Great, my snake may have penis cancer

No gag here–the thread title is exactly the case. My 5’ albino corn snake, Henry, either has a major infection behind his cloaca or cancer of the (hemi)penis. How do I explain that to my classroom? (Henry is the class pet/mascot and a HUGE star in the room.)

(BTW: “hemipenis”–snakes have 2 penii, each called a hemipenis, so that they may penetrate the female from either side. Yet another reason to be envious boys…except for the part that the region is apparently susceptible to cancers.)

I took in Henry today to see the vet and paid slightly more than I paid for him to find all this out. Poor Henry has to have a topical antibiotic shoved up inside him every day, plus a shot of another strong antibiotic every other day. Henry is a wonderfully mild-mannered snake, but he does not appreciate this. The nursemaid in me doesn’t mind so much; but then again, I haven’t had to do it yet.

Henry was so stressed he didn’t eat his rodent dinner. :frowning:

This is just too bizarre. Anywho, all we can do is wait now. The doc said that if the swelling is an infection, it will go down noticeably in about 4-5 days. But–if not, then the swelling is a tumor…and then it’s just a matter of time. (Unless I want to spend $500 on a biopsy, with the anesthesia, etc–but then, what is that going to do besides say he has cancer? It’s not like a snake can get chemo.)

Henry is a wonderful pet snake. I’d hate to see him suffer. Poor fellow.

Here’s hoping…

It wouldn’t do any good to chop off his penises?

I’m crossing fingers and sending best wishes to Henry and your class.

When I get to work tommorow, I’ll ask Linda about this. She raises corns and may have some advice. I sure hope Henry is ok!
Brownie, the twins and Lucky (our gartersnakes at home) all send best wishes too!

Also an elementary teacher, so I know how hard it will be for you if/when Henry dies.
Some advice, maybe a warning to the parents and kids that Henry’s not feeling so well will sort of prepare them for his possible passing?

Good luck!

I used to have a pet boa. Poor Henry! Snakes can be a lot of fun, no matter what people say about them.

Feed him a rodent for me, when he feels like eating again.

How sad. Poor Henry. :frowning:

And poor kids in your class, Ruffian. That’s gotta be tough on them. Mrs. Dave-Guy teaches third grade, and we’ve played host to the class hamster, Jack Frost recently. Classroom pets are just great, and losing one would be a sad, albeit a learning experience. I agree that perhaps you should clue parents in, and ask for their help in preparing the kids for the worst.

And my wife wouldn’t have a snake in her classroom for a kajillion dollars. Snakes creep her out big time.

Snakes have two penises? That’s amazing - I never knew that.

So how does one know whether one has an average-sized snake with two average-sized penises, or a tiny snake with two MASSIVE penises?

Awww…poor little guy!
I actually like snakes, so I sure do hope that his present treatment will cure him.
Good luck and kisses to Henry!

:smiley: :smiley: :smiley:

OK-Just a little comic relief here…
I know by posting here I am going to screw up the phenomenon of which I speak, but right now, this thread,
“Great, my snake may have penis cancer”
is immediately followed by this thread:
“That’ll teach him to keep his penis in his pants!”

Thank you all for your support and sympathies. I’m actually a bit pleasantly surprised; I was expecting more wise cracks than this. Shows I need to have more faith in my fellow Dopers! :slight_smile:

Henry refused to eat again today. I’ve got the little rat in a critter cage, with plenty of fresh food and water, so it will be fine in the meantime. I’ll try feeding Henry again in about a week.

I haven’t given him his medicine yet today…that won’t be fun. It’s a two-person job–one person just needs to hold on to his front half to help control his squirming and attempts to flee. Poor little guy!

By the way, you can see a picture of Henry here: Laura’s Photo Album. That’s Mija, our young female kitty, who’s so interested in him.

As much as I hate and loathe and fear snakes to death-you and Henry will be in my prayers.

still, don’t like snakes…eeeeeeek!!!

i’m sorry to hear that henry’s not feeling well.

i know how hard it is to get antibios into a squirming little body. good luck.

i hope he does well.

wow, you get to explain snake penis to a class of little kids. this could be interesting. i can just imagine what they will tell their parents over dinner.

Well rocking chair, I’m not sure I’ll explain the snake penis part, at least not yet. What I will tell the students is that he is ill (which I’ll have to explain as he will not be coming back to the classroom–and I would anyway) with what is either an infection or cancer. I’ll explain I found a swollen lump, that he went to the vet, that he has to be given shots, etc. I’ll even explain it’s behind his rear end. But the penis part…oof.

If they my own children, I’d have no problem going into the anatomy of the situation. But…parents tend to get a little weird about someone else, particularly a teacher, mentioning genitalia. I’d have to clear anything and everything about this with my principal first (I’d need to know she’d have my back, so to speak).

Well, if you are still teaching fifth grade, I wouldn’t worry too much about the student reaction to the loss of an animal. A few may shed a tear or two, but I’ll bet most of them get over it pretty quickly.

Of course, it is possible that one or two of the kids may have gotten more attached to Henry. I would be sure that the kids understand that Henry may be seriously ill.

I hope Henry gets better. My wife, son, and I had a pet snake for a while and it was sad when it died, but it was just a six inch DeKay snake, and it was never exactly cuddly, so no one got too upset.

I sympathize with your plight and all, but I gotta say…
That’s the coolest damn thread title EVER!!!

What little I know about reptiles is that they get sick slowly and recover slowly (courtesy of Animal Planet). Is it possible that, even with the cancer, Henry might at least live until school’s out? You’ve only got another month and a half, right? Then even if you had to have him put down, it wouldn’t impact the kids. Hopefully the appetite thing is more from stress than anything else.


Oh god… my son’s imaginery gecko friend is named Henry!
Thats more than I would care to explain!
Seriously tho my fingers are crossed for Henry… I just put my bunny with bone infection to sleep. I understand abiout the difficulty. Especially in explainin it to kids…