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Urgent Help Needed - Prolapsed Hemipene

Discussion in 'Leopard Geckos - Eublepharis' started by Apocalypse910, Mar 11, 2012.

  1. Apocalypse910

    Apocalypse910 Adult Gecko

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Saratoga county - NY
    Before I went to bed last night I checked on the geckos and noticed that one of my juvenile males has a prolapsed hemipenis.

    I believe I caught it pretty quickly (same day) It was slightly dry but not horribly so. I alternated between sugar water baths and applying preparation H (I now owe my husband one 2:00 am embarrasing pharmacy run by the way).

    I put him in a separate cage with damp paper towels for the rest of the night. The inflammation has gone down some but the prolapse is still present this morning. I need to get him to the vet but the only exotics vet around is closed Sundays.

    Any other ideas that I haven't tried.
    Doing some searching I've seen suggestions of applying honey, applying KY, dipping just the tail / affected area in cold water for a few seconds, as well as a few others. May try some of these but was worried they might do more harm than good.

    The gecko seems very alert and active, if a bit understandably cranky. He is very healthy aside from the prolapse.

    Anyone have luck with any methods I haven't tried, or other suggestions? I haven't had this happen before so any advice would be very much appreciated.
    ---
    Update:
    Tried the honey, and another hour long soak with more concentrated sugar water. No results yet unfortunately.
  2. Darkmaster743

    Darkmaster743 Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,168
    Location:
    Texas
    Ive never dealt with this before but continue the Sugar water every day, Seperate him if he is with other Geckos so he can get well Needed rest with out being bothered by Cage mates ( More Sleep means more Healing ). I also think that where ever he is put should be very Quite so noise dosent wake him up... In the mean time i'll try researching it but i cant do much right now, Sorry i couldnt help any more, If you know any way's to Reduce Stress to your Geckos i'd do it now. Also make sure that you clean where ever he Sleeps with Sopy water, It will kill any Bacteria that can probably cause futher infection while he has this Prolapsed Hemipenis. Hope your Gecko gets better Kelly!
  3. Apocalypse910

    Apocalypse910 Adult Gecko

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Saratoga county - NY
    I got him to the vet as soon as they opened this morning.

    They had to do surgery to get everything in to place. It went ok but after about an hour it came out again in spite of the stitch. They are doing surgery again and keeping him overnight for observation. 300+ vet bill so far unfortunately, but whatever it takes to get him better.

    Just as a PSA the vet mentioned that they are almost never able to save a prolapsed hemipenis because it either isn't noticed or isn't treated for weeks in the vast majority of cases. Just something to keep a close eye out for during breeding season especially. I was lucky that I happened to catch it the same day, but it isn't something I usually check for.

    I should get him back first thing in the morning. I haven't heard anything on the second surgery so I assume everything went ok.

    So... no more dusting crickets with Viagra for a bit.
    Rylee and josh like this.
  4. Darkmaster743

    Darkmaster743 Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,168
    Location:
    Texas
    Well wait. Explain to me how this begins... And what exactly Prolapsed Hemipenis, Last week i saw my Gecko ( Male Leopard Gecko ) Licking his Butt and the Area around it. And a couple Females were licking the Top and bottem of there legs.
  5. Apocalypse910

    Apocalypse910 Adult Gecko

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Saratoga county - NY
    Well male geckos have two sexual organs called hemipenes (singular hemipenis). They normally remain inside the body but will evert and be visible during and directly after mating.

    Once in a while they are not able to retract them on their own, which if untreated will lead to serious infection and possible loss of the organ.

    Basically it looks like a red bulge on either side of the vent. Again they will be visible from time to time but if they haven't retracted after thirty minutes or so it is something to worry about as it will start to dry out and may become more irritated from debris in the tank.

    Usually bathing the reptile in a concentrated sugar solution or applying an anti-inflammatory will help alleviate the problem but if it doesn't a vet needs to do a minor surgical procedure to either reinsert it or if too much time has past amuptate it.

    It can be caused by straining when defecating (from ingesting substrate or parasites), from mating, or in some cases it can pretty much happen spontaneously. Not sure why it happened in this case, but testing for parasites over the next few days to rule that out.

    Again don't want to make anyone paranoid, but just something to watch out for when checking in on your male geckos as it may not be obvious at first glance.

    More info Here-
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hemipenis
    http://www.ehow.com/about_6766685_reproductive-system-male-leopard-gecko.html
  6. maddy123

    maddy123 Hatchling Gecko

    Messages:
    42
    What is Prolapsed Hemipene?Never seen it or heard about it. :(
  7. Darkmaster743

    Darkmaster743 Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,168
    Location:
    Texas
    Yeah i was a bit worried when i first saw him doing it. It was over all Yellow but he was licking it alot. If i had new i would have reacted. I'll be sure to watch out for this stuff, The more i know the more i can protect my Geckos :)
    CourtneyZach likes this.
  8. LeoLover

    LeoLover Adult Gecko

    Messages:
    702
    Location:
    Ashtabula, Ohio
    HA!! So glad you caught it early. I'll say a prayer for him! Good luck!
  9. Josh

    Josh Administrator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,332
    Location:
    92373
    Glad you got him to the vet quickly and it sounds like they'll be able to help him out and get him back to 100% health. This is a good lesson on why it helps to have a herp vet ready and available in case of emergencies!
  10. Apocalypse910

    Apocalypse910 Adult Gecko

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Saratoga county - NY
    Well I got him back today. Poor little gecko has had a terrible few days.

    They put him in surgery a second time, and before he was out of anesthesia he popped the stitches and prolapsed a third time. Unfortunately they ended up needing to amputate.

    There is some concern that he may have the same problem on the other side eventually. I'm moving him to a different room away from the other geckos to avoid any unnecessary tension.

    The vet has been wonderful. I was dreading the bill but they did not charge me again for the additional surgeries. She's always been wonderful with our geckos, and I know she did everything she could to avoid needing to amputate.

    He isn't happy, but he's home and the vet thinks he'll be fine.
  11. Apocalypse910

    Apocalypse910 Adult Gecko

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Saratoga county - NY
    Getting worried now - He seems active enough but has refused all food since the surgery. He also seems to be terrified of me now.

    Managed to get a few drops of repta-boost into him yesterday but not nearly enough. He even turned down pre-decapitated superworms/mealworms which is my usual standby for a reptile that is refusing to eat normally.
    Hopefully the vet will have some insight when we do a followup on monday.

    He still has a very fat tail so I don't think he's in immediate danger, but he still has me worried.
  12. Darkmaster743

    Darkmaster743 Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,168
    Location:
    Texas
    Wow, Thats scary. Do you think he assumed that you were the cause of pain because you were the last thing he saw before he was put to sleep and then waking to a Burn, Im not sure why he's not eating he should be fine, Keep us up to date on how he's doing.
  13. LeoLover

    LeoLover Adult Gecko

    Messages:
    702
    Location:
    Ashtabula, Ohio
    Just hang in there, they can skip food for weeks. Just let him rest, and I'm sure he will warm back up to you once he's feeling 100%!
  14. Apocalypse910

    Apocalypse910 Adult Gecko

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Saratoga county - NY
    I don't believe this...

    My adult gecko Sam suddenly developed the same issue. I cleaned his cage yesterday and he was fine. At some point during the day today he prolapsed a hemipenis as well. Trying the same soak routine as I did with the other one but not optimistic given that the other gecko required three surgeries to fix the issue. There is also some blood in the cage, I think he may have scraped it up while re-marking the cage after I cleaned it.

    Sam is the father of the gecko I was talking about in this thread. They don't share a cage or anything but I can't believe that it is just a coincidence. This has been a really bad few weeks. My other gecko still refuses to eat since the surgery so I'm worried about him.
  15. Apocalypse910

    Apocalypse910 Adult Gecko

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Saratoga county - NY
    Got Sam back from the vet. They had to amputate one of his hemipenes as well. The vet thinks that because the males could see each other through the glass that they were getting worked up and competitive which caused the prolapse in both animals. Fecals came back clean so it looks like parasites were not the cause.
    Another $300 in vet bills that I can't afford right now - but once again glad he's going to be alright.

    Starting to think that I may need to adopt out at least one of my younger geckos - ended up with way more males than I intended to and it causing a lot of problems.
    Darkmaster743 likes this.
  16. Darkmaster743

    Darkmaster743 Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,168
    Location:
    Texas
    Sorry about such a Big bill, I don't think my Parents would care to spend that much " We will buy you another one ". My Mom would give me geckos some chance but what your doing is really nice of you, No gecko could have a better owner! Sorry about Posting about my Forum Thread " Emergancy" I panicked Yesterday =/ I made sure to delete my post.
  17. Apocalypse910

    Apocalypse910 Adult Gecko

    Messages:
    111
    Location:
    Saratoga county - NY
    Thank you!
    No worries at all about posting here - Believe me I don't mind and I know how worrying it is to have a gecko in distress. Glad to see he's doing ok today. Definitely keep us posted.
  18. Darkmaster743

    Darkmaster743 Moderator Staff Member

    Messages:
    1,168
    Location:
    Texas
    I wouldnt say hes ok Yet but thanks to your Advice hes Calmed down ALOT. The scent of my other Male on his little Cup Hide made him go Crazy. He may have died from the stress if it wasnt for you, At night he wasnt Sleeping and eyes were Plain BLACK. His Face had the Same Expression and he would Refuse to move and make very little body movements.

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