Are you concerned because your ball python hasn’t pooped in a while? Do you want to make your pet’s health a priority? As disgusting as it may seem to some, droppings are usually one of the first signs that something is wrong with the health of any pet.
When the dropping changes in any way, it’s time to be on the lookout for other signs of illness and be prepared to act. Still, you don’t want to panic every time something changes, so you may be wondering, “How long does it take for a ball python to Poop?”. Read on to find the answers to all your questions!
Table of Contents
What Does Ball Python Poop Look Like?
Before delving into how long ball pythons take to defecate, you might want to know what their droppings look like. This is a difficult answer to provide specific details on.
It is largely dependent on the individual ball python, as well as what it has eaten and how much it has drunk. However, it appears to be poop in general. It isn’t usually brittle or rock-hard. The droppings are generally brown.
A better way to look at ball python droppings is from two angles:
Do their droppings changed in any way
You know the most about your pet. If your snake’s droppings suddenly become harder, looser, or change color, you should keep a closer eye on it to ensure that no other signs of illness emerge.
If your snake has loose poops, to begin with, another loose dropping is unlikely to be an issue. However, if it becomes rock hard, you should keep a close eye on your pet python.
Extreme soreness and white-colored droppings
If the droppings become completely watery or white, it is usually a sign of a digestive issue. This isn’t something that happens for no apparent reason. Still, you don’t need to take your pet to the vet just yet. Check to ensure that your ball python is not eating anything in the tank that it is not supposed to.
This may result in different kinds of droppings. Other symptoms of illness to look out for include lethargy and filmy eyes. If you see any of these, contact your veterinarian and ask for their advice. Read more on ball python diet.
Green snake poop
Green urates (the chalky portion of the droppings) have been shown to be beneficial. Green feces, on the other hand, can indicate an internal infection. It’s also thought to happen if your snake is fasting and living off of its fat reserves.
Yellow snake poop
Yellow in your snake’s droppings is not uncommon. Their urates range from white to yellow, and they can sometimes mix with the feces, turning the feces yellow. Make an appointment with your veterinarian if you are certain that your snake’s feces, not just the urates, are yellow.
Red snake poop
The most concerning color in your snake’s droppings is probably red. Typically, this denotes blood. However, blood from your pet’s food is unlikely – rodent blood is typically digested completely and turns a maroon or even black color.
White snake poop
White urates are extremely common. As a result, you’ll need to determine whether the white you’re seeing is from your snake’s urates or feces…
It is possible for feces to turn white if it is not fresh. Fresh white feces, on the other hand, can be completely healthy, especially if your snake has recently drank.
How Long Does It Take For A Ball Python To Poop?
The simple answer is that ball pythons eat every two weeks. The slightly more difficult, but more specific answer is 5-7 days after a ball python eats. In other words, pooping is related to how frequently ball pythons eat.
Adult ball pythons usually east every 10-14 days and poop every 5-7 days after that. Another way to look at it is that ball pythons will defecate roughly halfway between feedings.
This point of view is more useful when feeding babies and juvenile ball pythons. These pythons require more frequent feedings. Babies need to be fed every 5-7 days, and juveniles need to be fed somewhere in the middle. They also poop more often as a result of this.
Many experienced pet owners use the frequency of defecation to determine how much their pet should be fed. If you continue to feed the python every five days but it takes five days to poop, you should increase the time between feedings. In general, they should be fed as often as it takes them to poop.
If an adult python goes up to 9 days without pooping, you should contact your veterinarian. You might want to try some of the tips in the following section after seven days without pooping.
Snake Poop or Regurgitation? Here’s How to Tell the Difference
Regurgitation is fairly common in snakes. It can happen as a result of mistakes in husbandry, such as handling the animal too soon after it eats, using too large of a food item, or keeping the temperature too low. Learn about ball python handling.
If everything is fine in the breeding department, it could be due to illness or parasites.
In either case, regurgitation indicates that some changes must be made.
Of course, if you see your snake’s excretions come up the front end, it’s pretty obvious that it’s not poop.
But what if you discover a slimy mess in your pet’s cage that isn’t quite a poop but also isn’t a fully-formed rodent?
Look for these signs!
They regurgitate their last meal.
A snake that has regurgitated its last meal is more likely to regurgitate its next meal as well
Time since their last meal
If your snake hasn’t eaten in 48 hours or less, it’s probably a regurgitated meal. They most likely haven’t had enough time to digest their food and produce feces.
The urates are powdery and/or chalky
Urates can only come out of the back end. That is poop.
There’s an abnormal amount of mucous
If the log is completely covered in mucus, it is either regurgitation or the feces of a sick animal. Both scenarios require additional investigation and possibly a veterinary visit.
Why your snake isn’t pooping
This can be normal. Not every snake poop after every meal. While this is the general rule, normal varies greatly depending on the individual animal, species, enclosure parameters, and prey size and type.
If your pet does not appear abnormal and continues to behave normally, you can be confident that he or she will poop soon.
If you are still concerned or notice any other symptoms, please continue reading to learn what could be wrong and what you should do. Read more about ball python care.
Snakes, like humans and most other animals, can become constipated. This is most commonly caused by dehydration or a lack of humidity. It can also happen as a result of low temperatures and large meals. Constipation is not an emergency, but it must be addressed. Learn how to help your constipated snake pass their droppings by reading on.
Constipation, if left untreated, can frequently lead to impaction. A snake impaction is a medical emergency. You can try some of the suggestions below to get things moving, but an impacted snake can become infected and die as a result of the infection.
In severe cases, surgery may be required to remove the impaction. An impacted snake will usually stop eating and have swelling or a bulge above their cloaca.
The Upcoming Shed
Before shedding, many snakes will withhold their poop for a few weeks. Then, immediately after they shed, they will have a substantial bowel movement. This is fairly normal and can develop into a predictable habit in your snake.
There is no special care or action required in this case; simply continue to provide water, humidity, or soaking as usual when your snake is shed. Read more about ball python shedding.
How Do I Get My Ball Python To Poop
When it comes to helping your ball python poop, there are a few tricks to try. If these do not work and the lack of pooping continues for nine days after feeding, consult your veterinarian.
Also, if you notice abnormal bulging 5-7 days after eating, you should contact your veterinarian. Here are the two most effective methods:
Bath your python
Fill a shallow tub halfway with hot, but not scalding, water. Put your ball python inside. Many animals, particularly reptiles, prefer to defecate in the water. The water temperature should be higher than 70° F (21° C) but lower than 90° F (32° C).
Give your ball python a belly massage
Things get stuck in the python’s stomach from time to time. Starting from below the head and working your way down to the tail, gently rub the python’s belly. You might even be able to feel where the poop is stuck. For maximum effect, combine the rub-down with a warm bath. Learn about how to handle ball python.
What about laxatives?
Some laxatives can be given to your ball python to help loosen up the droppings and aid in excretion. Yes, some of these are available for purchase at a pet store or online. However, we advise against administering laxatives on your own.
This decision should be made in consultation with a qualified animal health professional, such as a veterinarian or ball python breeder.
Feed them a smaller prey
If you notice your snake getting constipated on a regular basis, feeding it smaller prey items may be a good way to avoid the problem in the first place. Some snakes become constipated simply because their meal is too large to digest, or because digestion takes too long, and the snake’s body absorbs all of the moisture from the feces.
Soak their food
Another way to avoid dehydration and constipation is to soak your pet’s prey items in warm water before you feed it to them
Since pre-killed frozen mice and rats lose some of their original water content during thawing, thawing them in warm water can help to replenish some of that natural hydration. Keep in mind that some snakes are picky about eating wet food, so this may or may not work for your situation.
Offer more water
This is another precaution, especially if your slithery companion turns its nose up when you offer soaked prey items. It’s a simple strategy that most keepers employ anyway.
Make sure your snake has access to fresh water at all times. Because they only eat once a week, it does not follow that they should only drink once a week.
Increase the humidity
Make sure to research the appropriate humidity levels for the snake species you own, and stick to the higher end of the appropriate range if your snake is having elimination issues.
Also, if you’re looking for an enclosure, keep in mind that plastic and wooden enclosures will retain humidity better than glass enclosures.
Finally, by keeping the water dish on the warm side, you can increase the overall moisture content within the tank. You can monitor the humidity levels with a digital hygrometer.
Change the substrate
This step is related to increasing the humidity in the snake’s cage.
Some substrates, such as coconut fiber and cypress mulch, are much better at maintaining higher humidity levels than others, such as sand and aspen shavings.
If your pet is constantly constipated and you are having difficulty maintaining a high enough humidity level, it may be worth the trouble to switch to a more suitable substrate.
Increase the temperature
Again, this will require more research into the snake species you own. It is critical that the hot spot in your snake’s habitat reaches the proper temperature for optimum digestion. Low temperatures cause slow digestion, which leads to constipation and impaction.
This method is known as a “rat-lax” in the snake keeping community, and it should only be used as a last resort if you are unable to get your pet seen by a veterinarian and have exhausted all other options.
If your snake is still eating, you can inject mineral oil into their regular pre-killed prey item at a dosage of 1 mL/kg (0.46 mL/lb or 0.03mL/oz) of your snake’s body weight.
If the above methods haven’t worked and your snake has lost his appetite, appears weak or lethargic, and appears visibly bloated, it’s time to see your reptile veterinarian.
Please keep in mind that if left untreated, impaction will kill your snake.
If an enema does not work, your veterinarian will most likely need to perform surgery to remove the impaction.
Should I Wait until My Snake Poops to feed it?
This is a point of debate among ball python owners. You don’t have to wait if your python is young. They eat for about as long as it takes them to poop.
For adult pythons, you shouldn’t have to wait long for them to poop, but they should poop within the 10-14 days between feedings. Read more on ball python diet.
We hope you found the information on how long a ball python takes to poop useful. 5-7 days after feeding is normal, and even a couple of days doesn’t cause concern. When your pet reaches the 7-day mark, use the tips above to help it poop.
Keeping a close eye on your ball python’s droppings is a good indicator of health and will prepare you to act if your pet becomes ill.