Oh boy. From the look and sound of it she should probably be taken to a reptile specialist vet. If the snake lays an egg and the rest don’t come within 72 hours, standard procedure is then to palpate the eggs out (not good to do if you don’t know what you are doing so a vet is usually best suited to do it). At this point with the eggs seemingly going bad inside her, then a vet is your best bet. She could easily get sepsis and die from this. That is my knowledge at least, I will let Deb give her view though. @stewart_reptiles Take it away Deb. ヽ( o_o)ノ
Typically if eggs do not pass withing 72 hours you want to take your female to a vet, why? Because this means the female is egg bound, it can be for several reasons, next egg beeing to big and needing to be aspired, eggs stuck to the uterus lining (which requires surgery) etc
The longer the eggs remain inside the greater the risk for your female, based on the look, this egg had already started to decay before being laid which means the others are likely at the same stage which means possible infection and a chance for your animal to go septic.
When you breed/care about animals you need to learn to have a sense of emergency when certain situations arise
This is also why you don’t breed animals unless you know as much information as possible and know everything (or almost everything) that can go wrong and how to address it.
Just to be fair, and before we scare away or new poster by being to harsh, she did say that these snakes were basically dumped on her with little notice and she did not set out to breed them, only took over when the original owner no longer wanted the responsibility. She also seems to be honestly looking to improve their husbandry situation. I know everyone on here means well and tries to put out the best advice but that last post seemed a little judgemental for the situation. Good advice can sometimes go unheeded if it is not presented in the right tone.
My post was more directed towards their brother, since he doesn’t sound like he thinks about the wellness of his animals all that much from what I have gathered (or even fully knows how to care for them). That said, I don’t sugar coat serious matters by trying to make people feel better. This is a matter of life or death for that animal and others, and I don’t want it to come off as something that should be taken lightheartedly. My previous statement still stands as being true for any animal being bred.
I agree that that statement should be directed at her brother. anyone who would “toss the clutch” of eggs just because they were not an interesting pairing should not be breeding. and it sounds like this is not the first project he has abandoned so he probably should not have reptiles at all. And I do not believe in sugar coating things either. Just in directing the comments where they are deserved This person took over the project and, when it wasn’t going well did the responsible thing and reached out for help. My post was not meant to offend, hopefully just some constructive criticism. The message was correct, I just think, in this case, the delivery could have been tweaked a little.
As valid as what is being said is, before we skydive off topic and it becomes a debate around OPs brother, let’s get back to helping where we can
I would definitely second what @ashleyraeanne said and have a visit to a vet, that works with reptiles, not cats and dogs. ASAP.
@eddie_the_yeti made a good suggestion on acquiring tanks for free/really cheap that if funds are low could become extremely useful.
Here is a video on how to make a BP enclosed on a budget (this is part of a series, give them all a watch)
Also if you have a IKEA local to you then you have pretty much everything you need to make a temporary snake rack structure right there. It won’t last forever but it will until you can get a purpose built rack.
All you will need is heat tape and thermostats.
Though again as Ashley mentioned, they don’t come cheaply for decent quality ones.
Also please ask any and every question you have, we just want you and your snakes to be happy and healthy
Thank you everyone. Don’t worry, I know you all just want to make sure that snakes are given the right care and treatment, and are passionate about our scaled friends. I have often had heated arguments with my brother about his waning interest in his snake collection and asked him if it isn’t time to rehome them as he does not seem to have the time or inclination to take care of them further. At one point an infection disease went through his whole snake room and killed at least 8 different snakes, of varying breeds. I begged him to take at least one snake into the vet to find out how to stop the spread and death, but he refused. It broke my heart to hear how many of his truly special snakes passed away.
While these snakes are with me, I want to give them the best possible care I can, within my abilities. I’m going to call around to some vets today and see what might be possible to help her out. I’ll also see about setting up some temporary cages for the BPs until I can procure some nicer cages. Funds are tight, but not so bad that I can’t make sure these guys are given what they need. Thank so much to everyone for chiming in and giving such great advice!
So I spoke with my brother and we came to an agreement that if I would pay to take Ka’a into the vet and the vet said that she was egg bound and needed medical care, then and ONLY THEN would he be willing to LET me find a reptile rescue in the area that can take her to give her the medical attention she needs. I posted about it a couple places and my friends were amazingly giving, helping me reach the goal I needed to hit to be able to take her into the vet (if I hadn’t just been laid off, I’d have happily taken her in on my own dime).
The vet did a visual examination and confirmed that the egg I brought in was diseased and quite likely there was an infection. However, without blood work or x-rays, we couldn’t say definitively if she will need surgery or just intervention to help her get rid of the eggs. But, that was enough for my brother to agree to let her go.
So now I’m on the hunt to find a reptile rescue here in the Seattle area who can take her in and give her the medical attention she needs. I hate to abandon an animal, but with my brother stubbornly refusing to provide medical care, this seems like the best course of action for Ka’a. I’ve emailed Snake Haus and will be trying to reach out to other rescues to see who can take her in.
On the housing front, I had enough spare cash to at least set up one additional cage, so I can get the three snakes down to two in the glass aquarium and one in the new tub I’ve set up. For being an extreme budget build, I think it turned out pretty nice. I made sure to drill air holes on the sides and the top has snaps that lock it into place. I’ve got all the supplies except for an undertank heater to set up another one, so I’m gonna check online and see if I can get one cheaper than what I had to pay at the local pet store.
Thanks again everyone for all your advice and concern!
Perhaps you skimmed over the post. I only took over her roughly two weeks ago because my brother wasn’t planning on incubating her eggs. My brother is the owner and will not pay for her care. I JUST got let go from my job last month, so a much as I feel obligated to help her, rent and my own animals have to come first right now.
I am doing what I can to fix a fubar situation.
Also, making a conscious decision that you are incapable of providing the care an animal needs and finding a rescue or organisation who can provide that is not the same as abandoning an animal. I firmly believe in taking care of animals as part of the family. My brother is expecting his ball pythons back, it took quite a deal of argument to get him to agree to at least giving her to a rescue who can save her life.
Respectfully, lashing out at good Samaritans doesn’t help matters. But that’s just my two cents.
The female likely won’t make it if you don’t get her immediate vet care. She already has an infection given the way that egg looks, and the eggs are decomposing inside her at this point so waiting to find a rescue (unlikely given the care would cost them a ton) will lead to her painful death. Also, if your brother is as neglectful as you say, not reporting it to authorities is honestly just wrong. I don’t care if they are family or not, all neglectful hoarders (that is what your brother is since he just collects them and lets them die and doesn’t give proper care) deserve to be reported and to get their animals taken away.
For what it is worth, I think you have done a good job so far of trying to unFUBAR the situation. Having run a rescue for many years it is always unpleasant but sometimes an animal can’t be saved. That is why my kids stopped naming them the day they came in and waited until they were relatively sure they would make it first. However, I do have to say that there is no way in hell I would give those snakes back to your brother. One ending up dead because of his neglect is bad, more would be worse. If it was anyone in my family I would keep the snakes I already had, confiscate any others he had and kick his ass if he even thought about getting another one. I know that can be hard but we would all be here for moral support at least and if he is anywhere near Colorado Springs I could show up for physical support as well. I do understand the financial difficulty too and that this was not your idea or calculated into your budget, no judgement from me if you just can’t afford the best fix. But I would bet that there are people out there, even if they are not a registered rescue that would take in a snake or two. And If your brother does not agree, there are legal ways to compel him to. Sorry you are in such a difficult position, hang in there and work through it, you will feel good about yourself when it is over!
Some good news!
I contacted multiple reptile rescues in the area, and unfortunately many have been hit hard by COVID or were simply at max capacity. But when I reached out to the Seattle Animal Shelter, they told me that they do take reptiles and they would be able to provide the necessary medical care for Ka’a! Even more amazing though is that they have a program they’re doing right now to help families keep their animals by paying for the medical needs and then giving the animals back to the families, as adoption rates are skewed with COVID. They need to talk to a supervisor tomorrow to see if I could be accepted into that program, but if that works out, they would be able to save her life and then she would come back to live with me!
I don’t mind admitting that I just about cried over the phone when they told me that. I have spent my entire life trying to help sick and injured animals, to the best of my ability, and having Ka’a in this situation pains me.
They did stipulate that if they were to release her back to me, she COULD NOT be given back to my brother, as he has not provided medical care and is not intending to do so in the future; which I’m fully on board with. I figure that as he was willing to let me give her up for adoption, me keeping her if the Seattle Animal Shelter relinquishes her back to me would be more than fair.
Hopefully I’ll hear from them early tomorrow which way things will go, but either way, they will be taking her in for treatment on Tuesday!
I fully agree with you. I’ve tried to push my brother towards giving up his snakes as it seems clear that he does not have the time or the inclination to care for them that he once did. As his younger sibling, that often falls on deaf ears.
As far as these ball pythons go, I may very well just end up keeping them if I can. I’ve got my two indoor cats and my sulcata tortoise in my home, so there’s plenty of room for the BPs to have a loving environment here.
I will warn you now, given her current state, there isn’t a 100% chance she will make it. The odds are actually stacked against her.
It’s a good reminder.
This whole situation has reminded me the importance of having local community and giving to charities/rescues/etc. Having the resources to help out in emergencies could potentially save her life. I’ve given to some of the local shelters before and volunteered with the local humane society, but this puts it all in a new perspective.
A truly humbling experience.
Cohabitating is NEVER recommended for ball pythons especially in such a small place. If your brother has better housing or you can separate into tubs my suggestion would be that. They are solitary and are probably extremely stressed from these environments not to mention the cat probably terrifying them as well. I’m sure other people have touched on these but these are immediate fixes.
I have a video posted to yt on how to very easily and with minimal tools convert heavy duty tubs into front opening enclosures. I have all my ball pythons in them and i get perfect sheds and everyone feeds biweekly without problems. Check it out youtu.be/pvCQLCE5GLY
Thank you so much for sharing. That is a fantastic budget build! I’ll definitely have to look into making a few like that.
How is your snake doing?