Dystocia in reptiles is the retention of ova or foetuses within the female due to the failure of the female to complete parturition or oviposition. This disorder is commonly observed in captive reptiles, but has rarely been reported in wild reptiles. We observed a large internal obstruction in an adult female Tiger Snake captured as part of an ongoing population study. We failed to palpate out the object in the field, so we took the snake to a veterinary practice for professional assistance. All non-lethal methods of extracting the object were unsuccessful so we euthanised the specimen and post-mortem dissection revealed five mummified stillborn young lodged in a sealed reproductive tract. Reproductive abnormalities are frequent in Tiger Snakes and large proportions of litters can be comprised of unfertilised eggs, fertilised aborted eggs and stillborn young, yet none of these observations ever resulted in dystocia. It is interesting that this observation occurred in a snake from Herdsman Lake, Western Australia, where the Tiger Snake population is subjected to many anthropogenic stressors. We cannot determine what caused this case of dystocia but suspect it may have been caused by some sort of negative effect onset by the quality of the environment.

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