How To Comfort A Dying Snake

A pet snake is that best friend that hisses at anyone who tries to get close to us; although your pet snake might not be intended to drive people away, we all know how territorial they can get.

A pet snake is that best friend that hisses at anyone who tries to get close to us; although your pet snake might not be intended to drive people away, we all know how territorial they can get.

When these aggressive reptiles reach a point where they are only short of few breaths, we’d want to comfort them into a peaceful rest.

Similar way, we humans tick goals off our bucket list to have that vibe of a happy death, the same way comforting a dying snake earns a smile on its face before making its last hiss.

Now, this isn’t asking you to repeatedly poke the jaw of your dead snake searching for a smile as snakes are not smiley animals.

So, how do you comfort a dying snake? We’ll get into that further into this article but first, let’s look at the symptoms of a dying snake.

Snakes are independent, quiet creatures that rarely display emotions compared to other animals like dogs or cats; thus, when they exhibit certain odd behaviors, it can be difficult to ascertain if they are dying or simply on low energy.

Thus, what symptoms does a snake exhibit to let you know it’s short of a few hisses? after reading this article, you’ll be able to tell when a snake is dying and how to comfort it.

First, let’s start with the symptoms of a dying snake;

How Do I Know If My Snake Is Dying?

Less Tongue Flicking

Sticking out the tongue is an inmate behavior for snakes, to observe and explore their environment; the absence of this behavior in your pet snake might signify the snake needs an improvement in its environment.

However, it’s of higher significance that your snake is close to the end of its lifespan; to ascertain if it’s dying, try changing its environment; if there’s still no tongue flicking, it means your snake is ready to bid you goodbye.


Snakes are active animals that spend their time burrowing or gliding through rocks; one of the symptoms of a dying snake is its lack of usual activity.

If the snake doesn’t curl when handled or lies limp, it’s a warning sign that your snake is dying.

Lack of Appetite and weight loss

Snakes are big on feeding; thus, one of the major signs of a dying snake is its lack of interest in food. Once a snake stops feeding, it results in a noticeable weight loss where the reptile bones are evident, which also causes difficulty in shedding off its skin.

Another sign of a dying snake is dehydration, which results in sunken eyes, wrinkly and dry skin. A dying snake experiencing lethargy would lose interest in food or water, leading to either of the noticeable symptoms.

Reddish or Pink Coloration on the Skin

A snake might reach the end of its lifespan either naturally or through infections, and a prominent symptom of a dying snake is its skin has an unusual color of red or pink.

This coloration is a symptom of a bacterial infection termed sepsis which affects the bloodstream of a snake; however, this infection is more prominent in ball pythons, especially when they are close to death.

Difficulty in Breathing

Snakes breathe through their nasal openings; however, if a snake is constantly breathing with its mouth open with occasional wheezing and gasping, this is a warning sign that something is wrong and the snake is on the verge of death.

Rolling on its back 

Snakes are usually gliding on their bellies, except for the female snake who lays on her back to lay eggs.

If your snake isn’t pregnant but constantly lies on its back, it’s a sign that it’s dying, and rolling on its back helps lessen the pain it feels while close to death.

If your snake ticks off these symptoms, it means they are close to saying goodbye, so how do you comfort them in their last days or moments? The following tips will guide you through being a solace for a dying snake.

Is It Better To Cremate Or Bury A Pet?

How to Comfort A Dying Snake

It’s a crucial responsibility to care for a dying snake; However, some people have had bad experiences with snakes; it is important to remember that they are very sensitive creatures and can feel pain just as we humans do.

When you find that your pet snake is dying, a few things need to be done. 

Stay close to its tank.

Spending time close to your snake’s tank makes it feel calm and lessens any pain it might feel when close to death.

You can carry it or let it feel your hands, although due to its lack of activity when dying, it might not curl around your hands; thus, you can softly rub its back, which can relieve pain or pressure.

Provide a quiet environment

The lower the noise level, the better for the snake – Music might be soothing, but not everyone can find music that their snake will like; it may be best to play no music at all. Some people put on meditation or yoga music for their snakes until they pass away; this might work for some snakes, while others may only become more upset by such soft sounds when they are in pain and fear. Let your snake make its own choices, when possible – it knows itself better than you do!

Take it out of its tank.

Rather than cooping up your snake in its tank till it takes its last breath, bring it out of the tank for at least 10-15 minutes.

 You can place it on a warm surface, and although it might lay limp, being around you and outside an environment different from its tank will comfort it through reaching the end of its lifespan.

Keeping it cooped up in its tank makes it more aware of its pain and proximity of its death, but taking it out of the tank gives it a reassuring feeling and a peaceful end.

Comfort it through your relaxation time

While meditating, reading a book, or watching a movie, you can place your snake on your lap or next to you.

This will induce a relaxed feeling in your dying snake and make them feel comforted; however, you should only do this in quiet scenery and avoid sudden movements as this might startle the snake into fear, awakening its senses to its death.

You can also interact with it’s through soothing words, especially if this is an activity you’ve been doing while it was healthy.

As weird as it might sound, animals love interactions, and a deadly snake isn’t an exception.

Keep it hydrated and fed. 

Although a symptom of an ill or dying snake is losing interest in food or water, you shouldn’t stop providing it with either of them.

You should continue its feeding routine but offer it in minimal quantity; if they refuse to eat, you’ll need to get creative on keeping them hydrated and fed.

One way to get them to feed or drink is by mixing both the food and water, so if it’s the food they refuse, mixing it with the water will suffice and vice versa.

How to Save a Dying Snake

If your pet snake has stopped eating and is acting lethargic, read on for information on how to revive a dying snake.

If your snake is still alive but sick, follow these steps:

  • Make sure the snake has a clean, comfortable area to live in. If it doesn’t, you can build an enclosure or modify its current one.
  • Create daytime and nighttime temperatures by using different heat sources. Also use thermometers to make sure that your pet’s environment is not too hot or cold. That way, if they are sick but still alive, they will be able to heal without getting worse due to temperature changes outside of their control.
  • When feeding them during treatment time, don’t handle the food since handling disturbs their digestive system (this article explains why) and could prolong recovery time, simply place food near them so they can eat on their own terms when they’re ready.
  • If they are not eating on their own, you will need to force-feed them. Make sure the prey is small and warm (but not hot) before feeding it to your snake: this means that their body temperature has been restored after being sick and feverish for a period of time.
  • Give them time to rest between feedings.
  • Perform fecal exams on your snake every other day for about two weeks in order to make sure their digestive system is still functional and there are no parasites in their feces. After this, perform a checkup once per month for one year after treatment starts so you can monitor the progress of the recovery period.


Although the death of your feisty friend can be tough grief, comforting a dying snake in its last moments gives it a peaceful rest and provides you with closure knowing you were present through its final hiss and breath.



Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Back to top button