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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Dealing with a prolapse in a bearded dragon

Hey guys,

So, I haven't posted anything for a while, but my bearded dragon recently had a prolapse and I thought I might share my experience for those who find themselves in the same position and aren't sure what to do.

Cloacal Prolapse
A prolapse is when organs slip out of the body; in my bearded dragons case it was the cloaca (part of the digestive tract). Her cloaca came entirely out of the anus; it looked like poop at first, but upon further investigation it was most definitely body tissue.

What causes a prolapse in bearded dragons:

Factors such as impaction can cause a prolapse. Impaction is a symptom that is caused by material that cannot be digested easily, if at all, in the bearded dragon digestive system (meal worms and sand). However, don't freak out! I know many people on the internet make a big deal about the consequences of feeding dragons meal worms and having them on sand substrate. My adult bearded dragon has been on sand her entire life and I feed her up to 50 meal worms every two weeks, yet, this prolapse was not a result of impaction.

My bearded dragon's prolapse was actually a result of dehydration and a high fiber diet. My dragon's (I have two) eat a good amount of lettuce (not iceberg) on a daily basis, and of course they get their protein from meal worms every once in awhile. I have since then fixed this by buying pet food, specifically designed for bearded dragons, that has the appropriate amount of protein, fiber, and other important sources of nutrients.  

What to do if your bearded dragon is experiencing a prolapse:
If you are unable to get your bearded dragon to a vet, maybe because it is a weekend, here are some steps you can take to keep the prolapse from becoming worse and of course having your dragon as comfortable as possible during this time. 
 
Step ONE:
If you have your bearded dragon in sand substrate...this prolapse is going to have sand stuck all over it, and you do not want that! So, take your bearded dragon and put him/her in a warm bath and remove all the sand from the surface. If you don't have your bearded dragon in sand you may want to still put them in a nice warm bath and make sure the area is clean, because it'll be prone to infection which can be fatal.

Step TWO: 
Take about 1/5 a cup, if not less, of hot water and dissolve table sugar (doesn't matter how much) in it. Next, make this sugar water bath a little deeper with colder water and then place your dragon in the bath. The point of this sugar bath is not only to moisten the surface of the prolapse, but it also acts to reduce swelling. When organs come out of the body like this, they tend to swell due to fluids and gases; the sugar water you have just made will act as a hypertonic solution that draws the fluids from the tissue, thus causing the swelling to reduce in size. If it reduces sufficiently enough, you may be able to gently push the prolapse back in (although I don't recommend doing this yourself) with a cutip covered in Vaseline. Anyway, keep him/her in the sugar bath for approximately 15-20 minutes; during this time you may want to thoroughly clean their caging using vinegar and water - never use 409 or Windex. Also, if you are using sand as your substrate, you need to remove all of it and replace it with paper towels or newspaper; same goes for dirt substrates.

Step THREE:
After the sugar bath, put your bearded dragon in their newly cleaned cage and make a sugar/water paste to apply to the area. This paste is going continue to moisten the area while also reducing the swelling. Alternatively, if you have Vaseline lying around, you can use that to keep the area moistened as well. Keeping the prolapse moist is VERY important because if it dries out the tissue can become necrotic = not good! Necrosis is the death of cells and requires immediate attention from a vet in the case of a bearded dragon prolapse. Also, you want to keep the area, and everything around it VERY clean because the tissue can easily become infected.

Step FOUR:
Repeat these steps daily (sugar water bath twice a day) until you can get your dragon to the vet!

The procedures the vet will perform

The vet will mostly likely put your dragon in a sugar/water bath for ~15 minutes to reduce some of the swelling - depending on how far the organ is protruding from the anus. In the case of my bearded dragon, by the time I got her to the vet the entire cloaca had come out, so she was in the sugar water bath for awhile. Next, the vet is going to gently push it back in and apply stitches to the area. You are going to have to leave the suture there for about 5 days before having it removed by the vet. During this checkup the vet will also feel the area to make sure the swelling has sufficiently reduced before removing the suture. 

Potential future problems:

Once a prolapse has happened once, there is a greater probability of it happening again. However, there are steps you can take in attempting to prevent it in the future, especially if you know what caused it. For instance, because the prolapse in my bearded dragon was caused by dehydration and a high fiber diet, I place her in a luke warm bath every few days and I have, once again, started feeding her food specifically for bearded dragons. If impaction was the cause, you may want to remove the source of impaction  and allow his/her digestive system to 'air out', so to speak.  

I hope this helps anybody with the unfortunate problem of dealing with a prolapse! I was freaking out when it happened to my bearded dragon because she is my baby and I was thinking the worst; but, don't think the worst, the vets know what do their doing and your baby will be fine! 



 

27 comments:

  1. Thank you so much! Everything helped and my beardie was able to "pull it back in" itself after the sugar bath.
    Thank you again!!
    Amanda

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  2. No problem! I'm glad your beard is doing fine.

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  3. First, I want to say I love my beardie and would do anything to keep her safe. But if this were to happen how large of a vet bill would it be?

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  4. I do not remember how large my vet bill was, but it wasn't substantial. All they do is reinsert it and sew it up. It was most definitely less than $50 for me, but it will all depend on the vet and the extent of the prolapse. Remember, its the cloaca (GI tract) coming out of the body.

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  5. My bearded dragon recently had a prolapse and the organ that was protruding emptied out and it looked like she peed is sue going to die or did she actually pee

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  6. She probably just peed. The organ that is protruding from the body is the cloaca and this is where their waste is excreted. Is it still outside the body? I would take her to the vet asap even if the organ has reinserted itself. Prolapse can be caused by a number of things and it's a good idea to figure out what caused this particular prolapse.

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  7. There are seven recognized species of bearded dragons but this article will discuss the three that you will find in captivity. They all shares several features including a large triangular head and they also display the same hand waving and head bobbing techniques as a form of communication.bearded dragon care

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  8. Metabolic bone disease, or MBD, is quite common in captive reptiles. Dragons that live in the wild don't suffer from this condition. It is primarily caused by improper care. So, what exactly can cause metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons?Bearded dragon diet

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  9. Feeding bearded dragons isn't as straight forward as you may think, you need to know what food items you can feed your bearded dragon as well as what size. There are also food items that may harm your beardie, this article will make feeding your bearded dragon a lot easier. bearded dragon care

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  10. For anyone who is wondering how large the bill can be, this person was very lucky in spending less than 50 dollars. My dragon has a prolapse, and because I live in an area where there are fewer rep vets and hospitals, my bill is over 1000 dollars.

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    Replies
    1. I paid GBP 150 for the operation in England. I hope this helps

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  12. I'm thinking about getting a beardie and I'm rather worried now. These only happen rarely, right? :(

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  13. Hi please can you help me my female has red flesh coming out the back of her am panicking. A done everything u have said on here but I don't want to put her back in tank just incase it gets bark on it etc. Wat do I do? Please jhelp

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  14. Hi please can you help me my female has red flesh coming out the back of her am panicking. A done everything u have said on here but I don't want to put her back in tank just incase it gets bark on it etc. Wat do I do? Please jhelp

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  15. My Beardie is in surgery right now. It was a large protrusion so the vet had no option but to sedate him and try and push the prolapse back in. He has quoted £115 as an estimate for the procedure and after care but obviously that could increase. Crossing fingers and toes that he pulls through later.

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  16. Hi my dragon draco is always sleeping and his privates are coming out I'm not sure what is wrong with him and I don't have vets that deal with reptiles any were I live and I'm really worried about him plz help I need some advice he has been sleeping for 5 days now and really worried about him

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  18. Hopefully the Rectal Prolapse Natural Herbal Treatment with normal herbs will do the trap for you also and you won't need to experience surgery to recapture your wellbeing back.

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  19. Thank you ,but I have one question how do u make a sugar water paste?

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    Replies
    1. You just put sugar directly on the organ , if you have to wrap a papertowel with sugar on it around the surface of the organ.

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  20. Hello, i was wondering, do beardies with MBD have a higher risk of prolapse. We have a beardie that does and she has prolapsed a couple of times. Although it never is too big, she manages to pull it back in tho i still give a surger bath just in case. Im just curious since i need to know if MBD can be a factor in causig prolapse.

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  21. Rectal prolapse can be rectified. Choices are accessible for Rectal Prolapse Natural Treatment, regardless of age and condition of the patient.Treatment relies on upon the age of the patient and the seriousness of the condition.

    http://www.herbs-solutions-by-nature.com/Rectal-Prolapse.php

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  22. My beardie has this problem right now. He's very sluggish and I have to hand feed him stage one peaches. I bought crickets from a different store than usual and he's been sick ever since. I gave him two regular baths yesterday and he's moving around more

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  23. my bearded dragon has this i just noticed and did these steps i cant afford to go to the vet at the mmoment but im really worried about her any other things that could help?

    ReplyDelete

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