Ball pythons are known to be one of the exotic animals that can serve as a pet since these are non-aggressive and considered to be docile snakes. But many new owners asked me why do ball pythons yawn by their owners and other people so often?
Sometimes, they are just curious about it because they care about their pets and want to know more about them. This article is right for you when you have a ball python that you are taking good care of.
Moreover, you would know the reasons why they usually kept on yawning, in what situation that may seem to be very alarming and need to go see a vet.
Finally, you will get the helpful tips that you can do whenever you have a ball python.
This article has been reviewed by Dr. Gospel. Read more about our knowledge control process here.
- Do ball pythons yawns and why?
- Four Reasons Why Do Ball Pythons Yawn
- Do you need to worry if your ball python yawns too often?
- When do you need to worry and see a VET?
- Is there a way to help your ball python without visiting a VET?
- What to Remember
Do ball pythons yawns and why?
Humans observe that ball pythons usually yawn. But, do they actually yawn just like humans do?
This is not a rare case for ball pythons since it is considered to be one of their normal behaviors. Though, experts found out that “yawning” is not the term to describe it, it is more of stretching out their jaws.
Indeed, yawning may seem very relaxing for humans since it makes our brain cool down for some time whenever we are tired.
The question is, does this sense also apply for ball pythons? Ball pythons can eat large prey. While swallowing, they intend to move their jaws in order to digest.
Afterward, they may feel quite uncomfortable with the position of their jaws. Thus, it results in stretching it out, which would realign their jaws, which is related to yawning.
Moreover, a ball python is also observed to yawn before having its meal. It is concluded that they are stretching out their jaws before swallowing big prey.
Ball pythons may seem to ready themselves by warming up, which may be an adorable way to think for the owners.
Furthermore, the yawning-like-habit does not only occur before and after eating but also after they sleep due to the same reason, stretching out the jaws.
Therefore, there are still no studies that support that snakes yawning corresponds with tiredness just like humans do. Though, let us all hope that there would be answers by scientists.
Four Reasons Why Do Ball Pythons Yawn
There are various reasons why the ball python yawns such as Stretching Out Their Jaws, Recognizing The Environment, and the last reason is Sign Of Illness. If you are seeing your snake pets yawn more than five times in one hour, you need to have a VET look.
1. Stretching Out Their Jaws
Snakes are known to have very huge jaws that allow them to swallow big prey such as rats.
In a more expert way, their jaw tends to control their meals since their lower jaw is not connected to a bone, but by ligaments only.
As of now, you know that their yawning is not the same as humans do, it is more about stretching their jaws since they are finding their comfortable position before and after eating and sleeping.
This is just a normal tendency of a ball python to do since they can swallow a very large meal.
2. Recognizing the Environment
Another reason is that a ball python is likely to yawn due to grasping details within the area it is in.
Many owners observe that their tongue always sticks in and out while their jaw is open since there is an organ that makes this happen, which is called a vomeronasal organ and can be found in the upper side of their mouth.
The said organ works with the ball python’s tongue in order to taste the air, which would help them recognize if there are any prey near them.
3. Breathe Better
A ball python that has respiratory infection yawns because they want to gasp more air in order to make breathing better.
Just like humans having asthma, they seem to catch up more air so they need to breathe using their mouths since their nostrils cannot provide much oxygen in the body.
Whenever your ball python sneezes, then it is a sign that he acquired a respiratory illness. On the other hand, when a ball python does not have any respiratory infection, then yawning is just normal for them.
4. Sign of Illness
This may appear as a piece of very unfortunate information for ball python owners because yawning can be a sign that your pet has an illness.
Pet parents need to know what kind of prey your ball python intake is.
Most of the time, some of the prey such as rats and mice may bring harmful parasites, which could be critical for the ball python that could cause them a bacterial infection.
Other reasons include:
1. Getting ready to eat
3. General body stretching
Do you need to worry if your ball python yawns too often?
The answer is yes. You need to worry if your ball python frequently yawns even if it is one of their known habits.
But yawning from some time is okay for ball python since it is more about their realignment of jaws or natural way of survival.
As it was mentioned above, there are many reasons why they intend to do this.
Moreover, yawning of ball pythons is not the same as humans when they are tired or sleepy, as scientists concluded as of now.
Therefore, check your pet whenever they conduct manners that may seem already odd for you.
When do you need to worry and see a VET?
If your ball python is yawning and shows symptoms such as loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea or unusual stool, then it seems that your ball python may acquire bacterial or fungal infection.
Also, when you see mucus on the mouth and nostrils and wheeze when breathing, your ball python may have a respiratory infection. Which is why they kept on yawning.
When you suspect your ball python to have a respiratory illness, look inside their mouth when they yawn to see if there is slime-like material.
This happens when there is very high humidity in the ball python’s enclosure.
You should know the right temperature that would fit your pet’s in the very best way.
Being aware of your pet’s actions is a must to prevent certain kinds of diseases.
If you feel like your ball python seems to have a dull behavior and keeps on yawning, then you should see your trusted veterinarian to check his condition.
The vet would also run some tests to verify its status whenever it is found out that it is sick.
Is there a way to help your ball python without visiting a VET?
Honestly, there is no way that you can do to help your ball python to recover from its disease.
Though, veterinary expenses seem to be high enough.
Also, some pet parents would apply something that they just gathered from various sources, but if you are not an expert, then it could only lead to crucial consequences.
It would still be better if you would consult the nearest veterinarian because some symptoms may already be a sign of worse illness and could even lead to death when it has not been checked out.
What to Remember
In brief, ball pythons are very friendly snakes for humans since they are not aggressive types.
Many ball python owners observe that their pets yawn from time to time, which is considered to be their normal behavior.
But yawning may not seem to be the right term for ball python as humans do but it is stretching out their jaws.
Since snakes have very large jaws, they can swallow their entire prey.
Thus, one of the reasons why they likely yawn is that they realign their jaws in their most comfortable position after digesting their meal.
Besides, yawning can also occur before eating as a sign like warming up.
Yawning after sleeping also indicates that they are stretching out.
The other reasons are when they are grasping some details within the environment such as looking out for nearby prey, helping them breathe better, or a sign of an illness.
Respiratory disease is common for ball pythons when the humidity of their enclosure tends to be high.
While bacterial and fungal infections can occur when their food came from a dirty area.
When you see your ball python yawning too often, it is time to go see your veterinarian in order to help you and your pet.
They would know whenever your ball python has a serious condition and know what to do to cure it.
As a pet owner, you should always provide the best care for your pet to prevent harmful scenarios. Always remember that prevention is better than cure.