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Thread: Leopard gecko w/ abscess

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    Default Leopard gecko w/ abscess

    OK, I know this forum is for rhac health, but I have a leopard that is in serious trouble... or she was. I think she's (or he) is getting better but just wanted to ask some opinions.

    These two geckos were dumped at petco and we took them in, near death. both were completely emaciated, had had improper supplimentation, and had no UV for the entire time this guy had them, who knows how long.

    First, I'd like to say that I'm an experienced former vet tech, and pretty confident in my ablility to treat this animal to a certain extent- we do NOT have a good herp vet around here anywhere. (I don't want anyone to get mad at me for treating the critter myself....)
    The worse of the two had two huge abscesses just behind each eye. They were so big that they were her head appeared to be misshaped and the eyeballs themselves were actually pushed forward, distorting her eyelids. I presumed she was blind because both eyes appeared yellowed and hard, with the pupils not even visible. So we began treating right away with antibiotic ointment, and trying to get some food and water in her, as well as some UV light. virtually no change for about 5 days, except one of the two abscesses opened on it's own and drained. Then, I decided since she was looking a little stronger it might be time to lance the other abscess. I did so and drained some fluid off of it, and covered it with the ointment.

    Here's the gross part- I came in one day and she was shedding but the skin on the top half of her body was stuck. I took her and helped the skin off, which was a little stuck around the eyes. I gave a gentle pull and out came the hard yellow thing I THOUGHT was her eye- but it turns out it was a VERY thick hardened layer of drainage from the abscess! EWWW... But the good news is the eye looks good, and she can definitely see out of it, because as soon as it was removed she started hunting on her own for the first time since we've had her! three crickets at one sitting!!

    So, on re-check of the abcess today, it looked pretty swollen again. I cleaned her eyes, which still get the discharge in them, but I'm trying to keep in from building up again by rinsing with saline and cleaning around the edges with a saline soaked q tip. I decided to lance the abscess again, but now it was hard. I opened it just a bit with a scalpel tip and removed the remainder of the abscess, which was a hard knot, about the size of a half of a small pea. This of course left a gaping hole where it had been, so I flushed it with wound flush and packed it with triple A ointment. She is still active, eating and drinking, and putting on a little weight.

    My question is, is this caused by improper nutrition or could it have been caused by an injury? It seems to me like it would have been an illness, because it affected both eyes. Is there anything I'm missing or anything I should be doing on top of this? The other gecko seems to have a film over it's eyes, but no abscess. He is not eating on his own at this point and I have been feeding him crestie diet with a syringe (with some calcium powder in it) for the past two days, just to get something in his belly. He does drink on his own, but he is skin and bones and has very very little fat left on his tail. Any opinions or suggestions are appreciated! Thanks...
    Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!
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    The hard yellow stuff that came out of one side WAS the pus. That's what it looks like in birds and reptiles. The cavity that it came out of needs to be cleaned thoroughly and left open. It's possible that the fluid that came out initially didn't really drain the abscess and the area may need to be explored and opened more deeply. Anesthesia may be indicated. A lot of abscesses in reptiles are caused by blunt trauma (banging the head). If the gecko still has swelling on the side opposite where the yellow mass came out, then there is something similar there and it may need to be explored more aggressively. Using a broad spectrum antibiotic (baytril) orally of by injection every 48 hours would be a good idea. Other then that, just maintain excellent husbandry. Good luck.
    ~Alan

    "You know, one of the hardest parts of my job is to connect Iraq to the war on terror."
    President Geo. W Bush in an interview with CBS News, Washington D.C., Sept. 6, 2006

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    Thanks, Dr. Alan.
    I did realize that the hard yellow stuff was pus, but only after i removed it from the abscess. The first time I opened it, I did so with just a hypodermic needle, and the pus that came out was fluid and whitish. Since what was covering the eye was hard and yellow, I assumed it was eye discharge in response to the infection of course until I removed the remainder of it a day later. I checked on her this morning, and the first abscess that I did nothing with looks to be completely healed. the skin is smooth and the eye looks good. This morning is the first time I've checked her when she's not had gunk in her eyes that I had to remove. The second side is still showing a bit of swelling, but very minimal. That eye still appears to be a little cloudy so I'm not sure if it's a film or if the eye has permanent damage. I've flushed both with saline. I'll keep a close eye on her over the next week or so and if anything changes I'll try to find a vet I can trust to treat her. I do realize that at some point the treatment may be beyond my capabilities!
    Thanks again, Audra
    Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!
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    Default Update on Leo...

    Just wanted to update on our little leo that was dumped at petco-
    The abcesses healed quite nicely, we kept them clean and packed with neosporin after they were drained, and they healed pretty quickly. She's now eating very well, and almost at her full weight potential. The only remnant of her ordeal is a mis-shapen eyelid, but she can certainly see very well and eats like nobody's business! We might be posting her (or him!?) for adoption before too long, so I'll get some pics up soon!
    Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!
    ~Kurt Vonnegut

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    Aww im glad to hear she/he is doing better! How is the other little guy doing?
    www.TreasureCrest.co.uk

    Whites tree frogs
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    I wish I could say the same for the other little guy- he never developed any abcesses, but he had some trouble with his eyes and quit eating. We force fed him for a while, and he got better, and my boyfriend took over his care and has had him for the last month or so, but he died sometime last week
    Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!
    ~Kurt Vonnegut

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    Oh im sorry about the other little guy, at least you can be safe in the knowledge that im sure he had a much happier end to his life that he would have otherwise...
    www.TreasureCrest.co.uk

    Whites tree frogs
    Crested Geckos
    Rhacodactylus chahoua

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    Wow, if they were as bad off as you say they were when they were dumped, I'd say you did a great job getting either of the two to live! I'm glad she's doing better, and that you had the skills to help her out. Thank you for the update; I always wonder how it goes for the animals that get posted up in here.
    "Nothing worth having comes without some kind of fight;
    You gotta kick at the darkness 'till it bleeds daylight....."
    --Bare Naked Ladies

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    Thanks- I was really bummed about the little guy that died, he was actually a little better of than the other one when we got them, but he just never improved. I had a friend that worked as a herpetologist at the zoo here who helped a great deal, and would know more than anyone, but we just couldn't save him. I think that probably a year or so of neglect had finally caught up with him. The other one is in great shape though, and I'm pleased with her (or his) improvement. I'm hoping we can eventually find him (or her ) a home where the new owners will care enough to invest in a little research. The poor guys didn't have any UV, were not supplimented at all, and I get the feeling that the kid who had them just fed them whenever he thought about it. It kills me, but I gotta say when I was a kid I probably did some things that were equally stupid, I killed my fair share of fish and anoles before I learned how to properly care for a fish tank and a lizard. *sigh* you live and learn.
    Say what you will about the sweet miracle of unquestioning faith, I consider a capacity for it terrifying and absolutely vile!
    ~Kurt Vonnegut

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    im glad that you were able to save the one.. sucks about the other.
    but am i right when i say that leos dont need uv because they are nocturnal and they are not really exposed to it all that much. also i have heard cases of leos going blind from uv light after a period of years.. is that true. just wondering
    corey

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