Due to how easy corn snakes are to care for, they have proven to be a very popular type of snake to keep within the reptile keeping community that we often see people new to the hobby reaching out and asking questions about their pets.
One common question that people new to keeping corn snakes ask each month is based on how to work out if an object in their snakes vivarium is food regurgitation or poop with this being confusing in some situations so we wanted to publish this article on the topic.
The easiest way to work out if an object in your corn snakes vivarium is regurgitation or poop is to work out how long it has been since you previously fed your snake.
If you have fed your snake within the last 48 hours then there is a good chance that your snake has regurgitated its food where as the chances of it being poop increase after this timeframe due to the digestive time frames of corn snakes.
This is for healthy corn snakes on a set feeding schedule though and if your corn snake does have a health problem with it then this can change.
If you do suspect that the regurgitation or poop in your corn snakes vivarium is due to your corn snake having a health problem then booking a video call with a veterinarian to get some professional advice is probably the best option to take.
Is It Corn Snake Regurgitation Or Poop?
Although corn snake regurgitation and corn snake poop can look similar, they come from different ends of the corn snake and at different stages of digestion.
If the object in your corn snakes vivarium still has the original detail of the animal your corn snake ate and is produced within 48 hours of feeding then it is probably regurgitation.
If it has been more than 48 hours since you fed your corn snake and the object looks to have been digested with less detail on it then there is a higher chance of it being poop.
Another easy give away to confirm if the object in your snakes vivarium is regurgitation or poop is to smell is.
Although this does sound gross, regurgitation does tend to have a very distinct, acidic smell that is hard to miss giving you an easy way to confirm if your corn snake has regurgitated or pooped.
Once you have built up some experience with corn snake regurgitation, this is usually not required though as you will usually be able to visually tell the difference between poop and regurgitation quickly.
If your corn snake does have some health problems then there can be mucus and other liquids around the object making it more difficult to tell if it is due to regurgitation or poop.
Even though corn snakes are usually considered to be easy to keep in most situations, health problems should be diagnosed by a professional with their advice followed for the treatment of the problem so seeking assistance from a veterinarian may be worth your time and effort if you do suspect something serious is potentially wrong with your corn snake.
Why Do Corn Snakes Regurgitate Their Food?
The most common reason that corn snakes will regurgitate their food is due to being stressed just after eating a meal often causing regurgitation.
Less common causes of regurgitation in corn snakes include being handled directly after eating a meal, their meal being too large for the size of the snake but the snake eating it anyway and some health problems with health issues being a less common cause of regurgitation.
You also have to realize that regurgitation and vomiting in snakes is slightly different with regurgitation of food usually being a voluntary action that your corn snake choose to do where as vomiting is an involuntary action due to your snake’s stomach having to purge.
There are some subtle differences between food that has been vomited out by your corn snake and food that has been regurgitated helping you work out what is happening.
For the most part, regurgitated food is relatively fresh and will usually look very similar to what the food looked like prior to feeding it to your corn snake.
Although it can have mucus around it, it will usually be a small amount with the regurgitation having a distinct acidic scent.
If your corn snake is vomiting its food up then it will usually have been digested more with the visible breakdown of the food being obvious where as more mucus and stomach acid will be purged from your snakes stomach too.
Should I Be Worried If My Corn Snake Is Regurgitation?
Regurgitation in corn snakes is an sign of a problem with their vivarium set up of the health of your snake that does have to be dealt with as soon as possible, especially if your corn snake regurgitates on a regular basis.
Regurgitation also prevents essential nutrients from being consumed by your snake too and can quickly lead to additional health problems that will need to be treat if you are unable to get calories as well as vitamins and minerals into your corn snake.
As we mentioned above, the most common cause of regurgitation in corn snakes tends to be stress and there are a large number of things that can cause stress in corn snakes that would take a whole other article to cover in depth.
The most common things that can cause your corn snake to be stressed range from constant vibrations, temperature problems, a small vivarium, other snakes in the vivarium, and being handled too much.
If you notice that any of these are present in your corn snakes setup then correcting the problem may be enough to prevent your corn snake from regurgitating so frequently.
In some situations, you may find that your corn snake will stop regurgitating its food within a week of removing the source of stress and that the issue will not occur again in your snake.
That brings our article going over how to tell if the object in your corn snakes vivarium is regurgitation or poop to an end. We hope that we have been able to help you identify food regurgitation from your corn snake as well as the most common causes of it. The majority of the time, you can usually quickly identify and treat the cause of the regurgitation in your corn snake to prevent it from occurring again and help get your corn snake back to regular feeding without issue.