My new spider ball python has neurological issues

OK so I got another ball python off of craigslist and the woman said she’s not that bad for a spider but I’ve noticed some out of the ordinary stuff. I’m not sure if it’s just being in a new home or neurological issues that are a lot worse than she said they were. When I have held her she’s been flipping upside down and just noticed that she’s also jerking her head like she’s striking but no food drive, is that something that sometimes happens with spiders? She’s also shaking her head a little bit when she moves around, not that much just barely noticeable but my other ball python doesn’t do that. she also moves slowly and unsurely because I don’t think she realizes where the Glass is and isn’t and that might be normal but I thought I might mention it. She’s only done the head jerking thing a couple of times as far as I’m aware of but that was very bizarre to me.


Sounds like the typical spider wobble to me. Spider gene snakes can still live somewhat normal lives if their needs are accommodated for, but I highly discourage you from pairing her in the future.


All spider ball pythons have the defect commonly referred to as “wobble”. They have difficulty balancing and righting themselves, which sometimes presents as “corkscrewing” or “stargazing”. Some of them show it more than others, but the stress of the transition could have worsened it.


I was never planning on breeding her, and I understand they always have neurological issues but she just seemed worse than the ones I’ve seen online, and since the previous owner said that she wasn’t that bad, I was very startled. I’m wondering if I should put her in a tub set up instead of a terrarium?


I’m hoping you’re right about it being worsened because of the transition.


Unfortunately when you buy from Craigslist you’re dealing with a mixed bag - rehomed pets, offspring from low end breeders, and a way for people to offload animals with issues. Hopefully once she relaxes and settles in it will lessen.

Regardless of the wobble situation, I would strongly reccomend making sure your quarantine protocol is airtight: 3-6 months in a separate room, wash hands after handling, separate feeding tongs, etc


Like @chesterhf said, it’s hard to trust the seller on Craigslist. Your newbie might settle down eventually but the quarantine is a definite must. Right now that’s more important than the wobble issue……

Good luck with her @ilana_the_reptile_girl! :heart:


Ouch… I’ve sold and bought a couple of reptiles on craigslist xD
Although I do agree, you have to do your homework! Facebook too. They can have some shady stuff going on. It’s definitely difficult to find a trustworthy breeder in the mix.

As far as your little one goes… stress of rehoming can definitely cause the wobble to worsen. Although if what you said is how the seller worded it to you, that is a bit of a red flag. We don’t know what the worst wobble they’ve seen is.

I have bred a couple of spiders offspring from my only spider(no noticable wobble) in my collection. It’s been a mixed bag with mostly good results. Out of 6 spiders, only one has heavy symptoms. One had a noticeable head tilt. The others all presented ‘normal’. The head tilt was sold as pet only. The heavy I’m keeping for now to monitor.

Even without the previous red flag, If there was no warning from the seller that symptoms could worsen regardless when rehoming, they didn’t do well by you. Anyone selling any of the wobble morphs should be upfront about that regardless of how knowledgeable the buyer seems to be.

Right now, just let this little one try and figure out ‘safety’. No handling for at least a week or two. Preferably after 2 good meals if you can. You need to know how they behave with the least amount of stress and that will take time. If the previous owner had housed them in a tub, that may be a better option for the moment, but you can try covering the glass with paper for the meantime.
It may help to offer a slightly smaller prey item for the first couple of meals. Offer it at a more ground level height or if they’re a drop feeder even better.

Hopefully some time will get her settled for you.


The previous owner was not a breeder and this was the only ball python she had, she seemed very nice so I think she just didn’t know spiders very well, or she lied. Idk but she came with her tank and all the stuff. oh it’s hard not to hold her because she’s so cute but I’ll try my best! Thank you for all of y’all’s advice, I truly appreciate it.


When she settles down a bit we want pictures! @ilana_the_reptile_girl!:pray::blush:


Hey @armiyana! I didn’t mean anything against you about selling on Craigslist at all! In fact I should reword my post to say that some sellers can’t be trusted on Craigslist! Lol! In fact my dog came from a lady on there. My son saw her add and bought Rudy a couple of weeks later. Of course I have Rudy now but anyhoo she “the seller” was an honest person. (And Rudy doesn’t have a noticeable wobble. Just an annoying bark!). :joy: