Why Is My Ball Python Drooling? Understanding the Causes and Solutions

Affiliate Disclaimer

As an affiliate, we may earn a commission from qualifying purchases. We get commissions for purchases made through links on this website from Amazon and other third parties.

Ball pythons are a popular pet snake for many reptile enthusiasts. Although they are relatively easy to care for, owners may become concerned if they notice their ball python drooling. While drooling can be a sign of a severe health issue, it can also be a natural behavior for ball pythons.

One reason a ball python may drool is the shedding process. As they prepare to shed their skin, they may produce excess saliva to help loosen the old skin. This excess saliva can result in drooling. Another reason for drooling may be related to feeding. Ball pythons may produce saliva in anticipation of a meal, and this saliva can result in drooling.

However, drooling can also be a sign of a health issue. For example, respiratory infections, mouth rot, or other illnesses can cause a ball python to drool.

Owners must monitor their snake’s behavior and seek veterinary care if they suspect a health issue. By understanding the reasons for drooling, owners can better care for their ball pythons and ensure their health and well-being.


Possible Causes of Ball Python Drooling


Ball pythons are popular pets known for their docile nature and easy maintenance. However, they are susceptible to various health issues, including drooling.

If you notice your ball python drooling excessively, it is essential to identify the underlying cause and seek appropriate treatment. The following are some possible causes of ball python drooling:

Respiratory Infections


Respiratory infections are a common cause of drooling in ball pythons. Bacteria, viruses, or fungi can cause these infections and lead to symptoms such as coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. If left untreated, respiratory infections can be fatal. Therefore, treatment typically involves antibiotics and supportive care.




Dehydration is another possible cause of drooling in ball pythons. This can occur if the snake does not have access to fresh water or does not drink enough. Signs of dehydration include sunken eyes, wrinkled skin, and lethargy.

Treatment involves rehydration with fluids and ensuring the snake can access fresh water.




Ball pythons can become stressed for various reasons, such as improper handling, inadequate housing, or environmental changes. Stress can lead to drooling as well as other health issues. Therefore, providing a comfortable and secure environment for your ball python and handling it properly to minimize stress is essential.


Dental Issues


Dental issues, such as abscesses or broken teeth, can also cause drooling in ball pythons. These issues can be caused by improper diet, trauma, or infection. Signs of dental issues include drooling, loss of appetite, and difficulty eating. Treatment typically involves antibiotics and dental surgery.


Symptoms of Ball Python Drooling


Excessive Salivation


One of the most common symptoms of ball python drooling is excessive salivation. If your ball python is drooling excessively, it may indicate an underlying health issue. Various factors, including respiratory infections, mouth infections, and dental problems, can cause excessive salivation.


Open-Mouth Breathing


Another symptom of ball python drooling is open-mouth breathing. If your ball python is breathing with its mouth open, it may be a sign of respiratory distress.

Respiratory infections are a common cause of open-mouth breathing in ball pythons. Other possible causes include stress, overheating, and dehydration.


Difficulty Swallowing


Difficulty swallowing is another symptom of ball python drooling. If your ball python is having trouble swallowing, it may indicate an obstruction in the throat or digestive tract. Various factors, including mouth infections, dental problems, and foreign objects in the digestive tract, can cause this.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your ball python, it is essential to seek veterinary care as soon as possible. A qualified veterinarian can diagnose the underlying cause of your ball python’s drooling and provide appropriate treatment.


Treatment for Ball Python Drooling


When a ball python is drooling, it is essential to seek veterinary care immediately. The treatment for ball python drooling may vary depending on the underlying cause.


Hydration Therapy


One of the first steps in treating a drooling ball python is to ensure that the snake is well-hydrated. Next, a veterinarian may administer fluids subcutaneously or intravenously to help rehydrate the snake.

In addition, the snake may need to be soaked in warm water to encourage drinking.




If an infection causes drooling, the veterinarian may prescribe antibiotics to treat the underlying infection. Following the veterinarian’s instructions for administering the medication is essential, as incorrect dosages can harm the snake.


Dental Cleaning


The veterinarian may need to perform a dental cleaning if dental issues, such as an abscess or infection, cause drooling. This may involve removing any buildup of tartar or plaque on the teeth and extracting any infected teeth.


Reducing Stress


Stress can also be a factor in causing a ball python to drool. Suppose the veterinarian suspects that stress is the underlying cause.

In that case, they may recommend measures to reduce stress, such as providing a hiding spot or changing the snake’s environment to make it more comfortable.

In conclusion, several treatment options are available for ball python drooling, depending on the underlying cause. It is essential to seek veterinary care as soon as possible to ensure the snake receives the appropriate treatment.


Preventing Ball Python Drooling


Ball pythons are known to drool when they are stressed or dehydrated. While there is no one-size-fits-all solution to preventing drooling, there are a few things that snake owners can do to reduce the risk of drooling in their pets.


Proper Hydration


One of the most common reasons why ball pythons drool is dehydration. To prevent this, it is essential to ensure that your snake can always access clean, fresh water.

The water dish should be large enough for the snake to soak in, as ball pythons like to soak in water to stay hydrated. Additionally, it is important to mist the enclosure regularly to maintain proper humidity levels.


Routine Veterinary Check-ups


Regular veterinary check-ups are essential for keeping your ball python healthy and preventing drooling. A veterinarian can check your snake for signs of illness or dehydration and advise avoiding drooling. Additionally, a veterinarian can recommend supplements or treatments to help keep your snake healthy.


Stress Reduction Techniques


Stress is another common cause of drooling in ball pythons. To prevent stress, providing your snake with a comfortable and secure environment is essential.

This can be achieved by providing plenty of hiding spots, a proper temperature gradient, and a consistent feeding schedule. Additionally, it is essential to handle your snake gently and avoid sudden movements or loud noises that can startle your pet.

About the author

Latest posts

  • Can You Pick Up Grass Snakes? Tips and Precautions

    Can You Pick Up Grass Snakes? Tips and Precautions

    Yes, you can pick up grass snakes. However, it’s important to handle them gently and with care to avoid causing them any harm.   Is It Safe to Pick Up Grass Snakes?   Grass snakes are non-venomous, harmless snakes commonly found in grassy areas and gardens. They are docile and generally not aggressive towards humans.…

    Read more

  • Can Grass Snakes Hurt Cats? A Clear Answer with Expert Knowledge

    Can Grass Snakes Hurt Cats? A Clear Answer with Expert Knowledge

    Grass snakes are not harmful to cats. They are non-venomous and typically avoid confrontation with larger animals. In fact, they are more likely to flee when encountering a cat. However, it’s always best to supervise your pets when they are outdoors to ensure their safety.   Potential Risks to Cats Bite Risks   Grass snakes…

    Read more