Internal parasites aren’t terribly common with snakes, but they tend to be more common in hognoses due to their affinity for amphibians, which tend to transmit parasites more than other types of prey. Wild-caught individuals are also more likely to have parasites.
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Especially smelly poo
- Feeding live prey (especially amphibians)
- Snake is wild caught
- Cohabitation with an infected snake
Treating parasites is fairly simple. If your hognose demonstrates one or more of the abovementioned symptoms, bring a fresh fecal sample (no older than 24 hours) to a reptile veterinarian for analysis. If parasites are present, an oral dewormer will be prescribed. Supplementing dewormer with probiotic paste can help offset the dewormer’s side effects.
As a general practice, hognoses (especially those suspected to be wild-caught) should be dewormed shortly after being brought home. Freezing prey items before feeding kills most parasites, and housing hognoses singly also helps reduce the likelihood of parasite infection.