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Charlie’s Amputation

Discussion in 'Lizards' started by TortoiseRacket, Feb 2, 2019.

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  1. TortoiseRacket

    TortoiseRacket Well-Known Member

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    Hello! I’ve seen a lot of stories about dead limbs having to be amputated. So I’ve decided to share Charlie’s story. Charlie is a leopard gecko that I have raised since I tiny hatchling a few years ago. Charlie beat the odds, because he lost his tail after only hours of hatching. Yet he is still here with us today. The story happens to not be related to the tail incident, and happened quite recently.



    I keep my retired pair of leopard geckos in a totally naturalistic tank. They are kept on rocks and eco earth mix with live plants- they are never replaced. When they die they leave leaf littler. I buried a hide which they have dug into and made special enterences. There is no water bowl. Their are “light rains” from my mister during the winter every morning to simulate dew during the dry season. During summer, their are floods where I literally dump cups of warm water I. The cage and it drenches everything to simulate the wet season in Asia.


    As in the wild, the geckos get some nicks and scrapes. They are usually to minor to be treated. I try to leave them alone and don’t take them out or disturb them.
    One day I noticed Charlie hasn’t come out of his hide for days. So against my usual way of handling, I took him out. He had done a bad shedding job. He managed to get a lot on one of his toes, where he couldn’t comfortably reach. All would be well if I noticed before, but know the shed was stuck on so hard that I couldn’t get off with my fingers. I took a pair of tweezers and gently got as much dried skin off as I could without hurting him. When I got down almost to his good skin, I realized the toe was long gone. He couldn’t feel or move it anymore. The color had changed to a light purple from a yellow. The toe was dead. I took some floss and gently wrapped it around the part of the toe that was dead. It was between to very small bones. I gently pulled until I got about halfway into the toe. I knew that it was dead because he wasn’t moving or even showing any signs that he could feel it. I gently pulled the rest off with the pair of tweezers because their was barely anything left. Since the blood hadn’t been traveling to the bad site for days, it took a long time for blood to flow. I quickly applied petroleum jelly and a layer of quick-stop blood stopper. After a while the skin grew back. So my gecko has a stub toe, but it is better than a dead one.



    Please tell me what you think of this story!!
    Pastel Tortie likes this.
  2. wellington

    wellington Well-Known Member Moderator 5 Year Member Tortoise Club

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    I think it's too bad but as long as he's doing good now, you did good by helping him.
    I also think that we always need to do daily or semi daily checks on them. No matter how we try to give them a natural environment we can never truly replicate their real wild, which may have prevented the kind of problem shedding he was having.
    So in my opinion, although I understand your hands off method, in captivity I think we need to be at least a little hands on.
    Glad you were able to help him out.
    ColleenT and xMario like this.
  3. TortoiseRacket

    TortoiseRacket Well-Known Member

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    After the incedent, I have been checking on them daily. If anything happens out of the ordinary, I make sure everything is fine. It was a learning experience for me! He is doing well now. Thanks for replying!!
    wellington and xMario like this.
  4. ascott

    ascott Well-Known Member 5 Year Member

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    Good rebound and recovery....

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