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Ball Python With Bump On Mouth

What could be the cause of a red bump near a snake's mouth?

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Q: I have a ball python about a month or so old, and she has a slight red bump near her mouth. I was wondering if you knew the cause the bump and how I may relieve it. Thank you for your time.

-Leon C, New York


A: Since your ball python is a baby, I would recommend that you get her checked out by a herp veterinarian ASAP. You didn’t say if your snake is eating, and that is a big concern. A bump near the mouth could be the start of an abscess, a tick wound, a parasite under the skin, a bite wound from a rodent, a vessicle or some other problem. Without proper diagnosis, it will be impossible to correctly treat it. I’m concerned that this lesion might prevent her from eating. To ensure that she gets a good start in life, find a good herp vet and make an appointment to have her examined. Good luck with your new pet.

Margaret A. Wissman, DVM, DABVP has been an avian/exotic/herp animal veterinarian since 1981. She is a regular contributor to REPTILES magazine.

 Need a Herp Vet?

If you are looking for a herp-knowledgeable veterinarian in your area, a good place to start is by checking the list of members on the Association of Reptilian and Amphibian Veterinarian (ARAV) web site at www.arav.com. Look for DVMs who appear to maintain actual veterinary offices that you could contact.