Learn About Egg Binding In Reptiles

The other names for egg binding in reptiles are ‘dystocia,’ ‘egg retention,’ or ‘post-ovulatory stasis.’ This problem is common in many reptiles, such as snakes, iguanas, and turtles. Fortunately, we can take care of this problem if we provide our reptiles best care and diet. In this article, we will share with you all about egg binding in reptiles.

Female reptiles always lay eggs when the male is not present near them. So they usually end up in the egg binding condition where it is difficult for them to pass the egg or suck inside their bodies. In addition, dystocia is a condition where the female cannot produce a young baby.


Symptoms of Egg Binding

The signs of egg binding are different in many reptiles, which are as under:


Mostly, the snakes can easily lay eggs, but sometimes the situation becomes problematic and terrible. The tail side of the snake’s body becomes swell. Snakes can remain egg-bound for days without exhibiting any strange symptoms. However, giant, heavily built snakes like pythons might be challenging to determine.


Similar to snakes, turtles may not exhibit many signs of being egg-bound. Some people may experience breathing issues, cloacal swelling, or depression.


The lizards who suffer from egg binding have swollen abdomens and stop eating. Egg-binding lizards experience a rapid decline in mood and a reduction in activity. Without laying any eggs, they may also raise their hindquarters and strain. This severe condition might result in death within a few days.

Causes of Egg Binding

Egg binding can result from several factors, such as:

  • Illness
  • Malnutrition
  • lack of an excellent place to nest
  • weak muscles as a result of inactivity
  • Large or irregular eggs
  • Pelvic injuries or other conditions that make it difficult for eggs or young to pass through
  • Insufficient humidity or temperature gradients inside the terrarium


Typically, it is not easy work to diagnose egg bindings in reptiles; it is beyond normal and a complicated process. The size, shape, number, and location of any retained eggs will typically be determined using radiographs.

Another option is ultrasound. The history, which includes the dates of mating, shedding, and when the symptoms first appeared, is crucial. Sometimes a mix of physical and laboratory examinations is used.


We may stimulate the birth process by providing certain conditions to the females, such as an appropriate nesting location in a heated, humidified terrarium and a peaceful and calm environment.

In addition, the vets also use hormonal injects and massage to force the egg out of the reproductive tract and to stimulate the egg-laying process. Sometimes, all these efforts are useless, so the vets collapse the eggs inside the body and remove the remains via surgery.


Although dystocia can be potentially fatal, a full recovery is likely if it is treated quickly and the reptile is in good health. After proper diagnosis, the vet may use several ways to treat the problem. Females who have previously experienced egg production or childbirth issues are more likely to do so.

Shopping cart