Bump on corn snake?

So I noticed that my 10 month old corn snake has developed a bump toward the end of his tail. I first saw it on Saturday and have been monitoring it since. It doesn’t seem to have grown, but also isn’t going down at all. He is acting totally fine, eating/drinking/pooping like normal. Anyone have experience with something like this? I appreciate any advice. It was kind of tough to get good pics but I think its visible.


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Is that bump at the vent? Pics don’t show well placement on the snake itself.

Its on the side near the vent. I want to say further up though. I couldnt get a picture from the back. This shows more of his body.

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May have to zoom in a bit but its on the left side(when looking at the pic)

What kind of bedding is he on? Last shed? Have you noticed any discharge? What does the bump feel like? Soft? Hard?


He is on aspen. Last shed was almost exactly a month ago. I havent noticed any discharge. It just feels raised. Kinda like a pimple under the skin

My guess is a small cyst but a vet would confirm by taking a sample.

I’m going to call them tomorrow and try to get him seen. What normally causes those?

If it is a cyst it could be a small scratch from the bedding or decor, or just some random bacteria that got there during his last shed. A cyst is basically a build up of white blood cells trying to fight an infection and sorta “getting out of control” with it. It’s a build up of pus under the skin/scales. Usually the body will try and wall it off from the rest of the body and capsulize it. It could go away on its own, it could get bigger, could be removed by a vet. Just depends on if it is a cyst or not.


Switch him over to newspaper or paper towels since it would likely be the bedding that could cause a cyst. If it is a cyst that is.

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Is there another alternative to aspen that may be better? (Other than newspaper/paper towels) like maybe forest floor or something?

i use a cypress based bedding for both my corn snake and my ball python. it holds moisture well which is great for sheds and isn’t as dusty or sharp as i’ve found aspen to be, so i’d look into something like that

Corn snakes don’t need humidity and overly high humidity can cause RIs. Seeing as the animal has something wrong with it, anything other than newspaper or paper towels would not be a good idea to use. You can’t monitor an animal well on anything else, and loose bedding could make it worse given it wouldn’t be nearly as clean.


I think I’ll switch him to paper towel for the time being so that I can eliminate the bedding potentially making it worse. Once I figure out whats going on/cause, I may look into something like cypress mulch. I hate the aspen and have wanted to ditch it for awhile. He has an appointment friday morning so I’ll post an update then. Thanks for all the advice!

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This is the bedding I live by and suggest for other Colubrid owners. Non pokey both for the outside of snakes and the inside (if ingested), holdsshape well for tunnelers, and even when soaked with poo or water have not seen a problem with mold growth.

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I like coconut fiber, I keep it dry for corn snakes and a little damp for ball python.

I have been wanting to try that lizard litter. Yeah I am getting a ball python soon and definitely will not be using aspen. And I couldn’t get my corn snake an appointment until next thursday so I’ll post what they say once I know.

@janet9696 Just keep a close eye on the snake and bump. Note any and all changes with it so you can give your vet an entire rundown to give the best outcome of a quick and easy diagnosis.

And definitely consider the litter bedding. Even if the other stuff you had him on didn’t cause this bump, I’ve had a breeder friend tell me a horror story of the typical aspen that’s more shredded into pokey fibers actually pierce one of her snake’s guts when ingested. And unless you feed outside of tank/tub there’s always a chance of ingestion.