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  1. #21
    Don't Push My Buttons JLC's Avatar
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    Re: Hardened yolks, hard belly, mass in Ball python hatchlings

    Quote Originally Posted by xdeus View Post
    Herpsss does have a good point. Although I appreciate Robyn's thread in that it describes this unfortunate occurrence, I don't agree with Robyn's comment :

    I recently had to deal with my first hard-belly, and chose to operate on the snake myself. I believe most knowledgeable vets would be more skilled and better equipped than dealing with hard-belly than I was, but I still managed to save his life and he is currently thriving. If I had followed the advice given in this thread, my snake would most likely have died. The hard-belly lump that I extracted was quite a bit larger than the one in the picture and never would have passed through his cloaca.

    I'm not opposed to people trying to gently pass the mass out of the cloaca, but if it doesn't work I wouldn't suggest forcing it to the point of tearing the snake. Instead, I would advise seeking out professional help to surgically remove the mass.

    Here's the link which describes my experience.
    I have a bit of confusion about your argument, Lawrence. On the one hand, you disapprove of Robyn's statement saying that a vet probably can't help....then you turn around and tell everyone about how YOU also did not seek out a vet, but chose to operate on the animal yourself. ....because you knew a vet couldn't help? How is slicing open an animal, removing something from its insides, and then sewing it up any less risky than the procedure that Robyn illustrated here?

    This article is not going to start an epidemic of people splitting open baby ball python bellies. But maybe it will help those RARE folks who run across this phenomenon for the first time and come looking for information. They can read what is there and then decide for themselves how much risk they want to take. Robyn does not downplay the risk involved...in fact, he spells it out very graphically.

    Some will follow "Herpsss" lead and just euthanize right off the bat.
    Some will try what Robyn has shown.
    Some may try to operate themselves.
    Some will seek out a vet to help.
    Some will just let the animal die on its own without any intervention on their part.

    It's ALWAYS going to be down to those choices, and all this thread does is give folks more information to help them choose their path...it does nothing to encourage or discourage any one of them.

    That is how I see this thread.
    -- Judy

  2. The Following 3 Users Say Thank You to JLC For This Useful Post:

    jbean7916 (05-04-2012),Slim (05-02-2012),Valentine Pirate (05-03-2012)

  3. #22
    Cloacal Popping Engineer xdeus's Avatar
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    Re: Hardened yolks, hard belly, mass in Ball python hatchlings

    Quote Originally Posted by JLC View Post
    I have a bit of confusion about your argument, Lawrence. On the one hand, you disapprove of Robyn's statement saying that a vet probably can't help....then you turn around and tell everyone about how YOU also did not seek out a vet, but chose to operate on the animal yourself. ....because you knew a vet couldn't help? How is slicing open an animal, removing something from its insides, and then sewing it up any less risky than the procedure that Robyn illustrated here?
    I'm sorry if I didn't make it more clear. The reason I didn't have a vet operate on my snake is because I had recently spent a small fortune and ended up losing a snake because the vet did not want to listen to my advice on an eggbound snake. This was supposedly the best herp vet in the area.

    However, I did know the limitations and the flexibility of my local vet when the hard-belly situation came up which is why I decided to operate on the snake myself. I would encourage anyone with a snake that had hard-belly to seek out a vet before trying to squeeze it out of the snake or perform the surgery themselves. I can guarantee you that if I had followed the advice of Robyn my snake would be dead today.

    The procedure that I performed wasn't exactly as primitive as you put it. I performed essentially the same operation that a vet would have after extensive research, and obviously it turned out well for me. If I had tried squeezing out the mass from my snake, I am sure it would have suffered severe trauma and a painful death.

    -Lawrence

  4. #23
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    Hello, first time on here

    I'm Beth, and this really peaked my interest since it posed a serious threat, although small incidence, to the well being of many hatchling snakes in the community. I just have a few questions that I'd love answered if anyone knows.

    First off, are there any abnormalities with other hatchlings within the clutch or in environment of the eggs? Ex. humidity, heat, etc. Also, has anyone had multiple cases of this in eggs from the same lines/parents?

    And if any are available, I'd love a sample of the mass and would pay fully for shipping. Of course it'd have to be very fresh and cooled for transit, that ways we can look at the cells and possibly determine the manner of the cells and what type they are. I'll be discussing this topic with some DVMs I know, and even though they aren't too well known they're very faithful in their practise. Hopefully with further investigation a solution can be found and an article on this disease published to better educate the public. Any more information or sources would be greatly appreciated.

  5. #24
    Cloacal Popping Engineer xdeus's Avatar
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    Re: Hardened yolks, hard belly, mass in Ball python hatchlings

    Quote Originally Posted by Falconrygal View Post
    First off, are there any abnormalities with other hatchlings within the clutch or in environment of the eggs? Ex. humidity, heat, etc. Also, has anyone had multiple cases of this in eggs from the same lines/parents?
    Hi Beth,

    Unfortunately I can't answer all of your questions, but I'll try my best with the ones I can. I have been breeding for almost 6 years now, and I've only had one hatchling with hard-belly. I have close to 95+% hatch rate on my clutches (other than the slugs that I try to hatch). The clutch that this hard-belly occurred all came out fine except for this one snake. I have a very controlled incubator in it's own room so there is very little temperature or humidity fluctuation, and I try not to disturb the eggs very much during the incubation. I also allow most of my snakes to pip on their own instead of cutting the eggs in advance, so the snake that had hard-belly wasn't "pressured" into hatching earlier than it should have.

    The sire of this clutch was a Piebald and the dame was a Cinnamon that had produced two other clutches for me in the past with no issues. The Piebald that produced this clutch also produced another clutch with a Pastel that had no issues. I still have the Piebald that I am still breeding, but I have since sold the Cinnamon.

    Hopefully my answers were of some help and good luck with your research!
    Last edited by xdeus; 05-04-2012 at 03:54 PM.

    -Lawrence

  6. #25
    BPnet Senior Member WarriorPrincess90's Avatar
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    Thank you so much for posting this Robyn!! My friend owns a small local pet store and usually gets a couple of young BPs every few weeks from a local breeder. I've always questioned the quality of animals he gets from this guy...in fact, I think he's being ripped off half the time. Once the guy sends him snakes with mites and won't let him return them once I pointed it out to him, and now he has sent him two neonates. They literally just hatched within the last couple of days as they have yet to have their very first sheds, nor have they eaten.He won't sell any young snakes until they've eaten on their own at least three times, so he should have these little monsters for a few weeks at least.

    I took them out of the cage to check them out (as I like to do whenever he gets new snakes), and one of the babies looks exactly like the pictures you posted and has a very hard belly. There is also something that looks akin to stuck urates on her cloaca. I never would have known anything was wrong with her if I hadn't read this just a couple of days ago.

    My friend was convinced they were CBB from this breeder, but I'm beginning to wonder. Both are absolutely beautiful normals with tons of blushing (and so tiny!). One is healthy and is beginning his first shed today, while the other has the hard belly. I told my friend that since he doesn't know how to deal with it, nor does he have the funds to take it to someone who does, he should swap it out with the breeder. I feel so bad for the little thing. It's a sweetheart. And unbelievably beautiful coloration too.

    Anyway, thank you for posting this info! I can't believe that I already had the opportunity to apply the knowledge!
    Last edited by WarriorPrincess90; 05-04-2012 at 04:47 PM.


    - Nakita

  7. #26
    BPnet Veteran AK907's Avatar
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    Wow, I didn't even realize this post was so recent. I actually found it the other day on google while researching this very problem. I didn't look at the date, but it was posted just in time! Robyn, thank you so much for this useful post, it helped us a LOT tonight with two of our balls. Very scary stuff, but it worked just like you said and now we're just hoping and praying our balls won't be another statistic.

    Also, just like you said, three of our balls (one died in the egg the other day) with this issue had very funky patterns and narrow heads. Not sure what went wrong or what caused it, but we would be lost without this post.

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  9. #27
    BPnet Senior Member Robyn@SYR's Avatar
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    The internet is an amazing thing : )

    Glad to hear of your success, continued luck to you!

  10. #28
    BPnet Senior Member Flikky's Avatar
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    Re: Hardened yolks, hard belly, mass in Ball python hatchlings

    Thank you for the information.. Sad to read but something that we all might come across

  11. #29
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    I know this is an old thread but my balls just had their eggs hatch and the first one to come out has something similar to the op's description. He has a small head and his belly seems a bit bloated. There is not a hard mass though so I am hoping this is not the same thing.

  12. #30
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    thanks for the post glad the little runt did OK! it is a good thing for any novice or professional breeder to read and know

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