Yesterday my 1.5 year old BP shed out and urinated afterwards, it was mainly liquid but looked like there were a bunch of tiny “crystals” in it and smelled bad. I have never seen this before with him. He just came off a 3 month feeding strike a couple weeks ago and ate 2 small rats leading up to his shed (he was on medium rats before the strike). Husbandry is on point, 80deg cold side, 83ish deg warm side, and a hot spot that is 87-90deg, 55-60% humidity. I also provide fresh water every few days and disinfect his water bowl once a week. He was out and about last night for the first time in 4-5 days due to shedding and seemed otherwise healthy with no obvious signs of sickness other than the unusual “pee”. Has anyone seen something like this before and if so is it something i should be concerned about and schedule a trip to the vet?
By “crystals” do mean urates? The white chunks that ball pythons usually excrete, or are they different?
No its different, ive had him since December 2020 so i know what normal urates looks like. There was a wet spot from liquid and over top it was what looked to me like urine that started to crystalize. I shined a flash light on it and it glimmered. Its hard to explain and didnt think to take a picture as it was late at night.
Usually when urine crystalizes in other types of animals, it’s because there are too many minerals, but since snakes usually excrete urates, I don’t know if the same applies. However, if you’re concerned, I’d always suggest a vet to ease your mind, especially since captive reptiles can be prone to kidney problems and visceral gout.
Gotcha, i do provide both of my snakes spring water for soaking/drinking because of the natural minerals found in it. Maybe its a mix of that and not feeding for so long and then eating 2 rats in the span of 7 days. Ill definitely give my vet a call to see what she says. Thanks!
Just a thought, given his age and going off feed, is there anyway it could be little pieces of sperm plugs? I do find them in the cage’s sometimes around this time of year with or without pairing. Don’t really look like crystals to me, but maybe in tiny pieces covered with liquid? Just a thought, if he is acting fine and eating I would just observe him for a few weeks. Good luck! Keep us updated.
That is a good possibility especially since he went crazy once breeding season hit.
A picture would help.
Solid lumps of urate happen yes, but Crystals ? Crystals are usually clearly geometric shapes.
Usually caused by high concentration of chemicals, from evaporation or dehydration, and usually gradually over time for larger crystals.
So if really crystals large enough to see, maybe gradual dehydration.
Or evaporation of liquid urates on the substrate.
A picture would help
I had a thought after I replied the first time, do you use any kind of calcium or vitamin supplement?
Agreed, that’s another possibility to create crystallisation. its a balance between too much minerals and too little fluid, both cause dehydration.
Like taking extra salt but not extra water to balance it out can dehydrate.
No there isn’t, as ball pythons do not have sperm plugs.
Really then what are the white stuff that comes out when you pop an male adult? I was under the impression it’s like a hemi casting or? It’s not poop, don’t think it’s hard urates in some of the cages after the male has been in with a female, I could be wrong. If so I’ve been wrong a lot of years!
Hes definitely not dehydrated as he always has water and humidity is always around 60%. I came home from work and my snake room still smelled bad and it turns out he also pooped in his warm side hide where he shed last night and there was a normal urate in there as well. I thought he did all of his business just outside his hide so i only spot cleaned that. There was some dried up liquid as well that looked a little white so not sure about that. Idk if crystal was the best word to use but i couldnt think of another word to describe what it looked like. I should have taken a picture but it was late at night and didnt think about it. He ate a nice sized medium rate today and doesnt have any obvious signs of illness.
No i do not.
It’s basically hemipene shed… Smegma…
so not sperm plugs no
It is a hemipenal casing. This might sound gross, but it is the snake version of smegma. All male bps have it no matter the age and it is basically just skin/dirt buildup. It usually comes out with sheds, but can come out with breeding or popping.
For sure you are right, I knew it was technically a casing. I’ve always known the term as sperm plugs, I don’t think a lot of people would recognize it as smegma or a casing even though that is correct. I am definitely more old school on lingo I guess😆