We had to rush one of our leopard geckos - Dhanab, my only blizzard, a female - to the emergency vet last night with a serious prolapse.

The vet (thank god we have an exotics vet in town) has had to amputate a fairly large amount of tissue (The bits that were hanging out were nearly the same volume as her head) and stitch everything back together, and we're meant to be picking her up this evening to bring her home. On speaking to the vet, she did not seem very optimistic about long-term prognosis, and suggested that she be offered liquefied tinned vet-brand-cat-food from a syringe for a couple of days at least.
I'm just wondering a few things in the experience of folks who've had reptiles with prolapses...
1. How likely is it with the severity of prolapse she's had thatshe'll prolapse again, have a stricture due to scar tissue formation, or otherwise wind up having to be put to sleep?

2. Have you had herps that recovered?
3. What could have caused this? Is it possible she was egg-bound orhad an impaction (maybe eating the vermiculite in her humid hide? Cricket exoskeletons?) and strained too hard? I haven't found any eggs in her vivarium - is there a possibility she's STILL egg-bound?
4. How likely is it that I'll wind up syringe-feeding this gecko forthe rest of her life? I'll do it if that's what's called for, but I'd rather be prepared if that's the case.
I'm going to be asking all these questions of my vet, too - but I wanted to know what other experienced herpers thought.

- Ssthisto
We had to rush one of our leopard geckos - Dhanab, my only blizzard, a female - to the emergency vet last night with a serious prolapse.

Sorry to hear it.
I'm just wondering a few things in the experience of folks who've had reptiles with prolapses... 1. How likely is ... prolapse again, have a stricture due to scar tissue formation, or otherwise wind up having to be put to sleep?

My experience with animals that have prolapses is that they tend to have problems for the rest of their lives. Sometimes it's a case of repeated prolapses, sometimes difficulty defecating resulting in impaction or fecoliths, etc. I think the quality of life for these animals is usually still quite good, but I would expect more frequent vet visits over the course of the animals life.
2. Have you had herps that recovered?

Plenty. Prolapses, while they may become a chronic problem, are usually successfully treated as long as necrosis of the prolapsed tissue is avoided. And in any case where some of the internal tissue is removed it's important to be wary of possible infection. The cloaca is not exactly a sterile place!
3. What could have caused this? Is it possible she was egg-bound or had an impaction (maybe eating the vermiculite ... and strained too hard? I haven't found any eggs in her vivarium - is there a possibility she's STILL egg-bound?

Causes for prolapses abound, dehydration, straining to defecate, being egg-bound, etc. If you're concerned that your lizard may have eggs, try palpating her, or have the vet do an x-ray.
4. How likely is it that I'll wind up syringe-feeding this gecko for the rest of her life? I'll do it if that's what's called for, but I'd rather be prepared if that's the case.

I wouldn't think that you would have to do that. My guess is that your vet wants you to offer foods that will result in a looser stool. This will reduce stress on the wound until it has time to heal properly. Then you should be able to return to whole foods.
I wish you very good luck!
-M
Plenty. Prolapses, while they may become a chronic problem, are usually successfully treated as long as necrosis of the prolapsed ... internal tissue is removed it's important to be wary of possible infection. The cloaca is not exactly a sterile place![/nq]As far as it went, the vet said she wasn't able to replace any of the tissue in question - all of it had to be amputated. The amount of cloacal tissue prolapsed was frightening - the total volume of the flesh hanging out was very nearly equivalent to the volume of her head. I can't help but wonder if she's got any reproductive tissue left - and if she doesn't, all the better for her, since that way she won't be trying to lay dud eggs.

If she survives (and the vet was not at all optimistic, to be honest - it was made very clear that further prolapse or stricture is a high probability) she'll be staying in her very own vivarium and won't be going back in with one of the males or any of the females - that way, she doesn't have to compete with them for resources, I can see if she specifically is defecating,
Causes for prolapses abound, dehydration, straining to defecate, being egg-bound, etc. If you're concerned that your lizard may have eggs, try palpating her, or have the vet do an x-ray.

Definitely no eggs at this point - no bulges, no bumps or anything. I wasn't sure before she got back from the vet's because I didn't want to be rolling her over or mucking about rubbing her belly, stressing her out more. Since, I've had a better chance to look at her, primarily because we're having to give her Baytril by mouth. Dehydration wasn't, as far as I'm aware, a problem unless she particularly wasn't drinking for whatever reason - the vivariums both had normal humidity in the humid hides and fresh water available.
I wouldn't think that you would have to do that. My guess is that your vet wants you to offer ... on the wound until it has time to heal properly. Then you should be able to return to whole foods.

The vet recommended last night that I attempt to feed her as normal, with live food. She hasn't even touched the waxworms I offered (on the basis that they're decent energy, soft-bodied, and are the gecko equivalent of ice cream sundaes) and seems very disinterested/inert at this point. I don't know if that's a holdover from the anesthetic (24 hours later) or a sign that things are not going well. I'll try giving her some cat food via syringe later this evening when I've got another pair of hands to help hold her.
I wish you very good luck!

I just hope that Dhanab decides what she's going to do - try to live, or make it clear that she's got nothing left - soon. Having her laying on the bottom of the hospital viv and barely cracking an eye open when I open the top to make sure she has water and whether or not she's eaten the waxworm is upsetting in a lot of ways.
- Ssthisto
I just hope that Dhanab decides what she's going to do - try to live, or make it clear that ... she has water and whether or not she's eaten the waxworm is upsetting in a lot of ways. - Ssthisto

Sorry about your gecko - poor thing! I hope she survives. (
Cindy
Dhanab has had to be euthanized.
Despite the antibiotics, she developed peritonitis.

The amount of pain she was in, we couldn't justify keeping her just because we didn't want her to die.
Dhanab has had to be euthanized. Despite the antibiotics, she developed peritonitis. The amount of pain she was in, we couldn't justify keeping her just because we didn't want her to die.

My condolences. It always hurts to lose a pet. At least you tried to save her, even if it wasn't successful. That's more then many pet owners would do.
Gloria
Dhanab has had to be euthanized. Despite the antibiotics, she developed peritonitis. The amount of pain she was in, we couldn't justify keeping her just because we didn't want her to die.

I'm so sorry to hear it. It can be so tough to lose a beloved pet. My condolences and my kudos go to you for doing what you could do.
-M