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Mite Infestations in Snakes

April 01, 2020

One great thing about snakes is the fact that they are fairly low maintenance pets. They don’t even need to eat every day! However, it is very important to keep their habitats clean. A dirty tank or terrarium can harbor all sorts of dangerous germs. It’s also often a prime spot for mites. In this article, a Covington, GA vet discusses mite infestations on snakes.

Basics

Mites are basically to snakes what fleas are to cats and dogs. Like fleas, they are tiny little bloodsuckers that can transmit dangerous bacteria and viruses, as well as other parasites. As one could expect, infestations can be extremely unpleasant for snakes. They also weaken them, leaving them more susceptible to other health issues.

Symptoms

Mites are quite common, so it’s important to watch for signs of infestations. They are visible to the naked eye. They look like tiny black or red dots, and kind of resemble coffee grounds. They usually cluster around the eyes, nostrils, and chin. You may also spot their feces, which look like small white flakes. Or, you may find some on your hands after handling your pet. It’s worth noting that infested snakes often soak themselves in water to try and drown the mites. If your scaled buddy is spending more time than usual in his pool, mites could be the reason.

Treatment

If you spot mites, don’t panic. Infestations are treatable. You’ll need to soak your snake in medicine to kill the mites. If you’ve never done this before, consult your vet. It’s important to use the right products and dosages. You’ll also need to thoroughly clean and disinfect your snake’s habitat and everything in it. You can use a product specifically made for this, or a bleach/water solution. Rinse well, and make sure everything is completely dry before reassembling your pet’s home. If you have other snakes, you’ll also need to check them and clean their cages as well. We also recommend scheduling a follow-up with your vet, just to make sure your pet is ok. Ask your vet for more information.

Prevention

Fortunately, mite infestations are fairly easy to prevent. If you thoroughly clean and disinfect your pet’s habitat regularly—about every two weeks or so—the odds of an infestation go way down.

Do you have questions about caring for a pet snake? Contact us, your Covington, GA vet clinic, today!


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