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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.

Egg Binding, Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention
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Old 01-22-2003, 02:43 PM   #1
Question Egg Binding, Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention

Did a search here and didn't see this subject covered much,
so here goes seasoned Corn Breeders,
if you don't mind, some basic Q & A for ya'll.

What causes egg binding?
How can one prevent / discourage it?

What are the symptoms of egg binding?
Is an eggbound Corn obviously, apparently distressed?

What is the Treatment(s) commonly used?
What is the concensus cause on egg binding in snakes?

In avian circles, it is generally agreed that egg binding is calcium deficiency and lack of excercise related.
A bird given a diet rich in calcium can show signs of calcium deficiency if the phosphorus or Vitamin D3 levels are not in proper balance.
Excercised birds,put into large "Conditioning"type flight cages
prior to a breeding season with an adequate, balanced ratio of calcium / phosphurous/ D3 (indoor birds) in there diet, have very low incidence's of egg binding.

Jumping jacks for snakes maybe.
keep it moving.hup,two,hup,two

Providing climbing branches could provide a little / some excercise.

I see some people like to "swim" there snakes for ten minutes or so a couple times a week / occasionally.

Is excercise a benefit in conditioning a pre-brumation, post- brumation cornsnake for breeding purposes,
any thoughts?

Pool's and excercise equipment for snakes, what's the world coming to
Old 01-22-2003, 05:01 PM   #2
Re: Egg Binding, Diagnosis, Treatment & Prevention

I think egg binding is mainly caused by females being bred to young, lack of exercise, and lack of calcium. I think all the climbing, searching for food and constricting really helps even younger corns to be able to handle a clutch of eggs. I am really starting to lean towards providing a little more vertical space for my up and coming females. And in my own findings I think power feeding them does them a diservice because they are never hungery enough to search for food and become fat.

I haven't heard of a whole lot of entire clutches being bound. Usually there are just one or a few left after the other eggs are deposited. These eggs will be felt or seen quite easily. Eggs should be layed with in two weeks of the "pre-lay shed" and if not, I would be concerned.

In my limited experience, it has never payed to sit back and wait, even if the female continues to feed. I have learned to take action if all the eggs have not been layed with in 36-48 hours of the first one. If the egg is near the cloaca, usually breeders will try and manipulate it out. If it is not, then aspiration with a syringe could be tried but this has to be done very soon or the contents of the egg will solidify making it impossible. And let me take this time to say none of these procedures are recommended for a beginner who hasn't been shown how to do this. Oxytocin can be givin by a vet, but sometimes if a egg is truly "stuck" this won't help. It usually just helps when a female has "given up" on trying to lay the eggs.

Each case is different and has to be analyzed carefully before deciding on a treatment. Perhaps some bigger breeders will have some more to add.
Old 01-23-2003, 01:27 AM   #3
Matt L
Very good advice! I replied to an earlier post on this matter. I'm surprised there are not more opinions on this. I don't know if I agree 100% on the calcium theory, but definetly on breeding size and lack of excercise. What confuses me is all my animals have the same diet, physical excercise etc. and only one experienced the dystochia and it was bad. I want to stress how important Carol's point is on having experince with any treatment. My other post may have made aspiration sound simple. IT IS NOT! However it is worth the risk to save you snakes life, even if all the eggs are lost.

Best of Luck!
Matt L.
Old 01-23-2003, 12:17 PM   #4
Yes, I read your post and agree, a second pair of hands is a must! The reason I suggest a lack of calcium is because when you take a snake to the vet for egg-binding, usually the first words out of thier mouth is "It could be stuck due to decalcifacation". I imagine if an egg is lacking in calcium, perhaps it is not as smooth as it should be and hence harder to pass?
You also have to take in to account that they all have different metabolic rates and different effects that those rates have on thier bodies.
Of course we have all seen people who do nothing and eat horrible that end up thin and some people eat well and exercise and still have a weight problem. Just like some corns have troubles while being on the same care as others with no problems. Some need a little more help. I hope you have better luck this year Matt!

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