Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Breeding and Blood

As a living, breathing creature, you have blood and you have reproductive organs. Sometimes, these things end up mixing together. It's not the best situation, when your reproductive organs are bleeding, but... it happens.

Rough and tumble, bad angles... etc.

It can and will happen.

This is especially true of male ground dwelling snakes. Sometimes, they drag their junk around before it is even needed, which tends to cause a bit of bleeding and redness.

Now, as a female, I don't want to make any sexist assumptions here, but I would like to point out that if the males are doing it to themselves and they haven't stopped it from happening again, I would be a little less concerned. They can feel pain, and they should have a basic instinct not to destroy themselves.

BUT, as animal caretakers, we must limit this exposure when possible.

YES, Ball Python males drag their junk around the floor when introduced to a female. YES, they can and will cause themselves slight harm.

Is this horrible and terrible and worth putting snake diapers on them?

No...

It's part of the magic of reproduction. Sometimes you don't get it right the first time.

So if you see the blood on the vent, just pop your males and make sure there are no infections or internal foreign materials that have been absorbed by exposing and absorption. If there are either, then please take care of it, be it clean it up yourself or take him to a vet.

Blood around the vent is bound to happen... It even happens with animals that aren't even in breeding rotations.

If it is more than just a very slight crusting, I would be concerned. Any swelling, foreign objects, puffiness or hestiation to pop out a pene are all bad signs.

Blood in general is not a bad sign unless there is a lot of it. A lot will be quantified by being able to scab over something. That is a bad sign. Before that is a warning sign...

Bottom line is if you are vigilant with your males, and know what is normal and what isn't (slight crusting is normal), you should have no problems.

Keep breeding them the way you have been breeding them, but at any sign of foul play, separate and diagnose.

I hope this helps those of you out there with the same questions.

Check some of your animals and you will see that blood does tend to accumulate oddly on some animals around the vent. Take note at the amount. I will see if I can get a picture of someone soon for you all as well.

When in doubt, send me a picture and I will help you figure it out!

Have a great day, my friends!

3 comments:

Travis said...

I keep and breed on paper and in the past I've seen blood on the paper during breeding. I always assumed it was from when the female pushes out her scent glands and wags her tail around. So your saying its from the males dragging his penes. Just when I thought I had it all figured out....

Jackie said...

Yeah, I'm on paper, too. I'm used to see blood on the paper during breeding, as well as after a shed. But George's girlfriend is a pied, and he was leaving streaks all over her white patches... yuck!

Thanks, Heather. I swear I had a slight case of scale rot around one of my male's vents late last season, and I was pretty annoyed that George was making a mess of it so early in the season this year. I'll send you a picture if I see anything like that again...

Just out of curiosity, how often do you pair your boys?

Heather Wong said...

Travis,

It actually can be both...

I should have prefaced it by saying that I have never personally seen a male drag his junk around, but I have seen the blood on the vent, and seen significant sanichip absorption from males which could only be caused by floor dragging. So I am taking an educated guess.

And yes, the females do the gland exposure as well... That I have seen in person.

Snakes are weird sometimes.