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Old 07-20-18, 09:31 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Corn Snake Has Hard Lump

Hi all,

I have been "babysitting" my sister's corn snake for several months now. Yesterday I noticed this big, hard lump in her abdomen. I have no idea what it is. Some ideas:

1) I am positive the snake is female. Infertile egg? The lump is huge for that, but maybe...

2) Intestinal blockage? She did poop recently, though.

3) Tumor?

The snake is getting up there in age. I think she's around 14 now.

After I noticed last night, we did a warm soak (or rather swim, snake doesn't stay still), I raised her temps by a few degrees, and temporarily changed her substrate to coco fiber to keep the humidity higher. I'm thinking if it's something passable, higher temps and extra moisture could help.

Here are some pics. In the first pic, the lump is near the part of her body that is lying on the stick.




I told my sister what is going on, and she said if the warm soaks and temp changes don't help, she will take her to the vet.
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Old 07-21-18, 01:45 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake Has Hard Lump

It could be anything that you mentioned or even an abscess of some kind. That is something that should be taken care of immediately and should only assessed by a vet.
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Old 07-23-18, 01:13 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake Has Hard Lump

I mean, you're definitely right about that. But like I said, not my snake. If I took every animal to the vet that some other person didn't feel like taking care of, I would go broke.

The lump hasn't changed, and now that the need to see a vet is a reality, my sister no longer wants to take her.

So now I guess I get to decide if I want to spend a small fortune on an animal that isn't mine, or let her die a slow death at my sister's house.
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Old 07-23-18, 02:37 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake Has Hard Lump

Are there any animal rescues in your area?

Member a member on the forum is local and might have the means to care for the snake?
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Old 07-23-18, 02:52 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake Has Hard Lump

This is an idea. First I have to figure out if my sister would be willing to give her to someone else. I have a feeling the answer is no.


I MIGHT be able to afford an exam and xrays and possibly other treatment if it doesn't cost $600 or something. Really don't think I can afford surgery on an animal that isn't mine. I have my own animals to think about.
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Old 07-24-18, 05:19 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake Has Hard Lump

Don't your sister should take money part of problem ?
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Old 07-24-18, 06:21 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake Has Hard Lump

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Originally Posted by Neon Aurora View Post
This is an idea. First I have to figure out if my sister would be willing to give her to someone else. I have a feeling the answer is no.


I MIGHT be able to afford an exam and xrays and possibly other treatment if it doesn't cost $600 or something. Really don't think I can afford surgery on an animal that isn't mine. I have my own animals to think about.
If your sister isn't willing to care for her, INCLUDING vet bills, she shouldn't get a say in what happens to the animal. Neglect is one thing, cruelty is another.
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Old 07-25-18, 07:46 AM   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake Has Hard Lump

Well, lots of arguing, but no luck really. She said she would take her for an exam, and that's it. No xrays or anything. I don't think that's going to help.

I'm thinking about doing what I can... Not in a great spot financially at the moment, so it would be a few weeks before I could do anything beyond xrays and an exam. Could probably push it if she needed like an enema or oral dose of mineral oil or something that doesn't include anesthesia and cutting into the snake.
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Old 07-25-18, 08:02 AM   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake Has Hard Lump

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Originally Posted by Neon Aurora View Post
Well, lots of arguing, but no luck really. She said she would take her for an exam, and that's it. No xrays or anything. I don't think that's going to help.

I'm thinking about doing what I can... Not in a great spot financially at the moment, so it would be a few weeks before I could do anything beyond xrays and an exam. Could probably push it if she needed like an enema or oral dose of mineral oil or something that doesn't include anesthesia and cutting into the snake.
I give you props for doing the best you can. You were put in a really tough spot, and it seems you're handling it the best you can. I truly wish you and that poor snake all the best.

This is a valuable lesson: having some vet money stashed away is very important when choosing to keep any pet. Animals do get sick, injured, etc... so people, please make sure you can afford vet visits for your animals before bringing them home.

Neon Aurora, that was in NO way intended towards you, it was intended to be a learning experience for anybody reading this. This unfortunate situation is no doubt hard on you. I mean no disrespect to your sister, but if she isn't willing and able to properly care for the animal it should be rehomed.

Have you looked into a rescue near where you live?
This animal NEEDS medical attention, and every day, every hour this animal is suffering more and closer to death. Not trying to be a jerk, but I am trying to stress the importance of the situation. That poor snake doesn't have a voice, but I'm sure it would be asking for help if it did...

Neon Aurora, I hope things work out for you and the snake.
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Old 07-25-18, 08:58 AM   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake Has Hard Lump

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Originally Posted by craigafrechette View Post
I give you props for doing the best you can. You were put in a really tough spot, and it seems you're handling it the best you can. I truly wish you and that poor snake all the best.

This is a valuable lesson: having some vet money stashed away is very important when choosing to keep any pet. Animals do get sick, injured, etc... so people, please make sure you can afford vet visits for your animals before bringing them home.

Neon Aurora, that was in NO way intended towards you, it was intended to be a learning experience for anybody reading this. This unfortunate situation is no doubt hard on you. I mean no disrespect to your sister, but if she isn't willing and able to properly care for the animal it should be rehomed.

Have you looked into a rescue near where you live?
This animal NEEDS medical attention, and every day, every hour this animal is suffering more and closer to death. Not trying to be a jerk, but I am trying to stress the importance of the situation. That poor snake doesn't have a voice, but I'm sure it would be asking for help if it did...

Neon Aurora, I hope things work out for you and the snake.
100% agree with everything Craig has mentioned.
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Old 07-25-18, 09:37 AM   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake Has Hard Lump

You see, normally I do have vet money stashed. I'm in unusual spot regarding my job. Long story. This isn't typical for me.


I also have a CareCredit card and a regular credit card. If this was truly my animal, she would have been at the vet a week ago. I always find a way to pay for vet bills. This thing with my sister is ongoing. It's a long story, but this is not the first animal that I've had to deal with because she was unwilling/didn't have money/insert other excuse here. That's why I've been so hesitant to deal with it.



To be honest, I have an empty spot in my reptile collection. I could take this snake. I just didn't want to. I was looking forward to choosing something on my own to raise instead of having to take on my sister's responsibilities that she wouldn't take care of. I was just hoping to get her to do it herself. My rosy boa is also a snake I took her from her because she wasn't taking care of her.


I guess I just need to decide how much of a fight I'm willing to cause with family. I don't think she will let me have the snake easily.



It's become abundantly clear that she simply doesn't care and doesn't think the snake is worth spending more than $30 on vet bills. So be it.


Fletcher (the corn snake) has a vet appointment at 5:30 pm today. I will do everything I can. This hit me at a very bad time because of the unusual situation with my job.

In other news, she is definitely pooping. I skipped her last feeding (she pooped after the last time I fed her) and this morning I saw she has passed a urate a little bit of poop. I didn't expect much poop since she hasn't eaten in a while. But things are moving through, so I'm not convinced it's a blockage.

Last edited by Neon Aurora; 07-25-18 at 09:46 AM..
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Old 07-25-18, 10:08 AM   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake Has Hard Lump

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Originally Posted by Neon Aurora View Post
You see, normally I do have vet money stashed. I'm in unusual spot regarding my job. Long story. This isn't typical for me.


I also have a CareCredit card and a regular credit card. If this was truly my animal, she would have been at the vet a week ago. I always find a way to pay for vet bills. This thing with my sister is ongoing. It's a long story, but this is not the first animal that I've had to deal with because she was unwilling/didn't have money/insert other excuse here. That's why I've been so hesitant to deal with it.



To be honest, I have an empty spot in my reptile collection. I could take this snake. I just didn't want to. I was looking forward to choosing something on my own to raise instead of having to take on my sister's responsibilities that she wouldn't take care of. I was just hoping to get her to do it herself. My rosy boa is also a snake I took her from her because she wasn't taking care of her.


I guess I just need to decide how much of a fight I'm willing to cause with family. I don't think she will let me have the snake easily.



It's become abundantly clear that she simply doesn't care and doesn't think the snake is worth spending more than $30 on vet bills. So be it.


Fletcher (the corn snake) has a vet appointment at 5:30 pm today. I will do everything I can. This hit me at a very bad time because of the unusual situation with my job.

In other news, she is definitely pooping. I skipped her last feeding (she pooped after the last time I fed her) and this morning I saw she has passed a urate a little bit of poop. I didn't expect much poop since she hasn't eaten in a while. But things are moving through, so I'm not convinced it's a blockage.
I get it. I think most of us have dealt with tough financial situations as well as job insecurities or various jobsituations. I commend you for doing what you can.

The animal isn't your responsibility, you should not be burdened with this obligation. It shouldn't be falling on you to finance this animals vet bills, or anything for that matter. I can't imagine your sister's reaction if somebody tried to put a $30 cap on HER health care.

I also understand not wanting to create a family ordeal.
You're in a tough spot. My heart goes out to you.

Please let us know how the vet appointment goes.
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Old 07-25-18, 05:31 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake Has Hard Lump

Neon Aurora, your sister is really bad person. If I were you I'd stop relations with her. Sorry. I hope you settle this problem with snake and your sister. But women .... I am sure your sister spend much money for women's useless **** and don't wanna take care of it's snake.
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Old 07-26-18, 12:16 AM   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake Has Hard Lump

Okay, back from vet appointment. We still don't really know what it is.

Here is the picture of the xray:



Nothing obvious. Definitely not eggs, possibly intestinal blockage but no real evidence of that. So we are thinking an abscess or a tumor.


It's below her lungs but above her kidneys and reproductive system. Vet said that the pancreas, stomach, and intestines are in that region.


My vet advised me to feed her something small (like a fuzzy or something) dipped in egg yolk. Apparently that has a lubricant effect. I thought mineral oil would be better, though. Any ideas?

She said to see if she can pass that or if she regurgitates it or anything.

She also gave me 5 doses (first one given today) of an injectable antibiotic that I am to give her every 3 days. Hopefully if it's an abscess, that'll clear it up.

Recheck in a week. If that doesn't help, the next step would be to aspirate it and send a sample off to the biopsy lab. Then we can see if it's a tumor or something else.

I am to give her warm baths daily and keep her temps and humidity higher than average.
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Old 07-26-18, 04:10 AM   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Corn Snake Has Hard Lump

Does vet have magnetic resonance imaging scanner ?
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