Egg aspiration 101..pics...

Phillip

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
Messages
1,328
Thought I'd give an update on the last greyband to lay as well as some pointers for anyone who comes across the egg binding thing in their breeding efforts. Believe me when I say there is very little info to find on the subject and locating a vet to give advice is like getting someone to give up a kidney for ya. I figured perhaps this could be of some help to folks in the future as it's no funski trying to figure it out on your own.

Female number 1 ( the light colored one ) started to lay on 5-29-03 while I was at work as I checked that morning and had no eggs yet. That evening at 6 pm when I got home she had laid 3 eggs. Later at 10 pm the fourth egg came out and was significantly larger which was the cause of the delay. The next morning still no more eggs so I went to the reptile show and upon returning at around 5:30 pm she had laid 2 more bringing the total to 6.

Sunday 6-1-03 came and went with the remaining 2 eggs still not passed so my concern grew steadily. Finally Monday 6-2-03 in the evening after several hot water soaks to relax the muscles and several attempts by myself to massage it free the 7th egg which was right by the cloaca finally passed. By Tuesday the 3rd she still had one large eggs stuck at about 8 inches from the tail tip that was not budging at all. The window of time was rapidly closing to save the snake and since surgery with snakes is always risky I chose to aspirate the egg.

To do this you need a large gauge needle as the egg contents will be rather thick and you need to sterilize the area to be punctured as well as the needle itself. The idea is to go between the scales on the side of the snake between the 3rd and 4th row of scales from the belly scales. Any higher and you run the risk of hitting a vein. Once the egg has been punctured you draw out all the liquid you can being careful not to get any egg contents into the cavity of the uterus as this can cause infection and kill the snake.

I drew out 5cc of fluid which is a good bit for a colubrid egg.

After doing this treat the puncture wound with neosporin and hope that the egg remains pass or the snake is most likely ruined as a breeder.
Finally today 6-8-03 she passed the last egg. As you can see from the pic even though 5cc were drawn out it's still quite big in comparison to the female which is what causes them to stick in the 1st place. Along with other factors.



The moral of the story... sometimes captive bred snakes have problems and when they do if you wait too long to take action you can lose the snake. Hopefully this can prove useful to someone in the future if they ever have the same thing pop up. I am just very relieved that she has passed it and is ok still and am truly glad I did something about it in time. Not only is she fine health wise but should still be quite breedable as well. :)

Phil
 
Last edited:

atavuss

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 16, 2002
Messages
1,034
that was fascinating to read and see via your pics, Phil! so, is the snake young and maybe not full sized which might have been why she was egg bound perhaps? she looks a bit thin in the pic what with her spine readily visible, must take a lot out of them to pass those huge eggs! is that the normal number in a clutch? will snakes "double clutch"? or is the one egg laying period per year it?
Ed
 

pamandron

Arachnosquire
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 23, 2002
Messages
149
Congratulations Phillip,
That is great news. I know you have to be so relieved and thrilled at the same time. I agree with Ed that was interesting reading. Now you have posted some great information for others who might have the same problem. Keep up the good work, Pam
 

Bry

Arachnodemon
Old Timer
Joined
Mar 22, 2003
Messages
773
Job well done, Phil. I'm sure that was no easy task. Sure would hate to lose a beautiful snake like this one. Sometimes you have to lose one to save them all.

Bry
 

Phillip

Arachnoprince
Old Timer
Joined
Aug 19, 2002
Messages
1,328
no she is not small...

Actually she is around 3 and 1/2 feet possibly longer which is quite big for a greyband. The exposed spine is typical of any colubrid that has just laid eggs as it takes a ton out of them. And yes they can double clutch as a matter of fact the dark female is being fattened up and breeding again as we speak and this one will also get another chance soon as she gets thickened back up. Both females have double clutched the last two years laying 9 to 10 eggs a pop and that is a large number for this species so yes it does take quite a bit out of them. Fortunately they put weight back on real fast and easy so no probs as long as ya don't skimp on the food.

As to the reason captive snakes sometimes egg bind... still a mystery but the most accepted theory seems to be that the combination of tons of food and low excersize lead to large clutches in snakes with less muscle developement than wild ones thus upping the chance of problems when laying. That and Greybands have their fair share of problems as well where some just never breed well period. Since this one bred fine the last 2 years I'm assuming that this was an isolated incident and mainly due to the large eggs that got stuck as all the normal sized ones passed just fine.

Phil
 
Last edited:

conipto

ArachnoPrincess
Old Timer
Joined
Sep 27, 2002
Messages
1,258
Well, most people know I don't like snakes at ALL, but I must say, that was a pretty good post Phil. I know plenty of herp people, and I'll pass this link along to the ones I know are breeding.

Bill
 
Top