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Anna, Reptile Expert, Biologist
Category: Reptile
Satisfied Customers: 11424
Experience:  Have owned turtles, snakes, amphibians, and lizards. Study and provide habitat for wild herps.
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My red tail boa constrictor is drooling and not eating for

Customer Question

My red tail boa constrictor is drooling and not eating for weeks whats wrong?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Reptile
Expert:  Anna replied 8 years ago.

From your description, it sounds as if your snake may have stomatitis, commonly called mouth rot. The infection often is systemic, rather than being restricted to the mouth. Excessive salivation is a symptom. Snakes often don't receive proper care in pet stores and while they're being transported to the stores, and this is a common result. To treat it effectively, the snake will need to be seen by a reptile vet who can determine the specific cause and prescribe the right antibiotic. If you don't know of a vet, give me your city (nearest larger town if yours is a small one) and state, and I'll help locate one.

In the meantime, your can support the snake by taking a few measures. Make sure he/she has a bowl of fresh water available to it. Raise the temperature gradient in the enclosure to the highest level appropriate for boa (82-90 F , with a basking area kept at 90-95 F ), and don't lower it at night. Here is a link on stomatitis that goes into great detail on how to clean the mouth:

The site also gives you far more detail on other appropriate steps to take. These are first aid measures, and don’t take the place of a visit to a vet. If you have further questions, or need help finding a vet, just let me know by clicking on REPLY. I hope you’re able to quickly get in to see a vet and get the infection under control.