Well, as we well know, things don't always go to plan.
Sometimes things you think are going to be fine go horribly wrong.
Things can get too hot, food can fight back, and the animal can inflict self injuries by rubbing or getting stuck in things.
Here are a few of my babies that have had such things happen.
I adopted a female from a gentleman who had a heatpad malfunction, and her stomach burned up. Her scar went from her midsection to almost to her vent on her underside, and looked like a zipper. I recently rehomed her to a sweet family as a pet, as I never felt comfortable breeding her.
And this female came to me without a story. I can assume that it was a rub or getting stuck in a particular area.
This animal got stuck in between a hole on its water dish that was enclosed and struggled to get out, thus causing an injury to its scales. It was originally white at first, but now is a black spot.
Here is the main culprit of scars in my collection.
Rats, when large enough, can do major damage to your animal. Even if you knock them out cold, they can and will revive themselves eventually, and can chew and bite your snake.
Live rodent feeding has its issues, so make sure to be very careful.
This is one of my more recent injuries. This female didn't want to eat, and the rat decided it wanted to eat her. It can only take an hour or so for injuries like this to occur, which is why I stress vigilance while feeding. This was an unfortunate incidence and it breaks my heart every time I see her, but I wanted to show you what can happen.
And another... This one came from another person, but suffice it to say, it was pretty injured. She lost the tip of her tail as well.
Now, if you have a rat bite or injury on your ball python, what do you do?
- Clean the animal thoroughly with chlorhexidine or another gentle disinfectant.
- Put them immediately on paper towels to prevent any substrate from entering the wounds.
- You can let the wounds heal on its own if they are superficial enough, but if they are deep, put neosporin without any painkillers on the injury site. Make sure it stays clean.
-If the injuries are severe (as in the last photo), please consult your reptile veterinarian.
I want to make a point of saying that if you have any doubts about the care of your animal, please consult a veterinary health care professional. You can kill an animal with kindness.
When your animal is recovering, I would suggest only offering food once every two weeks. If you are still feeding live, you will more than likely not get the animal to take for a month or so. Not only does the snake have physical injuries, some snakes have mental injuries as well, and will not be interested in food for a while.
Once the animal does take a food item, then feed normally.
While it pains me to relive some of these injuries and show off some of these pictures, I hope that it helps you all out in internet land to be careful, feed wisely, and treat your animal accordingly.
Have a fantastic day, my friends.