Reptiles in a bind

By Connie Orcutt • Published: October 1st, 2013
Category: Animal Airwaves

Egg-laying female reptiles, such as lizards, turtles and certain snakes, can form eggs even without being near a male. It’s not uncommon for reptiles kept in captivity to have trouble laying these eggs, creating a situation called egg binding.

Egg-bound females may appear agitated and restless as they search for suitable nesting spots. Lizards and turtles may dig during this process. A swollen abdomen can signal egg binding in lizards or snakes. Egg-bound reptiles may stop eating, lose weight and become weak. In some cases, they will strain and press internal tissues out of the vent, or hind end.

Depending on the cause, treatment for egg binding may involve environment changes, supportive care, medication or surgery. If your pet is showing any of these signs, seek veterinary care as soon as possible before her condition worsens.