Did you know it is relatively common for reptiles to become egg bound during laying? Egg binding also referred to as egg retention or dystocia, is when all or part of the clutch remains stuck in a female’s reproductive tract. There are many reasons a reptile might become egg bound, including improper husbandry, oversized eggs, an anatomical abnormality, or poor fitness of the mother. There can be serious complications to this including the death of young, infection, future infertility, and even death of the female. Early veterinary intervention is essential in these cases.
Big momma Riley, a pregnant jungle python, presented to the AREPH after she failed to lay all of her eggs. To confirm she was egg bound, radiographs were taken which identified three large eggs remained in her reproductive tract. She was initially treated with medical management and warm baths, however, the eggs refused to come out! It was decided that surgical intervention was required and she underwent a C-section to remove her three remaining eggs. This proud momma is feeling much lighter and is on the road to recovery.
If you are concerned your reptile momma has become egg bound, don’t hesitate to visit one of our friendly vets at AREPH!
Written by Sara Orpin, Final Year Veterinary Student, The University of Sydney.