So I went to check on my snakes today, and happened to open my girl Mirage’s tub…
To find she had regurgitated (highly unusual for her) and immediately noticed a large lump in her upper body. It feels a bit firm to the touch.
Best picture I could get, but… anyone know what’s going on or what it could be? There wasn’t any issue until today. We fed her last on Saturday, Sunday we don’t mess with the snakes so they can digest, Monday we went in to replace all of the water bowls and I didn’t notice any issue then… it’s when I went in today that I noticed this.
She’s acting normally otherwise, no changes in behavior at all.
I suspect it might be a tumour. Get the animal to a vet and have it checked
Alright! I figured it’d be something that required a vet visit but I wasn’t sure.
Can a tumor really develop that quickly in a snake though? Genuinely curious!
Edit: Gave the vet a call and should be getting a call back to schedule an appointment for her.
I had one on hold with a friend who breeds them and in the course of two weeks it developed a decent sized tumor and passed.
That’s awful, I’m hoping this isn’t the case with her.
Hope it’s something easily treated.
I would watch the snake discovery video where they used a “personal messager” daily and it actually helped but that was stuck poop not possibly a tumor here is a link Trying Vibration Therapy on a Snake - YouTube
I’ve seen that video before. That wouldn’t work here since that was after trying other things and for impaction. There’s no way that vibration could remove a tumor.
I think the best thing to do now is get a vet visit and radiograph. The vet should be able to tell exactly what the mass is.
Yeah, this couldn’t be a lump from impaction since it’s in her upper body.
I got the appointment scheduled for next Friday (the 11th) so hopefully she’ll be fine until then. I’m taking her to the university of Illinois like I did with Butters, I’m not gonna risk subpar care from the local vets!
Have you noticed any differences in her behavior?
She seems to just sit in one spot for the most part, but will respond to movement and me touching her with tongue flicks. She also hissed at me the other day, hah
Is that hiss unusual for Mirage? I’ve met hognose sweethearts as well as the “I’m SO fierce when I’m not playing dead” variety.
She isn’t the super sassy type for the most part, though then again my other girl Mocha isn’t either. It was a light hiss and I think she was just annoyed I touched her head (I was gently petting her, she didn’t appreciate it apparently)
Mocha tends to only get hissy when she’s in shed or gravid
Sounds like Mirage was politely saying, “Not now.” And my husband would no doubt confirm that, like Mocha, I got hissy when gravid myself.
Hah, I can only imagine why
Another picture of the lumpy girl. So far still doing okay, but still inactive.
Also either it’s me or her eyes look to be more bulging than they used to. This seems to be a recent development along with her lump.
Here’s a slightly older (though blurry) pic of her face…
Looking at it from this angle, I am more inclined to think this could be an enlarged heart issue. That would also fit with the bulged eyes as you could be seeing an increase in fluid pressures.
I do not know that there is anything that can be done for the issue, unfortunately.
Yeah, considering her eyes looking different along with the location of the lump, I was suspecting it might be a heart issue.
Though I’m not seeing any sort of pulsing where the lump is, so I’m not sure it’s an enlarged heart, but if it’s a tumor maybe it’s putting pressure on her heart and causing her blood pressure to go up and thus causing eye swelling.
I’m still gonna take her in just to be sure of course, even if they can’t do anything to help her.
Unfortunately she’s already passed. Just came in to check on her and she seems to have recently passed, as she’s still limp and the rigor mortis hasn’t set in yet.
I’m gonna call the vet and still see if we can get an autopsy done on her, I’m not sure how I should store her until then.
I do notice her eyes are back to normal, so definitely was pressure behind or in her eyes.
I’m so sorry to hear that. If you do get a necropsy and feel up for it, I hope you’ll share the results with the community. Sometimes the best we can hope for in these sorts of situations is to gain some knowledge.
For some reason, I feel like I hear about tumors on hognoses more than other snake species. No idea if they actually are more prone to developing tumors, or if those just happen to be the ones I hear about for whatever reason.
In any case, I’m really, really sorry for your loss. It sounds like you did everything you could. With how quickly she went downhill, I doubt there would have been anything the vet could have done even if you had been able to get her seen sooner.
I’ll definitely be sharing results here if I’m able to, I think it’ll be good for educating others on these types of situations. Same with Butters, though her abscess looks to have come back after being removed a second time and I don’t think I’m gonna try to get it removed again. She does just fine despite it.
I’ve never heard of tumors being more common on hognoses, but that may just be because I haven’t ran into that issue before or seen others post about it.
All I can do is move forward from here, it sucks since I bought and paid a good bit for her at almost breeding size, hoping to get eggs from her this season, but neither of my males seem interested in breeding yet. I only had her for 11 months.
It’s such a horrible feeling, watching her develop this quite literally overnight and decline within the span of a few days, not being able to do anything to really help. These snakes are my babies and pets before breeders, and I cried when I found her.
My fiancé took me out for ice cream though, which was nice. Had a Oreo milkshake from coldstone