Ball pythons are popular pets, but they can be quite delicate creatures. While ball pythons are usually hardy, they can become seriously ill if not properly cared for. If your pet python is displaying any of the signs discussed in this article, it may be dying. As a responsible owner, it’s important to be aware of the common signs of a sick or dying python, as well as potential causes and prevention strategies. So read on—we will cover 12 signs that could indicate your ball python is in danger and what you need to do about it.
Below are the Detailed Reason for Ball Python Dying
1) Lethargic Behavior: Lack of Activity
Lethargic behavior, or a lack of activity, is one of the first signs that a ball python is dying. This may be due to a number of factors, including illness, stress, or injury. If your ball python is not moving around as much as usual, or seems to be inactive and lethargic, it is important to take them to a vet for an examination as soon as possible.
2) Lack of Appetite
There are a few different reasons why your ball python may lose its appetite. One reason could be that it is going into shed. During this time, their vision is impaired and they may not be able to see their food as well. Another possibility is that the snake is not feeling well and does not have an appetite because of it. If your ball python has been off its food for more than two weeks, it is best to take it to the vet to find out what is wrong.
If your ball python is not drinking water, it will become dehydrated. Dehydration can cause your ball python to become listless, stop eating, and shed its skin poorly. If not corrected, dehydration can lead to organ failure and death.
To prevent dehydration, make sure your ball python has a clean water bowl that is big enough for it to soak in. The water bowl should be changed daily and the tank should be misted with water daily as well. If you notice your ball python is not drinking water, try offering it live prey or placing the water bowl in its hiding spot.
4) Flicking Its Tongue Stopped
A ball python’s tongue is constantly in motion as it tastes the air around it. If you notice your ball python has stopped flicking its tongue, this is a sign that something is wrong.
Their tongue is used to help them smell and taste their food, so if they stop using it, they may be having trouble finding food or they may be sick. If you notice your ball python has stopped flicking its tongue, take them to the vet to get checked out.
5) Noticeable Weightloss
If your ball python is suddenly losing weight, it could be a sign that something is wrong. Weight loss can be caused by many different factors, including illness, stress, and lack of food. If you notice your ball python losing weight, take them to the vet right away to rule out any medical causes.
There are several things that can cause a ball python to lose weight. One common cause is lack of food. If your ball python isn’t eating enough, it will slowly start to lose weight.
Make sure you are feeding them the appropriate amount of food for their size and age. Another common cause of weight loss is stress. Stress can cause a snake to lose their appetite and stop eating altogether. Try to minimize the amount of stress in your ball python’s life by providing them with a quiet, safe environment.
If you notice your ball python losing weight, take them to the vet right away. The vet will be able to determine if there is a medical reason for the weight loss or if it is due to stress or lack of food. They will also be able to recommend a course of treatment to help your ball python regain their health.
6) Abnormal Skin Texture: Pink or Red Skin
If your ball python has abnormal skin texture, it’s likely to experience a health issue. The most common cause of abnormal skin texture is shedding problems, which can be caused by a variety of factors including dehydration, improper humidity, and lack of food.
If your ball python is having trouble shedding, you’ll need to take measures to improve the humidity in its enclosure and help it shed properly. You can do this by lightly misting the snake with water or using a reptile shedding aid.
Other causes of abnormal skin texture include infection, stress, and poor nutrition. If your ball python is displaying any other signs of ill health, it’s important to take it to the veterinarian for a checkup.
7) Bubbles Around Python Nostrils
A ball python’s nostrils should be clear and free of any bubbles or mucus. If you see any bubbles around your ball python’s nostrils, it could be a sign that your snake is dying.
The bubbles could be a sign of respiratory infection, which is a serious condition that can quickly kill a snake. If you see any bubbles around your ball python’s nostrils, take them to the vet immediately.
8) Swollen Mouth
If your ball python’s mouth is swollen, this is a sign that something is wrong. Swelling can be caused by an infection, injury, or even just stress. If you see any other signs of illness, such as lethargy or loss of appetite, take your python to the vet right away.
9) Irregular Pupils Size
One of the most common signs that a ball python is dying is irregular pupil size. If you notice that your ball python’s pupils are no longer the same size, it’s a sign that something is wrong and you should take them to the vet immediately.
There are many possible causes of irregular pupil size, including dehydration, malnutrition, and stress. If not treated quickly, irregular pupil size can lead to blindness and death.
10) Cold and Limpy Body
If your ball python is suddenly cold to the touch and seems limp or unresponsive, it’s a sign that something is very wrong. This could be caused by a number of things, ranging from simple stress to a serious illness.
If your ball python is cold and limp, the first thing you should do is check its enclosure. Make sure the temperature is where it should be and that there are no drafts or other factors that could be causing stress. If everything looks good there, try gently warming your python with a warm towel or heat pad.
If your ball python doesn’t seem to be improving, or if it starts showing other signs of illness, take it to the vet immediately. There are many potential causes of a cold and limp body, and only a professional will be able to give you a diagnosis and treatment plan.
11) Breathing Problems: Breathing From Mouth Wide Open
One of the most common signs that a ball python is dying is breathing problems. If you notice that your ball python is breathing from mouth wide open, it’s a sign that something is wrong. This can be caused by a number of things, including dehydration, infection, and even starvation.
Dehydration is one of the most common causes of breathing problems in ball pythons. If your snake isn’t getting enough water, it will start to breathe more heavily and from its mouth. This is because its body is trying to conserve water by not using its nose to breathe. Dehydration can also cause your snake to stop eating and shed its skin improperly.
Infection is another common cause of breathing problems in ball pythons. If your snake has an infection, it will likely have a fever and may breathe faster than normal. It’s important to take your snake to the vet as soon as possible if you suspect it has an infection.
Starvation can also cause your ball python to start breathing from its mouth. If your snake isn’t getting enough food, it will begin to break down its own muscle tissue for energy. This can lead to rapid weight loss and weakness. If you think your snake may be starving, take it to the vet immediately.
12) Unusual Poop Textured or Discharge
There are several potential causes of unusual poop textured or discharge in ball pythons. One common cause is impaction, which occurs when the snake has difficulty passing stool due to a blockage in the digestive system. This can be caused by feeding the snake food that is too large, by housing the snake in an enclosure that is too small, or by the snake ingesting objects like rocks or substrate.
Impaction can be treated by gently massaging the snake’s abdomen and giving it a warm bath. If the blockage is severe, you may need to manually remove it with a pair of tweezers.
Another potential cause of unusual poop texture or discharge is parasites. Parasites can cause a variety of problems for snakes, including weight loss, diarrhea, and anemia. If you suspect your ball python has parasites, take it to a veterinarian for treatment.
Finally, if your ball python has recently been exposed to stressors like changes in temperature or humidity, it may produce abnormal poop as a result. Try to minimize stressors in your ball python’s environment and give it time to adjust before making any major changes.
13) Abnormal Posture
One of the telltale signs that your ball python is dying is an abnormal posture. If your snake is normally very active and now seems to be constantly coiled up in a tight ball, this is a red flag. Additionally, if your ball python’s body seems limp or rubbery, this is another sign that something is wrong. If you notice any of these changes in your snake’s posture, it’s important to take them to a vet as soon as possible.
14) Scale-Related Issues
There are a few scale related issues that can lead to a ball python’s death if not caught and treated early. One common issue is dysecdysis, which is when a snake sheds its skin but doesn’t shed all of it. This can happen due to a number of reasons, including dehydration, improper humidity, lack of shedding aids, or an underlying health condition. If not addressed, dysecdysis can cause infection, tissue damage, and eventually death.
Another scale related issue that can be deadly is something called “scale rot”. Scale rot is basically an infection of the scales caused by bacteria or fungi. It typically occurs in snakes that are already immunology-compromised or have open wounds. If not treated promptly, scale rot can spread and lead to sepsis (a potentially fatal blood infection).
So, if you notice your ball python’s shed isn’t coming off in one piece or there are any signs of infections on the scales (redness, swelling, pus), be sure to take them to a reptile vet as soon as possible for treatment.
15) Isolation: Trying to Hide
When a ball python is sick, the first and most important thing to do is isolate them from the rest of your collection.
If your snake is showing any of the signs listed above (abnormal posture, discharge, unusual poop texture or odor), it’s important to take them to a veterinarian as soon as possible. However, if you think your snake may be sick
Once the snake is in its new enclosure, keep an eye on it for any signs of improvement or worsening condition. If you see any changes, be sure to contact your veterinarian right away.
Most Common Causes of Death in Ball Pythons
There are many potential causes of death in ball pythons, but the most common ones are easily preventable. The three most common causes of death in ball pythons are starvation, dehydration, and respiratory infections.
Starvation is by far the most common cause of death in captive ball pythons. It is important to ensure that your python has a regular feeding schedule and is being fed an appropriate amount of food. If you are unsure about how much to feed your python, consult with a reptile veterinarian or experienced snake keeper.
Dehydration is another common cause of death in ball pythons, especially if they are not provided with a reliable source of fresh water. Make sure to clean and refill your python’s water bowl regularly.
Respiratory infections are also relatively common in ball pythons, especially if they are kept in enclosures that are too small or do not have adequate ventilation. If you notice your python wheezing or having difficulty breathing, take them to a reptile vet as soon as possible for treatment.
Prevention of Death in Ball Pythons
One of the most common causes of death in ball pythons is starvation. When a ball python stops eating, it is slowly starving to death.
If you are unsure about how much to feed your python, consult with a reptile veterinarian or experienced snake keeper.The best way to prevent this is to feed your ball python regularly and make sure it has a good source of food.
Another common cause of death in ball pythons is dehydration. When a ball python does not have enough water, it can become dehydrated and die. The best way to prevent this is to provide your ball python with fresh water every day and make sure it has access to a water bowl.
If you think your ball python is sick, it is important to take it to the vet right away. Early diagnosis and treatment of illness can often save a ball python’s life.
What to Do If Your Ball Python Is Dying?
If you think your ball python is dying, the first thing you should do is consult a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles. They will be able to help you determine if your python is actually dying, and if so, what the cause may be. There are many potential causes of death in ball pythons, so it is important to get a professional opinion before taking any action.
Once you have consulted a veterinarian, there are some things you can do to try to save your python’s life. If the cause of death is unknown, there are some general treatments that may be effective. For example, increasing the humidity in their enclosure can help relieve respiratory problems. If the problem is due to an infection, antibiotics may be prescribed.
If the cause of death is known, then treatment will be specific to that condition. For example, if your python has been bitten by a venomous snake, they will need immediate medical attention and antivenom if available. If they are suffering from malnutrition, they will need to be slowly introduced to a proper diet with all the necessary nutrients.
No matter what the cause of death is, it is important to remember that ball pythons are resilient creatures and often times even when it looks like they are about to die, they can make a full recovery given the right care and treatment.
A ball python is a wonderful pet to keep, but it is important to be aware of the signs that indicate it may be ill or dying. By being aware of the twelve signs we have discussed in this article, you can take proactive steps to address whatever issue your ball python might have and prevent its further deterioration.
Regular check-ups with an experienced reptile veterinarian are highly recommended too as they can detect any underlying issues before they become life-threatening. Taking all these precautions will ensure that your beloved pet stays healthy and happy for years to come.
94% of pet owners say their animal pal makes them smile more than once a day. In 2007, I realized that I was made for saving Animals. My father is a Vet, and I think every pet deserves one. I started this blog, “InPetCare”, in 2019 with my father to enlighten a wider audience.