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Q: Eggbound (with slugs) Kingsnake - How much time?
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I have a 7 year old Female Kingsnake who I've never bred (but have brumated for 3 years) who ovulated and produced slugs not quite a week ago.  She laid 6 or 7 but obviously had more to pass.  (Sorry for my lack of experience and foresight - I feel terrible.)  A trip to the Vet and X-Rays suggested she had 7 left inside her (3 of which subsequently passed in their office) - Which would (if the X-ray was accurate) have left 4.  Since I've had her home, she's passed an additional 2 this week.  She's in a Warm damp hidebox, and I give her tepid baths twice daily on the Vet's recommendation (time which I use also to clean her hidebox, which gets soiled.  I've read a number of related posts here in the forum, and a common refrain is "if it's more than 24-48 hours, you can start getting worried."  The Vet proposed that if eggs remain after this week, she receive a hormone injection to induce contractions.  I've seen YouTube videos on aspirating the eggs with a hypodemic needle, but am not really comfortable doing it, but will if I have to.  I adore this snake.

Also In hindsight, after reading more posts, I may have been bothering her too much with the "tepid bathing" visits - but will say that the two eggs she has managed to lay this week here at home happened after I applied gentle massage.

The main question I have is...How much time does she have left to pass these few remaining eggs before her body starts to try absorbing them, and a surgical procedure becomes necessary ? (It's been 6 days before I discovered her first eggs.). Thanks

Points: 250
Topics: Ovulation , Egg Laying
Tags: Eggbound, FemaleKingsnake, Slugs
Species: Kings and Milks > Kingsnakes > Lampropeltis getula holbrooki
Administrative: Show/Hide

Accepted Answer 5/15/2021 6:56:38 PM


I would keep trying water baths and manual palpatation. Wishing you and her the best of luck.

Member Comment 5/17/2021 11:05:46 AM

Sonja K. Reptiles

Did the vet remove the fluid within them?

Author Comment 5/20/2021 7:54:52 PM


Sorry for delayed response.   The X-rays showed 7 eggs, but the vet said she deposited 3 afterwards while there.  When I had her home, she deposited three (two I reported earlier) plus one more.  I took her back again, as it was obvious there was still one at the Cochlea, and what I thought were two still well above.  The Vet then aspirated the egg near the Cochlea, and one that was noticely above.  The near egg passed while there, and the other one he aspirated two days later.  But I'm afraid there's still one inside her, as there's a subtle bulge about  5 inches above the Cochlea.

I haven't tried feeding her yet, but am going to try one chick tonight.  She hasn't eaten for 6 weeks.  My feeling is that if she still has a slug in her she'll probably refuse.  The Vet and his assistant seem too busy to return my calls/texts.  They probably think there job is done.

This experience has torn me up.

Assisted Answer 5/20/2021 9:00:42 PM

Sonja K. Reptiles

One of my Olive Pythons retained an egg a couple years back. The vet and I drained the fluid out if it. She did go back on food after it and it was ~ 3 weeks until that emptied egg made it down close enough to the vent that I could gently massage it out and she was no worse for it. I skipped a year breeding her and this past season she bred successfully. I felt very fortunate that she had a good outcome. It isn't always the case, though. I have lost females of various species to breeding, laying, or birthing difficulties and it's felt awful each and every time. Everytime we choose to breed our animals there is risk involved. I hope your girl passes it soon. Soaking and a meal might prove helpful.

Author Comment 5/20/2021 9:18:01 PM


Thanks as always Sonja.  She did feed tonight.  Hopefully the added calcium and energy in her will encourage that last egg out, if there is indeed one still in her.

Author Comment 6/6/2021 8:20:05 AM


16 infertile eggs were laid in total over a 3 week period.  The combination of aspiration, palpitation, oxytocin injection and warm baths proved successful.  Big thanks to MegF also for offline correspondence.  Plan going forward is to decrease feeding frequency and eliminate brumation.

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