, less benign reason could be mites. Mite infestations cause itching, which would result in your woma rubbing / scratching. They will also dunk themselves in their water dishes in an attempt to drown the mites.

However, since your woma just started this behavior immediately after eating, I'm guessing it's not mites.
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Old 06-20-16, 05:58 AM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Cuddles the Woma Python

I did check for mites and saw nothing. This was a visual check for moving black dots.

I do have some aspen chips that I was going to use next time after cleaning. She was on newspaper before so I didn't want to change on her. That, and ages already done a lap under it so age can get under there if she wants.
I will use either those chips or shredded paper when I get home and also stuff the hides.

Note: when I gave the breeder the update that she ate, he mentioned that was her first meal. That doesn't sound right to me.
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Old 06-20-16, 09:12 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Cuddles the Woma Python

Quote:
Originally Posted by REM955 View Post
Note: when I gave the breeder the update that she ate, he mentioned that was her first meal. That doesn't sound right to me.
A reputable breeder won't sell an animal until it has eaten at least 3 or 4 times. Selling you an animal that's never eaten before in the hope that it will is bad business.

That said, if you're sure she's free of mites, she looks pretty good from what I can see in the photo. I thought the face rubbing after a meal was a quirk unique to Ophelia but maybe it's a woma thing. Since my practical experience with womas is limited to a sample size of one, maybe those with more will chime in.

FWIW I have my woma on aspen bedding. It works well and I like it, but curiously enough I rarely see her burrow in it. My corn snakes burrow more than she does. She prefers instead to camp out in her hides with just enough of her head poking out that she can see without being seen (or so she seems to think). IIRC womas in the wild are inclined to hijack burrows that other animals have already made rather than digging their own.
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Old 06-20-16, 01:22 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Cuddles the Woma Python

In parallel with your hijack comment, I was thinking about placing the hides down on news paper them pouring in the substrate. This way the entrance will be a bit smaller. Might be a bit more secure for her.
We'll see.
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Old 06-20-16, 01:40 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Cuddles the Woma Python

As to the potential of mites, when I get her out she'll go through a damp paper towel and into a ziploc bag to look at later. Just in case.

Any other diagnostics to run on her, related or not to the rubbing, are welcome.
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Old 06-20-16, 07:55 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Cuddles the Woma Python

Got some gloves. She still isn't fond of me yet.
Put her in her temp holding box.
Put down an inch worth of aspen chips.
Replaced the water.
Lowered her onto her big hide.
She stood there frozen, not sure what to make of the aspen.
30 seconds later, got on top of the thermometer on the wall.
Now has made a lap re-exploring everything as it is all covered except for the tops of the hides. And some packing in the hides.

Normal, right?

Rubbing Theory: Maybe we stink. I do not know about you, SerpentineDream, but I handled this pinkie a lot to make sure it was thawed out. Maybe she is getting whatever oils/ sweat off of her face.
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Old 06-20-16, 08:48 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Cuddles the Woma Python

Three reasons she's doing laps come to mind 1) Curiosity 2) Looking for a comfortable temperature and 3) Still hungry and looking for more food. Give her a while to explore. If she's had ample opportunity to check everything out, her temps are correct and she is still relentlessly cruising her cage, she's hoping to find more pinkies. Womas have big appetites. I had to switch my juvenile from small adult mice to fuzzy rats (same size but more nutritionally dense) and feed her twice weekly instead of once weekly to keep her from trying to eat ME and every once in a while she still tries to swallow my hand. I call her my Hungry Hungry Hippo, or alternately The Black Hole.

I don't touch her rodents at all with bare hands if I can help it. I wear gloves and use tongs to feed her. The less she associates the smell of my skin with that of food the better.
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Old 06-21-16, 05:21 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Cuddles the Woma Python

Touching her food I admit was a big mistake. Next time I will just be more liberal with the defrost time.

I am thinking it is the hunger as I was setting some of those infamous head bobs...
She still is only a month old. I was just going to give her two pinks and hope it makes a bulge, but maybe I need to look upwards sooner than I thought.

As for temperature, she has a range of a bit over 90 to 79 ish on the far end.

However, I did check on her this morning and she is nestled inside the big hide stuffed with aspen. It also appears she tired some of the other hides on the cooler end, knocking some of the chips out of the way.
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Old 06-21-16, 08:13 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Cuddles the Woma Python

The face rubbing is normal. Getting her jaw back in place and/or trying to burrow.

All new snakes eat a few times in a row while settling in before being bothered. It's whole world just changed so of course she won't be settled yet. Do your best to leave her be aside from necessary water changes and feeding attempts until then. That one is more than large enough for fuzzies. Switching to loose substrate so early (paper for new acquisitions for the first month at least is usually the best way to go) and adding another new change on top of everything else going on was a mistake in my opinion, but womas are pretty forgiving of little things like that and she should do just fine.

Last edited by Andy_G; 06-21-16 at 08:19 AM..
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Old 06-21-16, 09:23 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Cuddles the Woma Python

Ok. I will pick up a pack of fuzzies and see how they compare to the pinkies.
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Old 06-21-16, 07:49 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Cuddles the Woma Python

A bit of an update: I did buy a couple fuzzies. I was feeling shape in the bag and it didn't seem small enough for her. On cue, she yawns... Ok.
Come Sunday, I will thaw one out and see how she handles it.

I am not home most of the day, but it seems once the light in her cage goes out she goes into exploring mode.

She is still rubbing. Still the same sort of angle as above, and she does this down the entire length of her body, nose to tail. Almost like she is that bored she has to bank her turns. Could it be possible she has a loose jaw if trying to push it in? I know she has at least once found her way under the substrate a little bit. Not bothered by the aspen chips anymore.

The big hide is pretty stuffed. It seems to be her to go spot.
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Old 06-21-16, 08:07 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Cuddles the Woma Python

No her jaw isn't loose. She's still getting used to her surroundings and it'll take a couple weeks until she settles in and shows normal behaviour. In the meanwhile she will push and nudge and scrape along the cage perimeter. All the more reason to let her be. Also, these guys hatch out big enough for fuzzies so unless the ones you got are abnormally large I am sure she will handle them just fine.
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Old 06-21-16, 08:15 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Cuddles the Woma Python

Thank you for your input.
This is much different than the "armchair experience" I had this past year and so.
I suppose I'll come back with a report on the fuzzies come Sunday and the vet a week after. Ideally, she will down them without any input of my own and nothing will unusual will happen.
(sigh)
She still scares me.
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