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Reptiles/My previous question


I asked a question this afternoon about a water dragon.  I just wanted to tell you not to answer it and give my place to another.  I just came home from having my dragon put to sleep. She had masses in her lower abdomen and seeing that she was 12 years old, the best I could do for her was to send her to lizard heaven.  She gave me 12 beautiful years, this was the least I could do.  I did not want her to suffer and still have to go in the end.
Thank you for all you do, I'm sure there are many happy little lizards out there because of the honest and helpful answers you give.

Please remain on this forum for a long long time, people need more like you!

I am very sorry to hear this. In that case, have you asked the vet to perform a necropsy to determine the origins of the masses? If they are perhaps dystrophic calcification, or tumors?
I would be interested to know for educational reasons. Even if he doesn't know what he's looking at, photos would help.

In either case, it's unlikely that she could have been saved without lengthy and cost prohibitive surgery, and which would not have provided any great long term prognosis either. So, the consolation is that there is little you probably could have done for her besides euthanasia or making her comfortable and giving hospice.

I would also be interested to know when you may have noticed an onset of symptoms or loss of appetite and activity from her? This may prove useful to diagnosis of others in the future. Not long ago I was not able to save a Veiled Chameleon who had a great deal of dystrophic calcification of her intestines and gall bladder, caused by her first owner giving her excessive amounts of vitamin D3 daily. She seemed to be generally OK with her second adoptive home, and was eating and active with only what seemed to be marginal issues related to eyes and sinuses. that is, until she simply fell off her basking branch one night and was rushed to me with deep labored breathing. I tried a few hours to save her, but could not. When I necropsied her, I found the cause and that there was nothing that could have been done. She was given a fatal condition before she ever arrived at her second home 2 months previously. It did give a lot of insight though by noting the symptoms and corresponding them to what I saw when I examined her internally.

Again, I am very sorry for your loss. Such a wonderful story that you gave her a chance and saved her from an immoral store keeper making her snake food, and gave her 12 good years. I am sure she is appreciative. I would encourage you to contact me at my facebook page at Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue and share her story and photos.  


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YOU WILL GET A REJECTION OF YOUR QUESTION IF YOU FAIL TO FOLLOW THE INSTRUCTIONS TO QUESTIONER IN FULL!. I am primarily here to assist with health concerns. I am here for the more difficult questions. Not for questions that you could research & easily find the answer yourself. My standards are that you provide DETAILED and RELEVANT background history on your pet before you ask me any question about it other than GENDER or ID. The requested information is in the instructions to questioner. Failure to answer each of those questions to provide that background, will result in your question being rejected. I can answer questions related reptile husbandry, identification (esp. in Texas and the SW), legal aspects, and advanced level medical care. I am the director of Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue (TX), a wildlife rehabilitator specializing in reptiles, a founding member of The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation, a subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service,, educational content contributor to, and a Dept of State Health Services accredited animal control instructor (CE) for reptile handling. I do most of my own veterinary care in-house, including minor surgery and necropsy. I am most experienced in Chelonia with box turtles and common smaller tortoises; and in Squamata with everything from Anoles, Geckos, Beardies, and Monitors, to venomous snakes. I am most known for my expertise with horned lizards (Phrynosoma). With snakes, my primary expertise is in Crotalids (rattlesnakes), but I can answer a broad range of questions about various species. I am not aware of any reptile related question that I would not be able to provide some reasonable answer for. I have a direct style and may tell you something you did not want to hear; but the welfare of the animal comes FIRST with me, and I will always reflect that position in my answer, despite how it might make you feel.


I am a non-academic herpetologist with 25+ years reptile experience, and I am an accredited Texas Dept of State Health Services Animal Control Instructor for Reptiles (CE). I am a reptile rescuer, reptile wildlife rehabilitator, and subscriber to the International Veterinary Information Service, wikivet, and article/journal content contributor to Lafebervet. I have medical and scientific resources available, and I perform in house reptile veterinary care for my rescues. I am not a vet, but I read from the same materials and have had to correct quite a few in the past. The average vet is not well versed with reptile physiology and medical treatments.

Animals that I am currently caring for, or have significant rehabilitation and husbandry experience with: Horned Lizards (5 species); Eastern and Western Box Turtles; Painted, RES, YBS, Soft-Shell, and Cooter aquatic turtles; Russian Tortoises; Fire Bellied Toads; Fire Bellied Newts; Ornate Horned Frogs; Green Iguanas; Desert Iguanas; Spiny Lizards; Long Nosed Leopard Lizards; Anoles; Racerunners; Collared Lizards; Bullsnakes; Eastern Ratsnakes; Great Plains Ratsnakes; Kingsnakes; Gartersnakes; Cornsnakes; Boas; Pythons; Bearded Dragons; Water Dragons; Massasauga Rattlesnakes; Western Diamondback Rattlesnakes; Leopard, Mediterranean, Golden, Indo-Pacific, African White-Spotted Geckos; Savannah Monitors; Jeweled Curly-Tailed Lizards; Long-Tailed Grass Lizards; Fox Squirrels; Deer Mice; Hispid Cotton Rats; Merriam's Pocket Mice; Eastern Cotton-Tails; Blue Bar racing pigeon; Budgies; Asian Forest Scorpions.


Co-Founder & Director: Wichita Falls Reptile Rescue

Founder: The Society for Horned Lizard Preservation

Publications contributor. The Horned Lizard Husbandry Manual - self published 75 pages of care information on genus Phrynosoma.

Wikipedia entry "Horned Lizards" - contributed to a majority of the content., and various reptile related forums and email lists under the handles "fireside3" and PhrynosomaTexas".

My hands-on field, rehabilitation, and captive husbandry experience beats a PhD any day of the week. I am also a state accredited animal control instructor for reptile handling.

Past/Present Clients

I was requested to provide my care manual on the Desert Horned Lizard (Phrynosoma platyrhinos), for the Montreal zoo. My manual is also used by several other zoological institutions in N. America. I also teach reptile education to summer camps, and instruct wildlife rehabilitators on live saving and rehab techniques with reptiles.

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