Causes of Stargazing Syndrome

What are the causes of stargazing syndrome?

Stargazing syndrome is called so because of the position or posture of a reptile. Stargazing syndrome is what a reptile is in an unusual position with its head looking upward as if the reptile where stargazing.

Stargazing is the result of the head or neck being twisted because of a disease or injury to the reptile's central nervous system. Stargazing is not actually a disease it is just a symptom of a bigger problem.

The first underlying cause of stargazing is inclusion body disease. This disease is typically seen in snakes, especially boa constrictors and pythons. There is no cure or treatment for this disease. It is a viral disease. It's symptoms sometime don't show up for months or years. This is particularly true in boas. In pythons inclusion body disease and its symptoms usually occur fairly quickly. Other symptoms of inclusion body disease include vomiting, loss of appetite, skin issues, and neurological symptoms in more severe cases. Although, all cases of inclusion body disease are severe enough to result in death.

Another thing that may be the cause of stargazing is an injury. Reptiles can sometimes accidentally injury themselves or become injured if they are trying to catch live prey to eat. Injuries to the brain or spinal cord are likely to result in stargazing.

Bacterial, parasitic, and viral infection can also cause stargazing syndrome. Infections are fairly common in reptiles and luckily, there are treatments for most infections that reptiles get. Early treatment is important when a reptile has infections because it is possible for some infections to spread and become fatal.

Less likely causes of stargazing include exposure to toxic substances and excessive body temperatures that are too high or too low. These problems do cause stargazing, they are just likely to happen to reptiles.

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