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So, my ball python killed itself.

This is a discussion on So, my ball python killed itself. within the Ball Python Morphs forums, part of the Ball Python Forum category; Okay, Last few nights i have heard thudding coming from one of my snake tubs... Every time i'd look, my ...

  1. #1
    Passion4Pythons's Avatar
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    So, my ball python killed itself.

    Okay,

    Last few nights i have heard thudding coming from one of my snake tubs... Every time i'd look, my Mojo male would just strike at me.. Cause he's vicious.
    My brother complained to me about the thudding the other day... but nothing was weird... i couldnt figure it out... Till i saw it as it happened.

    Last night Uri (my male mojo) attacked himself. Straight up brawl... but without an opponent. He bit himself - fairly close to the back of his head, probably like an inch and a half back cause he's so small... Well, he bit himself, then twisted around himself and started constricting. I felt him constricting himself. It was really odd... well i got him to let go.... but when i put him back in his tub, he did it again... i got his jaw off again, and left him, cause i knew if i tried unwrapping him i would probably just hurt him. So yeah.

    This morning, he was untangled, feisty as ever....
    I went to class, and when i came back, he was dead.

    Dead in the act of biting himself...

    Does anyone know what caused this? Temps were good, he was well hydrated, he ate like a little monster. I just cant figure it out...

    Any thoughts would help, and im willing to answer any questions... cause i wanna know why this happened. It is so bizarre.

    Thanks!!
    - Sara

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  3. #2
    S.Gilbert's Avatar
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    Wow, so sorry to hear this. I have had snakes bite themselves, but only during feeding. Maybe he had the scent of the last meal on him that was causing this reaction, but this is the first I have heard of repeated biting and to this extreme.
    Shawn I. Gilbert
    www.GilbertBoas.com

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    Passion4Pythons's Avatar
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    Its bizarre. I cant figure it out...

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    I've read about this happening before - so hopefully someone has an answer!
    Scott Collien

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    Dan W is offline Bush-League Lieutenant Lieutenant
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    Sometimes you find dead snakes that have their jaws locked on themselves. I think it may not necessarily be killing itself but it could be a reflexive action or possibly a response to agony.

    Dan

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    Was it a recent acquisition? Did you quarantine it if so?

    I am more being paranoid than anything but there are some illnesses that alter behavior (think rabies). There are also some parasites that incite this same type of behavior. So you may want to take it to a vet and get an autopsy, with a specific emphasis on the brain...
    actagggcagtgatatcctagcattgatggtacatggcaaattaacctcatgat

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    joe23 is offline Bush-League Sergeant Major BLBC Sergeant Major
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan W View Post
    Sometimes you find dead snakes that have their jaws locked on themselves. I think it may not necessarily be killing itself but it could be a reflexive action or possibly a response to agony.

    Dan

    yep- ive seen this too in a pet shop near by. it was a gaboonviper which was a wc animal. he said that that happened a lot with wc venomous snakes.

    the snake bite himself and i thought it poisoned himself (lol- ok i was 16 and had no clue).

    according to him its a reflex from cramps.



    but this is something different i guess. the fact that u saw him constricting himself is really weird.


    could this be IBD (just a random thought- never seen a python with ibd before)?


    i heard that lampropeltis eat them selfs sometimes- maybe this is something similar.


    i would definitely make an autopsy (it doesn't cost that much- ok at least here in germany) to figure out what was going on.

    thats really weird and tbh i just heard that the first time now
    There is nothing so annoying as to have two people talking when you're busy interrupting.

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    joe23 is offline Bush-League Sergeant Major BLBC Sergeant Major
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    i just searched the web a bit. i found some threads in a german herpetology forum.


    in both threads the snake were send to the vet and he determined a hormonal disorder.

    according to the threads the snakes dont get it that the part of them belongs to them and they think its an intruder- so they try to kill it.

    because they bite them self they feel the pain and think the intruder fends- so they try to kill it even harder.




    i have no clue if this is true or not. it were different threads at different times with different snakes (first a lampropeltis getula and then a python regius).


    one thing is in both cases different than yours. the one snake bite itself in the middle of the body (and there was blood from a prey item it ate before).

    in the other case was no food involved and this one bite itself in the tail- not behind its neck.



    maybe this helps a bit.

    i still would go to a good vet (reptile vet) and make an autopsy...
    There is nothing so annoying as to have two people talking when you're busy interrupting.

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    kevin_hornby is offline Bush-League Pvt 1st Class BLBC Private First Class
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    Our male cinnamon recently was exhibiting signs like this. He died shortly after, but it turned out to be liver failure that caused it. I'm not sure if he was biting himself out of pain or if he had just gone insane. He was also striking the sides of his tub.

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    dang horrid
    I hope you can get a necropsy done .

  12. #11
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    Obviously, there are still many mysteries in the animal world we have yet to decipher.
    Shawn I. Gilbert
    www.GilbertBoas.com

  13. #12
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    I had something similar happen with a leopard gecko, she would NOT stop biting herself and was actually causing damage. I think what I was dealing with was a seizure disorder though, I can find the thread and link it if you want but I'm pretty sure they aren't the same thing.

    I would imagine your animal was sick in some way, either in pain or something. its not uncommon for animals to behave strangely if they are unwell. I've read in some of my older herp books that a snake was observed biting itself repeatedly, the owner took the animal in for an exam and they did an x-ray that showed the animal had a malignancy (cancer) exactly where it was biting.

    I'm sorry about your mojo

  14. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan W View Post
    Sometimes you find dead snakes that have their jaws locked on themselves. I think it may not necessarily be killing itself but it could be a reflexive action or possibly a response to agony.

    Dan
    Yeah i've seen it in snake's i've found dead...

    Quote Originally Posted by asplundii View Post
    Was it a recent acquisition? Did you quarantine it if so?

    I am more being paranoid than anything but there are some illnesses that alter behavior (think rabies). There are also some parasites that incite this same type of behavior. So you may want to take it to a vet and get an autopsy, with a specific emphasis on the brain...
    Yeah i got him back in December... and yes, he and the other two that came with him were quarantined.

    Quote Originally Posted by joe23 View Post
    yep- ive seen this too in a pet shop near by. it was a gaboonviper which was a wc animal. he said that that happened a lot with wc venomous snakes.

    the snake bite himself and i thought it poisoned himself (lol- ok i was 16 and had no clue).

    according to him its a reflex from cramps.



    but this is something different i guess. the fact that u saw him constricting himself is really weird.


    could this be IBD (just a random thought- never seen a python with ibd before)?


    i heard that lampropeltis eat them selfs sometimes- maybe this is something similar.


    i would definitely make an autopsy (it doesn't cost that much- ok at least here in germany) to figure out what was going on.

    thats really weird and tbh i just heard that the first time now
    I think im going to do that... i'll call today and find out how much it will cost me...

    Quote Originally Posted by joe23 View Post
    i just searched the web a bit. i found some threads in a german herpetology forum.


    in both threads the snake were send to the vet and he determined a hormonal disorder.

    according to the threads the snakes dont get it that the part of them belongs to them and they think its an intruder- so they try to kill it.

    because they bite them self they feel the pain and think the intruder fends- so they try to kill it even harder.




    i have no clue if this is true or not. it were different threads at different times with different snakes (first a lampropeltis getula and then a python regius).


    one thing is in both cases different than yours. the one snake bite itself in the middle of the body (and there was blood from a prey item it ate before).

    in the other case was no food involved and this one bite itself in the tail- not behind its neck.



    maybe this helps a bit.

    i still would go to a good vet (reptile vet) and make an autopsy...
    Yeah see that makes sense, cause when i saw him attack himself both times he went absolutely insane. I could tell he was not taking a break either... it was all out warfare.

    Quote Originally Posted by kevin_hornby View Post
    Our male cinnamon recently was exhibiting signs like this. He died shortly after, but it turned out to be liver failure that caused it. I'm not sure if he was biting himself out of pain or if he had just gone insane. He was also striking the sides of his tub.
    Mine had been thudding around in his tub for about 3 days... i am unsure if he was attacking himself every time, or the side of the tub...

    Quote Originally Posted by cinderbird View Post
    I had something similar happen with a leopard gecko, she would NOT stop biting herself and was actually causing damage. I think what I was dealing with was a seizure disorder though, I can find the thread and link it if you want but I'm pretty sure they aren't the same thing.

    I would imagine your animal was sick in some way, either in pain or something. its not uncommon for animals to behave strangely if they are unwell. I've read in some of my older herp books that a snake was observed biting itself repeatedly, the owner took the animal in for an exam and they did an x-ray that showed the animal had a malignancy (cancer) exactly where it was biting.

    I'm sorry about your mojo
    Yeah that settles it, im gonna call the vet when head into town and find out how much this will cost. Cause this is just weird...

  15. #14
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    Hey Dr Davis is on Maternity leave.....
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    well i guess it'll be a while hmm.

    we need more reptile vets here.

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    That is so weird, I've never heard of such a thing, sorry to hear this.
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    Sorry for your lost Sara hope they figure it out. I have been there as I am sure many others have been. It is a uneasy feeling not knowing why but sometimes there isnt a answer either and they just leave you hanging. Hope they figure it out though.

  19. #18
    JChandler's Avatar
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    That is terrible Sara, if I had to guess I would say there is probably something right in the area where it is biting, probably felt like it was being attacked and was biting the attacker as a defense mechanism...but still just a guess.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JChandler View Post
    That is terrible Sara, if I had to guess I would say there is probably something right in the area where it is biting, probably felt like it was being attacked and was biting the attacker as a defense mechanism...but still just a guess.
    My guess as well..... Very strange!
    Ron Sims

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    Dan W is offline Bush-League Lieutenant Lieutenant
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    I think there are clues here but unfortunately we don't understand yet.

    Dan

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    Quote Originally Posted by JChandler View Post
    That is terrible Sara, if I had to guess I would say there is probably something right in the area where it is biting, probably felt like it was being attacked and was biting the attacker as a defense mechanism...but still just a guess.
    Thats what i was thinking.

    Quote Originally Posted by norsmis View Post
    My guess as well..... Very strange!
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan W View Post
    I think there are clues here but unfortunately we don't understand yet.

    Dan
    Im just thankful im not the only person it has happened to. Its straight up wacky.

  23. #22
    rstymtlhd is offline Bush-League Private BLBC Private
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    Necropsy is not very cheap. Between $200-300 bucks in my area (s.w.Fl.) It almost sounds like a neurotic disorder. Cause can only be determined ( and not 100% gauranteed results) by again a necropsy. Hopefully its nothing contagious. I have lost a few animals over the last 20 yrs, actually had a burmese female fold herself in half backwards, for no apparent reason, watched a 9 ft Argentine male have a seizure and then roll right in front of me. They are subceptible to a variety of disease's just like us. And sometimes the genetics are just bred to closely and will result in inferior offspring.
    :cool:If you can't laugh at yourself, someone else will do it for you......

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    Yeah, so far i havnt noticed anything odd at all. Everyone is super chill.

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