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I took custody of a rat snake a few weeks back - I got him off Craigslist. I can tell he has been badly neglected -- the vivarium was stinking. I don't think that it had been cleaned for months.

He is a beautiful, docile snake and I love him to bits. He seems to sneeze a lot and I thought it would pass but he's still doing it. The sneezing doesn't particularly worry me but what does concern me is that his upper lip protrudes over the lower lip, beneath the eyes. (His mouth does not close properly). If you look at his head from underneath, you can see the protrusion on either side where the upper lip fails to meet with the lower.

It looks like it could maybe be a swelling or perhaps he was just born that way.

Can anyone imagine what this might be?

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  • If you can include a photo that would be great. As suggested by the current answer a vet visit is probably required. If you can post an answer of your own with info from the vet visit it will help future snake owners with similar issues. – James Jenkins Oct 31 '18 at 12:28
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    I've attached a photo. Poor ole snakey. – P i Nov 1 '18 at 5:59
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Definitely have a vet look at this.

Snakes normally don't sneeze, so that's red flag number one. That along with the mouth not closing properly sounds a lot like the snake might have troubles with their respiratory tract. You could compare this with a cold in humans, but snakes being cold-blooded, this is more serious. Possible causes could be that the snake was kept too cold or with the wrong humidity by its previous keeper.

This doesn't go over by itself (at least not in the way you want it to), so go to a vet.

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