Possible Injury/Infection? Ball Python rescue

This is a recent rescue adoption I picked up, a young Ball python. Very healthy behavior, good energy, so I’m thinking it’s not an illness or infection, possibly an injury from the enclosure it was in or a bad choice in feeder but I’m not sure, any information helps. If I don’t see an improvement in the area in the next week, we’re headed to the local reptile vet.

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Could be a bite, a burn, or some other wound but it could also be a sign of something going on inside it’s mouth. For the here and now I would try to get your hands on some Vetricyn Reptile spray, but you should also see a vet. If issues relating to mouths and teeth don’t get resolved properly in snakes they tend to persist long term.

If you’re comfortable opening it’s mouth carefully with a wooden tongue depressor you can get a look inside and see if there is any mouth rot or other obvious issues.

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I really hope he’s all right :grin:

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It might help to apply neosporin (without pain relief) to the injury daily and I would move the snake to a minimalist enclosure with paper towels to avoid further irritation.

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Extremely good information :arrow_up:

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Thanks! :grin: I still recommend going to a herp vet or at least consulting over the phone.

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Of course, I believe that any time something goes wrong with pets of any kind we should assume a vet trip is needed, even if sometimes vets are unexperienced with a specific species of snake/lizard.

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Ok this is admittedly off-topic, but I had to say: I love you, marry me (@lumpy )? Heh. :wink:

But with regards to your new BP, maybe sharing the circumstances of its rescue (if it is info you can safely share & you are comfortable doing so) could help us put some context to the lesion? For example, do you know if it was it being fed live? From the photo I think I see a lesser, paired lesion on the opposing side of the mandible, which to me, screams a rodent bite to the mouth from live prey while feeding. However, I am not an experienced snake keeper nor a reptile vet, so others will have much more experience informing their impressions.

I agree that it’s probably acceptable (though not totally ideal) to wait 3/4 days to see obvious, positive signs of the wound granulating in. As others have said, put it in a minimal enclosure with paper towel as the substrate. A thin coating of antibacterial ointment (MUST be without pain relief- no lidocaine, prilocaine, benzocaine, or anything like that) should be alright, just so long as there’s no risk of ingestion.

I would make sure this fellow is in strict quarantine, just in case. I’m not aware of any vesicular diseases in snakes or anything, but there might be snake diseases that could produce oral lesions, you never know. Alternatively, if the snake is a rescue & possibly kept in poor conditions, the wound may be colonized with bacteria you don’t want in your main racks.

If it does not start to close up neatly and show major improvement within that 3/4 day time frame, or shows even a tiny sign of worsening, definitely hit up a good herp vet (and make sure to tell them what you have done to treat it at home). Dental abscesses, broken jaws, and things like that respond much more favorably to prompt treatment attempts.

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Thank you for the advice, everyone. It appears to be a healing injury, after looking at it better, but I’ll be setting it up in a minimalist enclosure til I see some improvement, and I’m going to see if I can’t email or call a local herp vet sometime today, just so I cover all my bases. Like I said, he’s acting very healthy and energetic, probably the most lively ball python I have right now, excellent coordination so I don’t think he has any issues with wobble (he’s got Spider and more going on, but we’ll see about his morph and all that in other threads here soon) and he’s in far better care than he was. I don’t keep pythons in plastic tubs with wood chunks, for instance… Egh, just because something is surviving doesn’t mean it’s enjoying being alive. I love getting rescues in because they need it, but can’t help the feeling about what they came from. Unfortunate situations are one thing, but there aren’t really many excuses for poor husbandry these days, in my opinion, if you’re truly serious about keeping, you go above and beyond to educate yourself about the creatures in your care, or you really aren’t that dedicated to your creatures living quality. If anybody else has anything else to assist with on this, it’s much appreciated, and thank you again to those who helped out so far.

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@mblaney Copy ALL that, and especially, thank you. I’ll keep you posted on his condition. I took him on with a large group of normals that were being kept in plastic totes, with snap tops, kind of like what you’d use for under bed storage, you know? The substrate looks like cedar chunks, they have Tupperware water dishes, the Spider/x had no hide… One of them is the largest ball python I’ve ever seen, she’s beautiful, but doesn’t have a water bowl or an adequate hide, or didn’t before she came home with me anyway. The girls I picked them up from had them on OfferUp and it was apparently an emergency situation, someone left her and left all his reptiles too, and they’re moving soon. l only took on the ball pythons but there’s still more they’re trying to figure things out for, I go back next week for the rat/mice racks and hopefully more than what I came home with today as far as python care goes. They couldn’t answer any of the questions I had about feeding, genetics or sex, so I’m going to make the assumption that the injury is a bite wound from an oversized live feeder, and probably a rat, and I imagine after the difference in living conditions I should see quick improvement between the steps I’ve taken and the advice I’ve got as long as infection isn’t a factor.

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U, how about we just be good friends? :joy: @mblaney

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Alright, so! Day eleven update on Cruise, the bite has healed significantly, entirely on one side, and he/she has eaten twice with no problems since coming into my care. I watched both feedings for any signs of wobble/Stargazer’s and the inside of the mouth is clear of any signs of rot or infection, and despite the spider gene and obvious physical trauma, everything appears to be great, this is a super healthy young python! I’d post a picture of the lesion to help with the update but it won’t stay still long enough to get a decent shot. Anyway, once I can, I’ll get some more pictures posted up, and thank you all again for your help.

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That’s great news!

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Okay, here’s the update on the lesion, 13 days later.

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That’s a huge improvement! It’s looking great.

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What a cute baby! Happy to see that he is healing ❤️‍🩹

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