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Palmatogecko Upper Jaw Abscess

With Reptiles sometimes time is of the essence when it comes to their health. You can post your health related questions and answers here.

Palmatogecko Upper Jaw Abscess

Postby Westley Price » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:22 am

Hi Guys

About 14 months ago, I got a trio of Palmatogecko rangei from a friend and have keen keeping them since. They have all been doing so well, especially the male who would virtually take mealworms from my fingers. He was the tamest of the three and also had the most personality.

During December I noted that he went off food. During the same period I noted one of the females swelling with eggs so I simply thought that his hunger strike was a breeding response. Also, because they are quite shy and skittish animals, I do not bother them too much. I physically check on them only about once a week.

When cleaning the cage, I saw some mild swelling on the male's upper lip. I didn't think much of it and thought his jaw might have been slightly misaligned during a feeder hunt or something like that. But I kept an eye on it and during the following days the swelling got rapidly worse, alarmingly so. It turned into a full-blown large abscess which started in the upper jaw, but spread below and behind the gecko's eye.

I phoned our local vet (she specializes in horses, cows etc, so that is already an issue) and she told me that she hates/is afraid of geckos and that I should not bring it in, but she would take a look at some pictures if I brought them.

I did this and she was actually very helpful. I told her what I had learnt from exotic pet vets in RSA and from my years of keeping snakes and we came to an agreement to give the gecko some Baytril orally diluted 4ml to 1 liter so that is 1:250. I also removed him from the sandy substrate cage and placed him onto newspaper because sand would get into the side of his mouth.

I would take a syringe with small needle and separate the gecko's lips slightly and inject a small quantity of Baytril solution into his mouth. Also, because he had stopped feeding, I would place small, freshly moutled (easier to digest) mealworms into his mouth and he would then swallow and do the rest, which was quite helpful.

So I followed this treatment for about 3 weeks, giving him his Baytril dose three times a day and feeding him once every second day. Recovery was slow, but steady. The past week he started to shed which is usually a sign of recovery in many reptiles. While giving him his daily dose yesterday, I noted that the abscess looked very white and "shallower" than in the past. I poked it with the needle and it was completely loose. I expected watery puss or at least sticky puss, but the abcess was hard and rubbery. I managed to hook onto it with the needle and gently slide it from behind his eye and out his mouth!

What a success! The gecko was IMMEDIATELY more lively. I am super chuffed this worked out, but I am still maintaining the Baytril treatment for another week or two. I hope this short report helps someone else who finds themselves in a similar situation in the future. Here are a few pics.

Abscess at start of treatment. The lighter colour below his eye is the abscess

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His healthy eye as reference

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The MASSIVE abscess which I removed

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The eye immediately after removal of the abscess

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This morning

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Thanx for looking
"I am dying by inches from not having anybody to talk to about insects." - Charles Darwin
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Re: Palmatogecko Upper Jaw Abscess

Postby iiviii » Sat Jan 18, 2014 8:55 am

Well done and thank you Westley. Hope the little guy heals quickly.
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Re: Palmatogecko Upper Jaw Abscess

Postby Mitton » Sat Jan 18, 2014 9:12 am

Wow, awesome story man and very well done.
Hope he make a full recovery.
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Re: Palmatogecko Upper Jaw Abscess

Postby Warren Klein » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:36 am

Well done Westley. That’s quite a delicate procedure on such a fragile little creature. Hope he makes a full recovery.
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Re: Palmatogecko Upper Jaw Abscess

Postby Westley Price » Sun Jan 19, 2014 9:58 am

Thanx guys

It was/is hard work, but thank goodness I was on holiday for the peak of the problem so could spend a lot of time with him.

I'll post some updated pics in a week or two.
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Re: Palmatogecko Upper Jaw Abscess

Postby Fooble » Mon Jan 20, 2014 10:53 am

Good Work Wes!

I was hoping their was a good end to this thread as i started reading it.

Amazing gecko's im really jealous you're keeping those guys.
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Re: Palmatogecko Upper Jaw Abscess

Postby Westley Price » Mon Jan 20, 2014 11:45 am

Thanx Mr Ping.

He is looking so good that I have placed him back into the communal cage yesterday.

Let's hope the sandy substrate helps him get old that old shedding off!
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Re: Palmatogecko Upper Jaw Abscess

Postby Snakesitter » Tue Jan 21, 2014 10:53 pm

Wow, well done, and thank you for posting! It's always nice to see a "happy" medical story, as so many of them are not.
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Re: Palmatogecko Upper Jaw Abscess

Postby Bushviper » Wed Jan 22, 2014 5:22 pm

I suspect it was a blocked tear duct. The vet "overdosed" the reptile. The correct treatment for reptiles is once every second day. The are cold blooded. Luckily this did not do any harm.

I hope he recovers and does well.

Did the female ever lay eggs or what was the swelling you saw in December.
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Re: Palmatogecko Upper Jaw Abscess

Postby Carpetpythons » Thu Jan 23, 2014 3:49 pm

Oral baytril is some of the best medicine I have used on sick reptiles. It's much better for lizards than the injectable type.
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Re: Palmatogecko Upper Jaw Abscess

Postby Westley Price » Sat Jan 25, 2014 9:20 am

Thanx for the comments all. I am happy to say he is still on the mend and doing well.

BV, the female is still quite swollen, but no eggs yet. Might have only been ovulation. But I was not planning on breeding them this year anyway, so I wont be disappointed if she doesnt lay. Will just keep an eye on their weights. The other female is also rapidly picking up weight, but might just be normal growth.

Here is an updated picture of the male's healing, almost 100% healed.

Image
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Re: Palmatogecko Upper Jaw Abscess

Postby Snakesitter » Mon Jan 27, 2014 10:58 pm

He's looking great! Again, well done!
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