Surgery question.

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Surgery question.

Postby NeonXtacy » Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:45 pm

Hey guys!

I hope you are all well.

My bearded dragon is almost 3 years old, she's been having trouble with her follicles, we took her to the vet today and they said they haven't grown, but she keeps producing them and it's putting pressure on her liver.

The vet told us it may be best to remove the follicles and also spay her but I am quite nervous as she was mentioning that the chances of her surviving post surgery can be low. I don't remember quite right, but I think she said it's like a 70% chance of her surviving and that makes me nervous as 30% for mortality rate is quite high imo. But we also know that it's best that we go through this procedure as the follicles themselves can cause complications for our Frankie.

For anyone that knows, is it really hard post surgery? She mentioned that it's hard because they don't want to eat and we would have to force feed her.

I've never been so nervous about making a decision in my life :(.
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Re: Surgery question.

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Oct 30, 2019 6:50 pm

QUESTION NO 1 : is the vet a very experienced REPTILE VET ?

There are general practice vets out there are who see reptile keepers as cash cows and are literally butchers and do more damage than good to the reptiles they "treat" / operate on.
You could easily end up hundreds of dollars out of pocket and not even bring home a live pet in the end.

If not an experienced REPTILE VET , I'd find one and get a second opinion .
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Surgery question.

Postby NeonXtacy » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:07 pm

Hello Kingofnobbys,

That is a good question and yes they are an experienced reptile vet :). They are the only vet that the reptile shops in my city recommend actually.
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Re: Surgery question.

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:22 pm

NeonXtacy wrote:Hello Kingofnobbys,

That is a good question and yes they are an experienced reptile vet :). They are the only vet that the reptile shops in my city recommend actually.


Nonetheless , I think a second opinion is worth getting , the surgery they "want" to do is major and very intrusive .

If both vets recommend it , then you can be sure it's necessary.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Surgery question.

Postby Claudiusx » Wed Oct 30, 2019 7:52 pm

Hi there,

It is a pretty intensive surgery but I'd say it usually has a better success rate than that. I'd ask your vet if he's personally performed it before. If he has I wouldnt be as worried about it. But still, its surgery there is always risks.

What were the symptoms to begin with that brought all of this up?
Was bloodwork done to determine liver function?

-Brandon
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Re: Surgery question.

Postby kingofnobbys » Wed Oct 30, 2019 9:47 pm

claudiusx wrote:Hi there,

It is a pretty intensive surgery but I'd say it usually has a better success rate than that. I'd ask your vet if he's personally performed it before. If he has I wouldnt be as worried about it. But still, its surgery there is always risks.

What were the symptoms to begin with that brought all of this up?
Was bloodwork done to determine liver function?

-Brandon


If no bloodwork has been done, then the vet is guessing and is most likely after the $$$$ .

As to recommended by local pet shops , that's not a very high recommendation IMO, the vet likely pays them a "finder's" fee to drum up more business, I'd check with the local reptile rescuers and see who they recommend , they'll be in the know about the experience and competence of local vets and will know who is best .

Sorry if this has added to your worries, but better safe than sorry if after event the dragon dies on the table , in recovery , or shortly afterwards because the vet botched it up.
Last edited by kingofnobbys on Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:31 am, edited 1 time in total.
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Surgery question.

Postby AHBD » Thu Oct 31, 2019 7:16 am

Hi there, was she acting in a sickly way so you took her to the vet or was this just a check up ? Did the vet take Xrays or do an ultrasound to determine the status of egg development ? Can you post pics of her to show her body condition as well as her set up ? Here's how to post pics :


https://www.beardeddragon.org/useruploads/ Then use the XIMG to upload them
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Re: Surgery question.

Postby NeonXtacy » Thu Oct 31, 2019 4:57 pm

Hey guys!

Firstly, thank you all for the replies :).

When we first took her to the vet, we did an ultrasound because she looked like she was getting pretty plump and were wondering why.

The vet showed us that she has follices and a lot and told us to come back for another check up to make sure she is either resorbing(sp?) them or that they are at least growing. He also showed us that her liver was quite big and also took some blood from her to do some tests. They told us to make a lay box so we did, but she never really went into it.

The reason we went for this check up was because she was passing blood in her stools and we didn't know why :(. They did another ultrasound to check everything and noticed that some of the follicles are getting bigger but there are even more now than before(last time we went was 2 months or so ago). They showed us the ultrasounds and said that her ovaries are full basically. They fear that some of the bigger follicles could rupture and cause leakage, so they want to prevent that.

They have done these procedures before and were quite confident in themselves, but told us the hardest part is after the surgery, since we will have to force feed her to make sure she will get what her body needs after surgery and while healing.

I am not at home atm, but here is a pic of her and her setup. You cannot see her heat lamp or uvb, but the UVB is the Arcadia 14% and heat lamp is a flood light, her basking spot is hitting 105 :).

[Click image to enlarge]

[Click image to enlarge]


About a year ago, we took her to a vet that told us she has MBD because her upper lip area is shorter than the bottom jaw, so that's when I decided to go with the Arcadia 14% and her upper lip hasn't gotten smaller but also hasn't got even with her bottom half. I am ashamed to say that I didn't even think that was MBD but I am glad my vet brought that up.

Again, thank you all so much for your replies!
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Re: Surgery question.

Postby Drache613 » Thu Oct 31, 2019 11:58 pm

Hello,

How is your girl?
The Arcadia D3 14% tube is a very good bulb so she should be getting a nice amount of
UVB.
Sometimes it's hard to determine metabolic bone disease. At least she has not gotten any
worse though!
So you are pretty confident that your vet knows a good amount about the surgery for spaying?
Let us know how she is doing.

Tracie
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Re: Surgery question.

Postby NeonXtacy » Sat Nov 02, 2019 10:28 am

Hey Tracie!

She is doing okay right now, going through a shed, so she's a little cranky haha! Thanks for asking :).

I am confident in the vet I visit, but also with any surgery, there is always doubts as the unexpected can happen :(. But we have some time to think about this, so we are going through the options.

Unfortunately I cannot find any other reptile vets in my city, so it seems like they are the best bet.
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Re: Surgery question.

Postby NeonXtacy » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:21 am

Hey guys! Just an update, we are getting info back saying the mortality rate is 30%-50% depending on the beardies health before operation, the rate we were given was after surgery, as they said they've done this surgery multiple times and with ease, but they cannot tell us for sure how she will do after surgery.

They said we will have to force feed her and that she has fatty liver disease, so that's why she puts the mortality rate higher.

It'll cost us around $1200 Cad for the operation and care after the surgery.

It's a lot of money and the risks are high, so it's a complicated decision.. But I look at it as if it's my own child and I would do anything to make sure she gets the best care and that we tried.
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Re: Surgery question.

Postby Claudiusx » Tue Nov 05, 2019 11:33 am

Geeze that is a hard decision. I'm sorry you have to be put in this situatuon. Whatever you decide we will be here to help give as much support and advice as we can.

You might not have to force feed her. They all handle things differently. But it sounds like with the fatty liver disease it would be beat to keep it mainly herbivorous. so getting some herbivore care would be a good idea.

Mixing that with baby food is what I've done for dragons that needed it.

Let us know what you decide and keep us updated please. Hoping for the best.

-Brandon
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Re: Surgery question.

Postby kingofnobbys » Tue Nov 05, 2019 8:01 pm

When my Puff went in for surgery for what the vet thought was a large abscess on his head (but was an aneurism) , I spent a similar amount of money and he never came home ( he died a few hours after surgery while in intensive care recovery from a heart attack brought on by low blood volume - he lost a lot of blood in surgery ) .
I'm very wary of vets doing major procedures on pets now of a consequence.
If there is no mention of blood harvesting prior or having a few healthy dragons on hand who can give blood transfusions I'd be very concerned about the prospects of your pet surviving.


While you are weighing up the risks and trying to decide which is the better treatment plan for her, being a very large and intrusive operation I expect excessive bloodloss will be a risk factor that could kill her during the operation or afterwards ( due to low blood pressure / low blood volume ==> heart attack ) , I'd be asking the vet about this and perhaps over the next couple of months regularly harvesting some of her blood to store in preparation for her operation so they have blood on hand to transfuse into her during the operation ( to help lower the risks a bit ).

Can the vet use "key hole" surgical methods on her rather than literally gutting her ?
This would reduce the trauma and risk for her a bit I think . I know some vets do use keyhole surgical techniques on reptiles as I saw the vet on Bondi-Vet do this in one of his episodes on a sick sea turtle ( removed some swallowed plastic from it's intestines ).
More information
https://www.rvc.ac.uk/small-animal-refe ... le-surgery

What's her health and quality of life like right now ?

50% risk is literally a flip of a coin.
Is this an elective procedure or necessary to extend her life and improve her quality of life ?
If it's elective , I'd be saying no and dealing with her other health issues ( ie fatty liver by changing her diet and perhaps using suitable drug therapies ).


I'd asking the vet about if it's better treating the diagnosed fatty liver first ?
CBDs: Cleopatra & Caesar born 28Jan19.
Puff (RIP 10Dec15),Rex (RIP 16Mar17),Toothless (RIP 26Nov17).Peppa (RIP 22Mar19).
EBTSs : George & Mildred (born july 2010).
EWSs : , Fluffy (F) rescued injured by lawnwacker 14Nov17, Gutzy (F) rescued 27Sep19 - RIP 3Aug20 (est 12 yo), Wriggles (F) - injured rescue, over 8 yrs old, RIP 2Feb16 old age. Lucky juvenile (M) - cat attack rescue (lost r-eye, broken r-lower jaw), fatal SI RIP 21Jul2010.
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Re: Surgery question.

Postby NeonXtacy » Wed Nov 06, 2019 12:03 am

Thank you Brandon for kind words :). I like the idea of keeping it mainly herbivorous to help with the fatty liver disease, so we will be doing that right away. I'll check and see where I can get herbivore care from and will order that as well! I like the idea of making a slurry for it. Thank you for your help :D.


Thank you for your reply as well kingofnobbys, firstly, I am sorry to hear about your beardie, that's the scary thing with surgery :(. I will certainly bring up the blood harvesting part, it was not mentioned at all while talking with the vet.

I mean, right now, I'd say she is quite healthy looking? She hasn't lost her appetite, she even tries to eat our hands as we walk by the terrarium haha! When we take her out of her tank, she loves to run around the living room. But the issue from what they told us is her ovaries with the overload of follices that haven't formed into eggs yet for a while now. They said the last time we saw them and did an xray, there was a lot more this time and it's a lot, some are bigger than the others as well, and they are concerned of it causing issues inside the body and the possibility of them bursting inside her? The question is, what happens if the follicles don't turn into eggs, is it possible for her resorb(is that the word?) them?

From how they talk about it, it seems like it is necessary to do for her health. The risk is quite high honestly which is the most concerning part. The money isn't an issue, but I am scared that I would accept the surgery and basically be paying for her to die earlier :(. It's concerning that is it very intrusive operation that they want to do, to spade her and remove all the follicles and her ovaries.

For her fatty liver disease, they gave us these hepato support pills that have this orangeish yellow power inside that we mix in her food each meal. We may have to do that for a while they said.

Again, thank you guys for your replies and information.
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Re: Surgery question.

Postby Viperbsd » Sun Sep 20, 2020 9:08 pm

Hi, I’m curious how your Beardie is. Did she survive the procedure? I hope everything went well. ❤️
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