Reptiles/2 ball pythons


Hi, i have 2 ball pythons of 5 months old, one has a scab like circle on his head which I thought may be a thermal burn as he goes on top of the light guard sometimes.  I have tried changing the temp, substrate and humidity and washing with saline and it looks to be getting better but I'm still quite worried.
My other ball python i noticed had blood coming from inside the vent straight after a shed and now i am even more worried. Is there anything I can do?:(

Well, first, a heat lamp is generally a poor way to provide heat for ball pythons (and the light should not be inside the enclosure).  Heat mats or heat cords are best (controlled by a thermostat, of course).

Ball pythons should be housed separately, and require 80F air temps, 90F basking, and 60% humidity.

A small trace of blood from the vent after a shed is no cause for concern - the delicate tissue there is sometimes damaged when the old skin pulls away.  If it's more than a trace, then a trip to the vet would be in order (checking for parasites would be recommended).

I can't give much advice about the burn, as I would need a photo.  Keep a close eye for signs of infection.  An antibiotic ointment that does NOT contain painkiller can be used, but keep it away from eyes and mouth, and be aware that it might cause scales to slough.  If you see any sign of infection or it doesn't seem to be healing well, take him to the vet.


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Donna Fernstrom


My particular focus is on snakes and lizards, but I have a decent smattering of knowledge of turtles and crocodilians as well, plus the experience to get relevant information quickly if I don't have it on hand in my brain. I can answer questions on captive care, diet, breeding, incubation of eggs, starting hatchlings, and more. I am particularly experienced with ball pythons, Lygodactylus geckos and other small lizards with similar care requirements, leopard geckos, and garter snakes.


I am a professional breeder of ball python morphs, Lygodactylus (dwarf) geckos, and mourning geckos. I have begun working with Irian Jaya carpet pythons, and plan to expand to include more gecko species in the future. I also have a background breeding leopard geckos, and have kept several other species of small lizards, snakes, and a water turtle.

Nebraska Herpetological Society (

I have many care sheets published on my own website.

High School Graduate. Extensively self-taught due to high interest in wildlife and reptile care.

Awards and Honors
Fauna Classifieds board of inquiry Good Guy Certification

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