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my tegu had a prolapse, advice wanted!

azz123

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hi all my tegu had a pro lapse, noticed it and straight away put him in the bath. i managed to remove the blockage it was an undigested piece of meat and clumps of coco fibre (eco earth) substrate. he/she is about 9 months old about 18 inch long. after i bathed and removed blockage, it retracted back ( well most of it) then the next morning i noticed it again but about 3-4 cm out quite a way out for a chap or gal that is only 18 inch nose to tail, and it was coated in substrate. ouch!!!! so again put it in bath and bathed, could not see a blockage.

i called the vet immediately and within 1 hour was under anasthetic, he put the prolapse back and put a drawstring stitch over the vent, he is not an exotic/reptile specialist and was unsure of the outcome, also he wants to remove the stitch after 3 days.

any advice guys???
should the stitch stay in longer, as it can still pooh?
am i going to lose my tegu?
will it happen again?
what can i do to help?
can i insert the prolapse if it happens again?
are there any meds to reduce inflamation should this re occur?
are there any advisable tegu pick me up drugs to give him an energy boost?
are there any meats/meals a tegu struggles to digest?
is this the result of captive breeding/bad genetics?

my enclosure is now just lined with kitchen roll there is no substrate, it has been cleaned since, the vet gave him some baytril and anti inflamitary injections. to keep the humidity a plastic tub of water is over a heat pad.

i have heard sugar baths, and vaseline help if it happens again, also i am going to cut his meals up finer as i understand he had squeezed so hard and this is why it happened as well as the blockage. also i am considering vivarium carpet for substrate and a box filled with moss or calci sand for burrowing to reduce on impactions, and so should it happen again pieces of substrate dont stick to the pro lapse. makes you wonder how they deal with this in the wild.
 

Bubblz Calhoun

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What are your temps?
How often and what do you use to measure them?
Do you bathe him and how often do you see him drink water?
I take it you feed inside his enclosure,.. if so how, explain your process?

Prolapses are very common with constipation and impactions. They are caused by too much straining when trying to poop or pass something. Since you found an undigested piece of meat check your temps. Low temps can cause digestion issues, dehydration is also a common symptom that can cause and aid constipation and impactions. Which is why I asked about him drinking water.

The cause can be one or a combination of things that led to this point and if not fixed will happen again.
 

azz123

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Bubblz Calhoun said:
What are your temps?
How often and what do you use to measure them?
Do you bathe him and how often do you see him drink water?
I take it you feed inside his enclosure,.. if so how, explain your process?

Prolapses are very common with constipation and impactions. They are caused by too much straining when trying to poop or pass something. Since you found an undigested piece of meat check your temps. Low temps can cause digestion issues, dehydration is also a common symptom that can cause and aid constipation and impactions. Which is why I asked about him drinking water.

The cause can be one or a combination of things that led to this point and if not fixed will happen again.


its not often i see him drink, i just use thermometers to gage temperature, i have several dotted about the enclosure, hot end 105f cool end 80f, humidity 60-80% not invested in a thermostat yet, but if necessary will do so. how can i encourage drinking? i bathe him maybe once a month, he usualy poohs on me when i get him out when he is sat on me. he is due to go into a big enclosure before xmas which i am building. he eats meat everyday he is a real fatty, has had a massive growth spurt in the last 4 weeks he has practicaly doubled his body mass
 

Bubblz Calhoun

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What kind of thermometers are you using and do you have a back up like a temp gun for surface temps? Alot of the stick up reptile thermometers you see in stores like petco or petsmart are not that accurate and fail often. An ambient temp of 105 is too high only the basking spot (under the light) should be that high.

Does he drink or spend much time basking after he eats?

One way to try and gauge how much water he's drinking is to measure how much you put in and take out. It's a little tricky with some reptiles because they like to pee and poop in their water. Plus your temps are high so quite a bit may evaporate. So you can try using two bowls.
 

laurarfl

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Like Bubblz is saying, temperature is measured in different ways. I use a digital or infrared thermometer. I'm trying to tell from the avatar photo. If so, 80 on the cool end is good, then 90 for the hot end in the air, but a basking spot of about 110-115 measured on the ground. You can even put a flat dark rock that will heat up naturally to help digestion (not an electric heat rock). The heat will boost metabolism and help healing, digestion, and fighting infection.

Are you sure your humidity is staying 60-80% all the time, or just when you mist? I'm just asking because it can fluctuate and hydration is so important to prevent hard stools.

Next I'd look at diet/feeding. I wouldn't feed him in the enclosure so that he doesn't eat substrate accidentally with food or on purpose because it smells like food. Try adding some fruit to his diet to increase moisture and fiber. If he won't take any fruit, you can add about 1/8 teaspoon of plain metamucil fiber to his food a few times a week to help move things along. I'd give his food in small bites. Is he getting calcium supplement on everything without bones and does he have a good UVB? Low calcium affects the muscle tone which can cause a slow GI tract.

Then exercise is key to keep things moving along as well. Extra time to free roam may help.

I don't know if it is a captive breeding issue such as a defect. I think some animals may be prone to prolapse. More often though, I think it is husbandry issues and trying to provide whatever a captive animal needs. I'm not saying you are doing anything wrong, it's just something we all look into when our animals are a little off. This is my own check list that I go through when my reptiles get a bit wonky. I do a mental run through and think, "OK, how's the temp, humidity/hydration, diet, calcium, UVB/sunshine, exercise, and season".

Best wishes for your little one there.
 

TeguBuzz

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As funny as it may seem, when my gu's use to get prolapse (rarely), in use to rub the area with Vaseline. It works miracles and worked every time. I never once took my gu's to the vet for prolapses, and hadn't had an incident in the last 2 years.
 

azz123

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i have a humidity gauge that tells me the %, as a back up there is a heat pad under a rock and water tub, he cant burn himself on it, by the sounds of it i need to get a thermostat a good digital 1 that does the whole thing! i have his lights on a cycle and they go off and on, on there own, yes he has a uvb light and yes i dust his meals hith nutrobal! (i think) but i only do this once a week as it makes him dopey, the vet said i should do it a few more times a week, the reason i fed him in his cage was because he went off his food a bit back and it took a while to get him to feed again, had him about 7 months now, realy attatched to him, he can definately recognise me, i will do what i can to care for him and update you as soon as i have.

thanks for the advice, i think it does just come down to husbandry!!!
 

laurarfl

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I looked at Nutrobal since we have different supplements here over the pond. That looks like a great supplement, but it has vitamins in it, too. Some vitamins like A, D, E are fat soluible and can be stored in the body. Other vitamins like B are water soluble and the body gets rid of excess. Extra calcium isn't stored in the body, except what is in the bones. But a certain amount needs to be circulating in the blood, no more and no less. So the body does what it needs to to make it all balance out. If there is too little in the blood, hormones are activated to elach calcium from the bones. If there is too much, the kidneys remove the extra. So it looks like Nutrobal would be a great once or twice weekly supplement, but I would use a calcium only supplement on any food item without bones. Even ground up calcium citrate tablets intended for humans is good. Try something like this:

http://www.petsparade.co.uk/reptiles/supplements-cricket-foods/?p=4800

Another thought is to add a little mineral oil to food items right now to make the feces easy to pass. Some people add cod liver oil to the food, but since it adds more Vit A and D, I would be cautious using it with Nutrobal.

It sounds like you do really care for your tegu. Things happen when we own pets and we just have to try to figure out what happened and fix it. Then by sharing it on a forum like this, hopefully others can learn, too. One time I had my tegu outside and she ate a rock about half the size of my palm. I was really nervous, but luckily it was a smooth rock and she passed it. I've been in a hurry and fed my tegus in the enclosure. I'm sure everyone has taken a shortcut, tried something different, or flat out made a mistake (I've made a bunch!). Sometimes nothing happens, or sometimes the animals gets ill or has an accident.
 

Bubblz Calhoun

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Also instead of using another type of supplement for calcium,.. just add bones to meals that aren't whole prey. Beef, chicken, turkey backs, necks, ribs or what ever. Just something that's easy for you to cut into smaller pieces and mix with his food.
 

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