pet snake bit me

Asked July 11, 2016, 6:43 PM EDT

i have a guyana boa about 4 ft long. i had it for about a month and a half now. i pick it up everyday and never had any problems. the other day when i went to feed him i noticed he was in a bit of a defensive mode. i though it was just because he smelled the rat. today i went to pick him up and he was still in a defensive mode. i reached my hand in and he bit me. What will cause a snake to suddenly change their behavior like that?

Virginia Beach Virginia

3 Responses

Thank you for your question. Snakes are wild animals and, from time to time, even normally docile individuals may bite. As you mention, snakes may tend to bite during feeding time. He may just need a couple of days to calm down, but if your snake continues to be irritable, then there may be a problem with temperature or humidity or some other aspect of maintaining a suitable environment for him. Here's a link to an article that reviews husbandry requirements for boa constrictors:
http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Care-Sheets/Snakes/Colombian-Boa-Constrictor/

If you're satisfied that you're meeting all of these requirements, then you may consider having a reptile vet examine your snake. He may have sustained some type of injury or be suffering from a disease or infection that is causing him to be irritable.

Hope this information helps, and thank you for using Ask an Expert.

Jim

Thank you for your help i really appreciate it. And when you mentioned that it might be an injury i remembered when i fed him he did strike the enclosure glass pretty hard. But i will still look into all the possible problems you mentioned.

You're welcome. Contact us anytime. Good luck with your snake.

Jim