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Thread: Snake prolapse

  1. #1
    Registered User ReptileRant's Avatar
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    Snake prolapse

    This juvenile snake (not in my possession) has what appears to be a minor prolapse this morning. She was extremely dehydrated a few weeks ago and it took a lot of work to get her rehydrated and her stuck shed off. Im sure shes still a bit dehydrated and stressed in the environment she is in. She is also underweight. Could that likely be the cause of the prolapse? This is the first time it has happened in the 2 months she has been here.


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  2. #2
    Registered User Malum Argenteum's Avatar
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    Dehydration can cause cloacal prolapse, but so can many other primary morbidities. The cause of the dehydration and weight loss may explain the prolapse too.

    Prolapses are considered a medical emergency. No first hand experience on this, but vet/zookeeper recommendations I've read involve mixing up powdered sugar and water 50/50, applying that to the cloaca to reduce the swelling, and wrapping it to keep it moist. If it dries out and becomes necrotic, that's fatal.

    Not relevant since the vet can advise tomorrow (or today if you have access to a 24/7 emergency vet), but simple dehydration in snakes should be pretty simple to address with fluids and a stomach tube. That's of course dependent on the reason for the dehydration -- if it is something like an intestinal blockage causing the snake to cease taking in anything orally, then forcing anything down wouldn't necessarily be advisable.

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  4. #3
    Registered User ReptileRant's Avatar
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    Re: Snake prolapse

    Quote Originally Posted by Malum Argenteum View Post
    Dehydration can cause cloacal prolapse, but so can many other primary morbidities. The cause of the dehydration and weight loss may explain the prolapse too.

    Prolapses are considered a medical emergency. No first hand experience on this, but vet/zookeeper recommendations I've read involve mixing up powdered sugar and water 50/50, applying that to the cloaca to reduce the swelling, and wrapping it to keep it moist. If it dries out and becomes necrotic, that's fatal.

    Not relevant since the vet can advise tomorrow (or today if you have access to a 24/7 emergency vet), but simple dehydration in snakes should be pretty simple to address with fluids and a stomach tube. That's of course dependent on the reason for the dehydration -- if it is something like an intestinal blockage causing the snake to cease taking in anything orally, then forcing anything down wouldn't necessarily be advisable.
    Thank you for the advice. We wont be able to get into a vet until tomorrow, however we are doing a sugar/water soak. She has been eating well and is much less dehydrated then she was originally. She was being kept on Aspen with a heat lamp, so that it the cause of her dehydration. Weve just been trying to get her back to health by keeping higher humidity levels, proper temps, and feeding her, which had been working fairly well up until now.


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    Registered User Malum Argenteum's Avatar
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    Sound like she's in good hands.

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    I would also consider getting a fecal done. Giardia or coccidia may can cause straining and prolapse as well.

    I've seen some smaller hatchling sized snakes that can have this issue because the sphincter just had not tightened enough and they needed a small purse string stitch until it could improve... But with a snake that's a bit older, husbandry is more of the concern.
    Great on you guys to get the hydration back on point. Another concern for this one is the feeding. Again I would recommend a fecal to rule out parasites. I would try to feed smaller meals (but still with fur if possible) to make it easier on digestion and passing stools. After a couple poops with no prolapse, you can try upping the size again slowly.

    At least that's what experience I've had with it.

    Obviously, clean cage. No loose bedding if the prolapse can still be an issue. If the snake does prolapse again, keep paper towel damp.

    Sometimes a minor prolapse like this clears up with a soak like mentioned above after a big poop. But if the soak didn't work and snake is still prolapsed, definitely get them to a vet. If actual rectum protrudes out past this, I would keep the snake in a thin layer of water and get to the vet ASAP. The risk of telescoping damage and necrosis on the rectum is too great.
    Last edited by Armiyana; 11-27-2022 at 07:31 PM.

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