Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Weekly Weigh-In!

October is almost over, its insane!

Last week she was 652g, this week she is 681g.

Olympia is doing great! I bought her a size up in rats cause she is getting so big, she will start eating them once she finishes off the last few weaned rats she has. She has been wrapped up in her hide staying warm.

Previously 244g, now she's 243g.

You'd think shes dead the way she sleeps. I woke her up over the weekend to put a fleece blanket in her hide and she gave me such a stink eye, and this morning when she got up she was furious! Sat all black on her rock for a few hours then ran back in her hide. Poor thing!

Was 142g, today she was 150g.

Norberta has had a rough week, she stopped using three of her legs and  her tail but doesn't seem to be in much pain, just can't move except by dragging herself with one front leg. She is absolutely refusing her liquid calcium and I've had to force feed her that with a helper to hold her so I can pry open her mouth. She hasn't eaten in about three days either so force feeding her is next if she wont eat.

I got to go to a reptile show Saturday to get roaches and small rats for the girls. I love going! All the reptiles are gorgeous and I got to talk to several Ball Python breeders about possible pairings for Olympia.

Makayla R

Previous Weekly Weigh-In! posts

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Handling a Ball Python

"Ewww, snakes are gross. They eat little children, why do you keep one as a pet?!"

Just some of the comments you get from people who don't own Ball Pythons. Which is hilarious when you show them the snake and all it does is stick its tongue out. 

I have only one snake, Olympia, and she is the calmest noodle out there honestly. She is very active and curious and has never hissed or bitten me or her breeder. I don't think I've even seen her sitting in the strike position. I mean, this girl wont even strike her rats! 

Not all snakes are this chill, but Olympia makes a good example. 

I have held her almost every day since I bought her, giving her Sunday through Tuesday off because she is fed on Sunday.  The only time I have seen her strike something is the second day I had her and she struck the tongs when I was feeding her.
When I first got her she would sit balled up in my hands or my lap for the first few minutes, then she would come out and try to climb around. After the first two weeks she would start to crawl around as soon as I picked her up, and soon she was clambering all over my arms and across my bed.
I love taking pictures of all my girls so she had a camera shoved up her face half the time and was completely fine with it, coming closer than it could focus so she could figure out what it was, which gives you some adorable out-of-focus snout pictures.
I do avoid holding her when she is shedding, because she gets really jumpy and cranky when she is trying to get all that skin off.

Now I realize not all ball pythons are as soft as Olympia. I have personally met one little baby that struck at almost anything, even after a plastic bucket was put over him so we could reach behind him. He continued to try and bite us without hesitation.

So some of the things that can help with holding a snake that isn't very strike-happy:

  1. Stay calm!! That whole he-can-sense-my-fear thing is pretty real. If you are freaking out or really tense the snake is going to pick up on that and act accordingly.
  2. Be gentle but firm. If you don't want that snake anywhere near your face, don't let it. You are holding the snake, the snake isn't holding you. 
  3. Find a quiet room to hold him in. Ball pythons are a pretty shy breed that avoid loud sounds and things moving around them. They just want a peaceful environment. 
  4. Make sure you are supporting them. I know that's usually quite a few feet of snake but try to make sure you are holding most of them, more the midsection than the head. Most ball pythons are head shy and don't want anything near their face, it freaks them out because that is where a predator would come from. 
  5. Have fun! Show your snake off, share the noodle love. 

Makayla R

Weekly Weigh-In!

         Well, I can't think of a good opening line so lets just jump right in.

Was 668g, now she is 652g.

She shed!! Along with it came a huge poop so not surprised by the loss. Olympia is super bright now and just cruising along. She also got the opportunity to show off for a bunch of people and dealt with them fabulously!

Last week she was 245g, today she was 244g.

Not bad, she has lost about 10g from the start of her brumation. She has been so asleep, we only saw her nose at one point and that was it! Basking today and will get a bath later so she stays hydrated.

She was 138g, is now 142g!

Much better than last week! She has been trying to brumate, but I don't think she has enough weight to sleep for months so she isn't allowed, which is making her kinda grouchy!

I've been learning about Nile Monitors lately, they are gorgeous!!

Makayla R

Previous Weekly Weigh-In! posts

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Calcium Deficiency in Bearded Dragons

Bearded Dragons need at least two different supplements on their bugs or salads; Vitamins + D3 and Calcium.

If they don't get enough of either of these then they can get Metabolic Bone Disease or just die from lack of these supplements. Sometimes bearded dragons can't use the calcium that they are being given and their bones slowly start to dissolve from lack of calcium. This can cause a large amount of swelling in their outer bones such as fingers and toes, ankles, and tails. They will often refuse to use the swollen limbs and just lie around with a black beard.
The reason for the swelling is the little calcium their bodies can take in if any is sent to the larger bones like the spine, causing what is called a Calcium Deficiency.
This is an ailment that you and your dragon will have to deal with for the rest of their life, but the good news is it is relatively easy to care for.
When you first find out give them serrepeptase twice a day. It is a natural medicine that will help if they are in pain from the swelling.
Since their bodies cannot absorb the powdered calcium you will have to give daily doses of liquid calcium so that your bearded dragon is getting the proper amounts. Use a syringe and give by mouth once a day. When using a syringe be careful not to break the dragons teeth since they are rather fragile! Pull open the bearded dragons mouth and put the tip of the syringe in and slowly push it out into their mouth. If you don't want to be prying open their mouth you can drip it on their nose and let them lick it off.
Try to avoid letting them jump a lot because of how fragile their bones will be. Keep the accessories in the tank as low as possible to prevent them taking a bone breaking leap.
Just be careful, use common sense and give them lots of snuggles! The swelling will go down after a few months of consistent liquid calcium and they will be able to walk and run around again, and will look a lot happier.

Makayla R

Weekly Weigh-In!

Another week, its just flying. Flying and cold, really cold.
Lets start at the top! 

Last week she was 628g, this week she is 668g.

Pretty good! Olympia is shedding! This is her second shed with me, and so far it looks great. She gets a bit shy when she is shedding and doesn't want to be held right now, so she is just taking it easy. 

Last week she was 247g, today she was 244g. 

Brumation is taking a bit of a tole. All I saw of Mufasa last week was her nose. As it gets colder she seems to sleep deeper, and she is loving it. Was not pleased when I woke her up today. 

Previously 137g, now she is 138g. 

Well, not great, but not bad. I don't think she likes how cold its been. She is walking on her ankle again and is getting liquid calcium every day. Norberta also has been trying to burrow in her corner to sleep at night, so I draped a blanket over her and she crashed! She also got a new basking rock. 

I'm just trying not to freeze, even though its not that cold. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Weekly Weigh-In!

Last week she was 631g, now she is down to 628g.
She certainly isn't showing having dropped three grams! You can feel the difference in her length and weight, Olympia is now about 3ft long as well as being close to 650g. Still as sweet as ever, and I got to watch her devour her rat. She still wont strike off of tongs, you have to leave it in her hide and she will eat as soon as your gone...

Previously she was 254g, today she is 247g.
Mufasa is going to be the death of me. I mentioned last week that she hadn't pooped in a weekish, and so after several doses of canned pumpkin mixed with mineral oil she did! Now she is sleeping, again. She is rather intent on actually sleeping, the pest. I did get to snuggle her a little so that was really nice. I missed my snuggler.

On the 28th she was 127g, she has gained ten grams and is now 137g.
Yes! Unfortunately she has started swelling up in her ankle and won't use it, which is entirely my fault. Baby Berta has a Calcium Deficiency, where her body does not absorb her powdered calcium, so she needs to take Liquid Calcium to make sure she is getting enough calcium for her to use. If she goes without the liquid then her joints swell up as her bones get weak. She had been doing great for so long that I stopped giving her that, so now this happened and she is getting it daily. I'm working on a post on Calcium Deficiency in bearded dragons so that'll pop up soon.

As for me, I've been daydreaming of Scotland. I mean, it snows less than a month of the year, rains all the time, and is almost always fall, my favorite season! Not to mention the amazing accent.

Makayla R

Previously Wednesday Weigh-In! posts