Common Problems Requiring Veterinary Attention In Snakes

Here is a brief list of  some common health problems seen in pet snakes:

  • Shedding Problems: Although a common cause of retained shed is due to low humidity, it can also be a sign of various infections, burns, and other diseases.
  • Not Eating: As mentioned above, this may be a seasonal shift in appetite.  Many female ball pythons will go off food when they have eggs.  However, parasites, bacteria, viruses, and other diseases can also cause loss of appetite.
  • Open-mouthed Breathing: Many ball pythons will yawn after eating.  If the mouth remains open at other times, this could be a sign of an infection of the respiratory tract.
  • Watery discharge from mouth or nose: A watery to mucus discharge from the mouth or nose may be a signs of an infection of the respiratory tract, gastrointestinal system, or some other disease.
  • Mites: Ball pythons that are always in their water dish are often suffering from a mite infestation.  You may see small flecks of black or grey floating in the water.
  • Lumps and Bumps: This can be caused by abscesses, broken ribs, parasites, tumors, and many other diseases.

The above list is not intended to be a complete list of what may go wrong with a a pet snake, but a general guide to some of the common problems we diagnose. In addition to a physical examination, we may order certain diagnostic procedures and tests to identify what is causing your snake to be ill.