Once you’ve bought a healthy corn snake, you must know how to keep it healthy. What do they need? How much should you feed them? What are the symptoms of possible diseases? You should be able to tell when your corn snake needs a trip to the vet.
In this chapter, we will talk about what your corn snake needs to stay healthy, and what to look out for when your snake doesn’t look like it’s at peak condition.
Common Health Problems
Snakes can be affected by a number of different health problems and they are generally not specific to any particular breed. Feeding your Corn Snake a nutritious diet will go a long way in securing his total health and wellbeing, but sometimes snakes get ill anyway. If you want to make sure that your snake gets the treatment he needs as quickly as possible you need to learn how to identify the symptoms of disease. These symptoms are not always obvious either; your Corn Snake may not show any outward signs of illness except for a subtle change in behavior.
The more time you spend with your pet snake, the more you will come to understand his behavior – this is the key to catching health problems early. At the first sign that something is wrong with your snake you should take inventory of his symptoms – both physical and behavioral – so you can relay them to your veterinarian who will then make a diagnosis and prescribe a course of treatment. The sooner you identify these symptoms, the sooner your vet can take action and the more likely your Corn Snake will be able to make a full recovery.
Corn Snake can be prone to a wide variety of different diseases or infections, though some are more common than others. For the benefit your Corn Snake’s long-term health, take the time to learn the causes, symptoms, and treatment options for some of the most common health problems.
Besides red flags, it is best to be in the know when it comes to what these red flags mean. Corn snakes have some common health issues you can find by identifying the symptoms or causes. Here are some of the common health issues to look out for:
- Symptoms: Blisters, rapid shedding.
- Causes: Unclean habitat, temperature and humidity
too cold or too damp.
- What to do: Consult your veterinarian, clean habitat and lower humidity.
- Symptoms: Labored breathing, mucus in mouth and/or nostrils.
- Causes: Habitat too cold or damp.
- What to do: Consult veterinarian, keep snake warm and dry.
- Symptoms: White, cheesy substance in mouth, loss of teeth and appetite.
- What to do: Fatal when untreated, so consult your veterinarian immediately.
Ticks and mites
- Symptoms: Parasites on skin.
- What to do: Consult your veterinarian.
Checking Your Snake’s Health
To be able to tell that something’s wrong with your snake, you must first know what a healthy corn snake looks like. Listed below are some signs you can see in a healthy snake:
Your corn snake must be able to move freely at its normal pace.
- Clear eyes
One of the first signs of a healthy animal is having clear eyes. Check your corn snake’s eyes. Except when shedding, if it’s healthy, it will have clear eyes.
- Regular eating
Eating is the most basic of needs – if your snake isn’t eating when it’s supposed to, something’s wrong.
- Healthy skin
Check your snake’s scales during handling. Its body should feel firm enough to the touch but without being too soft.
Regularly sheds skin
When your snake sheds, check if it’s shedding in one piece. This means that your snake doesn’t have any skin problems and your tank is set at the perfect humidity for your corn snake.
- Free of parasites
Your snake should be free of parasites such as mites and ticks.
Once you know what your corn snake should look like when it’s in good condition, you will know what red flags to look for. Below are a quick checklist or red flags that you should attend to immediately:
- Infrequent or irregular shedding
- Reluctance to eat
- Abnormal feces
- Bumps on skin
- Difficulty breathing
- Difficulty shedding
- Substance forming at the mouth
When you encounter these signs, it’s time to take your corn snake for a visit to the vet.