Pop Goes Pop

What’s in Pop?

And the award for my smallest patient of the week goes to…Pop! Pop is a 9 week old central bearded dragon. When “he” hatched he appeared just like his siblings, however, it is now apparent, something is a bit different. His abdomen (coelom) has become swollen and has continued to swell until now it looks like he is about to, you guessed it…pop! At this stage he is still hunting, eating, drinking and defecating normally. Despite this, he is not growing as quickly as his clutch mates. Recently his appetite has reduced and he is becoming more lethargic.

Pop presented last week to the clinic. One of the difficult parts about reptile medicine is that the size of our patients limits what we can accomplish safely. Despite this, a full physical exam was performed including , Doppler assessment of the heart (normal), coelom palpating (firm), oral exam (clear with normal dentition and mucous membranes), neurological exam ( cranial nerves intact and subjectively dull demeanour) and joint exam (within normal limits). A faecal sample was collected ( by his choice ?) to assess for parasites and an ultrasound of the coelom was performed. Additional tests such as blood tests were not taken at this stage. Only a small amount of blood can be safely collected from these tiny patients and I wanted to know more about what was going on first so I could save what little precious blood he had.

Have a look through the photos below and see what was found!

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