Signs of Illness in Snakes

Part of being a good pet owner is monitoring your animal companion for signs of sickness, and seeking immediate veterinary care if you know or suspect that your pet is sick. This can be a bit tricky for snake owners, as snakes can be difficult to read. In this article, a North Las Vegas, NV veterinarian discusses some common signs of illness in snakes.

Change In Behavior

Any changes in an animal’s behavior are often a sign that something is wrong. If your scaled pet is usually docile, and then suddenly starts acting aggressive, he could be ill. It’s worth noting that snakes often get rather grumpy before they shed. That said, it’s best to play it safe and check with your vet.

Weight Loss

Healthy snakes should be muscular and robust. If your pet is losing muscle tone and/or looking bony, he could be ill.

Abnormal Shedding

Snakes should shed their entire skin in one piece. If your snake’s old skin is in pieces, or has holes where the eyes should be, contact your vet for assistance. Increased shedding, erratic shedding, or slower shedding times can also be warning signs.


If your pet’s skin is darkening, seems dull, or has any visible blisters or lesions, you may very well have a sick serpent on your hands.


If you notice discharge coming from your pet’s eyes, nose, or mouth, your snake could be sick.


Stargazing is a term for some common behaviors that snakes often exhibit when they are sick. Some of the things that can be considered stargazing include stiffness, difficulty moving, or strange postures.

These are just a few common signs of illness in snakes. Visible swelling, changes in waste, lack of appetite, mouth breathing, and wheezing can also be warning signs. Additionally, you’ll want to do some research on your specific type of snake, so you can recognize issues common to your scaled pal’s breed. Ask your vet for more information on signs of illness in snakes.

If your snake has any of these symptoms, or is acting unusual in any way, contact us, your North Las Vegas, NV animal clinic immediately.

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