Jonah was sold to me as a young male in October 1995. I had no reason to believe otherwise until the summer of 2001 when Jonah laid 10 eggs. Needless to say I was more than a little shocked. Other than looking thinner Jonah seemed okay. In late September she started acting off, not coming out to bask and not eating much. At that time I was working as a nurse in an animal hospital so I took her to work with me and took some radiographs.
A definite circular mass could be seen on the radiograph so it was time to take her to a reptile specialist. I made an appointment with Dr. Stahl who was very concerned with the X-ray and palpated 3 masses in her abdomen. She was sent home on Neo Calglucon and Lactulose and scheduled for a spay and exploratory on Friday Oct. 5th.
The surgery was touch-and-go, three necrotic eggs were found free floating in her abdomen. One was sitting directly on her liver which had begun to dissolve where it contacted the egg. The eggs, both ovaries and oviducts, and a section of the liver for pathology were removed. Her entire abdominal cavity was thoroughly lavaged to try and remove all of the necrotic material and reduce the risk of sepsis. She was hospitalized until the following Monday.
Two necrotic eggs and an ovary
Jonah returned home with more Neo Cal and Lactulose and also Baytril to combat infection. Because of the possibility of anaerobic bacteria she was also on Fortaz injections every other day. She was switched to a mostly vegetarian diet, which she wasn't very happy about. Boy was I happy when she first pooped a week later! Her appetite gradually perked up and she began to really struggle with all of the medicating.
Two months after surgery I removed her sutures. Today she is still doing well, eating like a pig and back to her daily basking routine. I feel very lucky to have her with me after this ordeal, and hope she'll hang in there for another seven years.
Photos Courtesy of Dr. Stahl and may not be reproduced in any form. Many, many thanks to Dr. Stahl and the staff of Eastern Exotic Veterinary clinic without whom Jonah would not be alive today.