Any Tips or Tricks for ultrasounding ball pythons?

Finding good information on ultrasounding ball pythons is few and far between. Yes there many youtube videos of ultrasounding but none of them really tell you what is the best time to ultrasound (day/night) time of the season, what is the best probe or unit to use, is there a good land mark area to start when you are looking for follicle development? I have found that 7.5 mhz linear probe is the most widely used but is there is better one? Ultra sound gel vs ky jelly does one work better than the other? Any helpful tips and tricks would be great!


I can’t speak definitively, but you’d probably be looking at a setup similar to those used for equine extremities. I have no idea how scales affect U/S, but generally you always want ultrasound gel and not KY Jelly. My radiology book is in my car, I’ll go see if I can find anything more specific.


Ok, I managed to get a few specs! Mark Stetter (who apparently works with the animals at Disney World?!) recommends a 7.5-MHz or 10-MHz array transducer with “a small footprint.” As the patient gets bigger, the MHz value needed goes down.)

A footprint is the amount of transducer that is physically in contact with the patient, so different transducers make different footprints. The curve-tipped kinds makes the classic pie-shaped image. A linear one makes a rectangular image.

For a non-giant snake, I’d have thought that a sector would do best, but Stetter indicated a preference for a small, linear transducer. Whenever I’ve used an ultrasound, there has always been at least 2 probes available to compare/contrast, so maybe you could find a good bundle deal?

U/S is one of the diagnostic techniques that has more to do with the skill of the user than with the equipment, much to my chagrin. Ultrasound was a particular weakness of mine, but it is possible to use one for some screening of reproductive status without too much fuss- I saw it done on horses a million times.

Stetter also recommends a digital recording device, so you will be able to consult it at a later date, be able to double-check any measurements, and send/post them to others to get opinions from others. it can be difficult to ultrasound a patient while restraining it at the same time. I’m thinking that a simple shot with a smartphone could do the trick for basic needs, though.

I hope that helps! Let me know if you need more specific info re: follicle ultrasound.


A few friends that have and use ultrasound say linear works the best for ultrasounding ball pythons and most if not all videos i have watched used the linear.

oh yeah i have zero doubt that this true and practice is what works best for getting it down.
Main purpose of this thread was to see if anyone on here had tricks that they have learned along the way to make it some what easier to see folliciles better.

Thanks for your help.


There’s more regarding follicles in my text- let me know if no one here can help, and i’ll add the technical stuff about follicle u/s in snakes that I found. Definitely agree that talking to someone experienced is better than reading from a textbook, generally speaking.