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Common Diseases of Pet Snakes

What are some of the common diseases of pet snakes?

Common conditions of pet snakes include infectious stomatitis (mouth rot), parasites, respiratory disease, difficulty shedding, and septicemia.


What are the signs of these diseases?

Infectious Stomatitis (Mouth Rot) is seen as pinpoint hemorrhages on the gums or an excess amount of thick mucus, often like cottage cheese, in the mouth.  In severe cases, the snake will exhibit a severe swelling of the mouth and exhibi... Read More

Feeding Your Pet Snake

What do snakes eat?

Unlike most pets, snakes eat whole prey items including mice, rats, gerbils, and hamsters.  Larger snakes will also eat whole rabbits.  Since snakes eat entire prey items, this simplifies things for snake owners, and most certainly prevents many dietary-related diseases so commonly seen in other reptiles.  However, it does present a problem.  Namely, you must provide some type of prey to the snake.  If you're squeamish about killing rodents for your snake and then watching it eat the prey, a snake is probably not the pet for you!


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Housing Your Pet Snake

What type of cage does my snake require?

Smaller juvenile pets often do well in a 10 or 20 gallon aquarium, or even plastic shoeboxes (cut small air holes!). As your snake grows, he must be moved to more comfortable enclosures.  These can often be purchased or built by the pet owner.  Your veterinarian or pet store may have examples of these larger enclosures to give you an idea of the proper habitat for an adult snake.


Does my snake need bedding in his cage?

Substr... Read More

Special Problems of Pet Snakes

General Information

Snakes have several unique problems; understanding these problems will allow you to better care for your pet and minimize future health care problems.



Anorexia means lack of appetite or refusal to feed. Snakes commonly exhibit anorexia. Anorexia can be a "normal" condition, often associated with pregnancy, the breeding season, incorrect environment, incorrect diet, or most commonly the stress of a new environment. "Abnormal" anorexia is m... Read More

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