Hemipenis Prolapse and Amputation

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
2.5 weeks ago, the patriarch of my chamily, Donnie, prolapsed. I came home from work to find him distraught and dragging the prolapse along rough branches. I believe he had been that way for at least 24 hrs (I had been working late that week).

I did some frantic calling and searching. My exotic vets couldnt see him as it was late in the day. Researching and many photos led me to believe he had a colon prolapse, not hemipenis… and that would have been very, very serious. His dragging it along had caused a lot of small lacerations, and with him being ~6, I knew his chances of recovery in that case were low, and was prepared to say goodbye (I did, actually).

I finally got threw to get him to an exotic right at closing, said a tearful goodbyes, and left him with the vet. If my suspicions were correct he would be euthanized. I got a call from the vet after closing, and to my relief, the vet said it was an awkward hemipenis prolapse and not colon. He confirmed that if it were anything else, euthanasia would be necessary. They performed an amputation with just local anesthesia (another relief, as general anesthesia was another huge risk)… and just one stitch.

He came home the next day - terrified of people (so unlike him), and with a butt that looked like the Kardashian lip challenge. But my guy was still with me!!

Not out of the woods yet - the risk of infection was still high, especially with all the lacerations from dragging his bum. He was on a 5 day course of antibiotics (I forget which). I moved him to a free range with safer branches and less stress. Twice a day we go outside for 30-60 minutes of natural sun (1-2 hrs total, daily). This also gives him basking opportunities and 2 x 10 minute heavy showers per day. He has always been a heavy drinker, and he loves every minute of his showers.

He has healed nicely, so far. Redness and swelling have greatly reduced. He has a dried piece of something he is trying to work out - I think maybe dead tissue and dried blood. I think he can work it out naturally with his next poop (which has been doing w/o issue since amputation). He still rubs a little to try to work that loose, but I think he is healing well. He is the oldest, but most youthful chameleon in the group. Very outgoing and active. So happy that he is still with me, as he had shown no signs of slowing down before the prolapse. He is used to our trips outside so I cannot pass by without him motioning “can I come?”

I’ve found lots of potential reasons for a prolapse, but I formed my own conclusion. Donnie has always pushed his hemipenis out after a poop, for years. He usually sort of stretches it out and cleans up after a poop, then tucks it back in w/o issue. I suspect that he may have done so this time and maybe scratched it or got debris on it and then did not retract as usual.

Figured this may be useful for someone else down the road. Trigger warning below, as the photos are graphic. The surgery and meds were around $200.

Day of prolapse (after triaging, cleaning, and lubricating)
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Day of procedure. Can see hus little stitch. Lots of swelling, redness and some puss.
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Subsequent days / healing progress. This is over two weeks:

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The collateral damage of sitting outside 2 hours per day in peak mosquito hours. A price I’d gladly pay.
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Donnie in the garden for his daily spa and PT treatments.

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kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Looks like you had a good vet looking after him!
You've done well too!
Just keep an eye out for fungal infection at can sometimes happen in cases like this. Hopefully all will continue to go well!
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Looks like you had a good vet looking after him!
You've done well too!
Just keep an eye out for fungal infection at can sometimes happen in cases like this. Hopefully all will continue to go well!
Oh no! Now fungal issues I had not considered! I’ve been keeping close tabs for infection… But for now it seems mostly swelling, which decreases by the day. I think once he pushes out whatever this plug is the swelling should subside. I will have to look into the risk of fungus to learn want to watch for.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Oh no! Now fungal issues I had not considered! I’ve been keeping close tabs for infection… But for now it seems mostly swelling, which decreases by the day. I think once he pushes out whatever this plug is the swelling should subside. I will have to look into the risk of fungus to learn want to watch for.

It doesn't happen that often but it's best to be forewarned that it can happen so you know to watch for it...article one of my vets wrote years ago...
https://www.adcham.com/html/veterinary/vet-hemipenal-pare.html
 

DonKeesh

Chameleon Enthusiast
This seems to be a fairly common issue with male panthers including mine. Luckily I have been able to assist him in pulling it back in every time with some KY. Just like your experience he prolapses after almost every bowel movement. Happy he pulled through!
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Donnie seems a bit off this afternoon, so we are headed in for post op checkup tomorrow. I am concerned about infection, especially with the piece of dried tissue protruding, that seems to be preventing him from comfortably retracting the tissue around his vent.

Fingers crossed for us. We are about 3 weeks post op.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
Fingers crossed.

Did he poop yet? What have you been feeding him since the surgery? I should have asked this sooner I think.
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Fingers crossed.

Did he poop yet? What have you been feeding him since the surgery? I should have asked this sooner I think.

He did poop at least once or twice since surgery, and possibly yesterday. I say possibly, because he dropped a urate down my arm (grossssss) and something else, but it hit the grass before I could see if it was poop. I think the dried mass is uncomfortable so he is trying not to push it out. He's been getting primarily silkworms, for a softer diet, but has had a medium dubia or super once a week for the "fiber" and nutrients. He is eating very eagerly, and drinks a lot. 1-2 hours of natural sun each day. Up until yesterday, he was improving day by day. The inflammation had gone down quite a bit but once this piece of dried tissue cropped up, the inflammation has worsened (to an expected level).

I am seeing a little bit of yellow around the mass, but its so hard to tell with everything else going on there. I think he may have broken the skin again by rubbing it, much like he did with the prolapse, and infection is starting. We've kept the area very clean with daily, long showers twice a day. I even let some of the hose water gently run directly over his vent afterwards - to not only rinse it - but because the water is cool and I hoped it would help with inflammation.
 

kinyonga

Chameleon Queen
You said...He did poop at least once or twice since surgery, and possibly yesterday. I say possibly, because he dropped a urate down my arm (grossssss) and something else, but it hit the grass before I could see if it was poop"...good to know that he's able to get the poop out.

You said..."I think the dried mass is uncomfortable so he is trying not to push it out"...this is what I'm concerned about...which is whyninasked what you're feeding him.

You said..." He's been getting primarily silkworms, for a softer diet"...this is what I was hoping for.

You said...but has had a medium dubia or super once a week for the "fiber" and nutrients...should be a good mix.

You said..."He is eating very eagerly, and drinks a lot. 1-2 hours of natural sun each day" ...good.

You said..."Up until yesterday, he was improving day by day. The inflammation had gone down quite a bit but once this piece of dried tissue cropped up, the inflammation has worsened (to an expected level)"...sounds reasonable.

You said..."I am seeing a little bit of yellow around the mass, but its so hard to tell with everything else going on there. I think he may have broken the skin again by rubbing it, much like he did with the prolapse, and infection is starting"...I hope not. Are you going to talk to the vet about it?

You said..."We've kept the area very clean with daily, long showers twice a day. I even let some of the hose water gently run directly over his vent afterwards - to not only rinse it - but because the water is cool and I hoped it would help with inflammation"...did you talk to th,e vet about whether it's better to let it dry out or keep it moist?

Do you put anything on the area?
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
You said...He did poop at least once or twice since surgery, and possibly yesterday. I say possibly, because he dropped a urate down my arm (grossssss) and something else, but it hit the grass before I could see if it was poop"...good to know that he's able to get the poop out.

You said..."I think the dried mass is uncomfortable so he is trying not to push it out"...this is what I'm concerned about...which is whyninasked what you're feeding him.

You said..." He's been getting primarily silkworms, for a softer diet"...this is what I was hoping for.

You said...but has had a medium dubia or super once a week for the "fiber" and nutrients...should be a good mix.

You said..."He is eating very eagerly, and drinks a lot. 1-2 hours of natural sun each day" ...good.

You said..."Up until yesterday, he was improving day by day. The inflammation had gone down quite a bit but once this piece of dried tissue cropped up, the inflammation has worsened (to an expected level)"...sounds reasonable.

You said..."I am seeing a little bit of yellow around the mass, but its so hard to tell with everything else going on there. I think he may have broken the skin again by rubbing it, much like he did with the prolapse, and infection is starting"...I hope not. Are you going to talk to the vet about it?

You said..."We've kept the area very clean with daily, long showers twice a day. I even let some of the hose water gently run directly over his vent afterwards - to not only rinse it - but because the water is cool and I hoped it would help with inflammation"...did you talk to th,e vet about whether it's better to let it dry out or keep it moist?

Do you put anything on the area?

We see the vet this afternoon and I will discuss all of the above with them. I was instructed to keep it very clean, but that was it. The area is only wetted during his morning and evening shower, so plenty of time to dry out in between. It's been so warm outside, he is usually dry within a few minutes (all the showers take place outside). I'm not putting anything directly on the area other than water during his showers, or a quick shot of saline if its dirty in between. He finished a 5 day course of antibiotics immediately after the procedure, but we're weeks out now. I suspect the vet is going to poke around the dried mass to try to remove it, and prescribe more antibiotics. Will update this evening.
 
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