Small Ball Python Health advice!

So I bought a albino ball python off of MorphMarket . When I received her I was very surprised to find out that she is only 61 grams. I have now had her two days and she is 59 grams. She has loose skin all the way down her body so I’m not sure she hasn’t been losing for a bit. Should I be concerned with her losing weight that quick? I offered her food but she had no interest. The seller said she had been eating regularly. Just wondering what the best course of action should be for getting her eating and gaining weight! Thank you!


I’m surprised the seller was willing to ship that small. I don’t send mine out until they’re an absolute minimum of 100g.

First recommendation is to not handle her at all. Try to replicate her environment with the seller as close as possible - similar temps & humidity and the same substrate, if possible. Just leave her be until she does start eating.

Also try to match what the seller was feeding - if live, feed live. If rats vs mice, feed rats. And I wouldn’t offer more than about every 5 days, as offering too often will just cause her more stress and make her less likely to eat.

If you get a few weeks down the road and she still doesn’t want to eat, you could try an electrolyte soak. When I get older balls in, I do one automatically as soon as they come in after shipping. It is a great way to rehydrate them and can also jumpstart their appetite. I wouldn’t recommend doing this right away, but if you’re still having issues in a few weeks, you could give it a try.

And in the future, my recommendation is always to wait at least a week before offering food to a new animal. Some will eat right away, but some really need that time to settle.


It’s perfectly fine to wait that long? I was nervous she was going to starve to death due to being so young

It really isn’t that small, yes it is a baby but it could have hatched out at 40g or less. Could have had several meals before being shipped out to you. With it being a baby it is probably just a little stressed, new surroundings, smells ect. My advice other then what was already given, is to not handle it at all, make sure it is in a secure cage with plenty of cover or hides so it doesn’t feel exposed. Also a quite area of the house, not a high human or other pet traffic area. After you know what it is eating on, wait 5-7 days and feed, preferably at night, just to reduce any other stimulation. If it doesn’t feed, wait a week and try again.


Also, it was on live mice pinkies, which I don’t have access to where I live. So not sure what to try to feed it next week

Definetly keep her in a quiet room. Away from all your other (new?) reptiles. It looks like you may have had a few of those lately from other topics?

The advice already given is what I would do as well. I’m currently working on a hatchling who at almost two months of age and 3 meals is still only 33 grams…so this could have been a similarly small hatchling. She looks pretty good tho in the image you posted. She looks to have a nice neckline and not the overly thin neck you would see in one with eating troubles and weight loss. I always like to give my new arrivals a short warm soak when they arrive in case of dehydration from shipping before leaving them alone for the few days after.

You can try a frozen thaw pinky in a week if you can’t get live. Hopefully she’ll be hungry enough to take it after a bit. The problem with trying food immediately like you have is that it can just cause more stress and make them want to eat even less. It is easiest to make sure you have what food she was already eating available though for the best transitions and food response.
She’s exciting and new and small… but she doesn’t know you or any of the new smells. She needs time.


The animal looks perfectly healthy. I would suggest giving it a nice big water bowl and set the animal next to it (likely a little dehydrated from shipping)

The rest of the advice here is pretty solid - let it rest and settle in with minimal disruption and it will likely be just fine

Go with a live hopper mouse. Or even a rat pink/fuzzy. Trust me, they can handle prey that size


I agree with Travis on the size. Mice pinkies are tiny - even my smallest fresh-hatched babies have easily taken large fuzzies or small hoppers. At that size, a live hopper will do you well.


Update on this girl. Observing her in her tub she occasionally lays on her back and follows the edge of the tub until she goes upside down with her head and ends up falling. Are these signs of neurological issues or bigger concerns?

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Based on what you are describing, it just sounds like an uncoordinated hatchling that is exploring. Neuro is a whole other form of behavious

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Thank you!

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You mentioned lose skin. Could it be in shed? It can be hard to tell on Albinos. I agree with giving it more time to settle in. A couple grams difference in weight is if no concern. They can lose that expelling urine/urates, and will certainly drop more than that with a defecation.
A mouse pinky is definitely too small. Go with a hopper at minimum.

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I thought about shed, the loose skin is around the tail and lower stomach. Oh haven’t seen any discoloring of the eyes or the creases they get right below the head… but definitely possible