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Joan, Veterinary Technician
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 18654
Experience:  35+ years experience as veterinary tech and 40+ years experience doing reptile rescues.
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How soon can I hold my new ball python after getting it home

Customer Question

I bought Toby from a student who no longer could have him. I gave it a mouse Sat., but he has not eaten yet. In fact, the mouse just died today. Will he eat the dead mouse? He has been in his current location for a day. I know that they can be stressed if moved a lot, and this one (poor guy) has been. HOw long until he feels comfortable enough for me to hold him? I also know that he has not eaten recently (past 3-4 weeks) so I did not want him to strike if I reached in to grab him. (The smell of my small dog is always on me.)
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Joan replied 8 years ago.


When was the last time he has eaten?

When was the last shed?

Has the snake ever been handled?

How old is the snake?


Customer: replied 8 years ago.
I asked the previous owner these questions and got very vague responses- but I checked hiw skin, mouth and activity levels and he seems healthy. He hasn't eaten in about a month, he has been handled, (Probably not regularly) he was purchased in July (no idea on age) he is about a foot and a half. No idea when he last shed.
Expert:  Joan replied 8 years ago.


You should be able to hold the BP with no problem holding him. Being the change of seasons, he may not for several months to almost a year. It is not unusual for snake to become more lazy during the winter months and to go off feed. handling the BP will not be a problem. You should be feeding in a separate container when you do feed as this way the snake does not associate the tank with feeding and will help keep the snake form striking at you when you put you hands in. You can even use a brown paper bag to feed in. Never leave the mouse in longer than 1/2 hours and if not eaten, then remove it. The mouse can injure the snake if left in. You can try every two weeks to feed the snake, but if the snake does not eat do not be surprised. If the snake starts loosing weight, then at that time you want to see a Herp Vet for an examination. Joan