Stargazing in Reptile Pets

Have you ever seen a reptile twist his head upwards, staring at the sky? No, he’s not pondering the meaning of the universe—it’s a symptom known as stargazing! Snakes are the most common reptilian pet to exhibit this behavior, but other reptiles like lizards are also susceptible. Learn more below from a Sugar Land vet.

What Causes Stargazing?

Since stargazing is not itself a disease, but a symptom, it’s caused by an underlying condition of some sort. Your pet’s central nervous system isn’t functioning normally, which causes the head and neck to twist unnaturally upwards. This means that any condition that affects a reptile’s central nervous system could be to blame. Snakes, in particular, often stargaze because of a dangerous disorder known as inclusion body disease. Other causes include wounds, infections, parasites, viruses, and poisoning.

Are there Other Symptoms?

Other symptoms will likely present themselves along with stargazing. Tremors, seizures, and disorientation are common, and many reptiles may not be able to right themselves if they’re lying on their back. If you see these symptoms in conjunction with stargazing, let your veterinary professional know immediately. Your pet will need to be examined by a vet for a diagnosis and subsequent treatment.

How is Stargazing Treated?

Correcting stargazing will involve treating the underlying cause of the symptom. In order to diagnose the problem, your vet may take X-rays, sample blood, or take a tissue specimen to examine under the microscope. Antibiotics, toxin prevention, nutritional and dietary changes, and fluid therapy are some common treatments for the various maladies that can cause stargazing.

Your Sugar Land veterinarian will be able to fill you in on exactly what’s causing your reptiles stargazing behavior, what it means, and how to proceed when your pet comes home again. Call the clinic with any further questions or concerns.

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