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I first posted about this strange growth in Leo's mouth, right where his jaws meet, in his "Pneumonia" thread: http://www.beardeddragon.org/bjive/viewtopic.php?f=45&t=148669&start=45, and it's now been over 4 months. I guess I've been lulled into comfort by it not growing at all for three months, in fact, after a while, it seemed to shrink a little and look narrower and shallower, with a healthier red color. But I just had a good look at his mouth for the first time in a month, and it definitely looks bigger than when we first saw it in July, and has that nasty yellow tint again. It seems to be pus-filled.
Leo seems to be doing fine for the time being, displays no signs of discomfort, his pneumonia completely gone, eats superworms on his own, and I still hand-feed him veggies, because he won't eat them on his own. Three things that do concern me: first, he won't lick water anymore when it's dropped on his nose, or even in the bath tub, but rather sucks it in - this started when he had pneumonia (or, maybe, it's related to this growth?). Second, he only poops in the tub once in three days, never outside. Wonder if there are specific foods I could give him to help his bowel movements. Third, he still won't come out to bask on his own, I take him out, and he goes back quickly after warming up. He does stay at the basking spot for a long time after being fed though. His temps seem fine - as I previously posted, I went quite far, getting a temp gun and a solarmeter, but still he's rather lethargic. Maybe it's just brumation time...
The local vet, whom we visited for pneumonia, prescribed Baytril-based ointment for stomatitis at the time of visit, but then when he actually saw these closeup pics, he didn't seem to know what it was. He just told us to watch it, because, according to him, it is dangerous to try and drain something in a reptile's mouth, because it may bleed to death. Has anyone here ever encountered anything like it? Does it look like a cyst or an abscess? And what IF it breaks - how do I stop the bleeding? I want to be prepared in case that happens. I am thinking of taking Leo to the vet again, but there are no real reptile specialists in this area, I'd have to drive 75-100 miles one way to find one... Pics, taken in July (now it looks bulgier and seems to go lower in his mouth, kinda vertically along the jaw line):
Direct links (images get resized here):
Honestly, I think it probably is an abscess of some type but it doesn't really look like a tumor. I think it should be looked at again & possibly be taken out. I would hate for it to burst & make him very ill.
At least he got over the pneumonia alright though, that is good news.
He is eating well so is he maintaining his weight then I presume?
Have you looked at this site to help find another vet or a closer one?
Please let us know how he is doing.
Yes, I've checked that site, and another one, don't remember which it was, where I found the last vet, but he is self-admittedly not a specialist. There are none it seems here in Antelope Valley, and I'd have to drive to LA for the nearest, and at that point it is not much of a difference, which part of it...
Why do you think it bursting would make him ill? We almost decided to actually wait and see if it bursts on its own, cause you're right, it is just too much like a balloon, almost looks like it'd burst if punctured... but I thought it was a good thing, just worried about bleeding? Please explain what could make him ill, thanks!
And yes, he is maintaining weight TOO well I think, I've been trying to hand-feed him less, cause he's still pretty heavy, and has been through all his various illnesses.
If the abscess is filled with bacteria and other nasties, when it bursts he would swallow everything which in turn could cause GI troubles or a internal infection. Try to find a good vet, they should be able to lance it and make sure none gets down his throat. He will be need to be anesthetized for the procedure and be put on antibiotics afterwards.
Thank you so much for the explanation.
I just had another look at it, and it's much, much bigger than before. I have an appointment with our old vet in Long Beach on Saturday, hope it goes well, it's a 92-mile drive one way.
Do you know how much this procedure might cost?
Yes, if it has an infection in that area & it bursts the infectious cells could release into the body making him ill. So, I wouldn't try to let it rupture or burst.
Gosh I don't know how much it will cost, but I hope not too much.
Let us know how things go though on Saturday I will be thinking about him!
Back from the vet. It was an abscess and it was removed. The whole procedure took maybe 10-15 min, and the doctor even showed me the pus that he got out of it on a little napkin. There was no chance of it to "go away on its own" he said, and it would most likely not burst on its own, as it looked pretty thick, not watery at all, and there was no blood, just a tiny speck at the end. He used topical anesthesia, and sealed the wound with a laser. IT cost $65, but together with the visit, blood test (to check Leo's white cells, they'll call me about that) and some other fee came to just over 200 bucks. Could have been worse I guess.
Leo is still stressed, he was all yellow with remnants of black on his beard when they brought him back from surgery. He is back to his normal colors now, but agitated. We are to give him Baytril for 2 weeks, so we'll see how it goes I guess. Keeping fingers crossed.
Oh, and if anyone ever wondered, the vet told me to use FLOUR to stop bleeding in the mouth if it ever happens... I suppose for non-life-threatening bleeding of course.
Wow, that is great it was an easy procedure then. I am sure that he was mad! Poor guy, being put under anesthesia then having to take medication!
It definitely could have been worse. I wonder what caused the abscess, a small cut or bite from an insect or something?
He should be fine now though, at least you got that taken out now. His mouth probably feels a lot better.
Yeah, flour & even cornstarch will work for helping to stop bleeding.
Let us know how he is doing.
Thank you all for the good words!
I got a call from the vet today, he checked on Leo, and told me the cells indicating a chronic infection were very high, but it is most likely due to what was just removed, so we are to watch him and have a re-check in a month. For now, nothing more to report, I'll post if there are any changes.
Thanks again for helping us through this.
Wow, that is something, it was filled with infection. There really is no telling how this happened. An injury from a bug bite perhaps, it is hard to know. At least it got taken care of easily.
How is he doing now?
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