Reptile prolapse is a medical condition that occurs when a reptile’s internal organs protrude from their rectum or cloaca. It’s caused by an underlying disorder, such as parasites, trauma, infection or tumor. In some cases, it can also be due to genetic abnormality or poor husbandry practices. If left untreated, prolapse can become life-threatening for the reptile.
Reptiles with prolapse will have signs of discomfort and pain, such as attempts to push the prolapsed organ back into place. In severe cases, they will also have difficulty defecating or even bleeding from the affected area. Treatment depends on the underlying cause of the prolapse, but it usually involves antibiotics, fluids or surgery to repair the damage. In some cases, the prolapsed organ will need to be removed if it’s too inflamed or damaged.
It’s important to diagnose and treat reptile prolapse as quickly as possible in order to avoid further complications. If you think that your reptile has a prolapse, get veterinary attention immediately in order to give your pet the best chance of recovery.
Symptoms of Reptile Prolapse
The most common symptom of reptile prolapse is the protrusion of an internal organ from their rectum or cloaca. Other symptoms can include:
- Difficulty defecating
- Pain or discomfort in the area
- Bleeding from the affected area
- Attempts to push a prolapsed organ back into place
It’s important to get immediate veterinary attention if you think that your reptile has a prolapse.
Diagnosing Reptile Prolapse
In order to diagnose prolapse, a veterinarian will typically perform a physical examination and take into account the pet’s history and symptoms. Depending on the severity, they could also recommend additional tests such as x-rays, ultrasounds, blood work or fecal exams.
Stages of Reptile Prolapse
Reptile prolapse is typically split into four stages:
Mild Prolapse Stage:
The organ is slightly protruding from the rectum or cloaca, but it can still be pushed back in.
Moderate Prolapse Stage:
The organ is more protruding and might not be able to be pushed back in.
Severe Prolapse Stage:
The organ is significantly protruding and cannot be pushed back in.
The organ has become necrotic (dead) due to lack of blood flow or infection.
Treating Reptile Prolapse
Treating reptile prolapse typically involves antibiotics, fluids and surgery to repair the damage. In some cases, the prolapsed organ will need to be removed if it’s too inflamed or damaged. The underlying cause of the prolapse must be addressed in order to prevent recurrence.
Preventing Reptile Prolapse
In order to prevent reptile prolapse, it’s important to maintain proper husbandry and care for your pet. This includes providing a suitable habitat with the correct temperature, humidity and lighting, offering appropriate diet and nutrition, ensuring regular veterinary check-ups, and monitoring your pet’s health. It’s important to regularly deworm your reptile in order to avoid parasite infections.