Frequently Asked Questions
Disclaimer: These statements are a general overview of care and health. If you have any concerns about the health or care of your animal, please consult an experienced Veterinarian.
What do WC, CH, and CB mean?
WC - Wild Caught. Snakes that were born and caught in the wild before being imported for the pet trade.
CH - Captive Hatched. Snakes hatched from eggs either laid by a female that conceived in the wild, or eggs found in the wild.
CB - Captive Bred. Snakes that were hatched from snakes that bred in captivity.
What does 1.1.0 mean in terms of Reptiles?
1.0 means that the snake is a male. 0.1 means that the snake is a female. If it appears to be 0.0.1, then the snake has been unsexed or the owner does not know the sex of the animal.
Can I keep all my snakes together?
It is not a recommended practice. It is feasible, however. Snakes are not social creatures and it is stressful for them to live together. It is uncommon to find snakes together in the wild other than during the mating season, so to house them together in a habitat is not advised. There is also the possibility of illnesses and parasites being transmitted from one snake to another if they are in close contact. Also, it is not advised to house different species together.
How do I make a snake stop being so aggressive?
Many snakes are afraid of humans and will try their best to scare you away by striking out at you. The best thing you can do is to consistently handle it for short periods of time until it begins to be accustomed to you. Do not make sudden movements, and try not to touch the snake's head and neck as this is particularly vulnerable area. When you put in the time and effort, your snake will be more docile and willing to be out with you.
My Ball Python has not eaten for a month! What should I do?Don't worry too much about it. Ball Pythons are notorious for being picky eaters. If you have changed something up in your husbandry, this usually sets off a bit of a hunger strike. Breeding season (when the temperatures are cool in the Winter and Spring months) also sets off hunger strikes. However, if you are concerned about it, take care to try and feed your animal smaller food items than usual. This tends to stimulate the feeding response. If that doesn't work, make sure your husbandry is in order before attempting anything else. Then try again with a smaller food item. When the animal starts eating again, gradually bring the size of the food item back to normal.
How often does a Ball Python shed?
The time between sheds generally varies anywhere from three weeks to three months. There are many determining factors of shedding frequency, including the age of the snake, food intake and frequency, breeding, and its health. The faster a snake grows, the sooner it will shed. On average, a baby snake may shed every month or two, and a larger adult may shed less frequently. Injuries, illness and severe stress can also cause sheds. Paying attention to shed cycles is important in recording the health of your animal.
There is a crack or dent in my snake's eye. What should I do?
This is called a retained eye cap. Humidity is most likely the culprit. Make sure your snake has fresh water at all times, and the humidity does not dip below 50%. Adding a humid hide may benefit your snake if you simply can't keep the average humidity level at or above 50%. The dent should go away after a shed if the environmental changes have been taken care of.
How do I remove retained eyecaps?
It is not suggested to do this alone if you have never done it before. Always consult a professional first if you are unsure of what to do. First, change your husbandry to allow for higher humidity and the eye cap should shed off in the next shed cycle. If this doesn't work, you can use a piece of scotch tape or tweezers to catch the side of the eye cap and peel it off gently. WARNING: Please make sure that your animal actually has retained eyecaps! The eyecap should come off easily with the tape. If it does not, attempt the husbandry changes again.
I think my snake has a Respiratory Infection. What do I do?
A snake with a respiratory infection may exhibit many different symptoms. You may notice wheezing, whistling, gurgling, or popping noises when it breathes. In more advanced cases you might also see mucous and bubbles coming out of the nose or building up in the mouth, and the snake raising its head frequently with its mouth open. If you think your snake has RI, please take your snake to a veterinarian. Only a veterinarian is qualified to tell you if your snake is actually sick, and can help you with appropriate actions. Respiratory infections, if left untreated, can be fatal.
I think I have mites! What do I do now?
Snake mites are small black, white or reddish dots that you may see crawling around your python's skin. The adults are the size of a small poppyseed. Look for them especially around the eyes, the groove in the snake's skin, heat pits, and around the vent area, where it is warm and damp. If you suspect mites, soak your snake in a shallow bath overnight. Mites cannot swim, and will drown. This will also allow the snake to rehydrate itself.
The best way to get rid of mites is with a commercial product, such as Provent-a-Mite or Reptile Relief. Clean your tank or tub with 10% bleach solution and hot water, and then treat with the product. Read the directions carefully, as misuse can harm or even kill your animal. Get rid of or terminally clean all cage decorations and use newspaper or paper towels as substrate until the mites are gone.