GI emergency!!! Quick, help...

Nani

New Member
My chameleon is about 1 yr old. this evening he started to have a strange discharge from his rectum, now there is what looks like bowel coming out the bottom end. Can anyone tell me what this could be? not alot of exoctic vets in the area to help...
thanks, Nani
 

MWheelock

Veterinarian
Hey,

There are two things that could be happening.

Rectal prolapse or everted hemipenes.

I'd bring your cham to a vet tomorrow morning. If there is really nobody around to see him, you will need to do two things in the mean-time.

1) Take a picture to post so we can see what your talking about.
2) Give us an idea of husbandry. What does he eat? Supplements? Lighting? Humidity?

If the rectum is prolapsed you might trying to get some K-Y jelly or petroleum jelly and gently try to replace the rectum back into the cloacal opening with a q-tip(do not force if it will not go). He will not like this.

You may also have to do warm water baths to let what is in his cloaca soak and soften (like dealing with constipation).

If it will go back in but then falls out again, he will need a vet to sew a pursestring in.

This problem is probably diet or supplement related (or other form of husbandry. So as much information you give us would be beneficial.

Matthew
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
If its an intestinal prolapse, its important to keep the tissue clean and moist as long as its outside the body. In most cases it won't go back in by itself. If the tissue is swollen a sugar solution can often decrease the swelling and the tissue can carefully be pushed back in...but IMHO it should be done by a vet since the tissues are delicate and can tear easily...and its painful for the chameleon.

Some chameleons evert the heimpenes when they are defecating...but they will go back inside within a few minutes. If the hemipene is out for longer than that it must be kept clean and moist too....and the sugar solution may be needed to decrease the swelling so that it can be put back in carefully. If a hemipene becomes dried out, the hemipene can be amputated. again...I recommend that a vet replace the tissue.

Here's an article about hemipene prolapses....
http://adcham.com/html/veterinary/vet-hemipenal-pare.html

In either case (rectal or hemipenal) the chameleon will likely require antibiotics to ensure that infection won't occur....and its a good idea to watch for any decline that may be caused by a fungal infection. Its not unusual for a fungus to show up.

Intestinal prolapses can be the result of parasites, nutritional imbalances, impaction/constipation/dehydration, infection, etc. and incorrect temperatures can also play a part.
 
Matt, I have been told not to use petroleum jelly as it is OIL based and this could cause problems if residue was left on the area after it was tucked back inside. I have been told that Water based lubricants like KY and Saline would be much better to be used as not to leave oils inside their rectum, if it happened to be a rectal prolapse.

As the resident forum Vet, whats you say on this. I would love to hear.
(Ill next be able to return replies early next week.)
 

Nani

New Member
re: GI emergency, update

Just a quick update,
I tried the sugar solution but to no avail..am trying to find a vet in the Central Kitsap area here in Washington state but am having a hard time...i also have been applying K-Y to keep the area moist. Should i cover it somehow with a sterile 2x2? Please let me know...can't send a pic, no camera...
thanks again,Nani
 

boothy

New Member
my male veild had a hemipenal prolapse on dec 8 and by the next mourning he was paased away on me just hanging there so it is very important to get him to a vet ASAP! im not saying your dude will die but they say it is very painful to the chameleon so less stress on him would be the best and i hope he pulls through strong for you
 
Matt, I have been told not to use petroleum jelly as it is OIL based and this could cause problems if residue was left on the area after it was tucked back inside. I have been told that Water based lubricants like KY and Saline would be much better to be used as not to leave oils inside their rectum, if it happened to be a rectal prolapse.

As the resident forum Vet, whats you say on this. I would love to hear.
(Ill next be able to return replies early next week.)

Matt, hoping you could still comment on this.
 

MWheelock

Veterinarian
Yeah,
Petroleum jelly is probably not a good idea... Frankly I don't know why I said it.
People have as easy access to that as K-Y jelly so there is no reason to risk using petroleum jelly.

Oil base products might disrupt water absorption in the colon if too much is used and it coats the intestinal lining. (and it is very easy to use too much).

Sorry for the mis-information.:eek: Thanks for catching that Will.
Matthew
 
It just needed clairification. And I didn't know EXACTLY for what reason that the oil based products shouldn't be used- which you just resolved for me. :)

Would there be any dangers with using a saline solution such as basic (no additive) Contact lens wash to clease the area? Saline shouldn't dehydrate the area should it since its used for eyes?
 

MWheelock

Veterinarian
Saline is fine.

Actually a dilute warm water with Dawn liquid hand-soap would be fine to clean this area too. As long as you are not constantly soaking for long intervals with regular water you don't have to worry about electrolyte leaching.
 
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