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MORE SNAKE MYTHS

Pet snake myths:


Ball pythons will just go off fed, it's normal. 

This is a hard one, because in part it's true and part it's false. Breeding males will sometimes stop eating during breeding season, and most females will stop eating once gravid. But this is not always the case. Baby snakes should not go off feeding, and normally it's due to a husbandry or health issue. But at the same time in the wild no snake is easting every 7 days on a schedule. In the wild snakes are opportunistic feeders, this means they eat when they find food, or are hungry. Some snakes would eat every day if you let them, some might need more time to digest a larger meal. If a snake skips a meal or two and your husbandry is correct, the snake is health & not loosing weight don't freak out. Again in the wild they are not eating like clockwork every 7 days. You should only worry if the snake starts to loose weight. Once a snake gets to 500-600 grams change to feeding every 2 weeks, and again if it skips a meal, don't freak out & try again. Ball pythons can get stressed easily so any change (new bedding, new hide box, etc.) might cause them to skip a meal. 


My snake will only eat live, only eat a brown mouse, only eat ____

Again it's a hard one. Somethings like scent can make a difference to a snake. Color on the other hand, would not. Size, scent and temperature are a factor. If you're trying frozen thawed rodents make sure it's getting warm enough. The body temperature of a rat is 102F so you need to measure the temps and be somewhere within that range. Some snakes don't care and will eat anything, but if your snake is refusing frozen thawed it's normally because it's too cold. Some snakes do have a preference in food, things that are closer to what they would eat in the wild. African soft fur rats are an example and the native food to the ball python. 


Common snake myths:

Snake bites are horrible: False

Unless you're working with venomous snakes, most snake bites are mild. The exception to this would be very large snakes, or a few of the arboreal species that have larger teeth. The bite from a dog or cat is much worse than the bite from a snake. Snakes have very small teeth used for gripping prey not tearing, so they only leave small dots behind. They do bleed a lot because snakes have an anticoagulant in their saliva, so some snake bites might appear worse than they really are. Always wash a bite thoroughly, and use an antiseptic if you're prone to infection. Very few people have reactions to nonvenomous snake bites, and if swelling accrues make sure there are no teeth left in the skin. The teeth are small & sometimes break off, this is why you should always wash the bite. 

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