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Ball Python Care....(long)

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Posted by poetichusky on May 03, 2003 at 21:29:25:

Hi All,
This really isn't too much of a question, but I just had to vent. I work at PetSmart and although we don't have much in the selection of herps, I'm a herp lover and I love my job anyways. There's just something that urks me to no end and that's an ignorant snake owner. I may not be an expert, but I do know the basics. Last night a man brought in two juvie ball pythons. They immediately caught my eye, as Balls are my favorite and they seemed to be healthy from a distance. When I got up close to look at them, they had nasty burn marks all over their bellies, scars scattered all over their skin, were undernourished, and lifeless. Let's just say, I needed to have a chat with this guy, in a polite way. He proceeded to tell me that he feeds his Balls one small live mouse, once a month. The larger one, could've easily taken a small sized rat. Not only are these two "males"(they looked like a sexual pair to me), housed together in a "55 gallon mansion" in his words, but fed together also. He said, and I quote "I just drop one in and whoever gets it, gets it". He also insisted that I shouldn't feed my Balls once a week(which is what I suggested to him), because I'm overfeeding them and they'll be dead in a year. Not only that he informed me that the more I feed my balls, the more they will grow. I dunno about any of you, but I thought snakes are supposed to grow. lol As we talked more, I told him how I'm trying to get mine swtiched to FT, and he warned me that, I should never do such a thing, because it will harm them due to the fact that they're used to live. I pointed out the burns, which were really nasty and looked to be quite painful. He told me well, I had a hot rock in my tank, but I took it out. Thank god he took it out(supposedly). The scars? He said, "Those aren't scars, they're getting ready to shed". They were clearly either terrible bite marks from prey, or scale rot. I've never seen scale rot in person, but I thought it was a possibility. When I suggested that he should take them to a vet to be looked at, or at least put some neosporin on the burns, he told me confidently that they are healing fine without it and he didn't need to take them to a vet, because he didn't want to pay a vet to tell him something he already knows. He really wouldn't hear any of my advice, whatsoever. I really felt for the little guys. They are certainly going to suffer their whole life and possibly die a miserable slow death. I wanted to take them from him and nurse them back to health. Am I wrong for being outraged? Not only that, he really thought he was an expert on ball pyhtons and was trying to give ME advice. Ever butt heads with someone like this? Doesn't it just heat you to no end? Not to mention this other guy that came in today, looking for MICE to feed to his 8 foot Boa and 5 foot Burm. When I suggested he feed them rats, or in the case of his boa, a small rabbit possibly, his reply was, "I'm not ready to feed them rats or rabbits". What the fiznuck? Sorry for this long, venting post, but this stuff really gets to me. It breaks my heart, because of the poor snakes who are left to depend on uneducated people to care for them.

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