When will stitches dissolve? Large fatty mass removed.

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When will stitches dissolve? Large fatty mass removed.

Postby Obduratekitti » Sat Mar 30, 2019 4:53 pm

Goldar just had surgery on March 20. The vet said the stitches would dissolve, but didn’t say how long it would take and google isn’t helping. I’m also unsure when to move her back to her larger tank.

This was a very unusual situation and I feel the need to share the details in case someone else experiences something similar:

Surgery details:

Mrs. Goldar wasn’t eating as normal and was hiding under her rock for weeks. We initially thought she was brumating. Her bowel movements were small, but I figured that was normal if she wasn’t eating. Then, around March 6, she had blood in her nearly non-existent stool. So I took her to the vet.

The vet did x-rays and it, along with her symptoms, indicated impaction. He sent her home with a stool softener and antibiotics. We started feeding her baby food and hornworms since those are easy to digest, and tried several home remedies for impaction along with the meds. After two weeks, Goldar still had not had a normal bowel movement.

I called the vet on the 19th and he performed emergency surgery on the 20th with the intention of clearing the impaction. But once he opened her up, another story entirely was revealed. Goldar had a large fatty mass (non-cancerous tumor) filling her entire abdominal cavity, pushing all her intestines into her stomach, and making it impossible to digest any food. The tumor was 10% of her body weight!! To put that into perspective, if you weighed 200 lbs, that would be a 20 lb tumor.

Luckily, the vet was able to get all of it out. It’s been about about 10 days and Mrs. Goldar is recovering quite nicely. She took a large poo right after surgery, has been having normal movements since then, and is eating like a pig again. I’m checking her stitches daily, and the wound is healing nicely as well. They bled for the first 24 hours, but the vet said 24 - 48 hours is normal for bleeding after surgery.

We’ve been keeping her in the long 20 gallon tank to reduce the stress after surgery, but she’s already back to being pretty active.

How long should I keep her in the smaller tank and how long should I expect it to take before her stitches dissolve?

Additional Story:
It’s been 10 years since I had a beautiful beardie. I’ve always avoided holding them at the pet stores because I couldn’t afford another one for a long time. In August of last year, I saw this little girl at PetSmart and caved. I asked to hold her and obviously fell in love. I was supposed to go back on that Saturday to pick her up (since I’m now in a position to afford a beardie), but by Friday, I was desperate to pick her up. My husband and I went to the store and bought everything we needed for her and then picked her up.

She’s been a quirky lizard from the start. She was scared of crickets, scared of baths, and refused to eat half the time unless she was hand fed. (The vet said she’s likely had this tumor growing the entire time).
I now believe this tumor is the reason I was ended up with this particular beardie. I cannot explain the desperation I had in getting her before someone else did. She needed me and I’m so glad I was able to help her.

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Re: When will stitches dissolve? Large fatty mass removed.

Postby KarrieRee » Sun Mar 31, 2019 7:15 am

So glad she is doing so well -- and for saving her from someone else who knew nothing about beardies as she probably would of died--- I am assuming you didnt go by Petsmart employees advice as more times than none they give bad advice--- what kind of set up do you have for her I am assuming alot has changed in husbandry since you had one last! Can you post pics of her tank and lighting
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Re: When will stitches dissolve? Large fatty mass removed.

Postby Drache613 » Sun Mar 31, 2019 8:01 am

Hello,

What a GREAT story with a sweet ending! I truly believe in fate & this was meant to be.
She picked you & you listened to her. I'm sure people will probably think I'm crazy but you
can pick up on things, you just have to listen.
It looks like she is doing very well right now, her colors look nice!
As far as the stitches dissolving, usually it can take up to a month, or longer in some cases.
She will probably shed her belly too which the stitches may shed off with it, too.

Is she finally eating too?
We will all want updates on her.

Tracie
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Re: When will stitches dissolve? Large fatty mass removed.

Postby Obduratekitti » Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:28 am

KarrieRee wrote:So glad she is doing so well -- and for saving her from someone else who knew nothing about beardies as she probably would of died--- I am assuming you didnt go by Petsmart employees advice as more times than none they give bad advice--- what kind of set up do you have for her I am assuming alot has changed in husbandry since you had one last! Can you post pics of her tank and lighting
Karrie


I don’t have any pictures of her tank at the moment. Her normal tank is a 36x18x18 (the exo terra with the doors). She’s got a really tall branch that gets her right under her lights, with a little hammock and her “skull” rock perch. It’s been cold, so she’s got her basking bulb and the ceramic heat emitter. And of course, the long uv flouresent bulb.

She’s in the long 20 gallon at the moment with minimal furniture because I’m worried about her stitches. I’m thinking here soon I can give her back her bigger home.

Actually, not a lot has changed regarding husbandry since my last beardie. I just had to do some refresher research. And I had to correct some of PetSmart’s advice. lol
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Re: When will stitches dissolve? Large fatty mass removed.

Postby Obduratekitti » Mon Apr 01, 2019 6:37 am

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

What a GREAT story with a sweet ending! I truly believe in fate & this was meant to be.
She picked you & you listened to her. I'm sure people will probably think I'm crazy but you
can pick up on things, you just have to listen.
It looks like she is doing very well right now, her colors look nice!
As far as the stitches dissolving, usually it can take up to a month, or longer in some cases.
She will probably shed her belly too which the stitches may shed off with it, too.

Is she finally eating too?
We will all want updates on her.

Tracie


I 100% agree with you! Fate definitely brought us together. I’m glad you don’t think I’m crazy for feeling that way!

She’s doing so much better and eating like a pig. She seems to be taking long naps about every other day, and pretty active on the other half of those days.

Wow! I didn’t realize it would take a whole month for the stitches to dissolve! Thanks for the info. That makes me feel a lot better, but that’s a long time for no baths. Poor Goldar, she’ll be devastated she has to skip her scary baths for so long! (I’m kidding. She only likes to poop in the bath, and she wants out as soon as she’s done. So she’ll be just be pooing in a waterless bath for a while.)

Should I wait for the stitches to dissolve before putting her back in her larger tank? She has to climb a branch for basking, and I’m afraid she’ll rip them in the process.
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Re: When will stitches dissolve? Large fatty mass removed.

Postby KarrieRee » Mon Apr 01, 2019 7:21 am

Can you lower the bulb so she doesnt haft to climb so far up?
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Re: When will stitches dissolve? Large fatty mass removed.

Postby AHBD » Mon Apr 01, 2019 10:39 am

Good job on getting this cutie the help she needed ! You can put her back in her tank, just get a small cardboard box and wrap a towel around it to act as a basking platform. She probably would be fine with the regular branch but just maybe do this for a precaution for another week or so. :)
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Re: When will stitches dissolve? Large fatty mass removed.

Postby Drache613 » Thu Apr 04, 2019 12:34 am

Hello,

How is your girl doing today?
I agree, you can put her back in her tank but using cardboard boxes for her basking right
now until she fully heals would be a great idea.
I definitely believe in fate & this was one of those instances.
The napping is normal, but it sounds like she has really improved & feels really good now.

Let us know how she is doing. :D
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Re: When will stitches dissolve? Large fatty mass removed.

Postby Obduratekitti » Fri Apr 05, 2019 4:56 am

My little girl is doing amazing!

She’s still eating like a pig and finally pooped two days in a row, and it’s starting to look more normal. So it appears her digestive track is starting to get “back to” normal after her surgery, and long term abdominal tumor.

She’s shedding her tail, which is the first shed I’ve seen in several months, so she’s finally growing again as well!

I’ve still got her in the smaller tank, but the vet said I should be able to move her back to her normal tank soon. The vet asked how she was when I brought one of my cats in and we talked about it. It was nice to see he cared about his patients like that.

Here she is with her best friend! I JUST took this picture of them.
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Re: When will stitches dissolve? Large fatty mass removed.

Postby Drache613 » Fri Apr 05, 2019 11:07 pm

Hello,

That is great news your girl is doing so well now, congratulations!
She does look quite alert, too. That is wonderful her appetite is so good also, she must
be feeling pretty healthy finally.
Wow she is growing again also? That is wonderful for her. I agree, give her a bit more
time to heal up before moving her to a larger tank. That's refreshing to hear that your vet
is so caring, that is so difficult to find.
The wound sounds like it is healing well. Are you using anything on it?

I assume your dragon & best friend are supervised during their visiting hours?

Keep us posted on her.

Tracie
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Re: When will stitches dissolve? Large fatty mass removed.

Postby Obduratekitti » Sun Apr 07, 2019 6:46 am

Drache613 wrote:Hello,

That is great news your girl is doing so well now, congratulations!
She does look quite alert, too. That is wonderful her appetite is so good also, she must
be feeling pretty healthy finally.
Wow she is growing again also? That is wonderful for her. I agree, give her a bit more
time to heal up before moving her to a larger tank. That's refreshing to hear that your vet
is so caring, that is so difficult to find.
The wound sounds like it is healing well. Are you using anything on it?

I assume your dragon & best friend are supervised during their visiting hours?

Keep us posted on her.

Tracie


Yes, they get supervised visits. We actually have four cats, so it’s interesting giving Goldar her free time. We kick the cats out of the library and shut the door so she can get herself some exercise every few days.
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Re: When will stitches dissolve? Large fatty mass removed.

Postby Drache613 » Sun Apr 07, 2019 4:23 pm

Hello,

Excellent, I figured. That's terrific she gets her own free roaming & exercising time, by herself
in the room, too.
How is she doing today? Keep us updated on her, I hope she is making a full recovery now.


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Re: When will stitches dissolve? Large fatty mass removed.

Postby Obduratekitti » Tue Apr 16, 2019 4:42 am

Mrs. Goldar is back in her big cage and doing awesome. Her stitches worked themselves loose instead of dissolving, and her incision is healing quite nicely. She’s got a bright purple scar right now that looks great. She’s acting a lot happier and spent most of the night sleeping on my husband’s chest last night. lol

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Re: When will stitches dissolve? Large fatty mass removed.

Postby Drache613 » Tue Apr 16, 2019 11:08 pm

Hello,

Wow, the wound is healing really well! I wondered if she would actually lose the stitches before
they even dissolved fully. That happens quite often.
I'm glad to hear she is doing wonderfully after her surgery. She looks beautiful. Feel free to
continue updating us on her healing & progress. :D

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