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All About The Ball Python Bite: What You Need To Know

by Gloria Louden
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Even if you love snakes and have one as a pet, you likely don’t get real excited about the thought of your snake biting you. After all, who would actually look forward to a snake bite? If you own a ball python, or any snake for that matter, it’s important to learn about the chances of being bitten and what will happen after you’re bit, because this is the only way to prepare for that situation.

Introduction

Snake bites almost always hurt, but the amount of pain you have to endure is different depending on the type of snake that bit you. With a ball python bite, you’ll actually feel little to no pain, but that doesn’t mean it will be pleasant. A snake bite will shock you both physically and mentally, but fortunately that is usually all there is to it.

When you get bit by a ball python, you’ll feel a little pressure and a squeeze in the bite area, but usually no pain. The python’s grasp may be strong, but the initial shock of what just happened is almost always worse than the actual damage caused by the bite. In fact, if you keep all of these things in mind your next step will be much easier, and that step is to remain calm.

What to Do First When a Ball Python Bites You

If you don’t panic and remain calm, the bite will be a lot easier to take care of, so if a ball python does bite you, try to stay as calm as possible. A ball python may latch on after it’s bitten you, but most of the time it lets go immediately. If it does not do that and it stays latched on, DO NOT YANK IT OFF of the bite spot.

Why not just yank it off? First of all, ball pythons have teeth that are angled backwards, which means yanking it off could damage both its teeth and the bite area much more. The reason they often latch on is because this is how they attack their prey – they bite it then constrict it to kill.

In most cases, the snake will immediately release you, but if it doesn’t, here are a few suggestions you can try:

• Wait and see if the snake calms down. It may release you as soon as it realizes you’re not its next potential meal.
• Pour ice-cold water over the snake. It will make it uncomfortable and it’ll be much more likely to let go of you.
• Pour whiskey, vodka, or some other type of alcohol over him. This may sting your bite area some, but it often does the trick.

Keep in mind that ball pythons are not venomous, so a trip to the hospital likely won’t be needed.

How to Care for the Wound

Once the snake is removed from the bite area, you’ll likely be bleeding and the skin will be punctured. Not to worry, though, because from here most of what you’ll end up doing is a lot like any other wounds you might receive. In other words, it needs to be cleaned thoroughly before you do anything else.

Get to a sink and wash the wound thoroughly with soap and water. Just because the ball python doesn’t release venom doesn’t mean he can’t have harmful bacteria that can cause the wound to get infected, so make sure it is super clean before you do anything else.

Next, it’s best to put some type of antiseptic on it to make sure it doesn’t get infected. Products such as Neosporin, hydrogen peroxide, or even rubbing alcohol will do the trick. Just make sure something protective gets put on the wound so your chances of infection are a lot less.

At this point, it is recommended that you bandage the site, especially if the skin has been broken. Even if the skin is smooth, placing a bandage on the wound is a good way to keep it protected as it heals and besides, it just makes it more comfortable for you from that point forward.

Is That All There Is to it?

After reading all of this, you may be tempted to ask, “Is that it?” And the answer is … yes, it is. Indeed, since ball pythons have bites that you barely feel and since they are nonvenomous snakes, the only thing you really need to do is care for the wound properly and go on with your life.

Having said all of this, please note that if you are concerned about the bite you receive or it starts to get red and tender to the touch, you may want to go ahead and see a doctor. Although taking good care of the wound is usually the only thing you need to do to prevent infection, infections can happen anyway. If you’re in any way uncomfortable with the way your wound looks or feels, seeing a doctor immediately is the best thing to do.

Ball pythons do not have fangs but actual teeth, and they have a lot of them! In fact, ball pythons typically have 25 to 35 teeth in their mouths, depending on their age. This is one of the reasons why their bites can be so mentally and sometimes even physically jolting to you.

Conclusion

Ball pythons make great pets and for the most part will never bite you, but if this ever does happen, at least now you’ll know what to expect and what to do about it. There are certain times when biting is more of a probability – such as when they are shedding or around mealtime – so it’s good to become familiar with these scenarios to avoid your snake during these times.

The ball python bite isn’t painful or serious, but you do need to take care of it properly, and doing this is much easier than most people realize.