Looking after a snake is a long-term commitment and requires a significant amount of planning, research and money to create a suitable habitat that will keep your reptile healthy for a long time.

The first step should be deciding which species you are interested in.  Then you need to do research on their housing, feeding and health care requirements.  The pet shops in Canberra that specialise in reptiles usually have a great range of literature to help you. Remember, all snakes kept in the ACT require a licence which can be obtained at the ACT Dept. of Environment.

Regular health checks

We recommend annual or twice annual health checks to ensure that hidden diseases do not become serious and to provide you with the latest information on caring for your snake. We can provide reminders for this service.

Sick snakes and lizards often exhibit disease which is undetectable to the owner in the early stages. Veterinarians can often detect illness in snakes before visible symptoms develop.

Signs of Serious Disease in Snakes – these warrant a veterinary examination

  • Refusing to eat the normal offerings, or hiding for extended periods
  • Skin shedding – The skin is usually shed all in one piece. Shedding the skin in bits and pieces usually indicates a sick snake
  • Mouth rot with saliva or bubbling around the mouth
  • Abscesses or blisters on the skin
  • Abrasions of discharges on the skin or from the eyes or nostrils
  • Eye infections or incomplete shedding of skin around the eye
  • Lumps or bumps on the body
  • Mites

Other reasons to take your snake to the vet:

  • Post purchase health checks – should be done within seven days of purchase
  • Advice about feeding and husbandry
  • Regular worming
  • Microchipping



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