Corn snake health

Signs of a healthy corn snake are clear eyes, nose and mouth, begin active, alert and eating regularly, and having a full rounded body with healthy skin.

Signs of an unhealthy corn snake are wrinkled or rubbed skin, lethargy and decreased appetite, discharge from nose or mouth and abnormal faeces or urine.


Mites are small black parasites that live on corn snakes and feed on their blood. They are particularly attracted to regions such as around the eyes, mouth and under scales. Your snake will seem lethargic and may go off food during a mite infestation.

After discovering a mite infestation it is imperative that you thoroughly disinfect the enclosure and all furnishings. Bathe your corn snake in warm water for approximately 20 minutes to drown and kill the mites. Some mites will detach themselves from the snake in an attempt to escape the water, and may end up floating on the surface.

Respiratory Infections

Respiratory Infections are a bacterial infection that is caused by poor cage conditions, such as low temperatures or high humidity.  They can be passed on from snake to snake which is why quarantining new snakes is recommended. Corn Snakes may sound wheezy with excessive saliva and nasal discharge, or gasp and sit mouth open struggling to breathe. Serious infections need to be seen to by a vet immediately to avoid mouth rot.

Mouth Rot

Mouth rot is a disease called ulcerative stomatitis that is caused by a bacterium that strives in unhealthy tissues. A snake’s mouth is prone to become one of these unhealthy tissue sites when the following occur:

  • temperatures are to low for the snake’s metabolism to adequately work. Normal antibacterial defences in the mouth are impaired and the snake’s immune system is not operating at one hundred percent.
  • the corn snake is ill from another disease.
  • the environment is dirty, serving as a breeding ground for bacteria.
  • the corn snake consistently strikes the cage walls causing tissue damage.

Treatment consists of both topical cleaning and medicating along with systemic antibiotics. Some snakes need aggressive fluid therapy and maybe an incubator to maintain body temperature. This disease can be fatal if left untreated.


Regurgitation is a symptom of many digestive problems, illnesses and stress. It is recommended that if your corn snake does regurgitate a meal that you it for further symptoms. If your Corn Snake repeatedly regurgitates meals, loses excessive weight or shows any other signs that are unusual, it is advised for you to seek medical attention as soon as possible.