Handling a fiesty spotted python

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chloe.j.f

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Hi everyone,
this is my first post here so please forgive me for sounding like a twit :(
Ive had my spotted caesar for just over a year now, he is around a year and 5 months old.
i was very uneducated when i first bought him but since then have come along way. When i first got him he was like any other hatching and was just very defensive, so me thinking that this behavior was just this individual snake i stopped trying to handle him and just faced the fact that i was going to own a devils reincarnation in an enclosure in my room. its now been a couple of months since i grew up and started handling him, at first i was using gardening cloves just to build my confidence but id like to scrap those, i tried to handle him without and he squeezed my hand as if i was food and went very tense. is there any way to stop this? eg- getting bitten?? or am i destined to use gloves from now on ?


thanks guys!!;)
 

Snapped

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Darn it, just wrote out a big post and somehow deleted it.

So, welcome to the forum Chloe.
You don't sound like a twit, trust me. Asking questions is a good thing, everyone one is a beginner when they first start out (unless they've been watching someone else handling etc).

So, my advice is to get rid of the gloves. (I did use gloves when I got my first snake, but he was a fully grown 6ft Murray Darling and I was a complete beginner and a coward haha)

Most snakes restrict your hand/arm etc, firstly to feel secure, they don't want to fall off. Just let him glide through your hands, you need patience, he will soon relax if you put your other hand underneath so he can slither onto that one. A bite from a Spotted isn't going to hurt that much, just don't pull away. Most bites are defensive (quick hit and retreat) or food related, where they think your hand/arm is food and will bite and constrict. (best way to avoid that, is to wash your hands before handling with an antiseptic type handwash, one that's a bit stinky and never handle the snake if you've just patted the dog, prepared meat etc unless you've washed that yummy smell off)

Here's another thread which might be helpful https://www.aussiepythons.com/forum/threads/first-time-owner-handling.218873/#post-2480581
 

Snapped

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Ah, found the video I was looking for, this has some great footage of handling the correct way/first time handlers etc.

 

chloe.j.f

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So I’ve tried to handle him today, twice. The first time he scrapped his jaw up against my palm to see if he could fit it in his mouth [emoji23] and then the second time he bit my thumb and went to coil. It is so hard to not react! But I’m getting better at it..thanks guys!!


Ah, found the video I was looking for, this has some great footage of handling the correct way/first time handlers etc.



So I should do the hand covering thing?? He is tense form the moment I pick him up till I put him down, so bring him close to me and put my hand over him??..how often a day do I do this?? If it goes badly do I leave him or try again??


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SpottedPythons

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To get him used to it, try this method - make a sort of bowl with your hands, and make a little hollow in between. They like coiling into that, and it'll get him used to your scent.
 

Flaviemys purvisi

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So I’ve tried to handle him today, twice. The first time he scrapped his jaw up against my palm to see if he could fit it in his mouth [emoji23] and then the second time he bit my thumb and went to coil. It is so hard to not react! But I’m getting better at it..thanks guys!!


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Try not to smell edible, before necessary handling (I avoid handling my pythons unless absolutely necessary) I use a generous amount of hand sanitiser. Never once had a bite yet resembling a food response. ;)
 

Bl69aze

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Could you be underfeeding him by chance and he’s hungry?

Pictures are always good and give a better understanding to people replying and knowing more about the animal
 
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chloe.j.f

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7862cd36ab75cd6173d905b7e93d5d92.jpg



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7862cd36ab75cd6173d905b7e93d5d92.jpg



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I definitely think he could go up a size, I’ll confirm the size of the mouse he is fed when I get home, I’m pretty sure it’s a hopper and he was fed on Saturday by my partner and then when I got home I fed him on Monday, he is well fed, other than that he is fed every Sunday/Saturday. He has just had a growth spurt too


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Try not to smell edible, before necessary handling (I avoid handling my pythons unless absolutely necessary) I use a generous amount of hand sanitiser. Never once had a bite yet resembling a food response. ;)

I had a layer of dishwashing soap on my hands [emoji31][emoji31]


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Scutellatus

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The only smells that should cause issues are that of food. Rodents of course, but any meaty smells may also cause an issue.
You definitely don't need to use hand sanitiser!
 

chloe.j.f

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He’s definitely mistaking me for food. Should I wait to handle him after his next feed or keep doing it throughout the week??


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Scutellatus

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I definitely think he could go up a size, I’ll confirm the size of the mouse he is fed when I get home, I’m pretty sure it’s a hopper and he was fed on Saturday by my partner and then when I got home I fed him on Monday, he is well fed, other than that he is fed every Sunday/Saturday. He has just had a growth spurt too


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When you fed on Monday was there still a noticeable bulge from the Saturday feed?
If not you definitely want to go up a size or two.
 

chloe.j.f

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When you fed on Monday was there still a noticeable bulge from the Saturday feed?
If not you definitely want to go up a size or two.

This photo was taken straight after feeding, is definitely say after the last feed I’ll size up but before that they were perfect for him, he’s just had a growth spurt.
2212b1ce96096b6014b1c218cd8b98fa.jpg



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Flaviemys purvisi

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Yeah, hoppers are too small for that spotted. Mine is currently on weaner Quackenbush super mice which are the size of adult fancy mice.
[doublepost=1523002425,1523002236][/doublepost]Do you keep your python on sand?? If that is sand, probably not the best idea.
 

Foozil

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Snake snacks? Love it.
And I would recommend upsizing your food items. I would keep those hoppers for when you inevitably get another snake :p
[doublepost=1523002478,1523002443][/doublepost]
Do you keep your python on sand?? If that is sand, probably not the best idea.
Why not? I assume the snake is fed on that container so it doesn't eat any sand.
 

chloe.j.f

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Yeah, hoppers are too small for that spotted. Mine is currently on weaner Quackenbush super mice which are the size of adult fancy mice.
[doublepost=1523002425,1523002236][/doublepost]Do you keep your python on sand?? If that is sand, probably not the best idea.

He is put into a container when it comes to feeding time, it’s shown in the photos above, it’s so he isn’t eating the sand.


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What should I size him up too??


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Flaviemys purvisi

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He is put into a container when it comes to feeding time, it’s shown in the photos above, it’s so he isn’t eating the sand.


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Eating the sand isn't really the issue... it's an abrasive material, can get caught up in the cloaca, under the scales, etc. If your snake soaks in the water bowl than slides onto dry sand it'll be covered in it. I dunno, it's one of those much debated topics but it's generally deemed not ideal to use sand as a substrate for captive snakes.

Here's a little discussion on the topic.

https://www.aussiepythons.com/forum/threads/sand-as-a-substrate.210411/
[doublepost=1523002992,1523002959][/doublepost]
What should I size him up too??


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Weaners at least.
 

chloe.j.f

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Eating the sand isn't really the issue... it's an abrasive material, can get caught up in the cloaca, under the scales, etc. If your snake soaks in the water bowl than slides onto dry sand it'll be covered in it. I dunno, it's one of those much debated topics but it's generally deemed not ideal to use sand as a substrate for captive snakes.

Here's a little discussion on the topic.

https://www.aussiepythons.com/forum/threads/sand-as-a-substrate.210411/
[doublepost=1523002992,1523002959][/doublepost]
Weaners at least.

It’s definitely something I can’t afford to change now, but I will in the future, thank you :)


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