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Old 08-28-12, 06:51 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Unhappy sick snake?

I purchased a ball python from Petsmart nearly 2 months ago for my son's birthday. The snake was near 1 month old at the time of purchase. The snake has not eaten. We've tried small fuzzy's, pinky mice, and even crickets. Not even interested. We have the snake in a nice 55 gal. terrarium with all the accessories. Day time temp. 90*; 50% humidity. Now the snake is flopping his head around, rolling upside down and even lying with his head upside down. My son is so afraid the snake is dying. Can anyone help me with some answers and suggestions? We're at critical stage here. Thanks,.... anyone?
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Old 08-28-12, 07:06 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: sick snake?

(Moving this thread to the ball python section)

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Ball pythons do not eat crickets. How often were you offering the rodents? How were you offering them? Offering food any more often than every 7-10 days can stress the snake out and make it less likely to eat.

Can you show us a photo of the snake's setup? If the snake is only a few months old, a 55-gallon is too much space. Ball pythons like to feel safe and secure, in tight corners and small hides, with little open space.

How are you heating the enclosure? Is the heat source hooked up to a thermostat?

The humidity should never be below 55%. 65% or higher would be better. If you have one of those tanks with a mesh/wire top, it might be difficult to keep humidity up. You might want to cover 3/4 of the top with a damp towel or something to trap humidity in better.

Have you been handling him? Ball pythons need at least a week or two to settle in and adjust before you attempt handling or feeding. Moving to a new home is stressful in of itself.

The head flopping around and the body rolling upside down, or lying wit his head upside down are symptoms of much concern. You may want to consider seeing a vet who works with reptiles.

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Old 08-28-12, 07:14 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: sick snake?

Hopefully not IBD.

And no crickets period.

Could be your snake is over heating tremendously when on the heater.
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Old 08-28-12, 07:52 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: sick snake?

I don't want to be rude but who told you ball pythons or any snake for that matter eats crickets? Please tell me it wasn't the petco person
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Old 08-28-12, 07:55 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: sick snake?

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Originally Posted by Slcburm View Post
I don't want to be rude but who told you ball pythons or any snake for that matter eats crickets? Please tell me it wasn't the petco person
Spot on....
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Old 08-28-12, 07:57 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: sick snake?

I would suggest a vet as well.
Usually any type of upside down action, or head flopping, is a sign of something called IBD...Inclusion body disease. A retrovirus that affects the snakes neurologically. There isn't a cure, unfortunately.
And, I have seen it at petsmart stores before, again, unfortunately.

If the snake is already to that point, it may not last long : (
Also, if it is doing that in response to an overheating incident, it will also not last very long, as it's affected it's brain.
Kind of harsh to read, and i'm so sorry!
I fear the IBD more than the overheating.

: ( Let us know what happens.
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Old 08-28-12, 08:02 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: sick snake?

guys I don't think they were told that BP's eat crickets - I believe they panicked and were trying to feed the poor thing whatever they could in an attempt to get it to eat, and weren't sure what it would take. However, i'm not the OP and I may be wrong - just saying, don't jump to conclusions.

Some snakes eat small invertebrates, just not pythons.

I hope you can figure out what is wrong with your little BP, SWlewis, I'm sure it's horrifying to watch him suffer. Best of luck that he gets better! (also sorry that I don't have advice to offer... I'm letting the experts handle this one. )
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Old 08-28-12, 08:04 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: sick snake?

If he has IBD you may need to put him/her down.
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Old 08-28-12, 08:19 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: sick snake?

Yes I'm new at this. It was a gift for my son who just thinks it's the coolest thing. Yes the store told me try cricket. I'm almost positive I haven't overheated it. I bought all this set up,...including a thermostat, and timer, etc. We're all sad over here. Thank y'all.
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Old 08-28-12, 08:28 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: sick snake?

I would put it down

Full cranial destruction with a hammer or a rock.
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Old 08-28-12, 08:39 PM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: sick snake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by SWLewis View Post
Yes I'm new at this. It was a gift for my son who just thinks it's the coolest thing. Yes the store told me try cricket. I'm almost positive I haven't overheated it. I bought all this set up,...including a thermostat, and timer, etc. We're all sad over here. Thank y'all.

I'm sorry to hear this. I told a story earlier today of that happening in my Pet Shop. At this point the best thing you can do is return the snake to Petco while still alive. That behavior is obviously not normal and they cannot argue with what's right in front of their face. Get your money back and purchase from a seasoned breeder.
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Old 08-28-12, 08:47 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: sick snake?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Wildside View Post
I'm sorry to hear this. I told a story earlier today of that happening in my Pet Shop. At this point the best thing you can do is return the snake to Petco while still alive. That behavior is obviously not normal and they cannot argue with what's right in front of their face. Get your money back and purchase from a seasoned breeder.
This is what I would do too. Explain to your son that the snake is really sick, and that he has to go back to the store (or euthanize it). Then, if you're all still committed to keeping a ball python, get one from a seasoned breeder.

The symptoms your snake is displaying do remind everyone that it might be IBD. IBD is fatal and cannot be cured or stopped. Personally, since vets are so expensive and most aren't versed at all in proper reptile care, I would return it to the store, or euthanize it, and buy a healthier snake from a qualified breeder.
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Old 08-28-12, 09:27 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: sick snake?

I would bring the snake back and show pet co. And see if they will bring it to there vet a hurp vet is hard to find and large pet stores have vets they use. However i would never buy an animal like this from a large chane. The animal is shiped all over the us to the stores and by time you get the snake it is already stressed and ball pythons are kinda hard to keep calm in a new home. They are good snakes but sometimes can be picky eaters after you bring him home do not hold him for two weeks let him get use to his new home best of luck hope he gets to a vet!
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Old 08-28-12, 09:53 PM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: sick snake?

Hello well i have had ball puthons for a long time i would for one like to say please bring him to the vet i had a baby ball python do this not long ago and he passed away. You can try to bring him back to pet co the big chanes have vets they use also it is hard to find a herp vet on your own. Now buying a snake from a place like pet co is no good because there snakes come form a single breeder so there shiped all over befor they get to the store so there stressed out then you bring them home and dubble the stress. When you bring a ball python home put him in his tank and do not tuch or try and hold him for a week then try and feed him after he eats put him back in his tank and dont hold him for a day after he eats or he can through up the food. Im sorry to here your little guy is sick best of luck and dont give up loving that little guy ball pythons are awesome snakes and a good starter snake ive seen ball pythons is worse condition pull through if you need anything pleese contact me thesnakeden@aol.com my name is eric thank you very much!
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Old 08-29-12, 07:17 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: sick snake?

Return it to petco and get a full refund, clear out the enclosure and sterilise EVERYTHING before contacting a breeder and getting a new snake. Hope your son is ok with it all
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