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Common Illnesses in Snakes

December 15, 2014

Are you a first time snake owner? These beautiful, intriguing animals can make excellent pets. If they are kept in a proper habitat with the correct environmental settings, and fed correctly, many snakes will never get ill. That said, just like any other animal, snakes are susceptible to certain conditions and diseases. Your local veterinarian Niagara Falls describes a few of the most common illnesses in snakes below.

Infectious Stomatitis (Mouth Rot)

Mouth Rot may appear as a small hemorrhage on the gums. You may also see mucus, which might have blood or pus in it and may slightly resemble cottage cheese, inside your snake’s mouth and around his lips. If the infection is severe, your snake’s mouth may swell, and he may breathe through his mouth. Mouth rot often develops when a snake is weakened from something else, such as poor environment, incorrect temperatures, or malnutrition. It can also develop after a mouth injury.

Blister Disease

Blister disease often develops in reptiles whose environments are either dirty, or too moist. The condition can be easy to miss, which is why it is important that you keep an eye on your snake’s body condition. You may see lesions on your snake’s underbelly or around his ventral area. Blisters may appear on the snake, and will become infected as the condition progresses. Early treatment is critical, as blister disease can lead to serious skin damage and/or blood poisoning, and can even be fatal.

Inclusion Body Disease (IBD)

IBD is a viral disease that affects pythons and boa constrictors. The symptoms are rather varied. Boa constrictors with IBD will sometimes regurgitate, or develop head tumors. They may also experience abnormal shedding, and stop eating. Clogged nostrils, stomatitis, and pneumonia can also be symptomatic of IBD. Pythons may not show these symptoms, but in both boas and pythons, as the disease progresses, the nervous system is affected. Your snake may appear disoriented, and may roll around, hold odd positions, or seem dazed.

These are just a few of the illnesses most commonly seen in snakes. There are many more. Some common symptoms of illness in snakes include lethargy, loss of appetite, and improper shedding. These symptoms can often be indicative of several illnesses, so it’s very important to consult your vet for a proper diagnosis if your snake seems ill. Always keep a close eye on your scaled pet, and if you spot any behavior or symptoms that deviate from his normal behavior, contact your local vet clinic Niagara Falls immediately.