This is the first treatable sized hard belly I’ve had. The only other one I’ve had, the mass was so large the animal had to be euthanized shortly after it hatched.
I can’t thank @jkobylka enough. I wouldn’t have known this was possible without the JKR Pro Tips video on treating Hard Belly. It seems to have been successful, so hopefully a very neat little hatchling gets a chance now.
It was not very difficult to do but a lot of patience was required to move the mass slowly. If the umbilical opening isn’t completely healed, make sure to guide the mass upward over it. It feels like it could easily tear open.
Given that the alternative is death or surgery, I think in most cases the risk is worth it. It’s an extremely simple process and if you take your time it’s going to be the least impactful treatment option. Yes there are risks, but that’s unavoidable in breeding.
I’ll continue to update as he grows but I’m pretty confident at this point that his digestive system is functioning correctly. He had the typical absorbed yolk bowel movements I expect to see from hatchlings. He’s taken his first meal a few days ago and it’s obviously breaking down nicely with none of the excessive bloat I sometimes see in defective hatchlings.
Looks like the little dude will be fine based on what I can observe.