Snake surgery!

Well, some of you may remember this thread in which I discussed the possibility that Henry, my 5’ albino corn snake (and classroom mascot), may have a hemipenile tumor. We treated him for antibiotics for 2 weeks, then brought him in yesterday for a follow up visit. Although the swelling had gone down, the area was still inflamed. The vet believed it was an abcess that just needed to be drained, so Henry stayed the night so he could have surgery this morning.

Unfortunately, this turned out to be a tumor after all. Strange that the swelling went down with the antibiotics; perhaps it was a secondary infection? The very generous and understanding vet went ahead and removed the large tumor (the vet tech said it was huge for a snake–2" long and 1/2" wide) at a very discounted price–the antibiotics from treatment round #1 cost more. Henry’s home now, all stitched up, and has to wait a week before getting fed. The stitches come out in a month.

Of course, the kids are very concerned about Henry. I’ve told them everything except the type of tumor–“penis” said in the classroom would result in mayhem thanks to a few really immature boys.

Best part is, the vet saved the tumor for me. It’s sealed in a jar of formaldehyde (and this double-bagged in ziploc for health concerns) for the curious kiddos to study tomorrow. Yummy!

So much drama for such a little snake!

Aaaawww…poor Henry. I absolutely HATE snakes…but since Henry is a pet, and you’ve talked about him, he sounds cool. (Although if you brought him to a Dopefest I attended, I’d run screaming, because I am a severe ophidiophobic. Not poor Henry’s fault.)


Give him lots of attention, I suppose, if that’s what snakes want.

wow!! cool show and tell!!

i’m glad to hear that henry is recovering at home. snuggled against a warm rock, i’m sure.

They let you KEEP the tumour?!?! that is so weird! And cool - I never had a class with a pet mascot, and as sad as I know I would have been if I did have one, and it was sick, I think it would be almost worth it just to see the tumour (me thinking like a little kid, of course!).

I’m glas Henry’s ok. I don’t much like snakes either, but I’m glad your pet is doing fine.

Question-when you gave Henry his medicine, did he try to bite or anything, or just get away?

(Although, I suppose it’s a good thing snakes don’t have claws…I remember giving my girls topical treatments for their ringworm when they were babies. Between Buffy and Gypsy, I was lucky if I could find any skin left on my arms.)

Henry’s a big baby, Guinastasia. He would just try to get away–never, ever threatened to bite, or even got jumpy. He was no fan of the shots; it was always a 2-man job, with hubby holding the first 3 feet while I treated the last 2. Henry can be remarkably strong and resilient when he wants to be–ugh! Esp. when you’re treating a part he doesn’t like exposed.

Henry unfortunately went through a shed cycle during all this. That basically results in snake PMS. Still, Henry never did anything except hiss, once, while getting a shot. And it was a real wussy hiss, too.

I still tell my students that he’s the sweetest pet I’ve ever had–EVERYthing else (all the cats, birds, dogs, turtles, and previous snakes) would have and could have bitten you when they were in the mood. Henry has never gotten in that mood. :slight_smile:

hey, that’s not a bad idea. Maybe we could have a LA snake/dope fest. We could all bring our snakes and…um…I dunno. Watch them all slither around. Oooh, maybe someone could bring a bag of rodents and we could have eating contests and the like.

Did anyone else see this thread title and think Ruffian was getting a vasectomy?

must have been a bit more than a vasectomy…


hides under bed

I’m not afraid of HENRY, btw. It’s not that I’m afraid he’ll hurt me, I just can’t deal with snakes. They slither, and they don’t have legs, and they’re long and skinny and wiggly, and I’m terrified. I’ll run. I can’t even look at pictures of snakes. I can’t even THINK about them for very long, because I’ll start getting jumpy.

Not that weird. My rat had a couple small
tumors taken out last summer, and I asked the vet if he could save them in a jar. He did. They are
currently floating in a jar of 10% buffered formalin.

I hope Henry experiences a speedy recovery.

I was a tech at a vet clinic where we had a 9" Burmese python who contracted encephalitis at a young age . . . afterwards she lost the instinct to hunt and eat. Therefore, we had to force-feed her a frozen rat once a week or so.

If you love 'em, you’ll do anything for 'em. Period.

Only those that still haven’t figured out I’m female (and always have been, thankyouverymuch lurker). :wink:

And on another note, the tumor was a huge hit. It became the center of a “teachable moment”–I taught the kids the basics of reptiles, metabolism, snake anatomy, and cancer. They could not have been more attentive, either! The kids didn’t at ALL think the tumor was gross–in fact, when I said “Gross, huh?” to one group (they came up to view it in groups of four), a girl answered, “I don’t think it’s gross, I think it’s neat!” 'Nuff said!

Hey, great news! I’m really glad he came through okay.

I might be in California for my best friends wedding, if they ever set a date. Should I bring my garters in case of SnakeDope?!
I have two commons and a northwestern. Might have a little trouble at the border, though.

“Step aside please Ma’am, your luggage seems to be breathing!”

zoogirl, you know, whenever I transport Henry from home to school, or vet to home, or whatever, I often wonder what would happen if a cop pulled me over for some traffic violation. It’s just not every day you pull someone over with a 5’ snake in the passenger seat.

Well, I FIGURED you were, but I know that I can’t always tell the difference - I’ve seen at least one TS I NEVER suspected…:wink: