Ball Pythons Most Common Health Concerns

Ball pythons

The ball python is a popular pet choice for snake lovers. You must know how to care for them properly. Ball pythons are known for their calm demeanor and small size, making them suitable for beginners. However, they have common health concerns.

Mouth Rot

Mouth rot is a fungus that can cause a serious infection in your pet’s mouth. It can be treated with antibiotics, but if left untreated, it can be fatal for your ball python.

Mouth rot is very common in ball pythons, so you should always be on the lookout for signs of this condition:

  • Canker sores appear as small white or yellowish ulcers on the upper and lower lips and chin. A snake with mouth rot may have an open sore or several tiny ulcers scattered across its face.
  • Your snake may also have difficulty eating because of swelling in its jaws or tongue. This problem will only get worse unless you get treatment right away!

Respiratory infection

Respiratory infections are the most common health problem in ball pythons. Bacteria or viruses, stress, and poor enclosure conditions can cause these infections. Respiratory infections are treated with antibiotics, but they require humidity between 60-70% and a temperature of 80 degrees Fahrenheit (27 degrees Celsius) for optimal recovery.

Suppose you’ve been treating your snake for respiratory infection for several days, but they still do not seem to be improving. In that case, you may need to increase the temperature to 85 degrees Fahrenheit (29 degrees Celsius). If this doesn’t help, try using a humidifier and the heat lamp until they are completely recovered!


Parasites are a common problem in ball pythons, but you can prevent and treat them with the right care. Two types of parasites affect ball pythons: internal and external.

Internal parasites are worms that live inside your snake’s body. They can be difficult to detect because they don’t show any signs or symptoms. Many internal parasites don’t even cause health problems for snakes—only when multiple infections occur that they harm your pet! Luckily, these infections are easy to prevent with routine parasite prevention, like monthly flea control medication or dewormer tablets once every four months during the breeding season (when snakes shed their skin), plus twice yearly fecal exams on all snakes in your collection by a qualified veterinarian.

Metabolic Bone Disorder

Metabolic bone disorder, or MBD, is a common health concern in ball pythons. A calcium deficiency and an improper diet can cause it. If you suspect your pet may have this condition, it’s important to consult your veterinarian immediately.

Symptoms of the metabolic bone disorder include:

  • Reduction in appetite and activity level
  • Swollen ventral scales (the underside of their body)
  • Abdominal distension is caused by excess gas building up within the digestive tract due to a lack of appetite.

Egg-binding and Dystocia (at risk only during the breeding season)

While egg-binding is not a common condition, it can seriously require immediate veterinary care. If your snake seems to be having trouble passing eggs, you should consult your veterinarian immediately. Egg-binding can cause death if left untreated, so you must stay vigilant and seek medical attention as soon as possible if you notice any suspicious symptoms.

While the exact cause of egg-binding is unknown, several factors increase the likelihood of this condition occurring in female snakes:

  • older age (especially over seven years)
  • obesity or rapid weight gain
  • poor nutrition
  • stress


The best way to prevent these illnesses is to get your snake checked out by a veterinarian specializing in exotic pets. If you have a sick ball python, there are ways to treat it, but you must know what kind of health problem your pet has before taking action. A veterinarian can tell you if they think the illness is serious enough that treatment should start immediately or if they can wait until tomorrow so that treatment doesn’t interfere with other important things in their life (like work).