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Suggestions on ball python substrate/rescued

Discussion in 'Snake Discussion' started by Moondust, May 1, 2011.

  1. Moondust

    Moondust Member

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    Im rescuing a ball python from petsmart where I work. It got bought by a customer and then had a prolapse not even two days after they had it. (He was a skittish guy anyway. Poor guy was so stressed from moving and then they handled him immedaitly and didnt let him get adjusted).

    Anyway, so it was returned I told my manager to put him in some sugar water, put some saline solution on it, and then put some ky jelly on it. What do they do? Put him on dry paper towels for two days (I was out of town when they called me about it) and it ended up getting infected. So, they take it over to our in store vet (big mistake...their not exotic pet vets) They do surgery on him to pop it back in....instead of just removing the hemipenes...its not like he was going for breeding. They give him antibiotics for a week and its been two and a half weeks since then and they decided to adopt him out just in case it happens again.

    And get this, he's about 12 inches long. I gave him a hopper mouse, because the poor guy kept getting pinkies. I know a ball python should never really be fed pinkies, only hatchlings. I also know the 1 1/2 times their diameter rule. In any case, he had the prolapse two days after I gave him the hopper. So, my store manager blames me, saying that I gave him a "too big of mouse and thats why he had the prolapse." Apparantly, she doesnt understand that a prolapse comes when they get stressed out/pissed off and its common in ball pythons and cornsnakes....but no, its because the hopper was too big for this guy, and he got "bloated". And I was like, "Well...that doesnt make any sense. It was no where near 1 1/2 times the diameter of him and on top of that, he surely didnt digect it fast enough to 'strain' and be 'bloated' like your suggesting...". Whatever, people at big commercial chain stores are idiots.

    In any case, I bought reptile bark because it holds in moisture good and poor guy is having a rough time shedding because everyone forgets to mist his cage just a bit to get the humidity up to 50-65 percent. I dont like Aspen, and I think newspaper looks tacky. I tried to research and make sure bark chips were alright, but couldnt find much (might have missed it I was skimming through). So, I just wanted to double check and make sure the reptile bark was 100% okay for them. I love the little guy already and want to make sure thats okay.

    Also, in the future would I be able to use cypress mulch for him since it holds in humidity amazingly? Since my tegu has cypress mulch, It would be easy/cheap substrate. But someone told me no, so I didnt put it in there. However I want a broader spectrum of answers on it.

    Thank you!
  2. Rhetoric

    Rhetoric Moderator Staff Member 5 Year Member 1,000+ Post Club

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    Poor thing! I've seen videos of people using cypress on youtube, they said it really helps with humidity. I had a bp for a little while and it was on the aspen bedding but I wasn't a huge fan of that either. If you want I can try and track down the videos. It should be alright as long as its not housed on pine or cedar.

    Side question, does petsmart only adopt those animals out to employees? I went to ours the other day to get some bedding for my hedgehog and someone who worked there said they had adopted a rat that had gotten into a fight with another and had scaring from his stitches.. I had never heard about people adopting the animals that had previously been sick or injured or whatever so I'm thinking its more of an employee type thing?
  3. Strange_Evil

    Strange_Evil Member

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    I'm no expert but, the best thing to do was actually to afterwards put him on some type of paper substrate,like paper towel,Butchers paper or news paper until he was done recovering from this,and watch him. They must of not have changed the paper towel for this to have happen and left it completely dry,you have to change it daily and keep things moist.

    I doubt the Mouse was the cause of his prolapse,if it we're to big he would have just regurgitated it. And straight out of the egg ball pythons can easily take Hopper mice no problem. Are you sure he does not have parasites? Because two days just does not seem as likely,but hey.

    I use to like repti bark,but not anymore,that stuff splinters badly and gets really hot. I use aspen shavings now. You could go with something like Butchers paper or news paper,until the little guy fully recovered and then Switch over to cypress mulch if you like.

    Who ever told you cypress was bad,is wrong. After aspen that is one of the most recommended substrates to use. So go for it!
  4. Moondust

    Moondust Member

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    Rhetoricx, anyone can adopt the animals that are up for adoption, if you go in ask if they have any animals in the back room that are up for adoption.

    Well its been almost two weeks now since he had the stitches out its pretty much healed. I was thinking the same thing but I was looking at his vent and it looks about 90% healed. I might switch him back to paper towels for a little while.

    I don’t think he has parasites because he’s been eating well in the store for the past three months that we’ve had him. And has never shown any kind of sign of parasites.

    Okay, so I’ll probably eventually put him on cypress mulch then. So much easier since I buy it in bulk for my tegu : ) Thanks strangevil!