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Introducing... My Impulse Purchase

Snakes, Lizards, Salamanders, Turtles, Frogs, etc.

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Introducing... My Impulse Purchase

Postby Ash » Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:13 pm

So this is my first impulse-purchase animal. I saw it at the petstore when I was buying frozen rodents, and I couldn't just leave it there.

So, it's a ball python--just a normal/wildtype--but the moment I saw it, I took instant pity, and fell in love. I wandered around the store for a while, trying to convince myself not to buy, but in the end, I did.

I bought the frozen feeders and then asked the store owner about the ball pythons and said there was one that I might be interested in. So he came back with me and opened the cage. I immediately reached in and pulled the poor thing out. There was a pile of about... four other ball pythons (cohabitation is terrible husbandry), which was bad enough. But when I touched its body, it was COLD. The stuck shed was at the end of the tail--which is a very bad place since they can lose their tails like that. The reason why I wanted to take a look at this one, was because it was scarred horrendously on the lower third of its body. I hadn't even been able to see the head since it had been somewhere buried beneath the pile of others, but it was the scars that had drawn my attention. So I reached in, pulled the one out and said, "This one. I'm curious about this one."

He immediately knew (I'm sure) the reason why I picked that one. The scarring was SO obvious, shed was stuck to her, and her tail was messed up. So I think he realized immediately that I wanted to "save" it from his store. I asked him, "So, did you get this one from a local breeder?" as I asked about the scars.

His answer was this: "Um... Well, hmm... Well, we could be doing better."

That was the tip of the iceberg. The previous time I was at the store I had found a chameleon that had drowned in its water dish, but I was willing to let that slide (sometimes those types of things just... happen, even to the good keepers).

But "we could be doing better" ? That told me these injuries occurred HERE, at his STORE. I asked him if he could sex it for me, and he said sure, so he got the help of another employee and probed on both sides. I know how probing works, so assuming he DID it correctly (stuck the probe in as far as it could go), then I knew what gender it was before he even told me. Female.

He asked if I wanted her, and it was just a split second decision, and I said "yes. But I WILL NOT pay $80 for a snake with those types of scars, such a messed up tail, stuck shed, with possibly other issues." Keep in mind, normals from breeders are either free--or at the high end, $25. Definitely not worth $80. I haggled with him (wish I had haggled more, but he was kind of a weird guy) and got him to sell her to me for $50. Which was still ridiculous, especially due to her condition and what normals are regularly priced at.

They thought they'd be helpful with providing me additional info. They said that she had only ever eaten live, and that she hadn't eaten in a long time. Their excuse was "because we're coming out of winter." So even though I knew where those scars had come from, it made me realize they put her in a container with a rodent UNSUPERVISED that was allowed to GNAW down to her spine and muscle tissue. I was going to pretty much say something very cynical, but chose not to. I told them I didn't need anymore info, that I didn't care what they were feeding her, and that I could manage it without any of their "advice." But in a more subtle way.

They put her in a box for me--I hardly had seen her this whole time, but I'd seen enough--and I left the store.

I debated the whole way home whether or not I had made the right choice. (See controversial section as far as why this was bothering me). I do not call her a "rescue," because I BOUGHT her. Big difference. But I will certainly say she was "neglected" and in need of a new owner.

I gave her a bath and was able to get the shed off of her, and I noticed then that I could see bone at the tip of the tail. It's not like it's super obvious though unless you look REALLY up close. She still can move her whole body, despite her tail being kinked due to having been chewed on. I don't know if she has feeling at the end of her tail, but I think she does.

Well, as I suspected, she was sick with a mild RI--meaning the rest of the ball pythons and boas in that entire store have respiratory infections too--especially the ones she was cohabitating with. I set up a small tub for her in a separate room of my house AWAY from the other snakes, and now she is in quarantine--at least, the best quarantine I can offer without having a separate house/shed detached from the house. Since her past is completely unknown, I do NOT want to risk IBD or similar coming into my collection. So for six months, she'll be quarantined separately before she joins the "rack system."

She has lots of scars (mostly on the lower third of her body), and also has a scar on her head. And her tail looks terrible. But to me, she was still beautiful. So I named her "Scarborough Fair." She was scarred, but still beautiful and fair.

She has an amazing personality, and is very curious. She's not shy like Indiana is, and she likes looking around. She's never been in a tub before, so I think she was a bit confused at first, lol. But it's the best place for her to be for now.

I'm going to offer Scarborough Fair a meal in two weeks, after she's acclimated and settled in. I will try frozen thawed, but will see how that goes. With proper husbandry, she may just take anything offered.

I weighed her, and she was 1037.59 grams. So bigger than Indiana was when I first got her, but around the same size. My guess is she is 1.5 years old based on her weight.

I may wind up breeding her once she gets around 2000 grams to a quadruple gene snake or something (don't own anything like that now), but I would like to have an x-ray done prior to that to make sure she could actually pass the eggs. But that's down the road. At the moment, she's my pet.

The scars do not show up well in the pictures. In person, they are insanely obvious and terrible-looking. So the pictures don't show how bad she really is, especially since the scar tissue is black. But anyway, I thought I would post some pictures of my beautiful Scarborough Fair.

Enjoy, and love this special little gal.
3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, salamander, 3 tarantulas
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Ash
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Re: Introducing... My Impulse Purchase

Postby Ash » Sat Mar 07, 2015 2:22 pm

These pictures were taken by my phone. I didn't want to stress her with an unnecessary photoshoot. I'm trying to leave her alone now.

Like I said, her scars are difficult so see in the pictures, and if you felt them, they feel raised and just... different--like they're not really scales anymore. She has the kink in her tail, a scar on her head, and I tried to get pics of the ones on the lower third of her body too.

But anyway, here's the beauty, Scarborough Fair:

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The whole end of her tail is scar tissue, if you can't tell--from the kink down to the tip, aside the subcaudal scales beneath. So I think it was pretty much chewed to the bone there.
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3 red fox, 4 pectinata iguanas, nile monitor, BW tegu, sailfin dragon, leachie gecko, 6 snakes, salamander, 3 tarantulas
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Re: Introducing... My Impulse Purchase

Postby minervasden » Sat Mar 07, 2015 3:46 pm

Well...regardless of the reason ( moral conflict impulse bad pet shop save), I'm sure she is glad to be in a better place.
Hopefully you brought some shame upon the shop owner. One that knows there are some issues and does nothing is worse than the simply ignorant. You should go back in about a month-without any funds- just to see if he's made any improvements.
I stay in the dark because too much light will blind you

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