Advice on keeping an adult corn with spinal deformity? - Reptile Forums

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Old 03-02-2015, 08:47 AM
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Default Advice on keeping an adult corn with spinal deformity?

We just adopted this three year old gal from a reptile rescue. We haven't even settled on a name yet. (Debating between something descriptive and something normal. She was called Lumpy before this.)

I'm not sure how well the kinks come across in the photos. They are severe in person. The photos were snapped when she was added to the tank and I haven't bothered her since to get better ones. Her head and about the first three inches of her neck is normal, and everything else looks like a crumpled Slinky, including her very stubby tail. Even the scales have deformities around the nobs, which are hard spherical growths on either side, and sometimes on top of, the spine. She is stretched out "straight" in both photos, aside from her neck and head.





I was able to speak with them a bit about her care and we did have to submit an application to adopt so they were okay with our enclosure and experience level. She was (surprisingly) a class pet prior to being surrendered. She's 3 years old, a hair over 2 feet long, and eats large mice without problem. She was in the rescue's care for about two months.

We did talk about when it would be 'time' for her, given the severity of her spinal deformity. Right now she doesn't seem to be exhibiting any signs of pain or health problems. We plan on being mostly hands-off, aside from what needs to be done to keep her friendly so she can be checked over and the cage cleaned. It's just a wait and see on how well she does.

We've altered her 55 gallon enclosure so that there's more room to move and nothing she has to climb over. We'll be picking up a ramped water bowl as well to make it easier for her to get in and out. She has four hides (two warm, two cool), an Exo-Terra moist hide cave (that I haven't seen her in yet and will remove if she can't get into it), and a pile of moist moss in the corner. At the rescue she was very active in her cage, but so far she's mostly just moved between hides here at home. It was a week on Saturday that we got her, and she ate with gusto in a hide on Wednesday which was her normal schedule. We have her on a cyprus and cocofiber mix as those are the only beddings I can be around because of allergies.

I was wondering if anyone had any experience with a snake with deformities like this? Any suggestions for her tank or for handling her so she's comfortable? We were going to do platforms and climbing items before we had the chance to see her in person, but since she's not moving around much yet we're holding off until we can be sure she can use them safely. My biggest concern is causing her discomfort or pain.
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Old 03-02-2015, 09:25 AM
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I would just like to say good on you for taking her on. She a very pretty girl despite her very severe deformities. My first reaction was to feel so sorry for the snake but after reading through your post it would appear that it does not seem to bother her. You are obviously doing everything you can to make sure she has a comfortable and easy life. I have not owned a deformed snake but would certainly take one in if the need arose. The fact that she is eating well must be a good sign and as long as she is passing waste ok it can not be causing any internal problems in that respect. I would assume that shedding may be a little problematic on some occasions but as long as you are willing to help her out with this, which I am 100% sure you are from your post.
I am sorry I can not be of any real help and can shed any experience of keeping a disabled snake.
Well done for taking 'Slinky' on though, think it suits her in a cute way
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Old 03-02-2015, 10:39 AM
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Not being alarmist here but have a look at this.

Tasmanian tiger snake has rare spinal condition which shortens her life | Daily Mail Online

Last edited by Herpster; 03-02-2015 at 10:43 AM..
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Old 03-02-2015, 12:23 PM
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Whether or not she has the above condition I am sure that Wodesorel will do the right thing when the time comes and she will have a loving home despite this.

What a horrible disease for any snake to have to endure
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Old 03-02-2015, 10:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Herpster View Post
YES!! I don't have x-rays to prove it, but this fits what she has perfectly. The description of marbles is the first thought that popped into my mind when I held her. There's another article with a better video here that looks exactly like her. Talk about amazing timing since this was reported on only yesterday!

Tiger snake found in Tasmania with 'grotesque' spine diagnosed with rare disease - ABC News (Australian Broadcasting Corporation)

And I don't think it's being alarmist at all. Something like this is what I was hoping to find - confirmation that she's truly not in pain and can live a normal life for now, and information about what the future holds and when it will be time to make that choice for her. We knew taking her in that it wasn't going to be a long term relationship like it would be with a normal snake.
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Old 03-02-2015, 10:17 PM
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Awww shes a beauty its so sad she has this problem but how wonderful are you and your family to take her in and make sure her life is lovely for how ever long she is with you. Your a total inspiration and she is gorgeous
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Old 03-02-2015, 11:59 PM
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I contacted the rescue that has Rocky, and have a little more information to go on now. They confirmed that striping the cage of things she has to climb on is the right choice. We'll be talking with our vet about B12 supplementation, as this kind of deformity can be caused by a deficiency. They also told me that another owner had a python that lived for 12 good years before the spinal fusion became too severe. With some luck we might be able to slow the progression and keep her comfortable and happy for a while.
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Old 04-02-2015, 12:38 AM
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Fingers Crossed For You
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Old 04-02-2015, 09:08 AM
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As long as the meals are at a comfortable size due to the organs being re-arranged, should be fine.

If you need me (no one does) i will be gawking of the little darling all day
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Old 04-02-2015, 01:24 PM
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I really wonder why people keep animals like this alive. Snakes like this should be euthanized as soon as they hatch out/are born. I do not understand why people think that everything born in captivity needs to be "saved" or kept alive no matter how deformed or screwed up it is.
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