[Graphic Images] Open and hard belly hatchling ball python

I’m asking for some help for a friend who is in his second year of breeding ball pythons. His English writing is not well enough to ask himself. He had serious humidity problems during incubation. Bought a new incubator this year and in the reptile shop they told him he didn’t need eggboxes because the incubator would control all. Result was that two clutches really got way to dry and the eggs where all dented. Luckily most he managed to safe by putting them in an egg box en another incubator. 9 out 10 came out of the egg perfectly healthy.

But the last one that hatched this morning out of the most dented egg has a problem. It has a harder mass inside the belly and the belly is not fully closed. I know of hard belly and id already send him the JKR pro tips video about how to remove hard belly. But he is very worried about the open belly and if it will heal, and if trying to remove the hard belly will not damage the open belly. He has the feeling the mass did get softer since this morning. My knowledge is only from a lot of reading and video’s so I hope one of you has an advise of what he can do best.

So what is the best to do?
Is there any chance the hard mass indeed gets softer so the baby can pass it on it’s own?
Will the belly close by itself or does it need extra treatment?
Or should he try to remove the mass? And if yes, can he do something to prevent the belly from rupturing?

I hope anyone can help because he really wants to try to save the animal

Here are some pictures

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Justin Kobylka has a video you should watch that will give you instructions, but you need to palpate the hard belly out through it’s digestive system. Be sure to manipulate it upward when it passes the umbilical opening or it may try to exit there (it can’t, it’s inside the intestine). Watch the JKR pro tips video, it will cover everything you need to know. I have a post on here somewhere about it as well but it’s not that informative. You can message me on IG (ball or nothing pythons) and I can try to help further but I’m at work at the moment.


Thank you for your answer. It’s a relieve to hear the mass can not exit through the opening. I already send him the JKR video. It it indeed quit clear how to handle hard belly. A big worry is the open belly. It looks a little like a hernia but we are not sure. It’s his third ball python clutch even and my first one is still in the incubator so the only thing we have is the info on internet.


The opening will heal quickly once the mass is evaluated. Good luck!