HomeAsk A Vet

Snake Eye Problem With Inflammation

Does my snake have a retained eye cap?

Donating Herps For Research
Gopher Snake Not Eating
Mites in Reptiles

My ball python’s eye looks weird. It looks like part of the skin under the eye popped out, and the skin is growing over the eye. It isn’t affecting his behavior or his eating habits. Is this a retained eye cap? It doesn’t look like it, but this is the only eye problem that I have read about.

This doesn’t sound like a retained eye cap. It sounds more like you might have a mite problem causing inflammation of the tissue around the eye. Please find a qualified herp veterinarian and make an appointment to have your snake examined and treated.


Of course, without actually examining your snake, I cannot make a diagnosis. However, it does seem like your snake has inflammation of the tissue around the eye. Also, if the spectacle becomes distended, the blood vessels may become engorged, which may look like what you are describing. There are other problems of the eye involving the spectacle (the eye cap) that could be causing your snake’s problem. This is why it is important to get your snake seen before it becomes symptomatic, meaning that it is becoming ill or stops eating.

I hope this helps.

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.