You are here:

Snakes/Follow up to weak Ball Python Question

Advertisement


Question
I'm sorry to ask another question so soon, but your answer  gave me one more question. This is in extension to my prior question about my 5mo old ball python acting weak and you said they act like that before they die. I called my breeder and am going to have him help me feed her today, and called the vet and they said she might just be too cold, so they didn't think I should bring her in...
Is it possible that she will feel better once she eats? I know you can't tell me for sure, it just wasn't clear in your response whether you were saying that she's going to die unless she eats, or she's going to die period, at least try to get her to eat in case that somehow works. It makes sense that she will be strongerif she eats, but I'm not sure about whether or not you meant that it could save her life if she finally does eat. Do you think the drunken like movements are stemmed from weakness due to not eating? I'm not sure my breeder really knows whats wrong, and the vet was very dismissive and neither thought it was a major issue, while you're saying she's going to die.
I'm not saying you're wrong, in fact given the lack of experience with reptiles most vets have and how new my breeder seems to be at this, I trust your prognosis more.
Is it a bad idea to handle her while she's like this? I have upped the temperature of her enclosure to hopefully get it up in the high 80s-90s on the hot side, and I'm going to try to get her to eat today with the help of my breeder.
Besides these things, do you have any guesses as to the cause or source of her weakness? And I know you're not psychic, and can't diagnose her without seeing her, but I just want your best guess as to the best way to get her through this alive. Am I going in the right direction here with the heat and food, or do you think this is completely unrelated and she will just die? She has been doong this since the day I got her two weeks ago.

Answer
Is it possible that she will feel better once she eats?

Indeed it is. However, it is often that snakes stop eating as a first sign of illness. I do not think the breeder can get her to eat. If he does, pay very close attention to his technique.

Do you think the drunken like movements are stemmed from weakness due to not eating?
Possibly, but in my experience, there is a reason why she is not eating and that is what must be addressed first. If the breeder gets her to eat, her chances improve greatly.

I'm not sure my breeder really knows whats wrong, and the vet was very dismissive and neither thought it was a major issue, while you're saying she's going to die.
I have seen this drunken behavior before, it is also often coupled with "stargazing" where they look up at nothing for hours. I hope and pray yours is the first, but I have never seen a snake recover from this behavior.

Is it a bad idea to handle her while she's like this?
I believe it will make little difference either way. She might enjoy your body heat like laying on your chest or belly. The problem with most vets is that they know medicine for snakes is sketchy, there is not enough demand for it. They do not want to treat because often they fail. I have learned to get some lincomycyn for cattle and scale it down to inject into my reptiles should they show signs of illness. I have taken 4 of my snakes to vets and all are now deceased.

Besides these things, do you have any guesses as to the cause or source of her weakness? And I know you're not psychic, and can't diagnose her without seeing her, but I just want your best guess as to the best way to get her through this alive.
I do not, I wish I did. It could be a million things. You need a good exotic vet.

Am I going in the right direction here with the heat and food, or do you think this is completely unrelated and she will just die? She has been doong this since the day I got her two weeks ago.
Ok, unless I missed it, you did not tell me that the snake has been doing this from day 1. You very well could have and I just missed it. If so, I apologize. I answer a lot of questions and could have missed it. Clarify this for me, has the snake ever eaten for you?

Ok, I just went back and found your first question. I would not take that snake back from the breeder if he cannot make her eat. No reputable breeder will even SELL a snake without showing you that it is a feeder.

Snakes

All Answers


Answers by Expert:


Ask Experts

Volunteer


Kevin L. Ogle

Expertise

I can answer almost any question regarding snake husbandry, feeding, general care, handling, etc. I have some experience with geckos and bearded dragons. I cannot answer questions regarding breeding or venomous reptiles.

Experience

I have over 10 years experience in snake husbandry. Currently, I have the following (Children's Python, Brazilian Rainbow Boa, Western Hognose, Olive Python, 2 Macklot's Pythons, D'Albert's Python, 2 Carpet Pythons, 2 Royal (Ball) Pythons, California King, Green Tree Python, Amazon Tree Boa). While I have no formal training in Herpetology, I can help most folks keep their snakes healthy and happy.

Education/Credentials
AAS in Electronic Engineering (Tennessee)
The Logistics Institute (Georgia Tech)

©2016 About.com. All rights reserved.