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A Bluetongue Lizard visits the Vet

Posted by Nadya on Aug 29, 2011

I went to hang the washing out this afternoon – and noticed Charlie (our dog) nosing around under some bushes. Knowing that there is a particular spot in the garden where Bluetongue Lizards like to bask in the sun, I called him away, went to take a look, and found this little guy:

Bluetongue Lizard

Bluetongue Lizard

I took this photo before the lizard turned around, and I realised that he was not moving his back legs very well, and his other front foot (on his other side in this pic) was terribly swollen as it seems like he got himself tangled in something some time earlier. I don’t think it was Charlie that injured him, he had just come out with me, and only had half a sniff before I called him away from the lizard… Anyway, I grabbed the poor little thing and took him to the vet straight away!

This is an email update from the vet, on their little reptilian patient:

“The lizard was a bit cold so we have him on a heat mat and his range of movement in the back legs has improved a little. The leg that was swollen, the vet thinks something has been caught around it at some point and he may lose the leg, but the can still get around with one missing leg. We will monitor him in the next few days and see how his movement in the back legs are. He has eaten tonight so that is a good sign.”

I hope the poor little guy recovers!

UPDATE Wednesday 31/08/11:
I’ve been wondering how the little lizard is doing. Just got this in email from the vet, the news is not so good:

“Just a further update on the blue tongue lizard you brought in for us. we have sent for an exotic specialist to see if we can save the leg. They are going to have a look at it and let me know. unfortunately if the leg is unsavable it will have to be put to sleep as it cannot survive in the wild with only 3 legs.”

ANOTHER UPDATE Thursday 01/09/11
Unfortunately, the vet and specialist couldn’t save the injured leg… Goodbye, little lizard. I tried. :(

“Hi Nadya,

I have spoken to the reptile specialist today and after assessment he had to be put to sleep as his leg was too badly damaged by the stricture and he no longer had feeling in that leg and survival would have been unlikely in the wild, it was more humane to put him to sleep rather than him getting eaten by cats or other wildlife and unfortunately we are not legally allowed to keep them as pets.
I’m sorry it was not a better outcome. Thank you for bringing him in to us.”

On my next day off I’m going to do a spring cleanup of the whole yard, to make sure that other local lizards don’t get themselves tangled in things…

2 Comments »

Belinda:

I do hope he makes it, Nadya. So sweet of you to bring him to the vet. See, you are making a diffence in nature, even if it is only in 1 lizard’s life.

August 31st, 2011 | 1:59 pm
Belinda:

Sorry he didn’t make it, Nadya. I was hoping he would.

September 4th, 2011 | 1:23 am
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