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Breeding/Egg Production & Care Any topics concerning breeding of the cornsnake, brumation, egg laying, or issues concerning problems in any step along the way.

Umbilical cord?
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Old 08-05-2005, 10:47 PM   #1
Umbilical cord?

One of my new babies has what I can only describe as an umbilical cord and part of a placenta still attached to it's underside about an inch above the anal area. Is this a problem I need to be concerned about? I wasn't going to mess with it, figuring it will dry up and drop off, but figured I should ask, just to be on the safe side. I don't recall seeing any information pertaining to this issue in any of the books I have.

The cord is about 1.5 to 2 inches in length and has a meaty looking blob on the end. These are the same color as a pinky mouse and look to be of about the same kind of tissue. I never even imagined snakes would have such, but when I thought about it, they have to have some way in which to absorb the nutrients from the egg.

Thank you,

Old 08-05-2005, 11:17 PM   #2
I haven't had to deal with this personally yet, but from what I've read, you want to keep things on the humid side. put the baby in a small deli (or something similar) on damp paper towels. Not soaked, just damp. And hopefully, the hatchling will finish absorbing it. Again, not an expert, but just wanted to give you something to start with until the real experts chime in. Good luck!
Old 08-06-2005, 05:05 AM   #3
Duff gave yo some good advice there but i'd actually say to make the papertowels quite wet. The delicup should restrict the snakes movement enough so that it doesn't feel the need to 'explore' all over the place and pull out its guts.

One of the snakes I bought right at the beginning of my hobby had a little stripe on her belly from the umbilical cord which dissapeared over the next few sheds (I bought her as a 3 week old) which I was worried about at first until I figured out what it was, but yes...they do need to absorb their food somehow!
Old 08-06-2005, 12:39 PM   #4
Thanks, I'll definitely give it a shot and see how it does.

Old 08-08-2005, 11:05 AM   #5
E. g. guttata
I had one of these last year and a whole bunch this year. The "umbilical cord" (known as a yolk stem) is hanging out because, for some reason, the snake felt that it needed to leave the egg early. This may be due to stress, to humid/dry of a shell, improper heat... etc. The first thing to do is to try to keep the yolk stem wet by either putting in a wet paper towel (make sure it's pretty wet, they have 100% humidity inside the egg) or or place the hatchling in the delicup with just enough water to cover the bottom of it. Leave it here for a few hours, and if the yolk stem isn't absorbed again, then you will need to transfer the hatchling to a really dry absorbient substrate, shredded paper towel works well. The yolk stem will most likely fall off, but DON'T PULL ON IT. Pulling on it or trying to cut it off may cause the hatchling to bleed to death. When the yolk stem DOES fall off, then feeding is the next challenge. There is only a 50% chance that this snake will eat anything. If it eats it's first meal, then you will pretty much be in the clear, and only have to worry about the basic problems. You may want to try feeding this one lizzards to see if it will eat anything, because it probably won't eat mice to start with.

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