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Old 08-31-03, 02:52 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Relieving constipation

I am wrorried because my bp hasn't pooped in 3 weeks, and in that time she has eaten 4 pinkie rats. She also seems harder in the lower half of her body, so I assume she in constipated. How can I help relieve her discomfort? A massage, or a warm bath?

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Old 08-31-03, 02:56 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Soaking a snake in warm water is like ex-lax for them. Try it in the tub with water around 90. As a rule normally you get one dump every shed or every 3-4 meals. Lack of exercise and temps that are too low can cause it.
Good luck,
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Old 08-31-03, 08:16 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Most of my snakes will poop after one meal, maybe two, but for the most part they definitely poop more than once a shed cycle. 3 weeks is nothin'! I had a ball eat 9 mice and then not poop for 12 weeks or so. Wait it out. He'll go when he's good and ready to go. Don't sweat the small stuff.
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Old 08-31-03, 09:07 PM   #4 (permalink)
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My bps take a long time between poops. My male just went a good 4 months before giving me a nice huge dump! lol

I wouldn't worry if I didn't feel anything hard at the lower part of it's body. If so, like Trevor said, a warm bath will do the trick.

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Old 08-31-03, 09:21 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Leave him alone and he will poop when he is ready.

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Old 09-01-03, 02:44 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Corey's right you guys... P Regius don't get constipated, and the same applies for most snakes..
I've seen reproductive Regius consume over 100 rodents in 2 months, then ovulate and go on to lay 2 lbs of eggs.... And zero defecation, occured through the entire 2 to 4 month period despite the high food intake.
These snakes have highly efficient digestive systems and slow metabolisms...same for bloods
Relax and enjoy the fact they dont crap like kingsnakes.
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Old 09-01-03, 07:18 AM   #7 (permalink)
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In my eperince they do in fact get constipated. I've had one BP get constipated and I bought one that was. I also had to soak a constipated ETB once. I have pics of the whole soaking process, not pretty but I felt it was important to document it. When the pics were in my gallery they were looked at the most. You know it's constipation when the fist stool that comes out is dry and gray and hard as a rock.
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Old 09-01-03, 08:36 AM   #8 (permalink)
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My bp is only 4 months old. Is it still normal for her to only poop once every few months? She eats one or two rat pinks every week, depending on whether she wants the second one or not.

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Old 09-01-03, 09:20 AM   #9 (permalink)
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In all of the snakes I've ever kept I've never had a constipated snakes. In fact don't believe pythons or boas can get constipated. They can get inpacted if they eat something to block their digestive system but then again that is the keepers fault not the snakes (and usually that kills them if they get impacted). In the 600 pythons I've produced, 100 boas I've kept and 300 pythons I currently have in my collection I've not had one constipated snakes since I've been keeping them since 1994.

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Old 09-01-03, 09:30 AM   #10 (permalink)
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I must say I have been a big worry wart over Eight my BP sometimes because she seriously only goes to the bathroom like every three months. I thought it was heat, not enough water and blah blah but in reality that's just her schedual. The hot spot is hot, she eats her food like a mad woman, and just goes to the bathroom hardly ever! hehehe It was especially weird for me and worrysome because I am used to colubrids who metabolisim is far faster and they crap like CRAZY. So it is hard to stop worrying but Corey is right IMHO. They just go on their own when they are good and ready. Eight will get hard as a ROCK and "bloated" so bad it look painful sometimes LOL....but then she always goes just fine eventually.

Let's all be thankful they aren't colubrids. That's one of my reasons my BP is one of my favs! Less to clean! hahaha

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Old 09-01-03, 09:30 AM   #11 (permalink)
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What if Corey a snake is fed and then kept too cold? If they don't have the right temps to digest their food couldn't take cause consitpation? In ETBs there are reported cases of constipation caused by lack of exercise. Stan Chiras menthions it in his article on ETB husbandry. Maybe you've just been very furtunate? Having hundreds of snakes that have never had mouth rot doesn't mean it doesn't exist.
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Old 09-01-03, 11:10 AM   #12 (permalink)
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I've helped with surgical corrections of fecal impactions in ball pythons and other boids, so they do get constipated. Most of these guys came from homes with terrible husbandry, though, where they had too low temps and humidity and couldn't possibly digest their food properly.

If you're worried, a warm soak and a careful check of temps and humidity with a quality digital thermometer/hygrometer should be done, but don't worry too much if you know your husbandy is okay.
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Old 09-01-03, 02:37 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Trevor,

I cool my ball pythons from Oct 1st to April 1st each year. The way I cool them is by shutting off their 92F hot spot so they drop down to room temperature for 12 hours a day. In the coldest part of the winter I leave my breeder room door open and the room drops anywhere from 67F-73F depending on how cold it gets outside. I feed all of my balls year round if they will eat it. So, on a weekly basis I have all of my adult balls eating during the cooling period and they are droping down to 67-73F for 12 hours a day. This slightly slows down their metabolism, however, they still digest their meals enough to still remain on their weekly feeding schedule. In fact, last year I had a fuse in one of my Helix Basic systems blow inone of my breeder racks. The rack was probably without power for 3 weeks which means the snakes were sitting at 68-73F 24 hours a day for atleast 21 days. They were all still eating at this time and the only side affect of this was one snake pooping out a rat tail that was undigested (the rest of the body of the rat was totally gone).

The only way I can see a snake getting constipated is by such a severe case of dehydration it drys out the "poop" enough to stick to the lining of the vent. However, if a snake gets dehydrated to that extent their will probably be permanent damage to the liver and kidneys which will end up killing them in the long run. So, at any rate the snake is doomed in the end. A good example of this is with CH Green trees who get dehydrated while in Indo and then once they are in the end consumers hands they are rehydrated and do well for a year or so and then drop dead. This has happend to CH ball pythons.

With that said Green Tree's and Emerald Tree boas are NOT ball pythons. They are two totally different snakes with totally different requirements. Arboreal snakes (mainly Emeralds and Green Trees) are more succeptable to getting constipated. I have grown up Burmese pythons to 10 feet, 30lbs by their first birthday. To do that you have to feed them a large meal every 3 days.......with not one constipation. I also keep blood pythons which are notorious for not pooping.....you can even move the poop inside of them. However, they will poop when they are ready. If you ask around I would be extremely surprised if you found a large breeder who experienced a constipated snake. I'd be even more surprised if a trapper was able to find a constipated snake in the wild. I'm sure if any are found they weren't found like that in the wild.....they were actually caused by sitting in the exporters facility for weeks on end with no water.

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Old 09-01-03, 02:42 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Trevor,

Also, I've had my fair share of problems......I think I've experienced more things than the average keeper due to the higher than average number of reptiles that I've kept. Most were cuased by buying WC animals. Mouth rot, skin infections, tail infections, respiratory problems, retained eggs/slugs, blisters, burns, cuts, broken ribs. It also hurts when you lose thousands of $$ in reptiles due to mechanical failures or buying misrepresent animals.

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Old 09-01-03, 04:25 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Corey,

Quote:
In fact don't believe pythons or boas can get constipated.
That's why I brought up ETBs. Yes they are not ball pythons but they are boas. We may have to agree to disagree, but I have deffinately gained some new insight into the topic. Two points though. eyespy has helped unplug a blocked or constipated ball python. Does that not prove that it is in fact possible, all be it rare, possible just the same. And how long would you let a ball python go with out defficating before you would begin to be concerned? With the collection being as large as it is I doubt you have the time to record deffications, you may also not feel the need to do so either. Having a much smaller collection I record the deffications of all my boids so that should I perceive a snake to have gone a long time with out defficating I can know exactly how long its actually been. Since I do track it, I may now have a better idea of how long to wait should I ever susbect a snake if being constipated again.
Cheers,
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