Snake Viral Infections

When it comes to snake viral infections, prevention is key. In order to help protect your pet snake from becoming infected with a virus, it’s important that you take the necessary steps to provide them with a healthy and safe environment. This includes providing them with clean water, a secure enclosure, and regular veterinary visits. It’s also important to pay attention to any changes in behavior or appearance that could indicate a potential infection.

Snake viral infections can be caused by a variety of different viruses, including the boid pox virus, adenovirus, and the more recently identified snake herpesvirus. While these viruses are not typically fatal to snakes, they can cause changes in behavior and physical symptoms that will require treatment from your vet.

Once your vet has diagnosed the infection, they will be able to provide you with a treatment plan that is specific to your pet’s needs. Depending on the virus, this could include administering medications, providing supportive care, or even surgery in some cases.

Symptoms of Snake Viral Infections

  • Appetite loss
  • Lethargy
  • Dehydration
  • Swollen head or body
  • Abnormal respiratory rate or sound
  • Skin lesions, discoloration, and/or shedding abnormalities
  • Weight loss
  • Reduced activity levels

Diagnosing Snake Viral Infections

In order to diagnose a snake viral infection, your veterinarian will likely take a detailed history and perform a physical exam. Your vet might also recommend further testing, such as blood work or imaging, in order to determine the cause of the infection and the best course of treatment.

Stages of Snake Viral Infections

Exposure Stage:

During this stage, the snake is exposed to the virus but has not yet developed any symptoms.

Early Symptoms Stage:

During this stage, your snake might begin to have early signs of illness, such as appetite loss, lethargy, or changes in behavior.

Advanced Symptoms Stage:

At this point, the snake’s physical condition has deteriorated and the virus is causing more severe symptoms, such as weight loss, discoloration, or respiratory distress.

Recovery or Death:

Depending on the severity of the infection and the treatment plan provided by your veterinarian, the snake will either recover from the infection or succumb to it.

Treating Snake Viral Infections

When it comes to treating snake viral infections, the most important thing is to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. Depending on the virus, your veterinarian could prescribe a course of antibiotics or antiviral medications, provide supportive care such as fluids and nutrition, or recommend surgery in some cases. It’s also important to follow any instructions provided by your vet regarding environmental changes you can make to help reduce the risk of infection in the future.

Preventing Snake Viral Infections

The best way to prevent your pet snake from becoming infected with a virus is to provide them with a healthy and safe environment. This includes:

  • Providing clean water, housing, and substrate
  • Maintaining proper temperatures and humidity levels in the enclosure
  • Regular veterinary visits
  • Quarantining new snakes before moving them next to existing animals 
  • Cleaning and disinfecting their enclosure on a regular basis
  • Monitoring your snake for any signs of illness or changes in behavior