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Thread: Concerned for my new baby corn snake

  1. #1

    Default Concerned for my new baby corn snake

    I went to the show this weekend (and loved it!) and I came home with a new baby corn. Getting a corn snake is something I've considered for the past few years, after having taken care of a bunch of them while working at a pet store a while back. I had an empty 10 gal at home with a slide-in screen lid, and well...the rest is history.

    I left her alone for the first few days. Didn't handle her, or poke around in her tank, just trying to let her settle in. She seemed super active wed night, so I decided to feed her. I put her in the critter keeper that's now a dedicated snake feeding box, then put in the f/t pinky at 'dead mouse temp'. She cruised around the keeper for a minute, found the pinky and chowed right down. I waited about 20 minutes before transferring her, with minimal stress/handling, back into her tank. Left her alone yesterday.

    I just took her out to see if I could get some good pictures, intending to do a bit on handling and put her back within about 5 minutes. As I'm handling her and trying to take pictures I noticed something odd with her spine. I think it's about where her shoulders join her neck (complete guess here) but there's a sort of odd dip. Like scar tissue or a really old, and completely healed injury. She moves kind-of strangely, not as coordinated as I thought she should be, but gets around her tank fine. I just noticed it in my hand, it's almost as though she has less control over the rest of her body after that odd spot. I took some pictures of it, hopefully you can make-out what I'm talking about.

    The first pic is the best I think, you can really see the dip in her spine, and the surrounding muscles weirdness. You can see it in the second pic too, by my finger.

    Husbandry:
    10 gal, screen lid (with heavy books on top to prevent cat problems) baby corn proofed
    Aspen shavings as per the breeder's recommend
    Water dish big enough for soaking (which she has explored a bit) sitting over the hot side
    2 hides, one on each side
    plants and vines
    UTH
    The heat has stayed around 70-75 in the hot side, which I'm not happy with. I'll be getting a better UTH probably this weekend/early next week. Humidity is about 50%. This is going by my digital hygrometer/thermometer, not a crappy stick-on/dial.

    To the best on my knowledge nothing 'bad' has happened to her, no dropping, squishing, or other damage-causing things. Went straight home from the show, set up her tank, and set the container in before opening.

    *sigh* I'm really hoping this turns out well, but I gotta say I've got a bad feeling.

    Anyways, feedback/suggestions would be very welcome.
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by librarychick; 10-08-2011 at 11:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Calgary
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    Default Re: Concerned for my new baby corn snake

    Feel free to jump in an tell me I'm wrong anyone, but it looks to me like it could be a kink.
    And from what I've been told about kinks from a corn breeder: Kink's aren't ALWAYS bad, sort of depends on where on the snake it is. I have a blizzard who has a kink, you can't see it. As he's an adult, and in most cases, if the kink doesn't affect the snake and if it's small enough, as it grows older, muscle tissue will grow over the kink making it less noticeable.

    Apparently, responsible breeders, if they get an offspring with a kink, SHOULD put the animal down, to stop the spread of kinks. But because there are apparently some breeders that don't care if a snake as a kink, they breed them anyway, then their offspring run the risk of either having a kink, or carrying the genes for it.

    So depending on where the kink if, if it doesn't affect the snakes overall quailty of life and you don't plan to breed it, then I wouldn't worry overly about it.
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  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
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    Spruce Grove
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    Default Re: Concerned for my new baby corn snake

    temp spikes have a lot to do with tail kinks in snakes, along with genetic issues (caramel bps). Sometimes it is not noticed by the breeder, and a reputable breeder will reimburse you 100 % or exchange as required. I have 2 corns with spinal kinks, one is a male corn, another is a female king. It is not uncommon.

    your pics looks odd, however, I would wait until the snake has fully digested the meal ,and go from there.

    Contact the breeder and advise the issue and go from there.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Concerned for my new baby corn snake

    I'm not planning on breeding at all, just keeping her as a pet. So passing it on isn't a concern.

    I'm concerned because it seems, to me anyways, that it's effecting (or affecting, w/e) her movement. She didn't have any issue eating, and she moves around her tank fine, but when I was holding her my impression was that she wasn't too coordinated.

    I'm sure a kink further down on her body would be less of an issue, like a tail kink or something, but it's quite high on her body...wouldn't any damage cause by the kink be more severe due to it's placement? Kinda like a spinal injury on a person, the placement determines what's effected (affected...can't keep 'em straight). TBH I'm kinda a novice with a lot of this, so any advice helps. I'm just guessing.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
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    Lloydminster
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    843

    Default Re: Concerned for my new baby corn snake

    The first pic to me looks almost like it has some broken ribs.

    Here is a pic of my Ultramel who had some broken ribs when I bought him as a hatchling.
    Last edited by Crazy Colubrids; 10-07-2011 at 03:33 PM.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
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    Plamondon, AB
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    2,268

    Default Re: Concerned for my new baby corn snake

    I kinda thought broken ribs in the first pic, but the second one looks like a kink. The biggest problem with kinks usually is feeding issues. Later in life it can prevent feeding on larger prey. If they are getting around now they are usually ok as they grow. Temp spikes like Kelly said are likely culprits in the cause. Tail kinks are generally genetic. But not that high. And yes, breeders usually dispose of them. It may be some weird anomaly if you didn't notice till now.

    Two things I noticed though:

    1) temps definitely need to come up. 75 is really likely to cause a regurge in a snake that young.

    2) wait for 48 hours after feeding before handling. Takes at least that long for them to reach about 90% digestion. Most corns will poop 72 hours after eating.

    Hope everything works out.
    Steve Mallet

    yellow saharran uromastyx, corn snakes, yellow lab, ball pythons, crested geckos, kingsnakes, boas, chahoua geckos

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
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    Edmonton
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    Default Re: Concerned for my new baby corn snake

    Also I find baby corns never seem very coordinated. They kind of just squiggle/flail around when you hold them at first.
    I have reptiles ,birds and fish.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Concerned for my new baby corn snake

    Thanks for the responses everyone!

    I'm definitely getting a better UTH this weekend, and a dimmer to control the temps. She did eat her first meal with me fine, and the breeder said they had all eaten well. TBH I didn't notice anything off when I held her at the show, so maybe it is just something weird that'll go away given time.

    I'll hold off on any handing until she's finished digesting, and let you all know how it goes.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    Edmonton, AB
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    890

    Default Re: Concerned for my new baby corn snake

    I have no advice to give (aside from Canadian Tire stocks the lamp dimmers and they are on sale - but don't go to the one sort of by Terra Losa, as I'm trying to buy all their stock ) - but I did want to say that I know what it's like to come home from a show with an animal, with that wonderful excitement, and then realize there's something very wrong that wasn't immediately obvious before. With all the hustle and bustle it can often be difficult to examine an animal thoroughly in the dim light, but while it sucks, it definitely isn't your fault, and I hope your little corn grows up to be a fine healthy snake.
    --
    6
    .5 rosy boas, 0.1 leucistic Texas rat snake, 1.0 blotched king snake, 1.0 eastern indigo snake, 1.0 corn snake, 1.0 Sonoran gopher snake
    , 0.1 Arizona mountain king snake, 0.0.1 Sinaloan milk snake, 1.0 ball python, 0.1 crested gecko.
    --

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    edmonton, alberta,canada
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    22

    Default Re: Concerned for my new baby corn snake

    I did not see anything wrong with the snake when I took it to the show, but we can get together in the next few days to see what is possibly wrong with the snake. If there is an issue with the snake and you would like to have it replaced I will replace it next season, or I can give you a full refund of the price. Talk to you soon.

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