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Veterinarian Practice & General Health Issues Anything to do with veterinarians, health issues, pathogens, hygiene, or sanitation.

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Old 01-22-2016, 06:28 PM   #1
Reticulated Python Colon Surgery

Two days ago one of our reticulated python females had to have surgery for an obstructed colon. We took her to Stahl Exotic Animal Veterinary Services (SEAVS) in Fairfax, VA last week after the area about 12" in front of her vet became hard and she felt like she had swallowed a tennis ball. Initially the vet thought she was just constipated, but exercise and massaging the area failed to improve her condition so we authorized surgery. What was found surprised all of us; left untreated she would have died, as she had an infection in her colon wall that was blocking anything from passing. That portion of the colon was removed and the healthy ends were stitched back together.

I've created a photobucket storybook with comments on each picture from the surgery at:

Nova will be at the vet for a few weeks for post-op. She will also need to be tube fed carnivore care for several months while her colon heals, and she's on antibiotic shots for a while as well.
Old 02-03-2016, 11:18 PM   #2
Test Results

Update: the histopathology results are in. No worries about cancer or an infectious disease like crypto. In layman's terms Nova had something called Pseudomembranous Colitis. How she got it is a complete mystery. Fortunately her prognosis at this time looks great.
Old 02-04-2016, 12:26 AM   #3
Great news and thanks for sharing!
Old 02-04-2016, 12:40 AM   #4
Thanks for doing that, I always find it really helpful to see pics of this type of thing. VERY glad to hear that she's doing well now.
Old 03-04-2016, 08:23 PM   #5
Update: Nova is back to eating small rodents - she had two large mice this week, her first whole prey since the surgery. If she digests and passes them normally then she will be coming home next week.
Old 03-05-2016, 06:20 PM   #6
Very heartening to hear some one properly care for there reptile. Many people would have ignored or euthanized. Please keep us updated!
Old 03-05-2016, 06:44 PM   #7
Originally Posted by bcr229
Nova will be at the vet for a few weeks for post-op. She will also need to be tube fed carnivore care for several months while her colon heals, and she's on antibiotic shots for a while as well.
Not having dealt with surgery on reptiles before - was there any talk of or use of pain management during the days/week post-surgery? Not sure if there's even any painkillers approved for use on reptiles, honestly. Just curious.

Anyways, she's beautiful - here's hoping she continues to heal well.
Old 03-05-2016, 08:27 PM   #8
Interesting seeing the photo bucket story book.
Kudos for getting her the care she needed!
Am glad to see that all went well and that she has come far along in her recovery.
Old 03-05-2016, 09:23 PM   #9
While I know she was on some sort of pain medications I don't know exactly what she was being given. I will ask.
Old 03-05-2016, 09:42 PM   #10
Hopefully it isn't a bother, but thanks!

I just wondered since I've heard of some (generally older) vets that didn't seem to think post-operative pain management was needed if the animal wasn't big and furry...and sometimes even then. Good to know she was treated right.

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