Asclepius has just about reached his first birthday (the breeder never did tell me his exact birthday, but he arrived August 25 last year after having had his first couple meals). It’s been an amazing year, watching him grow and his little personality develop. He weighed in this morning at 267 grams.
Last night while I was offering him a frozen rat hopper, I noticed that his face looked odd. As you can see from the photos, it almost appears like his upper lip is caught on teeth of the lower lip, so it doesn’t have the usual duck bill appearance. He struck at the rat multiple times last night without success and was getting visibly agitated. I picked him up and held him for a while as I fed another snake. Once he had calmed down and was no longer hissing, I put him back in his tub and left the rat for him overnight. Returning this morning, I found he had eaten his rat. Due to that, I plan to wait a day or two before probing around in his mouth to see if it might be an abscessed tooth or anything visible.
Does this look dangerous? His tank is kept in with my other snakes, the room stays between 70-75F for the ambient temperature (which I know is a little low) and his under tank heater is controlled by a thermostat which keeps it at 89F. His tub does retain more moisture than a glass aquarium style set up, so I wasn’t sure if perhaps the humidity has gotten too high. I have had balls in the past that have issues with ‘pushing’ or ‘rubbing’, but I wouldn’t think that would affect one side of his mouth, rather than the tip of his nose.
The other four ball pythons in the room, all in their own cages, don’t seem to have any similar issues, which makes me relatively sure it’s nothing contagious. I have seen some respitory infections that have caused swelling before, but I’d love a second opinion on this. Asclepius (Clepi as I call him for short) is far too good of a boy to not ensure he is healthy and happy.
Let me know if there’s any other information I can add.