Dealing with a ball python bite can be scary or stressful for the uneducated, however, there is rarely ever any real cause for concern.
It is obviously not a good feeling if a pet ball python bites the owner or any of the friends and family members of the owner. The good news for every ball python owner is that the bites are usually harmless and also relatively painless.
If all the necessary steps are taken, then all a ball python bite may cause a few drops of blood and nothing else, it is basically harmless.
A Ball python bite does not cause any problem to the victim physically, but the victim may be mentally traumatized. Normal psychology of human beings fears snake bites even if the snake does not have any venom. So it can trigger a panic attack in the victim that can be harmful if proper steps are not taken, especially for the very young or frail.
Does a Ball Python Bite Hurt?
A ball python bite does not hurt. So the victim does not get hurt from the bite instead they may suffer from the mental shock of getting a bite from a snake. The panic or shock is more dangerous than the bite.
It is suggested that the victim should not panic and he or she should calm down after this unfortunate incident. During the bite feel a squeeze and a pressure in that particular area. A ball python bite is strong and the pressure of the bite is more alarming compared to the damage that happens due to the bite.
What to do when a Ball Python Bites
Firstly, if the victim is highly concerned about the bite and fears that it can cause infection, then he or she should consult a doctor for proper treatment, this will satisfy the victim and will bring peace to his or her mind. With this said, here is what a victim should do if he or she receives a ball python bite.
The first thing that a person should do is not to panic. A ball python bite usually less harmful and not at all serious, but if the snake bites and latches then do not yank off the snake. The teeth of the ball python are angled backward so they can latch on the victim, yanking off the python can make the bite worse as it can rip off the skin and can cause a huge amount of pain.
It can also damage the teeth of the python. Ball python tends to latch their enemies as they are a nonvenomous snake. When they attack any pray they constrict and bite them to suffocate and kill.
Removing a latched Ball Python
- Give the snake some time to unlatch and come down. Sometimes the snakes are hungry or agitated when they attack or bite the humans. Soon they will realize that the human is not the prey and hence they will leave them.
- If the snake does not unlatch then the victim should pour water on the latched area. The cold water will make the snake uncomfortable and hence the snake will unlatch immediately.
- Another way of unlatching the snake is to pour whiskey, vodka or any type of alcohol on the latched area. It can sting the victim a bit, but it is a very effective way to remove the ball python that has latched and bitten. Snakes cannot tolerate alcohol, so they will immediately release the skin when alcohol is poured on them.
Treating ball Python Bite
Firstly, it is advised that the person with a ball python bite should visit a doctor for proper medical advice. It is based on experience, if a person is very much concerned about the effects of snakebite, then he or she should definitely consult a doctor. So after saying this I will discuss the ways to treat ball python bites without any help of a doctor.
I have mentioned before that ball pythons do not carry venom, so there is no life-threatening and immediate danger to the victim. The snakes often carry many harmful bacteria in their mouth. After removing the snake the person should immediately wash the bitten area with water. Then he or she should treat the area with a proper antiseptic.
Neosporin, hydrogen peroxide or alcohol should serve the required purpose. After washing and treating the wound the person should properly bandage the bitten area and not to think about it anymore. Honestly, ball python bites are not to worry about if it is treated properly.
After saying everything about the ball python bite and treating it, let us discuss the ball python itself. I will discuss the characteristics of a ball python in general, the warning signs and the methods to prevent biting.
Ball Python Teeth
A ball python has many teeth; the exact number of teeth depends on the size and age of the snake. Ball pythons are non- venomous snake so they do not have fangs, fangs are only found in poisonous snakes with which they inject the venom into the body of the prey. The ball python teeth are barb-like, small and are very sharp.
They face backwards towards the body of the python. These backward barbs- like teeth help them to latch on their prey while striking and constricting. These backward-facing teeth help them to hold the prey firmly. This is the reason it is advised to a victim not to yank off the snake they are bitten as the teeth can tear the skin and make the bite worse.
When And Why Does A Ball Python Bite?
A ball python does not usually bite the handler. It only bites when the snake feels any king of threat from the person. Other than threat hunger is one of the important factors behind snake bites. Ball pythons are defensive and vulnerable while they are feeding, so it is best to leave them alone while they are eating their food.
This snake tends to strike before and after feeding, the handler should wait till the food is completely digested by the snake.
Ball pythons also become alert and defensive during the time of shedding. There are very few signs that indicate that a ball python is shedding if a ball python is hanging out in the water bowl for more time than they usually do then this is a prominent sign of shedding.
Another sign is that the eyes of a ball python turn blue when they are ready to shed. During this time a ball python becomes sensitive and tends to attack anyone who comes in their way. So it is advised not to disturb the snake for one or two days after shedding and during the time of shedding.
Picking up the Warning Signals
It is very easy to say that when a ball python can strike a person. Snakes and other reptiles have emotions so there are some clear warnings that they give before biting anyone. One of the prominent signals about the ball python is the striking position of the snake.
The striking position is a special stance that every snake takes before striking the victim or when they are aggressive or feels threatened by anyone’s presence. It is advised that if any person observes a ball python with a special stance, then it is advised to not handle or disturb the snake at any cost. The special stance indicates that they are aggressive and alert, and also ready to attack.
Best Ways to Prevent Biting
- The Owner of the ball python should carefully handle it on a regular basis so that the snake becomes familiar with the scent and the touch of the owner.
- The owner should feed the ball python on a regular basis and on the proper time.
- The owner should always avoid handling the ball python after and before feeding because during this time the ball python feels threatened and also becomes irritated. Also the owner should avoid handling during the time of shedding.
- The person should always be alert when he or she is around the snake. He or she should be alert about the body language of the snake and should also check whether the snake is in a striking position or not.
- Make sure that while handling the snake the person is confident as well as calm.
- If a person is jumpy and nervous then he or she should not be allowed to handle the ball python. Ball pythons are very sensitive and they can pick up the nerves of the handler easily. Nervousness and low confidence of the handler can make them more aggressive and defensive. The owner should never handle the snake in a large crowded area. As more crowd means more noise and vibrations which can disturb the snake and can make them aggressive and urge them to strike.