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My Ball Python Vomited Its Meal....?

Discussion in 'Ball Pythons' started by Beto, Sep 11, 2017.

  1. Beto

    Beto Member

    I am a new snake owner of a small ball python which is maybe 15 inches long. After bringing her home and letting her settle in for a week, I fed her a small mouse and she ate no problem. 10 days later I fed her again,(the mouse was a little bigger then the first one) and again she devoured the mouse really quickly. But 2 days later she vomited the mouse.
    I believe the temps in the tank are what they should be.. The hot side is about 92 degrees, and the cool side is about 79 degrees. I have a water bowl on the cool side and hides on both sides. The humidity is stays between 40-50%.. I've read a bunch of articles and cant seem to find what may have gone wrong! Hoping maybe i can get some help here! Thanks in advance!
     
  2. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    What do you use to measure temps? And how are you getting readings? If the temps are right I would find it surprising that there would be any mouse left to vomit up. Should be mostly liquefied by then.
     
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  3. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Generally there are 3 things that result in a snake regurgitating prey after a couple of days.
    Prey was too big.
    Temperatures are off, usually too low.
    Or something stressed the snake.
    What are you using to measure the temperatures?
    Can you put up a photos of the tank and snake.
     
  4. Beto

    Beto Member

    I have a temp gauge stuck to the glass on each side of the tank, and one in the middle for humidity. I dont think they are the best quality but they seemed to work. I will post some pics shortly..
    I did notice that the snake favored the cool side after she ate, which I thought was odd since I read they need a nice warm spot to help digest their meal. She would move back and fourth but seemed like the cool side better.
    The mouse being to big was one my thoughts, but after she ate it so quickly I didn't think that was it.
     
  5. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    So is it a dial thermostat or the tape stuff that changes color? If it's either one to get an accurate read you need to replace those with digital.
    As soon as you put pics up we should have a better idea of what's going on.
     
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  6. Beto

    Beto Member

    Ok here are some photos.. Its a 10 gallon tank, I have a small heat pad under the tank and a 50w infared light over the top.
    IMG_4184.JPG IMG_4186.JPG IMG_4187.JPG IMG_4188.JPG IMG_4189.JPG
     

    Attached Files:

  7. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    Yeah so your dial thermostat is right under the lamp, not down where the snake is. Needs to be right down ontop of the substrate where the snake would be. And get some digital ones. They're very inexpensive and they are way more accurate. Also try and cover more of that screen if you can, to hold the heat and humidity. Likely it's alot colder down where the snake is.
     
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  8. Beto

    Beto Member

    IMG_4192.JPG IMG_4211.JPG
    This is the mouse she ate and vomited.. Is this mouse too large for this size snake? IMG_4229.PNG
     
  9. Beto

    Beto Member

    Sounds good will do! Soooo I just cleaned out the tank and noticed some tiny little bugs on some fresh feces that was inside the hide. Are these little bugs something to worry about and is there something I should do to treat the snake?
     
  10. AmityReptiles

    AmityReptiles Well Established Member

    Depends on the bugs. Look up "Snake mites", that is the biggest concern.
    That mouse looks alittle on the large side, maybe go a size smaller. Also, if you can switch, you might find you have less issues with fresh killed or frozen thawed. Live can be dangerous for the snake anyway.
     
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  11. Beto

    Beto Member

    Thank you much for your help! I do think the temperature might have been an issue, I moved the gauges like you said and its about 12 degrees cooler then I had thought on each side! I'll be picking up some digital thermometers and a stronger light tomorrow! And I will try a smaller mouse next feeding as i think that also played a role.. Thanks again! Much appreciated!
     
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  12. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Ok, a couple things. First, the size of that mouse was not an issue, that's actually a good size for the size of your snake. Second, I didn't see any mention of how your controlling the heat pad you have under the tank. If you don't have it on a thermostat, you could be running a risk of having your snake get burned. The 2 things you should be getting are the already suggested digital thermometer/hygrometer, and I would also recommend an infrared temp gun. Accurite makes a nice for the price unit that has temperature and humidity in the base, and a probe you can place on the warm side. Sells for 12 or 13 bucks last I knew. The temp guns can be had from eBay, Amazon, and most home improvement stores, and will be a bit more expensive but will give you a much more accurate read of the temperature of your basking area. You can use the probe from the thermometer for that, but the snakes tend to knock them around a lot, so I prefer the temp gun.
    Now back to the heat pad, despite what a lot of pet stores will tell you, they do need to be regulated. Especially where you have a layer of substrate covering it, the pads can build up a lot of heat, and you snake will likely push the substrate aside at some point, and face the possibility of a burn. Also, cover all of the screen except where the light fixture goes through. Your losing a lot of heat and humidity through the top.
     
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  13. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Another thing. The dial gauges are junk and need to be replaced. Also you have them placed up high. Heat rises. Your temps need to be taken down low where the snake is.
    So you have two points which call into question what the temps actually are
     
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  14. Beto

    Beto Member

    I did have that concern about the heat pad, but like you said the pet store where I bought everything said I didnt really need it, and being the pad was so small (its about 4x5) I just assumed it wouldn't be too hot. I did cover the small part of the screen, and will cover the rest today. Will this still provide enough ventilation?
    Thanks for your input! I will be picking up all of the above tonight!
     
  15. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Another thing. Ball pythons are shy snakes. You could do with a bit more cover to make the snake feel more secure.
     
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  16. murrindindi

    murrindindi Elite Member


    Hi, you only need to leave a VERY small gap for air exchange (meaning cover at least 95% of the whole top).
     
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  17. TamJam

    TamJam Elite Member

    After a snake has vomited, he should not be fed again for at least two - three weeks, and when you do feed, feed something small and see how that goes down. If everything is OK with that small meal, wait another two weeks and then feed a normal size mouse. He needs a while after vomiting to build up back his digestive system flora. Vomiting is really not good for them. I have experience with this so I can assure you of it. It can become a habit and be very serious and a lot of problems.
    That mouse looks kind of large to me, (my opinion) and being live, could have hurt your snake.
     
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  18. Beto

    Beto Member

    Yes I did read that somewhere and planned on waiting 2 weeks. I bought a stronger bulb and digital thermometers as I do think the temperature was not warm enough.
    As for the live mouse, yes I have read f/t or f/k are safer and I do plan on switching her over. This was the second time I fed her and I did watch the whole time to make sure the mouse didn't hurt her. It only took about 5 mins from the time I put the mouse in until she was done! Both times she ate I thought were pretty quick, so I was excited she was a good eater! Thanks for tips, I'll make sure to try it that way.
     
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  19. Merlin

    Merlin Administrator Staff Member Premium Member

    Actually you will get enough air exchange just opening the top. I covered mine completely. And with this setup a hole for the heat lamp is necessary.
     
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  20. Darkbird

    Darkbird Elite Member

    Keep in mind too that with the dome on the top, there is a large air exchange area there that really cant be covered anyway, so even with everything else covered there is still plenty of airflow, likely too much
     

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