Snake Dermatitis

Dermatitis is a condition in snakes that is caused by their enclosure’s conditions not being kept right. Either too humid, not humid enough, or too dirty, causing your snake’s skin to blister. Sometimes the blistering is caused because your snake isn’t able to fully shed their skin, and it remains stuck to them. Eventually if untreated, their blisters will become too large and burst, creating an open wound.

The best thing to do is to fix the problem in their enclosure immediately so that your snake’s skin doesn’t get any worse.

Symptoms of Snake Dermatitis

  • Discolored scales, usually on their belly
  • Blisters, usually on their belly
  • Swollen or raised scales

Diagnosing Snake Dermatitis

Diagnosing Snake Dermatitis can be challenging since the symptoms are not always obvious. In addition to a detailed medical history, physical examination and laboratory tests may be needed in order to accurately diagnose their condition. A skin biopsy may also be taken to rule out other potential causes of the symptoms such as an infection or allergic reaction. Blood tests may be used to check for elevated levels of certain substances which may indicate an allergic reaction or infection.

Stages of the Snake Dermatitis

Stage 1

At stage one, your snake will start to show signs of discolored scales and blisters. Usually these are small and localized on their belly.

Stage 2

At stage two, the blisters become larger and more numerous. Their skin may become swollen or raised in these areas.

Stage 3

At stage three, the blisters burst open, creating an open wound that can lead to infection.

Treating Snake Dermatitis

The treatment for snake dermatitis will depend on what is causing the condition in the first place. If it’s due to an environmental issue, then the enclosure should be changed so that the humidity and temperature are optimal for your snake’s health. If there is an underlying infection or allergy, then antibiotics or anti-allergy medications may be prescribed. In any case, the goal is to provide relief from the symptoms and help your snake heal.

In addition to treating the underlying cause of snake dermatitis, it’s important to keep the wound clean and dry. This can be done by using a soft towel to gently dab away any excess fluid from the wound. You should also use an antiseptic solution such as Betadine or chlorhexidine to help prevent infections.

Preventing Snake Dermatitis

In order to prevent snake dermatitis from occurring, you should ensure that the enclosure is kept clean and dry. You’ll also want to make sure that the temperature and humidity levels are within the expected range for your snake’s specific species. It’s important to make sure that your snake has plenty of hiding spots and branches so that they can shed properly. Finally, if possible, you may want to consider switching to an anti-allergen bedding such as aspen or paper towels.

It’s also important to provide your snake with a healthy diet that contains all the necessary vitamins and minerals for their species. A balanced diet helps ensure that your snake’s skin stays healthy, supple, and free of any infections. 

Additionally, you should avoid handling your snake too much or too often because this can cause stress which can exacerbate any existing skin conditions. Finally, it’s essential to make sure that your snake has regular veterinary care to ensure that any underlying issues are identified and treated as quickly as possible.