Help Needed! Sick Ball Python!

Emilia 1

(Picture taken the day Emilia came home, her enclosure does not look like that now. Just for clarification.)

My little girl here has been feeling under the weather for a while, I know she has a URI and has showed only small signs of improvement a while ago. Sadly, she has gone downhill a bit, she has no energy to eat on her own. We have to open her mouth and give her the mouse, a few times she has even opened her mouth for us and waited for the food to be handed to her. She is severely underweight.

We did research and followed a tutorial on nebulizing snakes for URIs, after nebulizing Emilia she shown very good signs of improvement. It has only been a week (Unable to continue doing it because her humidifier broke) and she has become worse than she was before.

Me and my boyfriend did the thing that we are told not to do, we bought her and Felt (our albino ball) from a local pet supplies plus. Felt is doing great, no signs of discomfort, eats fine, and is perfectly healthy. Emilia is scaring me; I love her greatly and would hate for something to happen.

I made this post to find the best help I can in this situation, it is winter here and the closest exotic vet is in PA.


Unfortunately to make real progress you’re probably going to need to see a vet. Whether the root cause is viral or bacterial, there is almost certainly either a primary or secondary bacterial infection that will need antibiotics.


Listen to @ballornothing you have done all you can do for her. She needs a vet to run tests and provide antibiotics, I don’t see any other options for you unfortunately. I wish you the best of luck with her, she is very pretty!


Thank you, we will do what we can to get her to a vet soon. :slight_smile:


Best of luck, I’m sorry to hear you’re going through this. On the off-chance that it might help, this post goes over a variety of ways to find veterinarians that see reptiles. Best of luck! :heart:


Oh my! That poor sweet little baby girl! She definitely needs meds as well as hydration and possibly a day or two in an incubator.

Do you have a regular vet by chance? Others may disagree with this suggestion but I think you should contact a regular DMV and possibly they could assist you in some way shape or form. IMO it’s worth a shot. If don’t have any success, then at least you tried…….


Thank you! We will totally look into all the options we have, this included.


Gonna echo everyone else here. URI or infections on mouth/head aren’t worth messing around with using home remedies. Get to the vet as soon as possible and get (ideally injectable) antibiotics if the vet recommends it.


I also recently had a snake come down with a respiratory infection. Took her to the vet…spent a hour and a half one way getting there. They gave me and showed me how to give her injectable antibiotics which was actually quite easy especially as they provided 3 weeks worth of pre filled syringes. I think I spent maybe $150 US. Honestly I would have paid 10 times that (or more) if I could just get her better.

I feel it’s worth it even if you have to drive a few hours…if they can give you injectables you should see improvement after about a week or so….just make sure you finish the entirety of treatment even if she does seem better. I hope you get your baby well soon! Keep us posted!


Nothing to add but prayers for you and your baby. Hope you’re able to get treatment for her soon.


I would just like to add that when you do get her to the vet, it’s definitely worth asking if the vet can do a test for nidovirus. Nido can present as chronic RI but in my opinion it’s better to know and rule that out, because if she has nido then your other snake is at higher risk too.


Time for a vet. Nothing we can do to help.



We called around our area and found not only an exotic vet, but one that charges less than most. Me and Sam (my partner) are saving up money to get her there in a week or so.

Thank you all for your help! I will update on how it goes.


Thank you for this information, I have never heard of Nido, I will definitely look into it and ask for her to be checked. Honestly, thank you. :>


Yay! That’s awesome news! Keep us updated!


Update #2

We took Emila to the vet early this morning. The vet was amazing and took her in while already being booked.

She found zero signs of URI or Nidovirus, she does believe it to be a parasite problem. She has asked us to come back with a bowl sample, it will be sent to the nearest exotic lab.

I will keep all of you posted, thank you all for the help. :slight_smile:


That is some good news! Keep us posted!


Hallelujah for you and her! Sounds like you have an awesome vet as well! You did the right thing by Emila!

All the best!

Caron. :heart:


I’m glad that Emila got to see a vet. It’s wonderful that you found such a caring person. It’s also wonderful that there is no Nido. Hoping that she makes a complete and quick recovery!


We sent the sample in a few weeks ago, we got a call saying everything came back normal. She is going to do X-rays this coming Thursday. Sadly, the vet we have found is uncomfortable doing any surgery, so if there is a foreign object, she will send us elsewhere. She does not trust anyone in the surrounding area to do such procedures, she will send us up in Ohio at that point.

It truly upsets me that retail stores can sell animals in general, poor Emilia is suffering due to their negligence and stupidity. Hopefully we can save up around $1,000 to get up there and be able to stay a few nights, I honestly hope the sample test was a false negative. I want my little girl to get better immediately, she doesn’t deserve this.

Thanks everyone for the help so far, I will update after her X-rays.