Ball Python Died Suddenly

So a 2021 female I had died overnight out of nowhere. Her last meal was in December. She was paired up with a male once in January and about 2 weeks ago. Its not husbandry. All snakes are kept in rack systems. Her hot spot is fine.

Any ideas what could of happened?

Is there any chance the male I paired to her could be vulnerable now too?

Any advice would be appreciated.


Is there any chance you can take her in for an necropsy*?


Is this a female you had long term of one you purchased fairly recently? Nothing noticed otherwise? No strange behaviors and her weight has been fine?

I second the idea of a necropsy. It could be something like an impaction either fecal or anal gland. Eggbinding or some other internal issue can be up there too.

While in for the necropsy they should be able to take samples to send out for viral testing as well.


Yeah Im going to take her in next weekend. Besides bowl wrapping there wasnt anything out of the ordinary. I just hope this wasnt something that could have been avoided.


Bowl wrapping usually means discomfort with the snake… If the temps were too high/the snake was too warm and didn’t have a place to cool down (a cool side) then she could have been trying to cool down by wrapping around the water dish where the water would be colder. Just an idea.


I’d suggest having things done sooner, if possible. Necropsies are pretty time sensitive, the longer the period between death and the exam, the more likely there is to be decomp that affects the ability to get results. Also if no one has mentioned it yet, do not freeze the remains unless absolutely necessary as it can affect quality & results.


Not to say that it wouldn’t also be a possibility of uncomfortableness…
Just as an FYI, bowl wrapping is commonly seen in females when they’re building follicles for breeding as well. But this is still something that you definitely need to be aware of the exact temps in the habitat and all as well. =)

This is definitely more time sensitive. As @noodlehaus mentioned, the body should not be frozen only refrigerated. The longer you wait the more decomp will definitely cause issues with the findings.


Oh yes I am aware! I forgot to include that, my apologies! Thank you for adding that in.