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TOE, TAIL AND LIMB NECROSIS
Necrosis is tissue death. An infrequent problem that we encounter with our reptile patients is necrosis of toes, tail or, rarely, entire limbs.
We cannot usually find a cause for the problem. In a minority of cases we have been able to identify a cause; these have included:
The first symptoms are swelling and/or discoloration of the affected body parts. As the problem progresses a distinct line forms where the discolored and sometimes swollen tissue meets the normal tissue. As the problem progresses further, the tissue at this line becomes more and more fragile. Finally the necrotic body part comes off at this line.
One or more body parts can be affected. Body parts can be affected simultaneously or sequencially. It takes several days to several weeks for an individual part to be lost, and several weeks to a few months for the illness to run its course.
Our patients are usually not painful, do not lose their appetites, or otherwise act ill.
The diagnosis is made by the patient's history and physical exam. At YVC, an important part of the physical is exam with light and loupes (a medical-quality led light and magnifiers). We can do xrays, blood tests and other diagnostics; these are most important for patients that seem painful, are not eating well, or are otherwise acting sick.
Treatment options include:
The prognosis (on a scale of poor, guarded, fair, good, or excellent) is: