Feeding problem with ball python?

Feeding problem with ball python? Topic: Rough brown paper
July 15, 2019 / By Edwena
Question: I have two of them that are generally good eaters, but recently we took them to the vet because they had pink bellies and they had a blood disease because of stress that we gave them shots for, and before, now aswell after, neither of them will eat no matter what. we tried live, pre-killed, frozen-thawed, and pre-killed with the head partly cut off, and they still wouldn't eat, they haven't eaten for about 3 months, and the vet said don't worry about it, but now they are getting really really skinny. we did force feed, but we can only get fuzzy mice down because adult mice are too big to get down because they struggle too much. does anyone else have any ideas what i could try? we also had the vets tube feed the skinnier one, but it didn't help at all, and she regergitated some of it while she was at the vets office. thanks to anyone that helps me!
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Best Answers: Feeding problem with ball python?

Charlene Charlene | 3 days ago
Ball pythons are known to be problem feeders. Anything, even something small that stresses them can cause a problem, and it sound like they've had it rough. A couple suggestions I have off the top of my head would be to scent the mice/rats with a lizard like an anole; just rub the mice on it. You could try a gerbil or baby chick for scenting, or just give it straight to the pythons if they are big enough for it. Some have had success getting their pythons to eat by rubbing the feeder with used mouse/gerbil bedding. Also, when you use frozen/thawed prey, are you making sure it is totally thawed, with nothing still frozen? And if you're not already, put the prey item in a cup with warm water until it is heated. Ball pythons use their heat pits to find prey, so if the mouse/rat is cold, they may not want to eat it. You can thaw the prey at room temp, or put them straight into the warm water until they are totally thawed, and they are nice and hot. If you have feeding tongs, try to dangle the prey close to them, but make sure not to hit them with it as this will scare them. One last thing you could try. Because it sounds like your ball pythons are extremely stressed try putting them in a dark, quiet room in a rubbermade or sterilite bin with a lid; make sure they can still get fresh air, and leave them alone for an hour or two. I know some who will leave the snake with the prey like this overnight. If you don't have a bin or feel that the snakes will be able to escape, put each in their own brown paper bag with the prey, and leave them overnight. Only do this if you are using prekilled or frozen/thawed. Don't ever leave live prey alone with them. Sometimes by just letting them alone in the dark, they will feel more secure, and therefore more inclined to eat. Oh. one more thing. If you are keeping the pythons together, please seperate them, as they would be stressing eachother, and that would prevent them from eating. I hope they eat for you and Good Luck!
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Charlene Originally Answered: How can I get my ball python to eat??
Congrats!......Ball pythons make great snakes, but what a lot of people don't realize (or mention in care sheets) is that they can be downright finicky eaters. Just stick to a schedule, offer a mouse every 6-8 for a baby or juvenile. Constantly shoving food in its face will stress it out more than it will be benefit from it. It will eat when it's ready. It isn't uncommon for ball pythons to go weeks on end without eating for no apparent explanation. Some breeders "cool" their snakes as an induced brumation period and their pythons can go 3-4 months without eating....and this happens every year. I honestly wouldn't start to worry unless severe anorexia sets in, in which case you should collect a stool sample and take it to a vet. Setup sounds good........nice temps, perfect humidity....just give it time Good Luck!

Ariadne Ariadne
you did good raising the temp of the enclosure now wait 1 week don't handle the snake at all make sure it has a secure hide box and is in a room that is quiet and free from commotion , also try to feed at night in a mostly dark room . If the snake still wont eat try to place the enclosure in a closet or some other place that is very quiet and completely dark then put a pinky mouse in the enclosure and leave it over night if that still doesn't work place the snake and a pinky in a paper bag like you use to pack your lunch in then close the bag and put a small amount of tape to make sure the snake doesn't get out and some small air holes and leave them over night place the bag in the enclosure so that if that snake does get out it isn't getting loose . I have had good luck with these techniques I used to get captive hatched baby ball python in by the hundred and using these ideas i got more then 90% started eating pretty quick .
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Zalmon Zalmon
I really dont know what to say. Force feeding makes them more stressed. You can try feeding them black or dark colored mice because when i had one of my 2 ball pythons it only ate that and never a white mouse/rat. Force feeding is good though for now cause if they are seriously close to dying then i guess its a must. Sorry i cant really help you alot with this kind of stuff. Just keep talking to your vet or go to another vet for a different opinion. Sorry =( Hopefully they get better.
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Sib Sib
Sometimes the shots that they give a snake will actually make them feel worse before they feel better.... I would recommend letting them be snakes can go months without eating...when they get hungry they will eat...they are probably pretty stressed out still.... They also sell these things called pinkie pushers or pinky poppers...its like a huge saringe you put a pinky in it and push down...it pushes the pinky thru a little needle like thing but this can be sometimes dangerous if your not careful... i would just wait be patient..when they feel better they will eat...hope i helped..
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Odran Odran
try feding live food like what they would eat in the wild i dont get this feeding frozen mice its like giving you frozen pizza warmed up to room temperature try live mice i havent had issuses dont see why you would and i agree with the other person let em be an they will eat when ready shots for stress got them stressed?
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Odran Originally Answered: Ball Python Substrate Help?
Yes, aspen is great bedding for ball pythons, and it's used quite often by ball python pet owners. I use it myself. It's great for when they're shedding (the roughness allows them to take off their skin just by rubbing against it), looks great, and keeps the humidity in pretty well. So definitely go ahead and use it for your ball python.

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