Corn snake mouth slightly open


I recently noticed my snake has been doing this with his mouth a lot lately. I’m growing concerned but cannot take him to the vet until Tuesday. Can someone tell me what could possibly be happening with him? Thanks!!


Sometimes snakes will yawn or open their mouths some to better expose their vomeronasal organ and smell the environment by taking it all in at once rather than the usual tongue. Snakes don’t do this very often, but sometimes if they’re in a new environment they will. The other possibility is some respiratory issue, or maybe a small injury. I would continue to watch closely for other health signs, and have him/her checked out at the vet if the problem persists. You have a beautiful snake, I hope he/she gets better soon!


It could be a R.I. but I noticed the aspen wood shaving substrate. I would open its mouth gently and look in the roof or sides of the mouth and entrance to the throat to make sure none is stuck. I once had a ball python on cypress get a piece of substrate lodged in his mouth doing the same thing, it was a easy fix just pulled it out of his mouth with hemostats and he was fine! Anyway I would check the mouth first, and then if nothing is found take it to the vet Tuesday. Good luck!


Welcome to the community, @jennaleewheel. I’m sorry thatyour snake is having some trouble. It doesn’t look to me like there’s an emergency; but it does look like there will be a need for a vet visit. I’m looking at the a couple things. If the snake is consistently holding its head with that upward angle, that tends to point toward a possible RI. It’s difficult to say for sure, but I think I’m seeing some darkening/discoloration on the lower labia scales. That may be a bit of stomatitis. Either or both of those will need some meds.

Checking its mouth as suggested by @banereptiles is a very good idea. I use aspen myself, and I’m a fan for various reasons. Like all substrates, it can stick to food items and cause obstruction if one feeds on it. It’s possible that the snake ended up with some in its mouth some other way. Though that would be unusual, they excel at finding ways to get into trouble.

While you’re waiting to see the vet, you can do a couple things to help. Male sure that the snake has fresh water in a clean dish daily. Not sure when you fed it last, but pay attention to any waste. If it goes between now & the vet visit, put it in a ziplock bag with a little air as you can manage, store it in the refrigerator, and take it to the vet when you go. Hold off on feeding it before the vet visit.
You don’t want a regurge due to traveling around and the snake needs its energy for whatever is going on. You can also make sure the snake has access to temps in the 85-87°F range. (Of course with a cool choice, too, for thermoregulation.) Slightly warmer temps can help it fight off issues.

Good luck, and let us know how it goes.