Monday, May 18, 2015

A great story with a good ending!

Saphira is a 2 year-old female, and "now", spayed panther chameleon. She was presented to CVC because she was not able to pass her eggs and the fact that she was not eating. Saphira was seen at another veterinary clinic that helped her with some treatments in an attempt to making her lay the eggs. Unfortunately, this was not working and she was declining. At the time of our first visit, she was weighing 62 g.

Saphira's xray showing what may be eggs in her belly.

At that time, surgery was the only option. So Dr. David Martinez proceeded with an exploratory surgery in an attempt to remove the possible eggs and help her recovery. In this case, there were not eggs but rather large ovaries full of pre-ovulatory eggs. This is referred as a pre-ovulatory follicular stasis. The ovaries will create the yolks but they will never make it down to the oviducts for them to develop into the full eggs. In these cases, these pre-ovulatory eggs will not be ovulated or reabsorbed. It is unclear why this occurs, but it may be related to inappropriate environmental cues. Differentiating ovarian follicles from oviductal eggs can be challenging but the follicles tend to be spherical instead of ovoid in shape. 
The degree of disease was such, that some of the ovarian tissue was already disease and compromised. To our surprise, two formed eggs were present in the colon. This means that she has formed  at least two eggs and when she went to laid, she could not pass them and went back to intestinal tract. Reptiles have one exit named cloaca, and all systems (urinary, reproductive and digestive system share the same opening) will join there. When she could not pass the eggs, those eggs back track into the wrong system.

Saphira during her surgery. An endotracheal tube allows lung ventilation

Those are the ovaries laying beside a scalpel blade handle. The scalpel blade handle is actually the same size of Saphira

After three weeks of treatment and supportive care, Saphira has made full recovery. She came the other day for her suture removal and she is 100% back to herself. The broken skin is due to normal reptile shedding. Skin shedding increased during time of skin healing which is what she was doing due to the presence of the sutures and surgery site.

    The End!!! ... at least for now, more stories to come soon. Stay tune in.

Amelia, the owner, and her sweet Saphira

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