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 Prolapsed Cloaca

For those of you who don’t know what a prolapsed cloaca is, it’s essentially when part of a reptile’s (or anything else with a cloaca) GI tract hangs out of the cloaca and won’t go back in on it’s own. Trust me, it’s horrifying to see your little guy like this - I discovered my male, Cain, this way when returning from a short trip yesterday.

I immediately turned to the internet to find out what it was, and everything I read was just awful. Essentially everyone said it was always fatal. I called my reptile vet who had to be paged as, of course, it was Sunday and she wasn’t in. She wanted to save me the $106 emergency fee, and told me to soak Cain in tepid water with sugar for about an hour, and keep the tissue as moist as possible. I was then supposed to take him in first thing in the morning.

So I spent a night fretting over him, and got him into the vet office as the doors were being unlocked. The vet got me back to the laboratory and reassured me that this was normal and not fatal. My jaw dropped because I read at least 12 reports online that said the exact opposite. She had me leave him with her, and I picked him up about 8 hours later when my college classes were over.

When I got back, Cain was his normal demonic self with everything tucked back in nicely to his cloaca. She simply squirted the tissue with liquid dextrose (a sugar that helps shrink the tissue), lubed the area, and replaced the tissue with a cotton swab. The cause was an over abundance of Gram negative bacteria (Campylobacter, Escherichia, etc), and the vet reassured me that this happens a lot, and there was not anything I could have done to prevent it. So he gets an antibiotic, and it’s as if it never happened.

So my advice to you if you experience this is DON’T PANIC! Keep the tissue wet and get your reptile to the vet. But it’s not the end of the world as I was lead to believe.

04/06/09  08:52pm

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