Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

This Forum is for scientific, medical, pathological, environmental, etc. discussions.
Rules are different for this forum, be sure to read through them inside.
Forum rules
The rules for this forum are different from all the others on this site.
1) Questions regarding sick skinks do not belong here.
2) If you are not sure if your topic is OK here, post it in the General Discussion forum; a moderator can then move it here if appropriate.
3) This forum is for advanced discussions, such as scientific, medical, reproductive, pathological, environmental, etc.
4) PROOF, FACT, and BACK IT UP are three things to keep in mind when posting.
5) Comments need to add to the discussion. “Good job”, “I agree”, or “Nice skink” etc, do not add to the discussion and are not allowed here. If stating an opinion, back it up with what experiences have led to that opinion.
6) The 3 month rule is not in effect; you may post on any thread no matter how old it is.
GotThoseBlues
Tenderfoot
Tenderfoot
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:05 pm
Country:
Location: Tampa, FL
Contact:

Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby GotThoseBlues » Thu Aug 29, 2013 12:17 pm

My BTS, MuShu, as a broken humerus.
Now since I know you're going to ask what happened I'll just copy and paste my post in the Facebook BTS.net page:


I came home yesterday and the front door to my skink's enclosure was open. I knew I didn't leave it open, so I was immediately alarmed and just had that feeling. I have a dog and keep art supplies in my closet which she's never torn into before and in addition to the open cage some of my art supplies were out in the middle of my room and it was clear that my dog had gotten into them which only alarmed me more because at this point I KNEW that's the only place that my skink would have had to hide from my dog (who is convinced that my lizards are toys meant for her amusement-Don't worry, she's never been allowed to come into contact with one before and has always been limited to burning holes into their little souls with her eyes from whichever distant location I've banned her to for the moment) Of course inside I was panicking and screaming at myself for not remembering to latch the *darn doors shut (excuse my french) and tried to keep myself calm while I called my boyfriend to let him know and started my search. I found her easily enough, and looked her over. She had no actual puncture wounds, just a couple of lacerations and I was worried about internal bleeding and/or broken bones. I took her into the emergency vet (Blue Pearl) whose exotic pet specialist wasn't in for the night (Woooonnderful). 4 hours and 400 dollars later they informed me that they, A: Couldn't determine from the x rays whether or not the skink had internal bleeding/damage and, B: Her front left leg was completely fractured. (I knew something was wrong with it because she was dragging it and was avoiding using it, but I was hoping that it was just dislocated. ) They charged us 50 bucks to put her into a splint. However, the vet that was helping us wasn't able to properly line up her bones because "he couldn't find the appropriate materials" and you know, he wasn't an exotic pet vet and meant for it to be a temporary fix. -.- He recommended that I take her to see Dr. Helmer an exotic pet vet that specializes in orthopedics in reptiles.

Now here's my real reason for this post: Some of my friends who own reptiles are just saying to let it heal the way that it would in the wild and not put her through the extra stress and pain of surgery (Nice idea only because I'm assuming this surgery is going to cost a pretty penny). On the other hand, I know how important the front legs in specific are in terms of skink mobility and I also know that if this isn't properly fixed it could cause some other long term effects that result in life long pain, not to mention that having the pointy end of a bone digging into her flesh every time she moves is bound to cause some problems (the vet wasn't even able to make the two pieces of bone TOUCH, so I don't think that they'll even be able to mend back together) In your professional opinion as skink keepers, what would you recommend? We have an appointment with Dr. Helmer for 11:30am tomorrow, but I'd like to get the opinion of those of you who actually keep blueys and don't necessarily have any personal reason for urging me one way or the other. I'm leaning towards surgery (probably because I feel so bad for the door being left unlatched and also because from what I've seen they use their front legs far more than the others and without the surgery I don't see the bones healing in a way that would allow her to actually use that arm.)
Thanks for reading. Any advice/opinions/input would be helpful and appreciated. Sorry for the novel guys. I've attached a photo of the x-ray. Poor little thing.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Last edited by GotThoseBlues on Thu Aug 29, 2013 8:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
User avatar
Richard.C
Kimberley Klan
Kimberley Klan
Posts: 10475
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 3:37 am
Country:
Location: melbourne australia

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby Richard.C » Thu Aug 29, 2013 3:12 pm

id reccomend seeing the exotic vet and seeing what they reccomend,some people have just made a splint and let it heal naturally but with out knowing how bad the break is

id find it more stressful for them in the long run leaving it to them to heal themselves,plus theres every chance doing that it wont heal properly

exotic vets will have the knowledge to deal with this,normal vets ure used to dogs and cats,i guess just see what the exotic vet says,they may have a few options,take the xray with you to might save u on a re xraying

let us know what they say
User avatar
Scotts1au
Great Scott
Great Scott
Posts: 4344
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:19 am
Country:
Location: Central Victoria, Australia

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby Scotts1au » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:10 pm

Anything I would have to offer would be pure speculation but might be worth asking whether if the leg is opened, if some form of gluing is an option to hold the bone in place. I suspect that like birds, the bone may be able to heal quite rapidly, even of not completely connected, but would have to stay immobilised. Of course best outcomes would probably come from pinning. Given the position of the break this might be "relatively" easy, but nonetheless traumatic and expensive.
If you wait, all that happens is that you get older. M. Andretti
User avatar
Jeff
Vladik Pippery
Vladik Pippery
Posts: 5684
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:33 pm
Country:
Location: Arizona, USA
Contact:

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby Jeff » Thu Aug 29, 2013 5:19 pm

It sound like you are making every effort to take care of your bluey. Richard's advice to see a reptile specialist is good. A good vet that has experience with reptiles this size will know how to best treat the injuries better than those of us on the forum who have no medical training.

With that being said, here is a post James Wilson made not too long ago describing how he treated one of his skinks with a broken wrist:

"She is a real character. For a while she was known as Hannibal. Here is why. I got her as a baby (along with two others from the same litter) from Jeff. I picked them up at Jeff's house, and then, after the long drive home, I put the trio into their temporary enclosure for the night. The next day when I came home from work, I opened the enclosure to what appeared to be a scene from Silence of the Lambs. Kimberly was looking up at me with blood all over her face. Her much lighter sibling (now known as Kathrine) had a broken wrist and walking on the back of the affected hand/foot. She was given the nic-name Clarice as a result. Her even less fortunate sibling had his tail bitten off right at the base (the tail was nowhere to be found). The neighbor kids named him "Choad" (I learned what that meant later)... He was given the formal name of Tully once he was determined to be a male)... It was quite apparent who did all this damage, and as a result, she was dubbed Hannibal (until she turned out to be a she). Kathrine's wrist required a splint. She was just a little baby, so it was not easy. I took a very small piece of plastic, and shaped it into a tiny little "L" shape with the help of a pair of needle-nose pliers and a lighter. I then taped it into place with some custom cut electrical tape. After 2 weeks she was good as new. Choad's wounds healed as well, but his tail is much shorter than it would have been. I was considering marketing him as a Shingleback."
6.10.9 T. s. intermedia
2.2.7 T. s. scincoides
1.2.1 T. nigrolutea
2.2.0 T. r. rugosa
1.2.3 T.g. keyensis
2.0.5 T.s. chimaera
0.0.0. T. occipitalis
0.0.0. T. multifasciata
http://www.btskinks.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bluetong ... 846297977#
User avatar
El Lobo
The Blotched Brigade
The Blotched Brigade
Posts: 3405
Joined: Sat Dec 06, 2008 5:49 pm
Country:
Location: Blue Mountains Australia

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby El Lobo » Thu Aug 29, 2013 6:30 pm

A professional opinion would be to seek the services of a professional experienced reptile vet even though it's likely to be expensive.

There could also be tendon and/or ligament damage. As there are no external signs of bleeding, a simple RBC blood test would help to determine any internal bleeding.

My concern would be getting some pain relief started as soon as possible. Talk to the vet about obtaining and administering a non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug.
There are 10 kinds of people in the world; those who understand binary and those who do not.
GotThoseBlues
Tenderfoot
Tenderfoot
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:05 pm
Country:
Location: Tampa, FL
Contact:

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby GotThoseBlues » Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:59 pm

Due to the position of the break and seeing the way that the splint moves when she does, I personally don't think a splint will do much for her. No matter how/where she moves it jostles the end of the limb from the base of the body where the break is.
I'm hoping Dr. Helmer will have a more favorable opinion, but just realistically speaking, I think that it will have to be pinned otherwise she'll end up with a dangling limb (At least that's the thought process of the hysterical mother in me). I would imagine that a wrist fracture would be much easier to stabilize and support with plastic. The vet that put her in a splint last night made a really bulky one so maybe a more compact splint made out of a material less prone to creating friction as she walks over surfaces and catching would be more effective.
One of the biggest reasons that I'm taking her back to se Dr. Helmer (Whom I've heard tons of really good things about) tomorrow is for the pain meds. I feel SO bad that she has to wait this long as it is. They gave her an 8 hour shot for the pain last night but that's long since worn off by now. I'm less worried about the internal bleeding after seeing the x rays, not seeing much bloating and due to the fact that she was eating and pooping like a champ this morning with no signs of blood in her stool. I'll ask about an RBC test tough just in case.
She's only 4 months old. :[ I refuse to let her live out the rest of her 20 something years in pain. We'll work something out despite the monetary cost.
They DID send me home with a DVD with the x-ray images on it, though. So that's a plus.
Also, no, the bone hasn't punctured the skin.
User avatar
Lea
Patron Saint of Blueys
Patron Saint of Blueys
Posts: 4261
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 4:01 am
Country:
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby Lea » Fri Aug 30, 2013 12:53 am

It's a tricky decision, but I would still get the opinion of the specialist.

When I found Kiah, he has a badly broken leg, with the bone sticking through the skin. His general poor health and condition made him a poor candidate for anaesthetic, so he had a local anaesthetic of lignocaine to numb the area while the whole area was washed out and the bone was manipulated back into place, the limb stitched closed and a splint made from the wood of a tongue depressor and surgical tape to fix. The area was covered in antiseptic powder to prevent infection, but again, apart from a prophylactic dose of antibiotics, I forget which, but I think baytril, he received no further antibiotics. He was underweight and not physically fit enough to tolerate a course, but had it become Infected, he would have had some but I was worried about kidney failure.

Kiah was incredibly frail so took the whole ordeal with very little fight. He just sat in his malaise and took all the rough. With yours being active, he may need a light anaesthetic before the bone is manipulated, just because of the practicalities of trying to move a sore limb into place in a healthy, active animal. A reptile vet will be aware of the risks and keep this to the absolute minimum, so it is good you are seeing a specialist.

It's hard to actually see a break and the bones look dislocated from the joint. As has been said, it would be hard to rule out tendon or ligament damage and non steroidal anti-inflammator medication would be wise in the short term. The specialist will be the best person to discuss this with.

Hopefully your appointment goes well and your bluey heals ok.
Shinglebacks - Nippy, Lava, Suunto, Lutea, and Hermione
Easterns - Kiah and Jade
GotThoseBlues
Tenderfoot
Tenderfoot
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:05 pm
Country:
Location: Tampa, FL
Contact:

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby GotThoseBlues » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:46 am

Dr. Helmer (whom I adore, btw) said that no pins would be needed and that with bones so small they can sometimes end up doing more harm than good. He taped her arm back to her side and we made an appointment for another checkup and radiograph in 4 weeks. The total for that visit was under 100. :]

He also sent me home with some anti-inflammatory pain meds for her and said that he couldn't see anything that would concern him in terms of internal bleeding as long as she's eating and pooping regularly.
User avatar
donkeybuff
Coffee Connoisseur
Coffee Connoisseur
Posts: 1591
Joined: Sat Jan 07, 2012 8:56 pm
Country: USA
Location: California

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby donkeybuff » Sat Aug 31, 2013 9:55 am

Glad to hear that she's on the road to recovery :)
Sachin
1.0 Indonesian
1.0 Northern
User avatar
Scotts1au
Great Scott
Great Scott
Posts: 4344
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:19 am
Country:
Location: Central Victoria, Australia

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby Scotts1au » Sun Sep 01, 2013 4:31 pm

Wondering if you might have some words of wisdom to share about the relationship between dogs and blueys for those who might be a little relaxed about it.
If you wait, all that happens is that you get older. M. Andretti
User avatar
Jeff
Vladik Pippery
Vladik Pippery
Posts: 5684
Joined: Thu Sep 18, 2008 3:33 pm
Country:
Location: Arizona, USA
Contact:

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby Jeff » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:04 pm

That's good news that it appears your bluey will be fine without any complex treatment. Is the vet you took her to on our recommended vet list (viewtopic.php?f=27&t=15381)? If not, I would be happy to add him is you pm me his information.
6.10.9 T. s. intermedia
2.2.7 T. s. scincoides
1.2.1 T. nigrolutea
2.2.0 T. r. rugosa
1.2.3 T.g. keyensis
2.0.5 T.s. chimaera
0.0.0. T. occipitalis
0.0.0. T. multifasciata
http://www.btskinks.com
https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bluetong ... 846297977#
GotThoseBlues
Tenderfoot
Tenderfoot
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:05 pm
Country:
Location: Tampa, FL
Contact:

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby GotThoseBlues » Sun Sep 01, 2013 5:45 pm

Scotts1au wrote:Wondering if you might have some words of wisdom to share about the relationship between dogs and blueys for those who might be a little relaxed about it.


I'm actually a pet trainer and I've always just kept Baylee (my dog) in another room or made her "park it" on her bed on the other side of the room while I handle my lizards.
That being said, that's actually a complex question to answer. My dog only sees my lizards as toys. If she wanted to eat my Bluey she certainly would have. Despite that, every dog is different and every dog is bred for something else. What ended with only a broken limb for my Bluey could have just as easily ended with a dead Bluey instead.
As a trainer though, I don't think that breed itself will determine a dog's reaction to a lizard. A dog bred to hunt small game would definitely need a strong and consistent handler (and preferably a trainer who knows how to pick up on slight shifts in a dog's body language signaling the switch from curiosity to the intensity of a dog staring at it's prey) to work with their dog to set boundaries with a barrier between the dog and the lizard, but training can make it possible for a person to keep their lizards and dogs in the same room and even have them within close proximity with one another (BUT ONLY if you're 100% confident in your dog. You never want to "test" your dog when it's your lizards life that's at stake. A dog may react one way with a physical barrier in between them and a lizard and another way when they can actually smell and touch that same lizard.)
Another factor that makes this such a difficult question to answer is that I adopted my dog, Baylee, when she was a little over one year of age. She was never properly socialized and desensitized to lizards during her socialization period (10-21 weeks of age). Had I gotten her when she was 8 weeks and trained her from the get go about the boundaries and limitations regarding my lizards I could have potentially wound up with a dog that thought of them as casually as she thinks of my roommate's cats (which she completely ignores) and we could have a dog that sits next to a lizard on the couch.
Do I believe that a dog should ever be left entirely unattended with a lizard? No. Under no circumstances do I think that would be a good idea. Most dogs are large enough to harm a lizard on accident (by stepping on them) or in play (pawing, nipping). Even something as small as a chihuahua could accidentally knock a lizard off of the couch while you leave the room to check on your pasta on the stove. A high enough fall from the right angle could most definitely result in a broken limb. (this could have been how MuShu got her broken leg in the first place)
This isn't even taking into account all of the places that your lizard can slip away to while you're not looking or all of the items that he can attempt to eat.

The thing that upsets me most about this whole ordeal is that my Bluey has been set back in the taming process so greatly by all of this. She's much more fearful of leaving her enclosure and is definitely more suspicious of my presence now since she got to associate human interaction outside of her enclosure for the past week with the pain of having her broken arm jostled around while someone tried to maneuver it into a splint.
I would recommend for everyone to always exercise caution with their dogs and lizards. Dogs are descendants of predators and more often than not a full grown dog that's never seen a large lizard before WILL attempt to eat it or play with it. Even a puppy that grew up around Blueys may decide that the new species of lizard that you just bought out of your own curiosity looks like a good snack or a toy.
User avatar
Richard.C
Kimberley Klan
Kimberley Klan
Posts: 10475
Joined: Mon Oct 10, 2005 3:37 am
Country:
Location: melbourne australia

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby Richard.C » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:08 pm

alot of the time its just the dog playing with it,when blueu reponds woth defense that just excites dogs more,alot of the time when lizards stop the dogs lose interest,unfortunatly with wild ones its to late if they have stopped moving

another thing to be wary of is dogs or cats toppling cages or heat lights,leaving a fire hazzard
User avatar
Scotts1au
Great Scott
Great Scott
Posts: 4344
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:19 am
Country:
Location: Central Victoria, Australia

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby Scotts1au » Sun Sep 01, 2013 7:38 pm

My ex's stupid cat which I still have sleeps on top of a bluey enclosure I have in the shed cos it stays nice and warm in winter and has even learned to operate a light switch that I have on the top of it (yeh probably by accident - still counts). Just need to train it to sleep under my bonnet in my car. OK not really just venting.
If you wait, all that happens is that you get older. M. Andretti
GotThoseBlues
Tenderfoot
Tenderfoot
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:05 pm
Country:
Location: Tampa, FL
Contact:

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby GotThoseBlues » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:03 pm

Luckily I haven't had to deal with any of that yet, or at least not due to another pet (I have had some not so conscientious friends who left a heat lamp on top of a wooden enclosure, THAT was a fun morning. Still my fault for not catching it when I put my lizard away, though) If I scan help it though, this will be the last time anything like this ever happens.
Hahaha, Scott, you should get your ex to come pick the cat up using that same proposition. ;]
User avatar
Fatal_S
Take Flight
Take Flight
Posts: 8335
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 3:40 pm
Country:
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Contact:

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby Fatal_S » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:06 pm

Keep it on topic folks. This thread is about a medical issue. Discussion regarding other pets interacting blueys can be given a new topic elsewhere. That includes you too mods - don't make me come after you :P
Melanie J. Pratt
www.MelsExotics.ca
Currently living at Mel's Exotics:
BTS: Northerns, Caramel Northerns, Meraukes, Irian Jayas, Silver Tanimbars, Yellow Tanimbars
AFTs: Wild-Type, Striped, Amelanistic, Caramel Albino, Patternless, White Out
California Kingsnake
Dumeril Boa
GotThoseBlues
Tenderfoot
Tenderfoot
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:05 pm
Country:
Location: Tampa, FL
Contact:

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby GotThoseBlues » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:17 pm

Fatal_S wrote:Keep it on topic folks. This thread is about a medical issue. Discussion regarding other pets interacting blueys can be given a new topic elsewhere. That includes you too mods - don't make me come after you :P


Sorry! New to this. >.<
User avatar
Fatal_S
Take Flight
Take Flight
Posts: 8335
Joined: Mon Dec 05, 2005 3:40 pm
Country:
Location: Manitoba, Canada
Contact:

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby Fatal_S » Sun Sep 01, 2013 10:27 pm

No worries, we simply "try" to keep advanced topics on topic. Have to keep an eye on the chatty mods though; they do waffle on sometimes :)

As it's on topic, how is MuShu doing with having her arm taped? And if you could get a photo of that sometime (when safe/convenient for you/her) I would appreciate seeing that.
Melanie J. Pratt
www.MelsExotics.ca
Currently living at Mel's Exotics:
BTS: Northerns, Caramel Northerns, Meraukes, Irian Jayas, Silver Tanimbars, Yellow Tanimbars
AFTs: Wild-Type, Striped, Amelanistic, Caramel Albino, Patternless, White Out
California Kingsnake
Dumeril Boa
User avatar
Scotts1au
Great Scott
Great Scott
Posts: 4344
Joined: Tue Nov 13, 2007 2:19 am
Country:
Location: Central Victoria, Australia

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby Scotts1au » Mon Sep 02, 2013 5:29 pm

Sorry Mel - don't hurt me. :-)

Would be good to see pictures, is it taped to the body?
Do you have to change the taping youself at some stage. Would be interesting to see.
If you wait, all that happens is that you get older. M. Andretti
GotThoseBlues
Tenderfoot
Tenderfoot
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Jul 14, 2013 2:05 pm
Country:
Location: Tampa, FL
Contact:

Re: Experienced Bluey keepers on broken limbs

Postby GotThoseBlues » Mon Sep 02, 2013 7:32 pm

Yes, it's taped to the body now. She's been hiding out the past couple of days so the next time she comes out of her hide I can take a picture. There were no instructions to re-tape it before her recheck and they didn't send me home with any materials to do it, either which I don't mind. I'd be worried about hurting her.

Return to “Advanced Discussion”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest