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  • Ticks

    Last night I pulled a tick of my ball python, Boots. It's probably been there since I got her 2 months ago. ( I took Boots to the vet because the snake has not eaten since I got it and he said Boots was fine; s5.gif dumb vet) I remember noticing it but thinking nothing of it. (she's my first snake) I convinced myself that the raised scales didn't look right and further investigated, thus finding little moving legs. Boots sat still during the removal process, (alchohol, tweezers, neosporin) and actually seemed quite happy when the entire process was over.

    Now for the questions ??? Where do ticks come from? Since I'm sure that this tick has been there since day one, will Boots get them again? I mean do they appear from nowhere? Can they be passed from snake to snake? Do they reproduce by themselves (asexual ?)? Would a tick cause a snake to go off feed? Is there some sort of cleaning process the cage needs to go through now? I know nothing about ticks, I am sure someone can give me the answers. s3.gif

    Anyway, thanks for the help

    Cheska

  • #2
    Re: Ticks

    Hey Cheska,
    If you want to learn some good info about ticks, go to this web-site:
    www.pestproducts.com/ticks4.htm
    PT

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    • #3
      Re: Ticks

      Thanks PT ;D
      All that information, I kind of knew. The site told me about how they live, for how long, breed, etc. What it didn't tell me was how snakes react to having a tick on them. Boots has not eaten since I got it, no significant weight loss and still very active. Assuming that the tick has been on Boots since day one; could this be the reason for not eating?? It's been 2 months so i would think Boots is use to its new home by now. Heat, humidity, water, substate, housing, hide box, are all ok and up to care sheet requirements.

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      • #4
        Re: Ticks

        OK>> First..Consider that your ball python is actually a wc ball. That is where the ticks came from..in 99% of the cases. Now for the info your looking for...
        Ticks can cause your snake to go off of feeding. This is seen a lot in wc ball pythons that have ticks. YES, the ticks can move to your other snakes. So make sure that this snake is QUARANTINED until you are sure that there are no further ticks present to say the least. Due to their coloring and scalation , ball pythons are a MAJOR PITA to find ticks on..arghh. You need to go over EVERY scale of the snake to make sure that there are no more ticks on the snake still. Most likely there are more ticks and you just haven't noticed them at all. Basically, run your fingernail at the edge of every scale to make sure that it is actually a scale and not a tick that you are seeing. Ticks tend to actually look like a scale on a ball python..especially in the scales that are the darker colored ones. Remove any/all ticks that you find on the snake. Make sure to check the "pits" of the snake also. I have found ticks located here on wc balls I have taken into rescue even. Gotta be the worst location for a tick imo to remove also..UGH.
        Lose the alcohol..not really needed at all for this with the snake. Use tweezers and grasp the tick waaay down where it has attached to the snake and pull back to get it off/out. Apply some antibiotic ointment to EVERY place that you remove a tick from the snake on also. Apply this daily for a few days. FUN remembering where this is also lol.
        Place the snake on newspaper or papertowel while doing all this for a substrate in the cage. Also keep sub as this while applying the anti ointment too. YES, clean the cage out prior to placing the snake back into it also. Ticks will stay on the snake until fully engorged btw. So it is unlikely that you will see them roaming about the cage at all like you would mites.
        Once you remove ALL the ticks. it is unlikely that your snake will get them again at all. Unless you take it outside into a tick infested area that is . Hope that helps ya some.

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        • #5
          Re: Ticks

          b27.gif Thank you Lori! You have been a BIG help! I was given another ball a couple of weeks ago but since they are both still so new, they are not being housed together. After finding the tick on Boots, I checked No Feet completely too. More so because I was paronoid. Both cages have been cleaned out and I have continued to check Boots for more ticks. Nothing has been found so far and since I now know what I am looking for, I am fairly confident that this episode will pass. s12.gif Now I just have to let her settle in and de-stress, hopefully when feeding day rolls around again (Friday) she will eat.

          I am so glad that I found this forum, you guys have been a wonderful help. You have a good thing here Clay!!! s23.gif

          Thank you again,
          Cheska

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          • #6
            Re: Ticks

            np ;D
            Note this also though....I don't think I mentioned it in the last post at all >>>>
            Sometimes ..actually most of the time when dealing with a ball python that has had tcks and gone off of feeds....Once the ticks have all been removed they will continue to stay off of their feedings for quite awhile still. Long as the snake is NOT losing any weight , don't fret over it at all. The last ball python that we dealt with like this was a good sized female, about yearling, definately wc, and she came to us in March of 2002...we got rid of all the ticks from her...and she still wouldn't eat until November of 2002. None the worse for her hunger strike either ;D She now eats, and has since started eating, on a very routine schedule of every 7-10 days time now. She was also recently upgraded to rats from mice too. She had decided that mice were her thing...now it's rats though hehe. They just have to be f/k is all. : I adopted her out to someone I know personally that is local to me so I could maintain a really close watch on her
            nOTE THIS ALSO THOUGH.. I DON'T THINK I MENTIONED IT IN THE LAST POST AT ALL>>>
            sOMETIMES..ACTUALLY QUITE OFTEN...WHEN A BALL PYTHON HAS TICKS AND IS NOT FEEDING..tHEY ALSO WILL NOT FEED FOR A LONG TIME AFTER all OF THE TICKS HAVE BEEN REMOVED POSSIBLY. jUST AN fyi THAT i HAVE RUN INTO WITH DEALING WITH [dang it ! Ignore those caps..a.rgggggh]

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            • #7
              Re: Ticks

              s3.gif Arrrrrrrrrrg!!! Well, not that I expected it, Boots didn't eat Friday. AND I found another tick yesterday. This one was on the underside in a completely white area, I know there is no way I missed it before. So, I'm back to square one. I have removed all substrate from the cage and have only newspaper, the water dish, and the hide in the cage. Everything else is in a bag for now. Someone told me that I should cover Boots in Vaseline to smother any ticks that are left that I can not find. What is the opinion on this? cwm15.gif

              Thanks for the help,
              Cheska

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              • #8
                Re: Ticks

                Vaseline huh ? Personally I would ONLY place this on any ticks found if that is what was needed to do in order to try and get them to back off. When it fails to "pull em off" with tweezers that is.
                Your gonna be finding ticks for awhile to come yet FYI. Just when ya think that you have gotten them all off and everything is all set...NEVER fails that yet another one of them shows up..UGH. Keep the snake on this type of substrate for a length of time. Also go back to square one and start your search all over again for ticks.
                Sooo, can any of us interest you in another wc ball python at all ? LOL Your learning first hand what one of the reasons is that a lot of us say to NOT buy wc's...arghhh. SUX doesn't it!?? You'll get there one day and your snake will be tick free....AND will eat also. Just watch the snake's weight and let us know if it starts to lose any noticeable weight at all also.

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                • #9
                  Re: Ticks

                  So, I guess the moral of the story is to just relax, they will eventually all go away.
                  All my life, I had wanted a snake, my mom had always told me no. I asked my bf for one for christmas and he got me one. ;D You know the saying, be careful what you wish for!! cwm29.gif

                  any how, i'm having fun and even though it's been a lot of work, i wouldn't trade it in for anything. So to answer the question, yeah, I'd take another!!!lol

                  I'll keep you posted and hopefully get some picks of both my babies soon.

                  Thanks,
                  Cheska

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                  • #10
                    Re: Ticks

                    cwm15.gif UPDATEcwm15.gif

                    Two days after I pulled the last tick, Boots' eyes clouded over and she went into shed. She finised the shed yesterday, was mainly in one piece, not too bad for first shed! b27.gif I also took her to the vet to make sure she wasn't dehydrated since she hasn't eaten in so long. Found out she has a slight RI, i have to give her antibiotic injections for the next 6 days, and boy is she mad!! b17.gif The good news is, I had her sexed and now know for sure that I do have one male and one female. The doc says not to worry, it's a good sign that she shed and should be back on track shortly. To keep offering her feed weekly and to bring her back in 2 weeks.

                    Thanks everybody for your support.

                    Cheska

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                    • #11
                      Re: Ticks

                      LORIIIIIIIIIIII!!! ??? ??? ???

                      Oh help me please.  Just when you think things are getting better, things go bad again.  Yesterday I gave Boots her last antibiotic injection.  She seems a bit more active but has been laying with her head rested on her water dish so it is at a sort of angle.  (Still due to the RI?)  Today when I went home for lunch, I peeked in her cage to see if she still had her head at an angle and I saw her doing something that I have never seen before.  She was laying there with her head sticking up in the air.  Her head was twisted at an angle, almost upside down and she was opening and closing her mouth over and over again.  It looked like you and I would look if we were chewing with our mouth open.  Why is she doing this?  Is it the RI?  Was she just realigning her mouth?   I don't go back to the vet until next Tuesday, should I take her now?   I don't know what to do...........this is my baby...............advice please.  I have been through toooooooo much to throw in the towel now.

                      Cheska

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                      • #12
                        Re: Ticks

                        ok well, I didn't do anything but turn the heat up a little bit more. After that little incident at lunch, she seemed to get back to normal. She is very active now, the most active I have ever seen her. I just hope she eats today. Vet appointment is still set for Tuesday, hope to get a clean bill of health. But, I still don't know what she was doing "chewing".

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                        • #13
                          Re: Ticks

                          LOl.. If it looked like she was "chewing" then most likely she was re-aligning her jaw was all. :P Had she just eaten prior to doing that ?

                          Just make sure that she doesn't have any substrate in her mouth at all, not wheezing either. Those two things could relate to a snake doing that if they had MR or RI going on.

                          definately take her to the vet visit and make sure that she has nothing going on that needs attention at all. MAke sure that you tell the vet that there were ticks also. They should go over her to make sure that none are present still also for ya.

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                          • #14
                            Re: Ticks

                            Thanks Lori,
                            She hadn't just eaten, going on 11 weeks since she last ate, but she did have a recent shed. (2weeks) When I took her to the vet (10days ago) he did a thourough tick check and found none left. I think we should be well on the way to recovery unless we are dealing with a resistant RI.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Re: Ticks

                              OH ..DUH!! Too much info floating around in my head sometimes lol.. It also could have been due to a shed thing possibly also. Did she shed after this at all..or was shed prior to this. Sometimes snakes will go and do this sort of thing when they are trying to "loosen" up the skin around the mouth area in getting ready to shed also. We actually have one boa here that goes and does this sort of thing every time it is ready to start shedding....and she usually sheds that same day too.

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