Absolutely devastated today

This story actually begins yesterday. I was doing my usual chores, checking on all my animals. Got to my male hognose, Dratini, and noticed he wasn’t acting himself. He’d been on a bit of a hunger strike through breeding season, but up until then had been fine. Took him out, did a once over, only to find a very prominent lump in his abdomen that hadn’t been there before.

Okay, first thoughts are impaction or, heaven forbid, Crypto. Did a soak, babied him a bit, but he started getting pretty lethargic later that night so I decided it’d be a vet visit today (my herp vet has daily emergency appointments). I was not expecting what happened.

Turns out my sweet boy, barely over a year old, had renal adenocarcinoma. :sob: Seeing as he was in active kidney failure and very unwell internally, I made the heartbreaking decision to help him pass. RIP little Dratini.

My first year as a breeder has just been a continuous rollercoaster of things. Here’s one of the final pictures I took of my little guy.


I am so sorry that this happened to you and to him. It is horrible and I wish there was something more I could do to help. I am sorry for your loss, I truly am.


Thank you for the thought, @lumpy, it’s nice to know the community is here. That in and of itself is enough for me right now.

The fact that everything happened so fast is making it hard for me to process, especially with how young he was. My vet actually suggested I contact his breeder just in case there is any sort of genetic component, so I did that when I got home.


That freaking sucks! Weird how quickly it grew/advanced. Please make sure to update us if the breeder you got him from has any similar issues with his stock. I would hate to think it was anything more then just horrible luck, but you never know. Sorry for you, hope you have some better days ahead! Take care-


So, so very sorry for the loss.


Will do, though I’m going to go with it’s probably just a fluke. The breeder has been informed, however, just in case, so they can keep an eye out. It’s possible it was growing for a while unnoticed, but then when it began to cause kidney failure and he started losing weight (though he really hadn’t lost much), it was far more noticeable. Still, crazy progression of symptoms/severity and not an expected diagnosis at all.


Im sooo sorry for your loss of your baby. I know it may sound like platitudes, but i genuinely feel bad for you. Even though i don’t really know anyone here, i do consider a vast majority my friends. Every loss hurts when they are family. I hope that with time your sad memories don’t fill your mind as much and are replaced with the happy memories you do have.

I don’t want to say you will get over it, because we have memories we cannot forget, but with time we can learn coping with the loss.

In 2012 i lost my kitty Princess to double kidney failure, the vet told me it was either lilys( which i don’t have) or antifreeze. She had been through many rough years of hospital stays, having to move, homelessness, pretty much everything. I felt incredibly guilty for having to euthanize her, i felt even worse that i did not stay with her through that because it hurt too much. I still sometimes get sad and miss her, but i also think about how she saved me as much as i saved her ( she was an abuse rescue) i still have her ashes and part of my living will she is to be buried with me.

I know its hard not to feel guilt sometimes, like what could i have done differently or whatever even the choice to have mercy with euthanasia so that they no longer suffer. Its also important to properly mourn so that healing can begin.

Love and respect -Renee


Thank you. I’m sorry to hear about your precious girl, I had one called Princess myself. :blue_heart:

The one thing really getting me through today is knowing that there was really nothing to be done for my boy. Nothing I could do, nothing the vet could do…There were options, but only to prolong the inevitable.

Despite his diminutive size, I did choose to have him cremated and his ashes returned to me. He is a part of my journey as a keeper, and I’d like to keep him with me.


Yes, thats a good way to keep gim close. I sadly only have 3 photos of my baby because at the time i didn’t really have a cellphone or camera because i was pretty poor, but the 3 i do have are laminated one of the pictures of her was her last day with me so its extra special to me, nobody gets to move those pictures. Now im opposite i take tons of pics of all my animals.

My baby on her last day

She was so brave at the end.


I didn’t have many photos of Dratini because he was a bit of a huffy boy, but I did take some at the vet’s office. I will probably make a little display for him like I have done with some of my other past pets.


Oh my gosh how awful for you- I am so sorry. Yeah feel free to reach out here- people here will understand. A lot of people don’t get it when you lose a pet that’s not a cat/dog, but we love our scaley little buddies. I


It’s the community here that is just so comforting, knowing there are people who get it. Thankfully many of my friends are understanding, but to just talk to other keepers and know that others feel this kind of thing, too, is very reassuring.


Oh no, I’m so sorry to hear that! I would never have guessed that with such a young snake.


We understand because we love the animals that some don’t see them the same as us. I know when my Black Widow passed away, most people would be like its just a spider, but here everyone knows because the animals we share and loved are often not what some consider pets, and arachnids forget it, those are things to be sqashed ( in their minds ).


I’m so sorry to hear that!! -hugs-
It always feels awful to lose a pet regardless if it’s furry or scaly, considering how much love and care we put into these wonderful creatures.

Keeping and breeding definitely has its ups and downs. I lost my hoggie girl Mirage earlier this year, she developed a lump in her upper body and passed away a few days later.

Which…. I still haven’t heard back from the vet about the necropsy results on her, despite calling multiple times to try and get ahold of someone. I’ve left voicemails too and they just never get back to me. I’m about to drive the 4 hours up there and have a talk with them in person about it!

Anyways, here’s some older pictures of her. She was such a pretty hog!


I’m so sorry that you had to say goodbye to Dratini at such a young age. As a veterinarian I appreciate the courage it took to make the difficult decision to help him be at peace. I also cremate all of my guys. With a loving owner like you, I’m sure the time Dratini had was wonderful. :heart:


I’m so sorry for your loss, Dratini was a precious little guy. It’s tough to lose any pet, but losing them when they’re so young is especially hard. At least you know it’s not because of anything you did. You definitely made the right choice to let him go peacefully rather than prolonging the inevitable. Hang in there. :heart:


I remember your post about her when she was ill & after she passed, I’m sorry you still haven’t gotten any answers on what took her from you. She was gorgeous.


Thank you all, truly, from the bottom of my heart. This whole experience has been such a shock, but it’s good to know I’m not alone and to hear other stories of lost beloveds.

I would like to update with the fact that Dratini’s breeder has been absolutely amazing, and there is no indication that this is a genetic issue, just informing out of pure caution due to his age. They are now aware so they can keep an eye out if any issues pop up later in their collection or with other hatchlings, though it’s doubtful. Little dude likely just had bad luck. From my experience with them, I would be 100% comfortable purchasing another animal from them in the future.

I do love that so many breeders truly care about the health and wellbeing of their animals because this is their passion, not just business. :blue_heart:


Sending love and good vibes. Losing an animal is very hard. Especially ones you grow close to, or are taken far too early. My deepest condolences.

An aside just because of another hognose above, is this a somewhat common issue that comes up? I’d love to breed Hognoses as I believe nowhere near enough people do for how popular and awesome they are, so I’d just appreciate any insight. Again, much condolences and sympathy.

May Dratini live in your heart always!