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Ball Python Bites: Does It Hurt? (And Why It Happens)

Nicole Cosgrove

Ball Pythons are one of the most popular types of pet snakes for many reasons. Not only are they lovely to look at, but they’re also quite docile and rarely ever bite. However, as all experienced snake owners know, getting bitten by your pet is a right of passage. Rarely does any snake owner go unbitten forever.

If your Ball Python bites you, does it hurt and is it dangerous? What should you do in the event of a bite from your pet snake? Here is everything you need to know.

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Does a Ball Python Bite Hurt?

Non-venomous snakes, Ball Pythons bites are not dangerous. Nor are they extremely painful. While all snake teeth are super sharp, Ball Pythons don’t have powerful jaws. They strangle their prey to death and don’t use their teeth quite as much as other snake species might do.

A Ball Python bite may feel as bad as a paper cut, stubbed toe, or hitting your funny bone. It basically feels like a series of small pinpricks.

Ball Python bites typically don’t cause much damage. If you quickly jerk away from your snake, these tiny puncture wounds may tear, becoming a bigger problem for both you and your pet. As you swiftly pull away from your snake, its teeth may get stuck and rip out. If a Ball Python bites you, always remain calm.

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Image Credit: Kapa65, Pixabay

Why Did My Ball Python Bite Me?

The most common reason for Ball Python bites is that the animal was provoked. It also might have mistaken your hand or finger for prey.

To avoid snake bites that result in mistaken identifies, always ensure your hands never smell like your snake’s dinner. Wash your hands after handling rodents or touching any other household pet.

To avoid a possible defensive bite, be observant of your snake’s body language. If it’s hissing, has a tense body posture, or has its upper torso raised, do not handle the animal.

ball python raising its head
Image Credit: aixklusiv, Pixabay

Ball Python Bite Care

If your pet snake bites you, remain calm and don’t quickly pull away. This could make the issue worse. After receiving the bites, immediately return your pet to its enclosure.

Gently wash the wounds with soap and warm water. Carefully inspect them to ensure no teeth are stuck in your skin. If teeth are present, carefully remove them with tweezers and rewash the wounds. Use a mild first-aid disinfectant to prevent infection, then rub a antibiotic ointment over the wounds. Cover them with a bandage.

If you notice any redness, steak marks, discharge, or swelling, call your doctor right away.

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Conclusion

If you own a snake, chances are that you’ll probably eventually get bitten. Avoid potential bites by ensuring your hands don’t smell like prey and not touching your Ball Python if it’s exhibiting defensive body language.

While Ball Python bites aren’t painful, it’s important to care for your wounds properly. Wash your wounds, disinfect them, and watch out for any signs of infection.


Featured Image Credit: Natnaphat, Shutterstock

Nicole Cosgrove

Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts' knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.