Ball Pythons Stomatitis Mouthrot

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Ball Pythons Stomatitis Mouthrot:

Mouthrot or stomatitis is found in some imported Ball Pythons. Bacteria that are commonly found in the mouth are the most frequent culprits. Other causes can be Stress, improper husbandry, overcrowding, parasites, trauma, and poor nutrition are known triggers. Ulcerative Stomatitis can also be caused by bacteria, viruses, and fungi such as Pseudomonas, Salmonella, Klebsiella, and Aeromonas.  Once the snake is held by the head the mouth can be examined. For instruction on how to examine your Python Regius for mouthrot please click this link. The infected area will appear packed with caseous (cheesy looking) matter. The symptoms of mouthrot are swelling of the upper jaw area above the opening of the mouth causing the labial scales to protrude in an abnormal manner. Early signs include tiny purplish red spots in the mouth, and firm, dry diseased tissue develops along the tooth row as the condition worsens.

In severe cases, the infection can extend into the bony structures of the mouth. If you suspect that your snake does have mouthrot you should contact a licensed veterinarian immediately. Respiratory or gastrointestinal infection may develop if the stomatitis is not treated promptly. Treatment requires the removal of any dead, damaged, or infected tissue from the wound in order to expose healthy tissue that will allow the wound to heal. The wound then needs to be cleansed with antiseptics or antibiotics. Finally, whole system antibiotics and supportive therapy should be given. Surgery may be needed in severe cases with slow-healing sores or inflamed growth. Vitamin supplementation, especially with vitamins A and C, may be helpful in some cases.

In mild cases, the snake should be treated immediately so that the stomatitis does not worsen. Treatment consists of gently removing, a little bit at a time, any caseous matter and cleansing the affected areas with 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. Betadine (povidone iodine) solution should be applied to the area on a daily basis. Stomatitis is infectious and care should be taken to carefully wash your hands and cleanse all utensils used in maintenance. With proper treatment, the disease can clear within a few weeks. If you do not start to see any improvements, contact a licensed veterinarian immediately.

I hope this information helps those who are experiencing possible Stomatitis with their snakes. Thank you for your time.


Best of luck,
Living Art Reptiles.
Source Information:
Philippe de Vosjoli, Roger J. Klingenberg, DVM, and Living Art Reptiles.

Photos: Philippe de Vosjoli, Ash Croft Veterinary, RVC.

Ball Python care and maintenance

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