Hello! I work at a pet store (not a chain) that mainly specializes in herps and freshwater fish. Our sister location recieved a baby kingsnake (albino mosaic i believe? not a king person, hah) that has very poor weight and visible brown/black lumps near the lower half of the body. Unable to grab a pic at the moment but I’ll add one as soon as I can. The lumps feel hardened, but not super calcified, there’s a barely noticeable difference between those parts of the body and clear areas.
Unsure if impaction is a valid concern or if I’m just looking at normal feces, but behaviorally he’s acting really weird. Has that almost “rubber snake toy” vibe if you know what I mean. He’s able to hold the front half of his body up okay, tongue flicking but only really moves if necessary, and even still is really unreactive. Flipping him over it seems like he’s not able to right the last half of his body super well, but he can move it.
QTing at my house away from my collection so he gets more regular monitoring and care. Any advice appreciated, I’ll be assist feeding (or tube feeding if it’s gonna be too difficult on him to digest a solid meal) once I’m sure I won’t be blocking him up any more by doing so. I figure warm baths/massaging, but unsure of what to do beyond that if anything. Thanks!
I know very little about baby snake health, but there was a thread recently on something called ‘hard belly.’ What you describe sounds like it could possibly be that condition. Again, I know very little about the condition, I just happen to have read that thread.
The lumps sound like they could maybe be ticks or some other kind of external parasite.
The best thing to do would be to take it to a herp veterinarian. If needed, you can go HERE to find one. I can’t help but worry about the possibility of fractures or stuck food. Just don’t force anything- I have seen a snake die when too much force was used.
For the snake people that will see this and hopefully have more specific & experienced advice, could you describe his husbandry details?
Lumps are all under the skin and on large portions of the belly, definitely not anything external. Just soaked him in warm water and gently massaged his underside where the lumps are, hopefully I’ll see them move a bit overnight but will reccommend a vet visit to my store managers if he hasn’t improved at all.
No clue on past husbandry, the snake was shipped in earlier today, so I’m unable to pinpoint would-be issues unfortunately :(. I’ll be keeping him in a 5.5 gallon tank on paper towel for now so I can monitor for feces and other potential issues, thermostat set to 85F on the hot side with a nano 40w CHE, two shallow water dishes for soaking as his mobility is limited, and two hides as well on opposite ends with other decor as well to provide security. Please let me know if I need to tweak this at all, I have extra UTH/lighting I can switch out and am back in at work tomorrow if I need to pick up any new supplies for him.
I’ll also post pictures/attempt to edit my initial post to include pictures of the assumed impacted areas.
Pictures of assumed impaction:
I would definitely avoid handling it as much as possible. That poor guy looks to be in bad shape. Do you know if it has even ate? Looks severely underweight.